March has proved to be another exciting and eventful month at ol Donyo Lodge. Following a record thunderstorm, where the skies opened for 48 hours, the surrounding hills and plains have been transformed into a lush and vibrant place. Subsequently, the plains have been filling with new lives as zebras, wildebeest and gazelle are busy calving.
The rain has settled the dust bringing us spectacular views of a snow capped Mt Kilimanjaro. This has made morning activities on the plains particularly breath taking; either horseback riding or cycling, on our brand new mountain bikes to a bush breakfast with nothing in sight but the vast plains and game under the shadow of the crystal clear mountain.
Ol Donyo has received some fantastic accolades this month too, one in particular stands out.
“Having visited over 150 camps over the years and currently going to about 25 a year gives me a good idea of what is on offer in our industry and I can honestly say that you have a real crown jewel in Ol Donyo, not only the lodge and all its facets, but most of all no other operators with vehicles trailing dust from one horizon to the next.” Garth Thompson
For those of you who have never heard of Garth, he is perhaps one of Africa’s best known guides. He spent 4 days with all of our guides – his main focus whilst at the camp was photography, and he spent his days teaching the guides how to use a camera and provide them with an understanding of why it is so important how the vehicle is placed. The results were amazing…the majority of the photographs for this dispatch were taken by our guides.
Horseback riding on the plains has proved especially popular this last month. Many experiencing their first ever time on a horse – what a way to learn! “I have been on many horse safaris throughout Africa and can quite easily say that Ol Donyo offers the best short rides of anywhere I have been” Garth Thompson. The most special and noteworthy event being the horseback encounter with the two local cheetah brothers on the hunt, guests were lucky enough to see this whilst on a novice ride.
These two cheetah brothers have been a regular sighting during the New Year, seen lounging by the lodge water hole, it has been wonderful to see them in such prime condition. Likewise there is much excitement over our lion population with a new set of 5 cubs from one female and another female heavily pregnant. Our predator numbers are growing as our ecosystem becomes healthier each year.
This is largely down to the work of Big Life, who we recently joined for an enthralling elephant rescue in the clearing directly in-front of the lodge. Guests were able to witness the successful darting and treatment of this unlucky bull who had sustained a bullet injury as a consequence of human-wildlife conflict.