Kenya ~ Ol Donyo Lodge
Ol Donyo Lodge is on the slopes of the Chyulu Hills in Southern Kenya, between Amboseli and Tsavo National Parks. Originally built by Richard Bonham as his private house, it is a small personal lodge, which sleeps a maximum of 16 guests, and has exclusive access to quarter of a million acres of pristine wilderness. The lodge was completely re-built in 2008 and the attractive villas all have private plunge pools and unique ‘star gazing’ platforms. Morning, evening and picnic rides are a lovely way to explore the rocky topped hills and open, acacia-studded plains with their numerous species of game that surround the lodge. As well as this, there are game drives and walks with an expert guide, day trips to Amboseli, a swimming pool and time, of course, to relax by the waterhole, where frequent visitors include elephant, oryx and eland, and soak up the peace of this idyllic retreat.
Riding: tailored to suit, up to 6 hours a day.
Horses: South African Boerperd, polo ponies, TB crosses
Pace: moderate and varied (tailored to suit).
Riding ability: confident novice to experienced riders; families welcome.
Weight limit: 95 kgs (15 stone) but please contact us to check that a suitable horse / horses are available if you are close to this.
Accommodation: private lodge
Group size: Ol Donyo sleeps 16; riding is in small groups, usually maximum 8.
Season: year round (rainy season; April, May & November)
Horses: The horses include a mixture of breeds including South African Boerperd, Thoroughbreds and crossbreeds. They are between about 15hh and 17hh. They are responsive, forward going and thoroughly enjoyable to ride. They are also sensible to handle, used to game and at home in the bush. Tack is English style with some Maclellan saddles also available. Riding groups are generally limited maximum of 6 guests, plus guides.
Hours: The riding can be varied to suit, with morning and evening rides out from the lodge for a couple of hours each, or full day rides with a picnic when there might be about 6 hours riding.
Pace and experience required: As the riding is tailored to suit, different experience levels can be catered for. However as you are riding in an area where there is big game, you should have some previous riding experience and as a minimum should be happy at a walk, trot and canter in open country on a well-schooled horse. You will enjoy the riding all the more if you are riding fit so if you are not riding regularly we recommend you put in a few hours a week riding in the months before your trip.
Ol Donyo sleeps a maximum of 16 guests. The lodge is extremely comfortable with excellent personal service. Accommodation is in 6 villas, with one double family villa. Design is contemperary yet tradional and all suites have double beds or twin queen size beds, a verandah, indoor and outdoor showers, double washbasins, flush loo, bath, and “star-bed”. There is a main dining room and bar area where drinks, lunch & dinner are served. There is a central swimming pool and most cottages have their own private plunge pool.
Safari rates are seasonal and calculated on a per night basis
Rates include - all riding and other activities, guiding and equipment, accommodation (based on two sharing), all meals and drinks, conservancy fees.
Rates exclude - flights to Nairobi, transfers from / to Nairobi, personal medical insurance (compulsory), visa fees, premium drinks / champagne and personal items such as tips.
Lodge stays on request
|Sample 6 night itinerary|
|Day 1||Arrive Nairobi and transfer to Wilson airport for a private charter flight to the Chyulu Hills. Settle in, meet the horses and a first ride to see the area. Dinner and overnight Ol Donyo.|
| Day 2-6
||Five full days at Ol Donyo Wuas lodge, with morning and evening rides, game drives or guided walks to view game and explore. In the morning you might ride across the open plains, or head up into the Chyulu hills, watching game that grazes on the open plains and hides amongst rocky kopies, with Kilimanjaro a stunning backdrop. On one night you might ride to a temporary fly camp, spending the night camping in true safari style, with dinner around the campfire, returning by a different route to the lodge the next morning. Lunch back at the lodge, time to relax by the pool and then an afternoon ride, game drive or walk. Dinner and nights Ol Donyo.|
| Day 7
||Breakfast and a scheduled safari link flight to Nairobi Wilson. Met on arrival and transfer to international airport for onward travel.|
|Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or on tel (+44) (0)1837-82544 / 825440 for further information, detailed itineraries, dates and answers to questions.|
The meeting place for the safaris is Nairobi, Kenya's capital. There are several flights from London to Nairobi each day - British Airways has direct daily daytime flights and Air Kenya has direct daytime and overnight flights. Several other airlines, such as Air France and KLM, have flights via Europe. For an economy return flight from London budget around £650 to £850.
Transfers between Nairobi and Ol Donyo are by private charter flight or by scheduled Safarilink flight to Chylus airstrip. The flight takes about an hour and the airstrip is about a 20 minute drive from the lodge. Scheduled safari link flights are approximately USD200 per person, each way, Nairobi / Chyulus, including taxes.