CHYULU HILLS – OL DONYO LODGE

1 Night: From $750

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Ol Donyo Lodge: Horse riding in one of Kenya’s most spectacular landscapes

Riding in the Chyulu Hills of Kenya is what dreams are made of. Unrestricted by roads and vehicles, you will forge your path through the diverse landscapes that Kenya has to offer. Tuning yourself to the rhythm of your horse and the surrounding bush, taking in its awe inspiring natural beauty. You will be more likely to cross the tracks of a pride of lion than that of a human!

Set in the heart of the Chyulu hills, between Tsavo and Amboseli, you will ride along old elephant paths and encounter some of the magnificent tuskers that make this such a special destination. The varied terrain makes for fantastic riding, combining trails up into the volcanic Chyulu Hills and the Wild Olive Tree groves where you may glimpse a shy herd of hartebeest. Each ride set to the stunning backdrop of Mt Kilimanjaro on the skyline. Down in the wide open grass plains, ride among inquisitive Maasai giraffe, herds of zebra, wildebeest and antelope such as the eland, impala, oryx and Grant’s gazelle. You may even see cheetah relaxing in the shade of a nearby tree. In the evenings and during the heat of the day relax in the luxury of the lodge with views for miles over the plains and to Kilimanjaro in the distance.

You shall be mounted on some of Kenya’s finest horses who are all well schooled and sensible when riding through the bush and amongst the wildlife. Horses vary from 15hh to 17hh and breeds include Thoroughbreds, Friesian crosses, Percheron and Somali to name a few!

This is the ideal destination for families and groups with non-riders as they have a range of exciting activities and a young ranger programme. They also have sister lodges in the Masai Mara so you can extend your time in Africa and see the great migration by vehicle safari – A bucketlist experience!

QUICK FACTS
Chyulu Hills, Kenya
Nairobi International Airport 
Open All Year
3 – 6 Nights / Tailor-made
Group Size: Max. 8
Advanced/Intermediate
TOUR HIGHLIGHTS
  • Ride among some of Kenya’s famous big elephant tuskers
  • Be part of sustainable, conservation tourism with a conservation organization that uses eco-tourism as a tool to protect wildlife and the natural landscapes.
  • Enjoy exciting riding  combined with an exquisite luxury lodge
  • Caters beautifully for mixed groups of riders and non-riders
  • Explore this untouched wilderness in the shadows of Mount Kilimanjaro
THE DESTINATION

Ol Donyo and the Chyulus

275,000 acres of immaculate, private wild African wilderness that borders the the Chyulu Hills National Park. Ol Donyo Lodge is a blend of contemporary design with the rich culture and history of the Maasai people of the area.

With over 1 million acres – including 2 National Parks – through which to ride, this concession is one of the largest in Africa. The area is home to a wonderfully wild and untouched ecosystem with a variety of terrains. From vast plains, dense acacia forests, and of course the Chyulu Hill for which the area is named. During your stay you may come across some of the 38 species of game found on the reserving, including the world-famous Iconic Five.

DATES & RATES

Open all year round. Please enquire for availability. Prices below are per person per night. Great special offers: stay for 4 nights and only pay for 3 (not available in peak season)

STANDARD POOL SUITE

11 January – 31 March 2020/2021
$880 PP/night sharing

01 April – 14 June 2020/2021 & 01 November – 20 December 2020/2021
$750 PP/night sharing

15 June – 31 October 2020/2021 & 20 December -10 January 2021/2022
$1 270 PP/night sharing

2 BEDROOM SAMBU SUITE (sleeps 4)

11 January – 31 March 2020/2021
$3 570 per suite

01 April – 14 June 2020/2021 & 01 November – 20 December 2020/2021
$3 115 per suite

15 June – 31 October 2020/2021 & 20 December -10 January 2021/2022
$5 075 per suite

*Domestic flying costs from $ 500 pp

Included
• All conservation & park fees
• Full board accommodation
• All drinks throughout your adventure (except premium drinks & Champagne)
• A private and expert guide
• All riding and cycling
• Game drives (day & night)
• Guided walks, mountain biking, birding
• Light air charter flights from Nairobi (from Jan 2021)

