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 [...]
SWEET-TOOTHED GIANTS Elephant reaching up for marula fruit (Sclerocarya birrea) near oL Donyo Lodge, Kenya.
To all our managers, staff, colleagues, and tourism friends in Kenya Our thoughts are with you all in Kenya this week for a peaceful transition in government and on the streets. Despite CNN and BBC wanting to show footage of the old election unrest, their efforts have largely been thwarted so far and there is [...]
….. And all the surrounding landscape merely a playground. At ol Donyo Lodge the ‘element of surprise’ is around every corner, and when a lodge is placed upon a 270,000 acre sanctuary— anything is possible. Last night we unveiled our newest secret Bush Dinner site, and it’s [...]
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 [...]
To say that the sightings and the wildlife here have been unbelievable over the past week or so would be an understatement! The greatest treat our guests had the other evening is actually spotting two of our young local lions enjoying their version of one of our spectacular bush dinners, our guests however enjoyed a [...]
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 [...]
Senior Editor, Sarah Gleim, selected Great Plains’ ol Donyo Lodge as her “must-see-before-you-die” property for the entire world. She loves its approach to conservation and safari. We are humbled, and honored. Thanks, Sarah. We hope you join us there soon. Read on Forbes.com
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 [...]
After 20 years of sole operation under Richard Bonham’s guidance, Maasailand Preservation Trust is proud to announce its merger with Big Life Foundation. Co-founded by conservationist Richard Bonham & photographer Nick Brandt in October 2010, Big Life’s conservation philosophy is so similar, and goals so identical, that it became obvious to both organizations that 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!
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 [...]
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.
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 [...]
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 [...]
As many of you know Dereck and Beverly recently made a new movie called The Unlikely Leopard Why not take 2 minutes and enjoy the short clip available here ? Easy Prey scene – The Unlikely Leopard
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 [...]