There are scheduled flights to Ol Donyo in both the morning and afternoon. The following itinerary assumes guests arrive on the morning flight, but is easily amended for an afternoon connection from elsewhere in Kenya.
Upon arrival at Ol Donyo airstrip, guests enjoy a short game drive en route to the lodge. The Chyulu Hills offer some of the most stunning scenery in Africa; rolling volcanic hills, Acacia forests, and grassy plains all under the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro. This first drive serves as an introduction to the area and its inhabitants; there are 38 recorded species of large mammal here and over 300 species of bird. Upon arrival at Ol Donyo lodge, guests are welcomed by our friendly staff and given time to relax, swim, unpack and enjoy lunch.
Riders head to the stables to meet the horses and guides. Each rider is given a brief assessment in the outdoor arena, to make sure they are comfortable and happy with the horse they have been given and have the correct ability for riding with big game.
Having finished the assessment, riders set out off from the stables on a ride designed to introduce the rider to their horse and the local ecosystem. The group will pass through thick Acacia forest, and out onto the savannah. Expect to ride at a variety of speeds and to see game such as giraffe, impala, elephant, warthog and gazelle. Riders head back to the lodge for sundowners.
Non-riding option; Choose from a number of afternoon activities eg game drive, walking or mountain biking. Join the riders back at the lodge for sunset.
Both riders and non-riders can enjoy a journey up into the hills behind the lodge this morning. Riders can take their horses up to the top of ‘Ol Donyo Wuas’ a beautiful tree-covered hill behind the lodge that affords magnificent views of the whole area. This is a four-hour ride, so a packed breakfast will be carried in saddle-bags. Expect to see large bull elephant, eland, impala and giraffe en route to the summit.
Non-riders can also enjoy this morning’s hill climb, either on foot or in a vehicle. If the latter, a popular descent option is to take a mountain bike from the top and race back down to the lodge! Non-riders also take a packed breakfast today.
After an active morning, those that wish to horse ride again are welcome to go for a short evening ride. Those looking for relaxation can enjoy a massage at the lodge, followed by an afternoon at the ‘blind’ near the lodge waterholes. Hidden within the log-jam, guests can watch wildlife coming in for their evening drink; from elephant, to cheetah, giraffe, warthog, jackal and much more.
Early supper followed by a night drive, to go in search of nocturnal wildlife.
Day Three- Camping at Crater Camp
Riding option; leave the stables early morning for a long ride through the woodland, across the savannah and beyond. Enjoy stopping for a spoiling cooked breakfast under a large acacia tree whilst the horses graze.
Non-riding option; Bike ride or walk from the lodge, through the woodland and onto the plains to the same breakfast spot as the riders.
All drive or ride back to the lodge after breakfast, shower, pack small overnight bag and enjoy lunch by the pool.
Riding option; Enjoy a two hour ride up into the Chyulu Hills themselves, heading towards Crater Camp; a secluded campsite that is nestled into a cedar forest next to a large volcanic crater.
Non-riders leave Ol Donyo by vehicle, arriving in the camp in time to climb the nearby volcanic crater in pursuit of the very rare Verreaux’s Eagle which nests in the nearly inaccessible rocky outcrops at the rim.
Or, they may choose to explore the lava tubes under the crater, which lies within walking distance of the camp. These jagged caves stretch for miles as they lead away from the crater and have been used for generations by hunter-gatherers as shelter.
Enjoy sunset together in this spectacular campsite, before settling down for an evening by the fire, enjoying bush stories and sounds of the wild. Accommodation this evening is in comfortable bell tents, with bedrolls, and hot showers are provided.
After a full cooked breakfast in camp, everyone returns to the lodge either on horseback, or in the vehicle. Before breakfast, there is one last chance to either climb the volcanic crater or explore the lava tube caves below it.
This afternoon, perhaps the whole group can head out for a game drive and ‘sundowners’ together. A suggested location is a stunning rocky outcrop to the west of the lodge, which guests can climb up and watch the sunset from.
Depart after breakfast, by plane, to Wilson Airport.
Continue to enjoy your Kenyan experience through relaxing at the coast, or heading to another region for some wildlife viewing and photography.
Situated in the Chyulu Hills of Southern Kenya, Ol Donyo Lodge offers adventure, relaxation and privacy in abundance.
One of the top draws for visitors is Kenya’s annual Wildebeest Migration. Nowhere in the world is there a movement of animals as immense as the wildebeest migration, when over two million animals migrate from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to the pastures of the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya during July through to October. However, Kenya is known throughout the world for its huge variety of wildlife and one of the best countries in Africa to see the Big 5 - lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and Cape buffalo.
Nairobi National Park is one of the most successful of Kenya’s rhino sanctuaries and as a consequence is one of the few parks, where a visitor can be certain of seeing a black rhino in its natural habitat.
Samburu National Reserve is one of the lesser-known national parks but the reserve is rich in wildlife with an abundance of rare species such as the Grevy’s zebra, Somali ostrich, reticulated giraffe, gerenuk and the beisa oryx (also referred to as the Samburu Special Five). The reserve is also home elephants, lion, leopard and cheetah. Wild dog sightings are
For elephant lovers, the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, located near Nairobi National Park, is a must-visit. This orphanage for elephant calves and rhinos from all over Kenya was founded and is still managed by Daphne Sheldrick, the widow of one of Kenya’s best-known Game Wardens David Sheldrick. David Sheldrick was at the centre of the 1970’s ivory poaching wars in Tsavo National Park and today, the Sheldrick Orphanage is a focal point for elephant conservation.
Time: Kenya is three hours ahead of GMT and eight hours ahead of EST.
Currency: The Kenyan Shilling is the currency of Kenya.
Health: You must be vaccinated against Yellow Fever if you are coming from a high-risk area. However, even if you are not, it is advisable to get the jab as you can catch Yellow Fever in Kenya. Vaccinations against tetanus, diphtheria, typhus, poliomyelitis, hepatitis A and B are also suggested. Also take tablets to guard against Malaria.
Water: Bottled water is the only guaranteed safe drinking water but make sure to buy it from reputable outlets. Avoid drinking water straight from the taps.
Climate: Kenya's daytime temperatures average between 20°C/68°F and 28°C/82°F. The coast is tropical and therefore hot and humid all year round, but the heat is pleasant and tempered by the monsoon winds. Kenya is too close to the equator to experience a real winter and summer.