Luxury at Ol Donyo

Posted on March 1, 2024


In November 2023 Becky from In The Saddle headed to Kenya to visit our lodge based safaris there. In this blog she tells us all about her experience at Ol Donyo Lodge

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Preparing for Kenya & Getting There

My first task before travelling was to pack!  This does take some forethought when heading out on safari due to the strict luggage limit on the light aircraft. I was flying to and from Ol Donyo with Safarilink which has a weight limit of 15kg to include hand luggage and camera equipment. Although a daunting task, I knew that laundry was possible and so I was able to compact everything into a soft sided bag that was easy to carry but also contained everything I would need. 

Waiting at Wilson Airport

I took a day flight from Heathrow to Nairobi which meant that I landed late at night. Getting through Nairobi airport was easier than I had anticipated and my driver was waiting for me outside the arrivals hall with an easy to spot sign. We took a 25 minute drive from the international airport to the Tamarind Tree Hotel which is perfectly located close to Wilson airport where I would be flying from the following morning.

Hotel room at the Tamarind Tree

The following morning I was dropped off at the Safarilink terminal at Nairobi’s domestic Wilson airport. The terminal is a small building with one check in desk and so after my luggage was weighed, I waited in the café for my flight to be called. The journey to Ol Donyo lodge took around 45 minutes.

Light aircraft at Wilson domestic airport

 Ol Donyo Lodge: Accommodation

My first impression of the lodge was – WOW!

The central mess area has a large sitting area, bar, dining room, washrooms and a beautiful sundowners deck. From the main area, there are steps down to a second dining area and then a stunning infinity pool that looks over the water hole and hide.

The sundowner deck at the main lodge

If I thought the main lodge was impressive, the suites were stunning. Each suite has a large bedroom, sitting area, bathroom including a bath & shower, an outdoor shower, private plunge pool and rooftop star bed for the brave! The rooms were decorated tastefully and so spacious.

My bedroom at Ol Donyo

Gourmet Food & Dining

I absolutely loved meeting the chef, Ben, on the first night and learning all about his passion for food. Many of the vegetables are grown in the gardens on site and most of the deserts are sugar free and plant based which was incredible.

Breakfast at the lodge

The dining at Ol Donyo is private for each guest and you are able to enjoy meals in various locations such as the dining room, deck, poolside or in the privacy of your suite. After a lovely long ride or other morning activity, head back to the lodge for fresh fruits, granola & yogurt followed by a choice of cooked options. Sometimes you may be riding out across the plains before coming around the corner to see a beautifully laid table ready for breakfast in the bush.

Arriving at a bush breakfast on the plains

Lunch is a leisurely affair before heading out again for an afternoon activity.

In the evening, you can enjoy sundowners on the deck before sitting down to a more formal three course dinner. Each evening we were treated to a different menu and a choice of main courses. The creativity and presentation of every single meal was just incredible.

One of the amazing plant based puddings!

Horses & Riding

The stables are just a few minutes drive from the lodge and are kept immaculate by the horse manager Laura and her team. There are around 21 horses available for guests to ride and so a great selection depending on riding ability and preferences.

The horses happily munching away in their stables

Ol Donyo only accepts riders who are of an intermediate standard or above as there is potentially dangerous game in the area. Experienced riders are able to head out straight from the stables whereas novice riders are taken by car to meet their horses out on the open plains.

The perfect view from between the ears

The horses were all in great condition. It was lovely to walk around and hear Laura speak about them all so affectionately. She’s very passionate about the horse care at the stables and takes great care matching each rider to a horse. I absolutely loved riding the three she chose for me –  Manchira, Kalahari and Sabre.

Having guides that excel at photography is definitely a highlight

I was so surprised at the diversity of the terrain! Within riding distance of the lodge we had the choice of riding up into the mountains, the thicker bush, the flat and open plains or the far off grassy hills. It was amazing to be able to canter across the plains and just go …. and go … and go!

Overall Impressions

Ol Donyo is the most amazing luxury safari lodge. The attention to detail, superior luxury and gourmet food combined with the lovely horses makes it the perfect safari holiday.

I had a wonderful time visiting and if you’d like more information on this destination, please see the website page here. Please also feel free to contact me on +44 1299 272997  or email me on rebecca@inthesaddle.com

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