While there’s no doubt that being alluded to as the Brangelina’s of the safari industry is quite a compliment, there’s much more substance to the work of Dereck & Beverly than appearances. Tiara Walters of South Africa’s Sunday Times weaves a story which we hope will “turn around a billion Chinese”. But it requires your [...]
A Visit to Ol Donyo Lodge (full text and images here) So I just came back from a week in Kenya. I initially planned the trip because of a friend’s wedding and because of a Fashion Designers without Borders trip that I planned with Chrissie Lam the Founder of The Supply Change. The trip was [...]
SWEET-TOOTHED GIANTS Elephant reaching up for marula fruit (Sclerocarya birrea) near oL Donyo Lodge, Kenya.
On 22nd February, Ride Kenya assisted a vet from the David Sheldrick foundation in darting and treating an elephant with an arrow wound wandering near ol Donyo Lodge and the Ride Kenya stables. Ride Kenya managers Paddy and Kim were on hand to track the elephant and follow it [...]
January has been a month full of fun activities at ol Donyo Lodge! Activities coordinator Scott Dyson and children’s program guide Elijah Morintat have been helping guests document their Chyulu Hills experience through art. Whether painting at the lodge or out on the plains, guests have been treated to dramatic views of Mt Kilimanjaro and [...]
All too often in the world of conservation, we are peppered with tragic stories. De-horned rhino here, speared lion there, but today we bring to you a conservation story which might just give you great hope for 2013 and beyond. Sure, you might say, “but it’s just a set of games, who cares, what’s that [...]
Lara Logan of CBS 60 Minutes profiles “The Last Lions” filmmakers Dereck and Beverly Joubert on location at their Great Plains Conservation Camps in Botswana Scheduled to air Sunday November 25, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. ET/PT Lara Logan and a team from CBS 60 Minutes profiled filmmakers Dereck and Beverly Joubert at their Great Plains [...]
November’s abundant rainfall has filled the ol Donyo waterhole, and elephant visitors have been numerous. With the pressure to find water lessened, we’ve been seeing lots of interesting interactions, and joyous splashing and bathing. Green season has certainly brought elephant action, and it can all be experienced close range from the lodge hide!
Great Plains Conservation is not simply a tourism venture. As our name suggests, we are actually primarily focused on conservation and use tourism as a vector to achieve our conservation goals. Hence we we call ourselves a “Conservation Tourism” company. To this end, Dereck & Beverly Joubert founded Big Cats Initiative in partnership with National [...]
A recent influx of wildebeest and zebra has provided great opportunities for dramatic in-motion photographs. Stormy skies and the dominating bulk of Kilimanjaro have provided stunning backdrops and dramatic color, and the always lovely sunsets on the plains have made for some great silhouette shots. Wildlife becomes art in the Chyulu Hills!
At a spectacular ceremony in Italy this week, it was announced that Great Plains Conservation would be breaking new grounds for Relais & Châteaux. ol Donyo Lodge and Zarafa Camp are the first properties ever to be accredited as Relais & Châteaux members in Kenya and Botswana respectively and be accepted into this prestigious association.
Recent guests at ol Donyo Lodge were fortunate to witness an extraordinary cultural event: Maasai warriors testing their sporting abilities. The Big Life Foundation has organized six regional track and field competitions to be held in coming weeks, all building toward the Maasai Olympics, a one-day sports celebration for the warriors of the entire ecosystem to [...]
There is still one more chance to join Ride Kenya in 2012! Our December Amboseli ride is fully booked, but several spaces remain open for our final December Chyulu Hills safari departing December 9th. Interested? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on all Ride Kenya safari departures. Some recent images from the Chyulu Hills: [...]
October has brought scattered rains to ol Donyo Lodge, complete with dramatic skies and rolls of thunder. Predators following the plains game within the ecosystem have been spotted on recent game drives, and sightings of lion cubs have been of particular highlight. Here two adolescent cubs (male, left and female, right) survey the acacia-studded plains from [...]
You don’t have to go far at ol Donyo Lodge in Kenya to see great wildlife behavior! Several pairs of Black-Necked Weavers are constructing elaborate nests next to the breakfast area, and their progress is fascinating to see. Grey-headed sparrows, Blue-Naped Mousebirds, Purple Starlings, various sunbirds, and many, many others also frequent the garden surrounding [...]
Early showers in the Chyulu Hills have produced dramatic light and unbelievable rainbows. Imagine an afternoon gallop under these skies!
Guest Chef Titus Kakova (right) joined ol Donyo Lodge’s Head Chef Anthony Nzaka (left) recently in creating a series of innovative and exciting new dishes for guests, and they’ve been getting rave reviews! Titus visits to us from Cape Town, where he is currently sous chef at Ellerman House Boutique Hotel. Says Titus: “Cooking is [...]
Another successful Ride Kenya safari season winds down, as the Chyulu Hills await the November short rains. A lovely dry season palette of muted tones is beginning to give way to vibrant greens, and herds of plains game are moving into the area to take advantage of the coming new grasses. All of the Ride [...]
Richard Bonham, founder of ol Donyo Lodge is Kenya, is featured in a Travel & Leisure article here
September has been an exciting month at the ol Donyo hide, as dry season conditions cause elephants to congregate at the waterhole. The resident ol Donyo bulls have a fairly established social order, but order must be continually maintained and interactions among the various locals have been regular. Dry season interlopers from Amboseli National Park [...]
It’s the driest time of the year in the Chyulus, with sun-bleached grasses stretching into the distance on the plains. The resident bull elephants are congregating at the Ol Donyo waterholes, making for great photo opportunities from the hide. In anticipation of the short rains (due to arrive in late October to [...]
A big welcome to Ride Kenya Horse Safari’s new head guide, Paddy Cowley! Paddy hails from England, where he grew up with racehorses and racing. Ultimately choosing a career in polo, Paddy has captained young England and played in the English high goal and around the world. Seeking new adventure in 2005, he moved to [...]
Dry grassland in the Mbirikani group ranch means more wildlife is visiting the ol Donyo Lodge waterhole, making for wonderful sightings from the log viewing hide. The resident bull elephants – One Ton, Torn Ear, Ozzie, Pug, Jagged, Kali and Tom – daily dominate the waterhole, their combined massive bulks making it tough going for [...]
Could there be any better location in Africa to enjoy your game drive, ever with the backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro whilst at ol Donyo Lodge in Kenya
Ride Kenya Horse Safari’s new Amboseli Route has proven to be a smashing success. We had an amazing safari in August with a truly dynamic group of people. Starting right at the base of the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro, the first two nights were spent on the border of Amboseli National Park. This is a new [...]
Night game drives have been fantastic recently with pride of lions spotted heading towards the Chyulu Hills from the Emukutan area which is some 15 kilometers from the lodge. The lions are probably following the smell of prey moving to the greener pastures of the hills. Now more than ever is heard the roaring of lions at night, followed by footprints [...]
Warthog in the Chyulu Hills In the Chyulu Hills, huge downfalls of rain have turned the countryside into a sea of green. The herbivores have moved away from the base of the hills and onto the savannah, exploring further across the plains and getting slowly fatter. They’ve been leaving the security of the lodge’s permanent watering [...]
Who does not dream of sleeping out under the stars of Africa? ol Donyo Lodge in Kenya awaits your visit to indulge your dreams