Excluded

• International Flights to Nairobi
• Flights from Nairobi to Ol Donyo (included from 11 Jan 2021)
• Premium Drinks and Champagne
• Spa Treatments
• Comprehensive Travel & Medical Insurance
• Gratuities

SPECIAL OFFERS
• Long stay specials – stay 4 nights, pay 3 (except in peak season)
• Combo special – stay 8 nights at a combination of Ol Donyo and its sister lodges and get 2 nights complimentary

NOTES
• Children under 15 only pay half price
• Single supplement only charged in peak season

ITINERARY

** Please note that this is a sample itinerary of how a day might look at Ol Donyo Lodge

Example Day 1: Ol Donyo - Chyulu Hills

Wake up on a stunning African morning, and ride up into the hills that form the backdrop to this stunning lodge. Reach the top of one of the hills and take in the spectacular panoramic views from this lush green hilltop.

The morning ride is a longer ride, sometimes taking up to 4 hours. On these mornings, a packed breakfast will be carried in saddle-bags. You will need to keep your eyes peeled for the elephants, giraffe, eland and antelope which dot the landscape.

If you would like a break from a saddle-filled morning, you can spend the afternoon enjoying a massage, or watching game from the hide are near the lodge waterholes. From here you can watch the wildlife coming and going as they take their afternoon ‘sundowners’.

Those that haven’t got enough of riding, are able to go on a shorter evening ride.  Take an early supper in order to set-out in time for a night game drive. Searching for all those creatures that only come out after dark.

Example Day 2: Ol Donya - Chyulu Hills

After rising with the sun, and enjoying a delicious breakfast, ride out early for a long ride through this wonderful scenery. Pulling in mid-morning for a divine cooked ‘bush breakfast’, set-up in the shade of an acacia tree with the horses tethered nearby. Keeping your eyes and ears open for wildlife along the way.

Return to camp for lunch and a siesta before saddling up and heading out towards Crater Camp for the afternoon. After 2 hours of riding up into the famous Chyulu Hills, you will reach a secluded campsite that is nestled into a beautiful cedar forest.

A fabulous day to combine with non-riders who travel from Ol Donyo by vehicle, arriving in the camp in time to climb the nearby volcanic crater. Search for the rare Verreaux’s Eagle which builds it’s nest in the jagged out crops. The area is full of interesting nooks and crannies to explore.

Sip sundowners as you unwind in this quiet and peaceful campsite, spending the evening sat round the campfire telling stories and soaking up the magic of Africa. Enjoy a slightly more ‘rustic; evening in comfortable bell tents, with bedrolls, and hot showers are provided.

Fly-Camp Ol Donyo - Chyulu Hills

Ol Donyo Lodge’s fly camping experience in the Kenyan wilderness is created for riders and non-riders alike.

2 guests minimum and 6 guests maximum

Yurt-style bell tents with bedrolls, full linen, hot
showers and inner around the campfire

Not available March-May, November and over Christmas and New Year

No additional charge for this experience

Available as part of a standard 4-night stay

Must be booked in advance at the time of reservation

Extra Activities: Ol Donyo - Chyulu Hills

Guided bush walks
Hill hikes and exploration of extinct volcanoic lava tubes
Mountain biking
Game viewing drives
Night game viewing drives
Lion tracking
Cultural villages visits (additional charge)
Anti-poaching tracker dog experience (additional charge)
Amboseli day trip (additional charge)
Scenic Kilimanjaro flight (additional charge)

THE ACCOMMODATION

Ol Donyo Lodge

You will be based at Ol Donyo, a stunning lodge situated on a hillside with views that stretch out over the plains to Mt Kilimanjaro in the distance.

The lodge is comprised of a series of suites and villas where the design is a blend of contemporary and rustic accommodation, merging with the landscape on either side of the luxuriously comfortable lounge and dining area. All of the rooms have their own plunge pool and the use of a private roof terrace where “star beds” can be set up, allowing guests to sleep under a canopy of endless stars.

