Ol Donyo Lodge Safari riding holiday in Kenya - Far and Ride
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Ol Donyo Lodge Safari, Kenya


• Ol Donyo Lodge Based Stay



Type of horses:

Various breeds to suit all needs including Boerperds, Warmbloods, Thoroughbreds, small Somali ponies and even a Percheron.

Nature of horses:

Well schooled, experienced and sure footed.

Height of horses:

15hh - 17hh

Weight limit:

95kg (experienced riders over this may be accepted - please enquire)

Tack type:

English bridles and bits. There are English, Western or South African Trail saddles available.


Travel Advice

Please ensure you read the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice before you travel.

Ride Description

Ol Donyo Lodge is located on the Maasai owned Mbirikani Group Ranch which comprises 275,000 acres of wilderness between Amboseli and Tsavo National Parks and bordering the Chyulu Hills national park.

The area surrounding the lodge is full of amazing wildlife - elephants wander past the lodge everyday, lion and cheetah concentrations are increasing and the black rhino population has stabilised. You can ride with up to 38 species of mammal including the big five (elephant, rhino, lion, leopard and buffalo) and there is access to over 1.4 million acres of outstanding wilderness. Although this semi-arid region does not host the volume of wildlife seen in the Maasai Mara area, the landscape is incredibly varied and includes high-altitude mist forest, lava fields, woodland and savannah - it's a paradise of discovery.

One of only two Relais & Chateaux properties in Kenya, the lodge offers stunning views of Mount Kilimanjaro and good quality wildlife viewing on horseback as well as sumptuous accommodation.

There is a large selection of horses, all of which are well-schooled and chosen for their ability to be the perfect ride on safari. The going is great for the horses all year round with a sandy ground surface that is excellent for long canters and faster riding. With Mount Kilimanjaro as an unbeatable backdrop, the guides will often take you through the wide open plains, game rich swamps, beautiful acacia woodlands and scenic hills. The climate is ideal for this type of holiday with warm sunny days and cool evenings.

Beginner riders can also be accommodated on shorter Plains Rides which explore the wide open areas where visibility is good and relaxed plains game gather. Intermediate and experienced riders can join 2-4 hour rides in search of the big Tuskers that this area is famous for.

For a truly magical Kenyan experience, you could combine this safari with their sister company in the Mara and stay at an equally impressive lodge on the Mara Plains, exploring that very different area on horseback too.

See Programmes.


Food & Accommodation

The stunning Ol Donyo Lodge was completely rebuilt in 2008 and sits in thick woodland on a gently sloping hillside with views over the plains to the distant Mount Kilimanjaro.

There are seven suites plus one two-bedroomed family cottage.

Each suite is unique and truly opulent whilst maintaining the atmosphere of a true bush lodge - a harmonious blend of contemporary and rustic. All the rooms have their own plunge pool and "star beds" which are on the rooftop and allow guests to sleep safely and comfortably out beneath the beautiful stars. Each room has an en-suite bathroom with indoor and outdoor showers as well as a deep bath tub.

There is a main lounge area with an open bar and expansive verandah for meeting new friends, and an attached dining area where meals are served. An infinity pool is also located in the main area. A short walk away is the log-pile hide, situated near to the waterhole, for safe and secluded close-up viewing of game.

Food is delicious and of a high standard with meals accompanied by an extensive wine list. Al fresco lunches on the veranda, candlelit dinners by your private cottage and picnics out on the plains are all included.

There is a great variety of fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as meat and fish. Fresh bread, cakes, and biscuits are made daily, and all dietary needs and special children’s meals can be catered for, with advanced notice please.



There are many other activities at Ol Donyo Lodge and something to suit everyone, so this is an ideal option for groups of mixed ability riders or non-riders.

For those who are tired of being in the saddle but want to see more wildlife, there is the option of heading out on a game drive.

Guests may also hike or mountain bike (accompanied by an armed guide) across the savannahs and around the area. Hiking into the surrounding hills is an exceptional way to appreciate the views surrounding the lodge. Bush walks and wildlife tracking with Maasai trackers are not to be missed.

One of the greatest activities available at the lodge (other than horse riding of course!) is to spend time at the 'log pile' hide. This is an open-air viewing facility located just below the lodge and consists of a mass of heavy logs stacked so as to create a square enclosure. This acts as a great area from which guests can safely and quietly view animals at exceptionally close range as they visit the waterhole. You can spend as long as here as you like, depending on your interests.

