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The large nearby bull elephant noisily drinking volumes of water, brings you back down to earth, as you sit less than twenty paces from these gentle giants of the earth, safely cocooned within the natural wood hide, gazing out onto a multitude of wildlife and their unique dynamics happening live in front of you. A snow-capped Mt Kilimanjaro may greet you on your new morning in this slice of heavenly paradise, a night of lions roaring their authority and hyenas seemingly taunting them back, jackals adding to the acoustics with their loud shrill like calls -now a distant, fading memory, or was it just a dream?
The lodge sits proudly, almost majestically on the slopes of the Chyulu Hills, gazing out across a vista and landscape stretching and untouched for what seems a millennia. This truly unique entity boasts a relationship between conservation and livelihood, embracing the local culture and Maasai while at the same time, encompassing the natural wildlife and the realization that this model where both co-exist side by side, does indeed work. Roaming and exploring this vast, true wilderness area by game vehicle, perched on an ambling horse, a quiet mountain bike or walking with care through the untamed Africa bush offers you a variety of options in which to see, hear and breathe the sights and sounds of an African safari experience, to become one with your ever-evolving surroundings, the dreams and realizations now tangible.
A partner of ol Donyo Lodge, the NGO Big Life Foundation, protects over 2 million hectares of wildlife.
The property is one of the major donors of the Big Life Foundation, annually donating several hundred thousand dollars. Cattle rearing is an essential part of the Maasai way of life, who are shareholders of the land which is under conservation around ol Donyo Lodge. When predators and cattle mix, it is usually predators like lions that are killed by the Maasai protecting their cattle. This ultimately places the lions on a path to extinction. Richard Bonham, the creator of the Big Life Foundation, realized many years ago that in order to save the wild animals he had to tell the locals how valuable wildlife is for conservation tourism. He also initiated anti-poaching operations. Since then biodiversity breathes easier.