ol Donyo Lodge

ol Donyo Lodge is located on the Maasai-owned Mbirikani Group Ranch, comprising of 275,000 acres of wilderness between Amboseli  and Tsavo National Parks and bordering Chyulu Hills National Park. This stunningly beautiful area is incredibly diverse, and often has spectacular views of Mount Kilimanjaro. No other lodge in Africa offers such a wide range of experiences, in such a private setting. As one of Kenya’s only two Relais & Chateaux properties (other being sister property Mara Plains Camp), the lodge is perched on a hillside with views of East Africa’s classic savannahs below.

The seven pool suites plus 1 two-bedroom family unit  offers a harmonious blend of contemporary and rustic accommodation, merging the landscape into each suite. Designed for a wide appeal, the lodge is a perfect getaway for families, honeymooners or multi-generational groups. 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. Wildlife is here, but this semi-arid region does not host the volumes of the Masai Mara area, so the lodge is best paired with our sister properties there, Mara Plains and Mara Expedition Camps. Together, this combination gives guests the most well-rounded and complementary Kenya itinerary.

No two of the lodge’s eight rooms 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. Eight of the lodge’s ten suites have private plunge pools, and two are connected for a ‘villa’ concept, perfect for families or couples traveling together. Constructed of local thatch and gunnite, the suites blend with the environment despite their commanding design. Flashes of bright color interspersed with earthy tones, wildlife photography and local crafts punctuate the open-air layout.

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, and the local staff. The attached dining area as well as the nearby pool lounge/dining is where sumptuous meals are served, and good times abound. The main infinity pool, curio shop and office provide other diversions should exploring the area not be enough. 

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.

Days at ol Donyo Lodge are full of options. To have such a vast area to explore, from high-altitude mist forest through lava fields, then woodland to savannah, and ending at the famous kopjes, it’s a paradise of discovery. Each day, it’s possible to pick your mode of transport be it on foot, by vehicle, on horseback or even bike. There is no routine here at all, and experiences are tailor-made for each guest. And if lazing around the pool, indulging in a massage or shopping sounds like a good plan, then please do. Or, let’s meet the local Maasai and visit the school for a closer look at what makes the country of Kenya so colorful and dynamic.

  • Game drives (day & night) in five open vehicles of six guests each and stocked with snacks and drinks;
  • Horseback riding in a range of terrain, and abilities from novice to advanced, over a range of terrain and often among giraffe;
  • Mountain biking across the open savannah to the beautiful rock kopjes;
  • Bush walks and hikes (through the lava tube caves or to the top of ol Donyo Wuas);
  • Scenic Kilimanjaro flights (extra cost, subject to pre-booking and weather);
  • Log-pile hide at waterhole for close-up wildlife encounters;
  • Day trips to Amboseli Park (extra cost, subject to pre-booking);
  • Visits to Maasai villages ($20 fee pp);
  • Learning about the conservation efforts of Big Life Foundation;
  • Fly-camping in the Chyulu Hills.


  • Scheduled light aircraft transfer to the nearest airstrip, ol Donyo, from Nairobi’s Wilson domestic airport (45 mins) and other locations in Kenya;
  • ol Donyo Lodge is a 30-minute transfer from  its airstrip;
  • Private Air access available;
  • Co-ordinates: 2 deg 31 min South, 37 deg 43 min East.


  • 7 very large pool suites, each with rooftop star bed, private verandah and lounge
  • One two-bedroom pool suite of two identical suites (each with private en-suite), with a common pool and lounge;
  • All suites can be double or twin configuration;
  • All have views to a waterhole, savannah and Mount Kilimanjaro.


  • En-suite with flush loo, shower (indoor and outdoor), deep stone tub and double basins;
  • Hot and cold running water;
  • Soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion and  Eco-hairdryers provided.

Gunnite/cement & thatch.

Overhead ceiling fans and some suites have fireplaces.

Netting over beds (both inside & roof-top).


  • All meals included;
  • All drinks and beverages are included with the exception of imported champagnes;
  • World-class (Relais & Chateaux recognised): Three delicious meals a day are provided. Flexible on timings. Picnic breakfasts or lunch are common due to the beautiful area and far-ranging activities;
  • All dietary requirements are catered for from regular to vegan to children, prior warning requested.

Group meals and/or individual tables, a la carte (menu options).

Indoor and outdoor.



  • Dining Room allows disabled access;
  • Impia is closest to main area but has many steps, so Sirra 1 & 2 are used for walking impaired.

Included in nightly tariff - next day service, weather permitting.


  • Double lounge with bar and verandah;
  • Library and office with shared computer;
  • Separate main dining suite;
  • Curio shop;
  • Coffee/tea station;
  • Main swimming pool with separate lounge  and dining;
  • Log-pile hide at waterhole.

Selling locally and regionally produced crafts, many of which support local community projects in the nearby Maasai communities.


  • Yoga mats and bands are provided in each suite;
  • ​In-suite massage is available at additional cost.


  • Each vehicle has Swarovski 8 x 42 binoculars for guest use;
  • Private vehicle has a Canon 40D camera with wide angle and 100-400mm lenses.

Available at additional cost, based on availability. Required for all families with children ages 5-15.


  • Children aged 5 years and older;
  • Families with children (5-15) will never be accommodated in the same vehicle as  other guests;
  • Children under 5 will be considered, if the group books the entire lodge on exclusive use;
  • Young children must be supervised as the lodge is open;
  • Age restrictions on activities may apply, specifically walking and horseback riding;
  • Kid’s program – thoughtfully designed to explore a range of experiences and topics from birding to cooking to art to tracking wildlife.


  • The lodge is run by a combination of solar and generator power;
  • The system produces 240V, 24-hour electricity to the suites and main area; 
  • Outlets in each suite (British large three-pin).

Guests have the ability to use the following photographic equipment on a complimentary basis during their stay: Canon 7D camera bodies with a wide selection of 24-70mm, 28-135mm, 18-200mm, 28220mm and100-400mm lenses.


  • Mobile reception is relatively good and internet wireless access is intermittent;
  • There is a main computer for guest use;
  • No cell phones or computers are allowed in the public areas of lodge or on game drive vehicles, only in the privacy of guest suites.

Minimal – Malaria prophylaxis are recommended if guests are concerned.


  • Guests must hold comprehensive medical insurance and emergency evacuation insurance;
  • Senior staff all has first aid training;
  • Nearest decent medical facility is in Nairobi.


24-hours /day guards.

Fire extinguishers outside each suite.
Safes are provided in every suite.


  • All-inclusive. Staff gratuities can be paid in Kenyan Shillings, US Dollars or GB Pounds;
  • Visa, MasterCard are accepted with a 5% surcharge.

For more information on ol Donyo Lodge click HERE