ol Donyo Lodge: About the Destination

Located in Chyulu Hills, Kenya

Ol Donyo is nestled amid the rolling slopes of the Chyulu Hills in a remote section of southeastern Kenya. Blanketed in woodland, Chyulu’s young volcanic hills rise from the surrounding savanna, providing a verdant sanctuary for a myriad of fascinating wildlife. The snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro presides over the surrounding plains, which are home to large herds of free-roaming elephants.  

Places of Interest

The Chyulu Hills are wedged between two of Kenya’s most popular national parks: Tsavo East and Amboseli National Park. Mount Kilimanjaro is located less than 50 miles from the lodge, just across the Tanzanian border.

Mount Kilimanjaro

To the southwest of Ol Donyo, Africa's highest peak dominates the vast savanna, its summit reaching well above 19,000 feet. Kilimanjaro showcases a spectrum of climate zones—the farmlands that surround the mountain’s base rise into lush rain forests and alpine meadowlands, which are capped by a lunar-like peak.

Amboseli National Park

Underground runoff streams from Mount Kilimanjaro irrigate the marshes and grasslands of this reserve, providing an ideal dry-season refuge for hundreds of free-ranging, large-tusked elephants. The park has some of Africa’s best opportunities for viewing these incredible animals up close. 

Tsavo East National Park

Kenya’s largest national park is intersected by the great Galana River and is an ideal reserve for wildlife viewing.

Wildlife and Natural History

The Chyulu Hills is a young volcanic range that rises up from the arid landscapes of southeastern Kenya. The surrounding woodlands and higher elevation mist forests offset the camp from the bush, giving it an oasis-like feel. The lush flora brings a variety of fauna to the property—resident and migratory bird species flock to the shaded riverine forest and free-roaming elephant bulls regularly drink from the lodge watering hole. The nearby savanna is home to other big game, including giraffes, lions, and leopards.

People and Culture

The Maasai people are thought to have migrated to Kenya’s Great Rift Valley from the Upper Nile River Valley. These seminomadic pastoralists roam the savannas of southern Kenya and northern Tanzania, subsisting primarily on food products from their livestock herds. Maasai are recognized by their vibrant cultural symbols and traditions: scarlet robes, intricate beadwork, and ceremonial high-jumping dances. Ol Donyo is situated on Maasai-owned land, and guests are invited to learn more about their hosts' culture on visits to a local village.

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