Rain has been falling almost daily at ol Donyo Lodge in the Chyulu Hills for several weeks. The dark clouds usually start floating in around mid-morning from Ol Donyo Hill behind the lodge or the twin peaks of El Mau facing the lodge. The smell of rain fills the air, a grey sheet comes racing along and in minutes everything is drenched in the downpour.
Thankfully the rainstorms don’t last long very long and guest activities can resume in short order. But the results are spectacular: Fresh grassland, pools of water everywhere and a lovely coat of snow for Mount Kilimanjaro.
The freshly sprung puddles of water have meant fewer visits by the resident bull elephants to the lodge’s waterhole as they choose to graze further afield. But One Ton (now Three-quarter Ton after losing a good chunk of his left tusk some weeks ago) still pops in for a drink. A young male elephant has been hanging around the acacia forest with the nervous disposition of a juvenile just come out into the world.
Nevertheless, game drives are still rewarding: Giraffe, zebra, elephant, black-backed jackals, cheetah, hares, ground hornbills and all kinds of antelopes. A lioness with cubs and three juvenile male lions were spotted on separate game drives. And a few nights ago, the whole lodge was treated to the thunderous roar of a pair of lions in camp at 4 o’clock in the morning. Some of you may be aware of the historical decline of felines in the area, so the regular spotting or overhearing of lions and leopard over the last few months is delightful evidence of the fantastic return of big cats to ol Donyo Lodge and the surrounding Chyulu Hills.
New assistant lodge manager, Paul Maundu, has settled wonderfully into the bush and lodge management, quite a different life from his previous stint at a coastal resort in Lamu’s Manda Bay.
Born and raised in Kenya, Paul credits the extensive holiday travels and hotel stays during his childhood as the inspiration for him joining the hospitality industry. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Hotel and Tourism Management from the Hotel School – The Hague, Amsterdam, and extensive hotel experience abroad including Spain, U.A.E. and the Netherlands.
In 2010 he moved back to Kenya and worked at a coastal resort in Manda Island, part of the historic Lamu Archipelago. Paul joined ol Donyo Lodge earlier in 2012 where he has brought his passion for hospitality and excellence in guest service. An outdoors man who enjoys soccer, sailing and fly fishing among other pursuits, Paul has recently discovered a new hobby – horseback riding.
Tags: 60 Minutes, Black backed Jackal, cheetah, Chyulu Hills, Dereck and Beverly Joubert, Elephants, giraffe, Great Plains Conservation, Ground Hornbill, Hares, Kenyan Luxury Safari, Leopards, lioness, Mbirikani Group Ranch, ol Donyo Lodge, Ride Kenya Horse Safaris, The Last Lions, zebra
This entry was posted on Monday, June 4th, 2012 at 12:35 pm
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