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ol Donyo Lodge in the Chuthlu Hills National Park is one of the most incredible experiences. It's a less travelled area and much drier then the Masai Mara, but equally as beautiful. The lodge offers safari-style day trips around the local environs as well as trips to the nearby Amboseli National Park.

Access is by plane from Nairobi. While it is possible to drive to the area, there is no direct road, and a four-wheel drive vehicle would be required. ol Donyo will help you organize everything to get there, and this is definitely recommended over driving.

The lodge is top quality and uniquely designed. The main lodge is completly open to the elements and faces south toward Kilimanjaro, which can be made out on a clear day. Ample cosy living-room style seating is arrayed with a well-stocked bar off to the side. The deck has a spectacular infinity pool and gorgeous lawn chairs to relax and enjoy the view. The feel is very cosy, and the staff are very friendly and courteous. The lodge has a communal atmosphere. Guests interact at group dinners, and the staff make excellent conversation guides if things get awkward. Beneath the lodge is a built watering hole that attracts all manner of elephants, gazelles, zebras, and more at all hours. You can lounge for hours watching the comings and goings from the comfort of a pool.

The food is extremely high quality, as one would expect from such an incredible destination. The menu is diverse and caters to most needs. Mornings start with fresh local coffee directly in your room for wake up calls rather than any alarms or noise.

The bedrooms mirror the main lodge's open-wall design and are well trimmed with stunning wood furnishings. The beds are well protected with mosquito netting. Many of the rooms also have their own infinity pools, so you can lounge away in privacy. Above the rooms there is a platform with a mattress. Upon request this can be setup for spending the night under the stars. Highly recommended. 

One curious element to the lodge is the colony of monkeys that live nearby. They will often lounge by the pool and add the already bountiful list of amusing things to observe as you lounge about the lodge. Be sure to keep any small items well stored, as they will grab anything they can.

There are so many activities at the lodge. Far too many to be done in three or four days. There is of course the classic Safari, driving looking for animals to observe in the area. The wide plains have plenty of elephants, giraffes, and occasional rhinos. The more common wildebeest, zebras, and warthogs are plentiful. Big cats are fewer. Luckily the lodge offers a day trip to the nearby Amboseli Lodge.

A nearby stable is also on-site. The lodge offers horseback riding and early morning safaris. On horseback, visitors are able to get much closer to the animals without a vehicle. The tour culminates in breakfast set up miles from the lodge with impeccable white linen and a selection of delicious options prepared just out of sight.

As if that weren't enough, there is also bike riding, day trips, hiking up hills, and lastly, tracking lessons. A station of rangers is nearby and supported by the hut. They use dogs to track poachers, and with a donation they offer a demonstration with you as the prey. They give you a 20-minute head start. A word to the wise: Covering yourself in dung makes it easier, not harder to escape the dogs.

Overall this is easily one of the most memorable places you could ever stay. As a romantic getaway, honeymoon, or very special treat, Ol Donyo is about as good as it gets.

 

Logistics + Planning

Congestion

Occasionally full

Parking Pass

Other

Open Year-round

Yes

Price per night

$161+/night

Pros

Uniquely beautiful lodge. Privacy. Safaris. Wildlife. Luxurious accommodation. Incredible views.

Cons

Extremely expensive.

Pets allowed

Allowed with Restrictions

Reservations possible

Yes

Reservation phone number

27 (087) 354-6591

Features

Potable water
Family friendly
Electricity
Air conditioning
Outdoor fire pit/BBQ
Laundry
Showers
Swimming pool
Wi-Fi
Big vistas
Wildlife
Big Game Watching
Bird watching
Continental breakfast
Firewood provided
Hot tub

Access

Vehicle

Location

Field Guide

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