Adventurous guests may enjoy a night under canvas by fly camping. Campsites are chosen according to season and guests experience traditional camp amenities including drinks by the fire and delicious campfire cuisine. You can choose to travel to the fly camp by foot, vehicle or on horseback. Fly camping must be pre-booked and is not available during the rainy season.

As if that's not enough there are also day trips to Amboseli National Park, trips to local Maasai villages (an excellent insight into Maasai culture) and primary schools or scenic Kilimanjaro flights - all these activities are at extra cost. It is also possible to book a massage (payable locally).


Further Details

Languages: English

Health requirements: General good health

Age limit: Children over 5 years are welcomed at the lodge but only children over 12 years are permitted to ride. Children aged 12-15 must be accompanied by a parent when riding. Families with children must book a private vehicle for game drives (at extra cost).

Tuition: Basic tuition only

Included: Luxury accommodation, all meals, all alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages (excluding champagne and imported premium drinks), laundry, all on-site activities.

Not included: Flights, transfers, champagne and imported premium drinks, massages, day trips to Amboseli National Park or Maasai villages, staff gratuities.


Travel Information

Fly into Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi. You will then need to transfer to Wilson Airport (just outside Nairobi) for a light aircraft transfer to Ol Donyo's airstrip. You may need a night in Nairobi at the start/end of your riding safari to accommodate flight timings, but we can assist with this.

Light aircraft transfers are an additional cost - rates available on request.

Airport: Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi



Ol Donyo Lodge Based Stay

Positioned in the remote Chyulu Hills of Southern Kenya, there are 275,000 acres of open plains and dramatic volcanic hills to explore on horseback. Riding is available from the lodge all year round and for all abilities.

Intermediate Riders and above can join 2-4 hour rides exploring the concession. There are exhilarating medium to fast paced canters as well as encounters with their famous big Tuskers. You need to be riding fit, competent and confident, ride with an independent seat and be able to control an easy horse in all paces over uneven terrain to join these rides. You will be assessed in the arena prior to setting out to ensure you are comfortable with your horse.

Novice riders or those who prefer a more sedate ride, can join a gentle 90 minute ride exploring the open plains - no assessment is required.

Rides tend to leave at 07:30 and 16:30 but this can vary. Each riding group is accompanied by a lead guide and a back-up guide for safety.

You would hope to see a variety of game on the rides, depending on which ecosystem you are exploring that day. This is a Big Five area and so anything is possible!

Minimum group size: 1
Maximum group size: 6
Ability description: All abilities can be accommodated, with novice riders being offered gentle rides on the plains, and intermediate/experienced riders venturing further afield on longer rides.
Type of ride: Based
Total riding time: 2-4 hour rides morning and afternoon.
Departure dates: Flexible
Pricing: 2019:

Low Season (1 April-14 June; 1 November-19 December)

Standard Pool Suite: £562 per adult per night; £287 per child sharing with adults
Deluxe Pool Suite: £663 per adult per night; £337 per child sharing with adults
No single supplement

Mid-Season (11 January-31 March)

Standard Pool Suite: £662 per adult per night; £337 per child sharing with adults
Deluxe Pool Suite: £763 per adult per night; £387 per child sharing with adults
No single supplement

High Season (15 June-31 October; 20 December 2019-10 January 2020)

Standard Pool Suite: £935 per adult sharing per night; £474 per child sharing with adults
Standard Pool Suite Single Supplement: £462 per night

Deluxe Pool Suite: £1059 per adult sharing per night; £535 per child sharing with adults
Deluxe Pool Suite Single Supplement: £524 per night

These nightly prices include accommodation, all meals, scheduled game activities, guided bush walks, bush breakfasts, guided mountain biking, horse riding, Maasai cultural visit (excluding USD20 paid directly to Maasai), laundry and alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages (excluding champagne and imported premium drinks) and conservation fees.

Price does not include flights, transfers, off-site activities or travel insurance.

Sambu Suite (two bedroomed) is priced separately based on three or four occupants - please enquire for prices.

Additional costs:
Late Check-out (subject to availability):
£138 per adult (low season); £69 per child (low season)
£188 per adult (mid season); £94 per child (mid season)
No late check-out charge in high season.
Private vehicle: £485 per vehicle per day

Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding.

All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.