- High end lodge in secluded location
- Spectacular wilderness views
- Deluxe suites with pools and star beds
- Horse riding, biking, game drives, hiking
Ol Donyo Lodge is an upmarket establishment on a private reserve bordering the Chyulu Hills National Park, in southeast Kenya. Perched on a wooded hillside within the vast Maasai owned Mbirikani Group Ranch, the lodge boasts splendid views of the surrounding plains, and on clear days the iconic Mount Kilimanjaro provides a stunning backdrop. Boasting strong hosting and guiding and a good choice of activities, the lodge offers eight deluxe suites with plunge pools. The surrounding wilderness is home to the big 5 (rhino, lion, leopard, elephant, and Cape buffalo) along with giraffe, oryx, zebra, and the elusive cheetah, and provides solid game viewing opportunities, although note that animal density is less intense than in the Masai Mara.
The stone main lodge has high thatched ceilings and an open-fronted aspect with panoramic views across the savannah. Communal areas include a cosy main lounge with an open fire, a dining area, bar, library, and gift shop. Outside is a spacious terrace with dining tables, a campfire area, and an inviting infinity pool with loungers. The camp runs predominantly on solar power, and supports eco-friendly initiatives including water and refuse recycling.
The wide range of activities includes morning and afternoon game drives and night drives with informed enthusiastic guides, plus mountain biking, hiking, and guided walks. Exhilarating, up-close wildlife viewing is possible from a nearby log pile hide which overlooks an adjacent water hole. Horse riding is available for all levels of experience, including beginners and cultural visits to local villages and schools provide an authentic glimpse into the traditional Maasai way of life. Bush breakfasts and dinners take place in stunning, atmospheric wilderness locations and in-room massages are available at an additional cost.
The accommodation comprises eight spacious, individually designed stone and thatch suites which stylishly combine traditional and contemporary African design. Each suite has a king or twin four poster bed draped with mosquito nets, a comfortable lounge, and an en-suite bathroom with twin basins, WC, bath, and both indoor and outdoor showers. Tranquil alfresco verandas offer super views over a busy waterhole, whilst the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro looms in the distance. All suites also have a stone staircase leading to a private roof terrace equipped with a ‘star bed’ for unforgettable ‘sleep outs’ beneath African skies. Six of the suites have their own private plunge pool, whilst two units have a shared pool.
Children age five years and over are welcome at Ol Donyo, and discounts are offered for under 16s sharing with adults. The camp runs a young explorers programme for children, with activities including bush skills, Maasai fire making, and arts and crafts. Two of the lodge suites interconnect to make a spacious two-bedroom villa, ideal for families or groups. The villa comprises a generous lounge, and one king and one twin bedroom, each with a sleek en-suite bathroom with indoor and outdoor showers. Outside, there’s a swimming pool, and two rooftop terraces equipped with four poster star beds and the viewing deck is perfect for enjoying spectacular sunsets.
We had an amazing trip. Everything was well thought out and so much fun. What a great way to truly see the country and learn the culture.
Joseph was the perfect guide. Very kind, professional, knowledgeable and patient. The kids loved Joseph and keep asking when will they meet him again. He found the Big 5 for us which was unforgettable! Please pass along our appreciation to Joseph.
Maji Moto was also another incredible experience. They had great customer service and we loved experiencing their culture.
Sunbird was absolutely beautiful and I wish we had more time there. We loved the view of the lake!
One suggestion to make the trip even better for other guests in the future would be to have a cooler with drinks and snacks in the Jeep at all times because a ton of driving is involved and it would be helpful to have a cold drink and snacks during the long trip.
Thanks again for organizing this experience of a lifetime for us!
Brandon H reviewing Maasai Family Adventure on 12 June 2019
I had just the most incredible time on the climb.
The team were incredible and just so accommodating. I really only have good things to say as it was such a great experience.
George was as good as a guide as it gets, very articulate and made sure I was comfortable the whole way up with frequent briefings.
Finn R reviewing Mount Kenya Sirimon Naro Moru Trek on 10 May 2019
We had an amazing time thank you. The itinerary was great as we felt like we saw lots of different things and it kept it interesting for our daughter. She especially loved the gorge at Hells Gate.
Unfortunately the Menengai Crater walk was a bit hard for her although that probably had something to do with how hot it was!
We especially loved the Sunbird Lodge - it is such a beautiful place and all the staff were so incredibly welcoming and friendly.
Our guide, Joseph, was exceptional too and we can’t speak highly enough of him.
Suzanne S reviewing Maasai Family Adventure on 30 April 2019