July Newsletter- ol Donyo Lodge
Winter has come upon us this July and although it may have brought with it cooler weather, it also has given our guests an opportunity to experience even more of ol Donyo’s unique activities throughout the day. From hiking one of our many different grades of walks, such as a casual morning walk with our resident bird expert James of a steep but extremely rewarding hike to the top of ol Donyo Wuas hill (just in time for a African sunset and of course sun downer drinks!).The Lava Tubes have had their fair share of visitors and the guests have been delighted with the caves formed by the lava flow. All come back with a big smile and a sense of Achievement. One of the most popular activities this month was of course our horseback rides and we have had people of all ages and skill enjoy riding one of the 25 resident horses at the ride Kenya Stables.
Recent guest Lauren riding with the help of David
One of the best things about the cooler temperatures here at ol Donyo is the ability to actually do lunches and picnics on the plains or in the hills which just is not possible in the heat of the summer. Our guides have been seeking new locations and have found some really beautiful and unique areas.
Stephen and Scott picnicing in the hills
Elijah, our kid’s activity guide, has been one of the many highlights for the families that have stayed with us as kids get to be a part of our Young Explorers Club. It is an opportunity for children to be taught the skills of a young traditional Maasai through bush survival skills and get hands on as they learn techniques such as fire starting, shelter making, cooking, or making bows, arrows or slingshots!
One of the favorites this month has been to be able to make ‘baked eggs’ the Maasai way by getting their hands dirty and creating mud from our garden, wrapping it over the eggs and then they get to bake them in a fire that they learned how to make themselves with nothing but 2 sticks and will power.
The best part said a previous Young Explorer named Jacob, was that “you get to eat them after and they taste so good!!”
Elijah, our kid’s activity guide never hesitates to entertain – and said there are many great things about working with kids at ol Donyo Lodge “I love watching the kids getting excited about playing traditional Maasai games- and how in the beginning they seem hesitant but after a short time they become just as excited as I was when I was a kid.”
There have even been a few families that have threatened to steal him away in their suitcases as his passion for kids is addicting! Hopefully you too can be a part of Elijah’s magic…..
This month as also brought new fresh vegetables to our guest’s plate with beetroots which were transformed into a beautiful starter of pan-fried Goats cheese atop Beetroot drizzled with Balsamic vinegar and capped of with a strip of crispy bacon. Also featured on menus this month were: micro greens and cayenne peppers and of course the regular Mixed lettuce and juicy, ripe tomatoes all from our Green Gate Garden. The sowing for the next crop is complete and within the next 2 months we are looking forward to much more home grown produce.
We have of course been keeping an eye on the lion activity, especially after such an amazing June. Just a few days ago one of camera traps caught a great shot of Kassio who hasn’t been seen for some time. Nemasi has retreated to the hills with Meliyo and the 4 cubs and we get regular reports from the Lion Guardians or one of the many Big Life rangers that patrol the area.
Although we haven’t seen them, we know that there are 2 large male lions that regularly walk past the lodge at night leaving very clear tracks for our guides to point out, hopefully we will get to see them on one of our night drives soon! The elephants are still having a blast at the water hole and as many as 9 have been hanging around at lunchtime entertaining the guest and drinking all of the water that comes from the guests rooms. One of our resident collared Ele’s, Torn Ear, made an appearance just 2 days ago which was a fantastic surprise as it has been quite a few months. He is sticking around it seems as he is at the waterhole everyday!
With the warmer temperatures just around the corner, we expect to see many more of our resident elephants make their way back and spend their day’s lazily drinking and of course hogging the waterholes from all of the other animals.
Elephants around the Lodge waterhole