Ol Donyo Lodge

Chyulu Hills, Kenya

Ol Donyo Lodge

Established in 1987, Ol Donyo Lodge (formerly Ol Donyo Wuas) has acquired a reputation over the years as one of the best bush homes in Kenya. It offers supremely stylish rooms in a wonderfully remote setting.

This superb lodge, one of the best known bush homes in Kenya, is ideally situated in the Chyulu Hills, between Amboseli and Tsavo National Parks. Here it forms part of the Mbirikani Group Ranch, a 100,000+ hectare private concession that encompasses a wide range of habitats and houses a diversity of game. Mbirikani represents East Africa at its most wild and remote, and provides a chance to escape the crowds that frequent the popular safari parks.

Ol Donyo Lodge (formerly Ol Donyo Wuas) has a long history, having originally opened in the 1980s, when it was founded by the conservationist Richard Bonham. Then it was a classic safari lodge; today, having been through several refurbishments, it is more of a designer lodge, boasting some of the most unique and stylish rooms in Kenya, all of them individually designed.

The gracious design of Ol Donyo Lodge, combined with its small size and remote location, give it an air of exclusivity, but the atmosphere here is relatively easy. It's very much the type of lodge that's best experienced during a long stay, with plenty of time to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the facilities.

As well as its stylish design, game enthusiasts will love Ol Donyo Lodge for its fine location. Situated in a private reserve within the Chyulu Hills region, away from Kenya's busy public game reserves, Ol Donyo Lodge enjoys privileged access to one of Kenya's least explored wilderness areas. Golden savannah surrounds the lodge, and provides a theatre for a range of game activities, from day and night game drives to walking safaris and, what is perhaps the highlight, fantastic horse riding safaris. The game in the Chyulu Hills region is rich and diverse, with all of the 'big 5' present, including rhino. Guests needn't even leave the lodge to view game—from its hillside perch, Ol Donyo overlooks a well-frequented waterhole.

Ol Donyo Lodge is a member of Relais & Chateaux.


Ol Donyo Lodge consists of ten cottages, each one individual in its design and character, and offering high levels of comfort and privacy. The rooms, all different, are stylish yet rustic in their design, and constructed almost entirely from local materials. All have en-suite bathrooms with stone baths and hot showers powered by solar panels/wood burning stoves. With the exception of two, all of the cottages have a private plunge pool. Two of the cottages have an additional bedroom for guests travelling with children.

All cottages have a veranda with sweeping views over the plains towards Mount Kilimanjaro, and a private roof terrace.


The staff at Ol Donyo are very flexible. Meals can be taken in the privacy of your room or roof terrace, or in the cosy dining room next to the fireplace. Bush dining can also be arranged for on request.

The food is to the high standard you'd expect of a lodge of this category. Breakfast and lunch are served buffet style, while dinner is a more formal three course meal with a selection of set menus to choose from (usually including a vegetarian option).


- Swimming pool
- Dining area
- Lounge and bar


Guests at Ol Donyo Lodge can plan their day to include a wide range of guided activities such as game drives in open 4x4 Land Rovers, walking safaris, horse riding, hiking in the mountain range or cultural trips designed to give you an insight into traditional Masai customs.

Environmental Policy

Ol Donyo Lodge was one of the first eco lodges in Kenya, and as such has a longstanding working relationship with the local Masai community. It was involved in the establishment of the Maasailand Preservation Trust in 1992 to build schools, health clinics and also to oversee 86 community game scouts in the Tsavo/Amboseli ecosystem.