QUICK FACTS
Chyulu Hills, Kenya
Nairobi International Airport 
Open All Year
3 – 6 Nights / Tailor-made
Group Size: Max. 8
Advanced/Intermediate
View Gallery
1 Night: From $750 pp sharing

See Detailed Rates

SUITABLE RIDING LEVELS
Beginner
Novice
Intermediate
Intermediate Plus
Advanced
WHAT RIDING LEVEL AM I?
TOUR HIGHLIGHTS
  • Ride among some of Kenya’s famous big elephant tuskers
  • Be part of sustainable, conservation tourism with a conservation organization that uses eco-tourism as a tool to protect wildlife and the natural landscapes.
  • Enjoy exciting riding  combined with an exquisite luxury lodge
  • Caters beautifully for mixed groups of riders and non-riders
  • Explore this untouched wilderness in the shadows of Mount Kilimanjaro
DATES & RATES

Open all year round. Please enquire for availability. Prices below are per person per night. Great special offers: stay for 4 nights and only pay for 3 (not available in peak season)

STANDARD POOL SUITE

11 January – 31 March 2020/2021
$880 PP/night sharing

01 April – 14 June 2020/2021 & 01 November – 20 December 2020/2021
$750 PP/night sharing

15 June – 31 October 2020/2021 & 20 December -10 January 2021/2022
$1 270 PP/night sharing

2 BEDROOM SAMBU SUITE (sleeps 4)

11 January – 31 March 2020/2021
$3 570 per suite

01 April – 14 June 2020/2021 & 01 November – 20 December 2020/2021
$3 115 per suite

15 June – 31 October 2020/2021 & 20 December -10 January 2021/2022
$5 075 per suite

*Domestic flying costs from $ 500 pp

Included
• All conservation & park fees
• Full board accommodation
• All drinks throughout your adventure (except premium drinks & Champagne)
• A private and expert guide
• All riding and cycling
• Game drives (day & night)
• Guided walks, mountain biking, birding
• Light air charter flights from Nairobi (from Jan 2021)

Excluded

• International Flights to Nairobi
• Flights from Nairobi to Ol Donyo (included from 11 Jan 2021)
• Premium Drinks and Champagne
• Spa Treatments
• Comprehensive Travel & Medical Insurance
• Gratuities

SPECIAL OFFERS
• Long stay specials – stay 4 nights, pay 3 (except in peak season)
• Combo special – stay 8 nights at a combination of Ol Donyo and its sister lodges and get 2 nights complimentary

NOTES
• Children under 15 only pay half price
• Single supplement only charged in peak season

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Wow, what a place. We are SO glad that we included this in our trip. It was the perfect first stop on our safari, especially coming straight off the plane from the US. It was absolutely beautiful there. We stayed in the Sambu Suite which was beautiful. We all agreed it may be one of the nicest accommodations we have ever stayed in. The views were spectacular. The food was delicious. The beds and facilities were so comfortable. Even though it was too rainy to take advantage of the Star Bed, having that platform was so worth it. Every morning I’d take my coffee up to the top and take in the sunrise with the awesome view.

As for the horseback riding, I highly recommend it! Becky, the riding manager, was so much fun. She was very easy to talk to but also really did well at her job. She listened attentively to my style and preferences for horses and the first horse she paired me with was perfect. His name is Samanche and man was he a gem. She and the other guides did a great job of making me feel comfortable and allowed me to relax and take in the experience. Although I ride competitively and am very comfortable on horses, I’m definitely an “arena” rider and normally am pretty tense/cautious on trail rides. I can honestly say I’ve never felt so relaxed in the open and so confident on my horse. I had planned on telling them I didn’t feel comfortable cantering in the open, but within minutes I knew I’d feel comfortable with their set up. Sure enough, cantering on the open plains was one of the most fun things I did the whole trip, and I felt completely safe the entire time. I cannot recommend the riding at Ol Donyo enough.

My dad hiked to the lava tubes and he said he really enjoyed that, but people should be warned (which he was) that it’s a pretty tough hike. My mom gave the massage that she had there two thumbs way up!

Tamara ParkOl Donyo, Kenya
READ MORE REVIEWS

How we care for our horses

Our horseback adventures are hand-picked for their quality and care of their horses. Here’s how the horses at Ol Donyo Lodge are kept in tip-top shape for your safaris. Our horses are on top of the hierarchy and receive very special care:
  • Our horses graze freely in their boma throughout the day and are tucked in at night. They have three feeds per day and hay in their stables.
  • Our horses are groomed twice a day and we have farrier’s on site to make sure hooves are in top condition.
  • Tack is cleaned after every ride and checked regularly and before a ride goes out.

Please let us know if you have any more questions around this.

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