Fodor's Expert Review Ol Donyo Lodge

Mbirikani Group Ranch, Kenya Fodor's Choice

Located on the Maasai-owned Mbirikani Group Ranch on the southwestern flank of the volcanic Chyulu Hills, this stylishly romantic and superluxurious lodge is considered one of the best in southern Kenya. It is dramatically perched on a hillside, so every suite has great views of the plains, Mt. Kilimanjaro, and several waterholes. No two of the ten large suites in six stand-alone villas are the same. They all have rooftop "star beds," which are accessed from the verandah by a winding stone staircase, which allow you the option of sleeping under the stars but with all the comforts of your suite just below. All but two of the suites have private pools, too. Some villas have four beds each and private sitting rooms and are ideal for families or small groups of friends. Excellent food and friendly, attentive service are the norm. Meals are taken in the centrally positioned dining room with a big open fireplace for those chilly nights, or in the wine cellar, or on the terrace next to the pool or even in a private lantern-lit boma. A wealth of activities is available at Ol Donyo and included in the rates—bush walks, game drives, mountain-biking and day trips to Amboseli National Park, but the standout activity is horse-riding and the stables are home to more than 20 horses suitable for all abilities.


  • the horizon pool has stunning views of Mt. Kilimanjaro
  • suites have indoor and outdoor showers as well as bathtubs
  • the "star beds" are an indescribable experience


  • there's less concentrated game than in Amboseli, but no other people
  • the access road is long and rough; it's better to fly to the private airstrip
  • the US$120 per person conservancy fee is extra




Phones: 27-87-354–6591-reservations, South Africa


10 suites, 1 house
Rate Includes: Closed Apr., All-Inclusive

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