Wedged between Kenya’s Tsavo East and Amboseli National Parks in the heart of the Chyulu Hills, this is a place of timeless wild beauty presided over by Africa’s greatest icon – Mount Kilimanjaro.
When Great Plains Conservation’s co-founders Dereck and Beverly Joubert met with Richard and Tara Bonham to discuss a partnership proposal for ol Donyo Lodge, talk revolved around the conservation of this incredible landscape; an area rich in wildlife, where some of Africa’s last big tusker elephant bulls roam freely and lion are being pulled back from the brink of annihilation.
Set on the Mbirikani Group Ranch – 275,000 acres of private wild Africa bordering Chyulu Hills National Park and owned by 4,000 Maasai – ol Donyo Lodge blends contemporary design with the rich culture of the Maasai. An annual lease fee and a per person conservancy fee go directly to this community on the understanding that they will ensure the conservation of the area and its wild inhabitants.
The lodge itself sits in thick woodland in the foothills of the Chyulus with views over the plains to Mount Kilimanjaro. Designed to merge outdoor and indoor living, the unique suites and villas (no two are the same) rise from the landscape on either side of a palatial lounge and dining area. All six suites plus 1 two-bedroom family unit have their own plunge pool and enjoy roof terraces where intimate “star beds” can be set up, allowing guests the thrill of sleeping in style under a canopy of endless stars.