Ol Donyo Lodge
Game Drives (Day and Night)
Strong populations of wildlife find their habitat in and around the ol Donyo Lodge environs. While the "Big Five" are here - rhino, elephant, lion, leopard and buffalo - they are often elusive; however, cheetah, fringe-eared oryx, gerenuk, and giraffe make for frequent viewing. Guests are able to track wildlife by open game drive vehicles, as well as by foot, or horseback (described below). The best times to be out are from first light for the morning drive, and from 4-4:30pm for the afternoon drives. These are the times when most of the action is likely to happen. Night drives give you the opportunity to discover a range of unusual and nocturnal animals and view the breathtaking African stars. These drives commence after dinner service at approximately 9:30pm. Please remember that the vehicles are open and it can be quite chilly in the early mornings and evenings, so take very warm clothing with you on your drives. There are also shukha (blankets) and lined ponchos provided in the vehicles if you get cold while out.
With 275,000 acres of open plains and the dramatic, ancient volcanic soil Chyulu Hills to explore at ol Donyo Lodge this vast region provides a truly unique riding experience. Riding is available all year round at no additional cost.
INTERMEDIATE AND ABOVE
For Intermediate riders and above we offer 2 to 4 hour rides exploring the concession. Enjoy exhilarating medium to fast paced canters and encounters with our famous big Tuskers.
For this riding option, you need to be riding fit, confident and competent, ride with an independent seat and be able to control an easy horse at all paces over uneven terrain.
Novice riders can enjoy a gentle 60/90 minute ride exploring the open plains.
All riders will need to have a short assessment in our arena prior to setting out to ensure all guests riding out can control their horse and are comfortable at a short trot. If riders do not have the required experience they will be offered a lesson in the arena instead. Plains riders will be given some instruction, a minimum requirement is a short trot.
Another huge benefit of staying outside national parks is that here we are allowed to appreciate the stunning landscape around us on foot, peacefully without the noise of engines. The Chyulu Hills were designed for walking and hiking. We highly recommend this unforgettable experience. Our resident tracker will accompany you and your guide and will carry a firearm. Your guide and the lodge managers will be able to suggest different walks depending on fitness and your interests, such as birding, spelunking, or exploring the plains. Each is a voyage of discovery unveiling secrets of the bush, wildlife movements, medicinal plants and uniquely adapted flora and fauna. Wear good walking shoes, a hat and camouflage coloured clothing so as not to alarm the wildlife, and take binoculars. Your guide will have water for you.
This is a good opportunity to exercise but also another way of viewing the landscape and wildlife in the area. We recommend cycling during the cooler hours of the day, either in the early morning or late afternoon. Cycling usually takes place on the plains heading toward the kopje or el Mau.
Just below the lodge’s main area is our famous ‘log-pile’ hide named as such because if its elaborate and impressive interwoven construction. A short walk with a cool drink in hand, and you’ve arrived at a secret shaded spot from which to view the many mammals that come in for a drink. This is a tremendous experience, especially during the midday siesta.
Amboseli National Park Day Trip
Our proximity to Amboseli National Park gives the opportunity for full day excursions to the park. Guests depart the lodge after breakfast for a leisurely drive across the plains and through small villages. We usually arrive at the park in the mid-morning and depart in the mid-afternoon (with a picnic lunch and a full selection of drinks). We have selected this time of day as it coincides with the time when the guests from the other nearby larger lodges are on siesta, and vehicle density is at its lowest. This is also the time when the elephant and plains game congregate around the waterways and marshes in high density. This excursion can only be guaranteed in advance, please book it at the time of reservation and is subject to additional cost.
Young Explorers Program
ol Donyo Lodge is the ultimate family safari destination. The Young Explorers program is designed to enhance both a child and a family’s overall safari, weaving themes of conservation and culture into each fun activity with the intention of giving children tangible examples and moments to bring back to their peer group. The future of conservation is, after all, in the hands of these young ambassadors.
We offer a full range of activities from bush survival skills including making sling shots, bows and arrows and creating fire using tradition Maasai techniques, to watercolor painting and so much more.