great plains ol donyo lodge deck with couple watching mount kilimanjaro

Welcome to ol Donyo Lodge

Where the Chyulu Hills stretch out and touch the plains of Kenya’s Amboseli lies a private wilderness for which time has no meaning…

“I sat on the logs surrounding the hide at ol Donyo Lodge, listening to the elephants rumbling nearby. It was almost a meditation. I thought, wait, maybe we should create a meditation soundtrack like this, rather than that canned music you hear when you have a Great Plains lifestyle massage! That is when the elephant touched my leg with his trunk!” Dereck Joubert, CEO of Great Plains Conservation, reflects on the origins of some of the Kenya safari moments experienced at ol Donyo Lodge.

ol Donyo Lodge is located on over 111,000 hectares of private land in the heart of the Chyulu Hills, between Kenya’s Tsavo and Amboseli National Parks. The property, honed from the ancient lava rock spewed out of Kilimanjaro 360,000 years ago, creates a timelessness that touches everyone visiting us. Safari experiences include horseback safaris, mountain bike safaris, guided walking safaris and open vehicle safari drives.

Following recent refurbishments and improvements, ol Donyo Lodge now comprise of 8 Deluxe Suites and 1 x 2-bedroomed Sambu Suite (family suite). All the Suites are now similar in terms of interior layout with the removal of the split-level flooring. In-room spa treatments can be enjoyed.  

The newly enhanced sunken hide will offer guests the opportunity to spend the entire day, or, if they wish, even stay overnight alongside the waterhole. 

Read more

On the Mbirikani Group Ranch – 111,000 hectares (275,000 acres) of private wild Africa bordering Chyulu Hills National Park and owned by 4,000 Maasai – ol Donyo Lodge blends contemporary design with the rich culture of the Maasai, creating the perfect setting for a Kenya safari. This Great Plains Conservation Réserve-Collection property is perched on a hillside with views of East Africa’s classic savannahs below.

“We consider the community our partners, and there are financial benefits beyond the lease fees we pay that go to them, teachers, and scholars. Other community projects based on wildlife conservation and tourism are strategically designed to uplift our communities.” Dereck adds: “Your tourism dollars, at ol Donyo Lodge, help us make this safari property one as a model of collaborative conservation. As a result, we have excellent conservation success stories regarding lions, cheetahs and the icon bull elephants, some of the last remaining large tuskers in Africa.”

Each suite at ol Donyo Lodge offers its own window to the soul of the East African safari. Their views look out over the suite’s plunge pool and across the rolling plains to Mount Kilimanjaro. All eight suites, plus a two-bedroom family suite, have stunning star beds, where you can sleep out under the canopy of stars and listen to the hyenas and lions moving around. ol Donyo Lodge embraces its community heritage, and our guides can take you to a nearby village, offering authentic Kenya safari experiences that will change your life. We offer guided walking safaris, mountain bike safaris, horseback safaris, and open vehicle safari drives – all allowing you to explore the conservancy, later returning to Relais and Châteaux quality meals served by our Executive Chef and his team.

Relais and Châteaux stand for that excellence in fine dining, wine (in this case, from our hand-picked wine selection and our private cellar) and service excellence. ol Donyo Lodge is one of Kenya’s only three Relais & Châteaux properties. The others are its sister properties, Mara Plains Camp and Mara Nyika Camp.

“I believe a safari today must be a full and rich experience where there are no apologies for excellent service. Life-changing wildlife viewing and well-designed accommodation with a style are imperative. We like to think of all this as the ‘Great Plains Conservation style’. But it is also vitally important that you are welcomed as part of a family for that extra bit of magic. Our family.” Dereck continues: “Many of our first-time guests feel that ol Donyo Lodge is the best “first stop” on their safari. We have often had to pry children off the necks of guides because they fall in love with them, with the activities in our Young Explorers programs and just because it feels like home.”

Great Plains supports the salaries of 24 teachers in 15 schools around ol Donyo Lodge. Without additional teachers, student-teacher ratios in government schools in this area would be more than 100 to 1! Our support helps those schools to reduce that ratio, allowing them to dedicate more time and attention to each student. One of those schools is Enkijape, the only school in the area that specializes in serving over 60 primary school children with physical, developmental, and intellectual disabilities. Learn more at

Click here to find out more about Horseback Safaris at ol Donyo Lodge

Quick Key

GreatPlains fireplace

$ 1 350
11 January – 31 March 2024

$ 1 210
01 April – 14 June 2024 & 01 November – 19 December 2024

$ 1 960
15 June – 31 October 2024 & 20 December 2024 – 10 January 2025

The above rates are in US$ and based on a per person per night sharing basis. Single guest, child rates, private safari drive and guide rates are available on request

ol Donyo Lodge Gallery

Enjoy fantastic wildlife viewing on our Great Plains Live Webcam (Hidecam) at ol Donyo Lodge

Alternatively you may want to visit Zimbabwe’s Tembo Plains deck-cam?

PLEASE NOTE: The ol Donyo Lodge live stream is best viewed using Chrome or Firefox web browsers. For some reason, Safari, as a browser, tends to time out after a few seconds.

In addition to our own programs, Great Plains Foundation keeps a list of school needs in the countries where we work.

Needed items can be hand-carried by travellers or we can help purchase them locally. To learn more or to help support students and educators as part of your trip please reach out to