June news – ol Donyo Lodge, Kenya

June at ol Donyo flew by! What a month it has been. We can honestly say that June has been the most amazing month this year as far as what our guests have seen out on the plains.
With the grasslands getting dryer by the day we have noticed a slow and steady flow of animals moving back into the area. Cool mornings and warm days have allowed for some longer exploring and we have been very fortunate to have seen Nemasi, our resident collared lioness with her female Ntinyika. Much to our pleasant surprise, they were accompanied with a strong and proud looking young Male (Meliyo) and four happy little cubs less than 2 months old. It was such an amazing sight watching the adults lazily yawn and slumber whilst the cubs frolicked in the long grass, bouncing onto each other and other their mother. The cubs and adults have been sighted 4 times in all now and are closely being monitored by our guides and Big Life Conservation. We are hoping to continue the stream of photos and updates on the growth of the pride!
Great herds of zebra and Eland have been roaming in front of the lodge seemingly enjoying each others company and patiently awaiting their turn to drink from the main watering hole which the elephants greedily hog for most of the day, sometimes they are just standing and not drinking to irritate the other animals which is quite funny to watch and we can’t help but smile about the fact there are 4 more water holes for the other animals to choose from but don’t. During the past 2 months we have re-routed the water from the guest rooms, our laundry and the kitchen to go to the main water hole, so it may simply be because it is always full or just extra tasty!
We had a very exciting occurrence this morning when 6 of our guests were on a morning game drive and firstly came across a hyena happily gnawing on a zebra carcass whilst the vultures patiently eyed up the left overs. It has been quite some time since we have seen a hyena out and eating in the daytime and he did not seem to care about our vehicle which made for some fantastic and rare moments here at ol Donyo.
The game drive could have ended there but just as the vehicle was leaving the dry mud flats on the edge of the lava flow, a yellow streak caught the eye of the guide….”Cheetah!” he shouts and quickly heads in the direction of the long gone flash. It was a worthwhile pursuit as the chase resulted in the sighting of not one but four grown cheetahs!! This was a huge surprise as we have not seen this particular group however, recently behind the lodge a female with four large cubs was spotted so this is a whole other group. We are hoping that we are able to keep track of both groups and continue to delight our guests with these amazing sights.
Due to the cooler days bike riding and hiking have been very popular in June and the guests are really relishing the opportunity to stretch their legs before or after one of the fabulous lunches (with fresh products from our gardens) and they have been accompanied by many of our resident giraffes and their young also stretching their legs by running along side. The hikes and the sunsets from the top of ol Donyo Wuas have also been absolutely breathtaking especially with the occasional appearance of Kilimanjaro.

The cool night have been blessing us with the most unbelievable clear skies at night making sleeping in the rooftop star bed very popular and with skies this clear we have found ourselves doing extra bush dinners to take advantage, recently the chefs have been trying many new recipes and the element of cooking outdoors over wood just adds that extra touch. Guests have had the pleasure of bush dinner dishes such as whole spit roast goat, Jumbo Mombasa Shrimp with sweet chili glaze, slow marinated duck skewers or Lamb Kofta with Tzatziki. Everyone is loving the food but the biggest fans were our Maasai, they could not get enough of the left over goat!
With July already upon us, we are extremely excited to hear about more sightings of the cheetahs, Nemasi with the pride, new crops from our gardens and just the everyday joy we get from seeing this beautiful place over and over through our guests’ eyes.
-Ray, Alyssa and the team at ol Donyo

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