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.
Yesterday morning, after just leaving Mara Toto, guests immediately bumped into three of Notch’s boys as they licked their chops from finishing up a hippo killed a couple days earlier. These brothers have, since their time as a young coalition on the Masai Mara’s Paradise Plains become specialised in killing hippos. This is quite an [...]
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 [...]
Let’s transport you to another vision, where you are floating on the HBS Zib in the middle of Zibadianja Lagoon in Botswana’s Selinda Reserve. And get this, you are on a massage bed. Yes, it’s true. “There is always a bowl of water with an orchid in it whenever I go to a spa, so [...]
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 [...]
BREAKING NEWS….Mara Plains & Mara Toto status report from Richard and Lorna: We’ve done it. Mara Toto is now a fully functional seasonal camp running 100% on solar power, with no negative discharge into the environment (thanks to Biorock sewage treatment system), 5000 litres of rainwater catchment off the solar panel bank so far, all [...]
The most exciting thing happened last night when a couple of our guests along with Seki our head guide stumbled upon our well known local lion! It’s always a treat to get a sighting of a species which has been so heavily persecuted in this region. Small conservation steps matter. Today, all of the birds [...]
Our guests, the Timms party just returned from Kenya: “…out of all the accommodations not sure which was our favourite as all had something different but Ol Donyo Lodge was just amazing. The private plunge pools a real plus and everyday just sitting in our rooms looking down at the water hole watching the elephants [...]
December at ol Donyo was certainly eventful! Ample late season rains continued to nourish green grasses for the plains game, making for lovely photo opportunities. Mt Kilimanjaro was also frequently visible, and made for a stunning backdrop to a variety of bush activities, gatherings, and celebrations. The Christmas spirit was certainly visible as well at [...]
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 [...]
The finishing touches are all that remain to be completed for the grand opening of the NEW Mara Toto Camp, located just inside the Masai Mara Game Reserve, on the border with the private Mara North Conservancy. The 5-tent camp is Great Plains’ latest addition to its highly-regarded portfolio of camps in Kenya and Botswana. [...]
First Maasai Olympics in Kenya creates new tradition: The track and field competition uses warriors’ lion hunting skills for athletics “The Maasai Olympics is not just a sporting activity and event. It is a once–in–a–lifetime opportunity given by the Maasai elders to save this ecosystem,” Dereck Joubert, CEO of Great Plains Conservation, said. In Kenya’s [...]
November’s sometimes stormy skies have provided gorgeous backdrops for photography and the plains game have been plentiful. The forest areas at the base of the Chyulu Hills are fully green, and green is spreading across the plains and up the El Mau Hills. Wildlife has grown fat and happy in the midst of all the [...]
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!
From the W Family, USA who traveled in August 2012: “Ol Donyo Lodge – fabulous place! So luxurious after being in the dust and tents! Although the animal viewing is different to other parts of Kenya, the place more than makes up for it in the unusual activities that they offer. We had a great [...]
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.
A safari is definitely about more than just the big cats but it’s not everyday that one can see the three big cats of Africa in one drive. ‘Cat-trick’ last night with Ping. Cheetah with yearling cub, Notch’s boys (4 mafioso male lions) and Fig the Leopard.. who ended up getting chased up a tree [...]
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 [...]
A rarely seen pose of a leopard balancing on its hind legs. This is Acacia, resident leopardess, which was taken near Kenya’s Mara Plains Camp in October. Many thanks to Homsy Irani for sharing this image.
Mammal count in Kenya’s central Olare Orok Conservancy in one 20km game drive. 18 mammal species! not to mention the birds and reptiles. 28 Lions- (two prides) 1 Leopard 2 Cheetah 2 Hyena +-1500 Wildebeest, +-1000 Zebra, +-200 buffalo, 68 Topi, 8 Kongoni 16 Giraffe, 124 Impala, 18 Elephant, 25 Grant’s Gazelle, 7 warthogs, 7 [...]
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 email@example.com 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 [...]
Just an hour ago (2pm) ‘Yellow’ our resident territorial male leopard killed a Thompson’s gazelle right next to the camp. As of right now he has it hanging in the huge hollow fig tree within 100 meters of the camp. Thanks to the resident troop of vervet monkeys who brought this to our attention with [...]
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 [...]