Ol Donyo Lodge
Ol Donyo Lodge is set on the Maasai-owned Mbirikani Group Ranch, comprising of 275,000 acres of wilderness bordering the Chyulu Hills National Park. With majestic Mount Kilimanjaro in the distance, this 16 bed luxury lodge is one of only two Relais & Chateaux properties found in Kenya, a harmonious blend of contemporary and rustic, merging the landscape into each fabulous pool suite.
No two of ol Donyo lodge’s eight suites is exactly the same, but what is consistent is the view to Mt. Kilimanjaro and the lodge’s famous waterhole as well as star beds atop each of the suites for sleeping under the night sky. Six of the lodge’s eight suites have private plunge pools, and two are connected for a ‘villa’ concept, with a shared common area and plunge pool, perfect for families or couples traveling together. Constructed of local thatch and stone with an open plan layout, the decor offers flashes of bright colour interspersed with earthy tones, wildlife photography and local crafts.
The lodge’s main lounge, complete with grand stone fireplace, a small library, inviting open bar and expansive verandah are the place to rendezvous with new friends. The attached dining areas is where sumptuous meals are served or around the main infinity pool, a perfect spot to unwind in between your safari activities.
What makes it a standout is its notable variety of activities – from cultural visits, good quality wildlife viewing, hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking – ol Donyo Lodge is a place to feel Africa, and get out from behind the wheel. Add to this the lodge’s creature comforts of fine dining, massage, infinity pool, star beds and multiple lounges, and it is a place to relax and unwind for days.
Most of the lodge staff is from the local Maasai community and keen to share their fascinating culture with guests – it is a treasured chance to learn. Furthermore, the Mbirikani Group Ranch and ol Donyo Lodge are one of the first examples of a community tourism partnership, whereby land is leased from the Maasai by the lodge, providing the Maasai with benefits from tourism and an incentive for conservation. The lodge, and its conservation partner Big Life Foundation, led by Richard Bonham, continues to push the boundaries in innovative community conservation schemes. Every guest of ol Donyo Lodge contributes to these vital initiatives