ol Donyo Lodge

Sample Itinerary—Safari Sampler

Curated exclusively for National Geographic

High-altitude mist forest, subterranean lava tubes, woodlands, savanna—the varied landscapes of the Chyulu Hills are a wonderland for discovery. Here in the land of the Maasai, encounter wild creatures big and small, from large herds of elephants to exotic birdlife.

Your experience at the lodge will be tailored to your interests. The sample itinerary below was designed for National Geographic travelers and can be customized as you wish.


  • Set out on an exclusive morning horseback ride into the bush, followed by a delicious breakfast under an acacia tree (National Geographic Exclusive).
  • Set out on safari in the early mornings and late afternoons, and track free-roaming herds of large-tusked elephants as well as leopards, lions, and other game.
  • Pedal across the savanna alongside giraffes and other wildlife on a guided bike tour, capped off with sundowner cocktails within sight of Mount Kilimanjaro.
  • Descend into the volcanic caverns of the surrounding Chyulu Hills to navigate the world’s second longest underground lava tube.

Day 1—Arrive Chyulu Hills, Kenya

Greet your guide at the airstrip for a private transfer to the lodge. Upon arrival, take your time settling into your suite, perhaps going for a dip in the plunge pool on your private terrace. Later this afternoon, set out on a game drive across the savanna—and get your first up-close glimpses of large-tusked elephants, giraffes, leopards, and other roaming wildlife. Stop to gaze across the horizon as the afternoon light fades, sipping sundowner cocktails within sight of Mount Kilimanjaro. Return to the lodge to freshen up before savoring a three-course dinner.

Day 2—Beyond the Savanna

Wake up to the unparalleled sight of dawn breaking over snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro. Head out on an early morning safari adventure with expert guides to spot birds and an array of fauna at their most active time of day. Or opt instead to visit a local village to learn about the Maasai way of life. After lunch, head down to the lodge’s log-pile hide, situated in a shady spot alongside the watering hole. Take a seat and watch as free-roaming elephant bulls and other grazing animals come to drink from the water. Then join an expert tracker and guide on a hike through underground lava tubes in the surrounding foothills of the Chyulu Hills. At sunset, gather around the campfire with other guests to recount the day’s adventures. Wind down the evening over a candlelit dinner on the lodge’s patio overlooking the plains.

Day 3—Horseback and Bike Safaris

Early this morning, set out with a guide on an exclusive morning horseback ride into the bush. Observe wildlife and take in magnificent views on the way to a picturesque acacia tree, where a delicious breakfast awaits. Return to the lodge and relax in your suite, cooling off in your private plunge pool. This afternoon, ride across the savanna alongside giraffes and other wildlife on a guided bike tour, or hike in the surrounding hills. Along the way, enjoy sundowners and spectacular views of Mount Kilimanjaro and the Chyulu Hills. After dinner tonight, gaze up at the twinkling African sky from the outdoor “star bed” on your rooftop terrace.

Day 4—Depart

Enjoy breakfast at your leisure, and visit the lodge’s hide one last time to take in your final wildlife sightings before departing.