Tsavo National Park, Safaris, Lodges and tented Camps in Tsavo East and West
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    Finch Hattons Camp Tsavo National Park, Kenya, Africa & Finch Hattons Tented Lodge, Chyullu Hills, Kenia

    Finch Hattons Camp is a luxury tented camp located at the heart of Tsavo West National park at the foot of Chyulu Hills, along with Tsavo East they form the largest game reserve in the world, Finch Hattons camp surrounds a natural freshwater spring, flowing through three crystal clear pools, with tents along the water’s edge. Finch Hattons Tented Camp is neatly tucked at the foot of the Chyulu Hills with the Mount Kilimanjaro standing tall at the background, The Finch Hattons Safari Camp is known world wide for its unique combination of classical style tented safari camp and modern, five star luxuries, Guests here are transported back to the days of the elegant and secluded Tsavo safaris, unsurpassed service and cuisine in a remote and wild setting, far from modern civilization, With the atmosphere of an elegant country house, guests at Finch Hattons Camp Tsavo enjoy the finest fresh foods in an imaginative and tasteful menu. The dining tables are set with silver tableware and fresh flowers, gleaming cutlery and crystal. Breakfast and lunch are served al fresco on the terrace overlooking the main hippo pool with Mt Kilimanjaro in the distance. Finch Hattons Tented Camp Tsavo tents are arranged around a permanent freshwater spring that's inhabited by hippos, turtles, crocodiles, and untold numbers of birds, this unfenced permanent Tsavo tented camp affords the best accommodation in Tsavo National Park. It's also the first choice if you want to avoid bumping into other safari vehicles during game drives. Named for the safari adventurer and lover (of Karen Blixen) who was immortalized in Hollywood's Out of Africa by Robert Redford, this professionally managed camp -- owned and personally run by Peter and Cornelia Frank -- exudes great style and character and, in many ways, pays tribute to a bygone era (especially in the formal dining room). The Finch Hattons Safari Camp Tsavo is a stand-out favorite not only for its excellent value, but for its enchanting setting and warm, gracious staff, not to mention some of Kenya's most carefully prepared meals -- dinner is a multicourse feast served on Bavarian china with all the trimmings you'd expect from a five-star hotel. Sheltered by large papyrus-thatch roofs, the canvas tents are set on raised wooden platforms with screen window flaps and attached bathrooms made of local lava rock -- they're mostly comfortable, with small, pleasing details such as antique-style brass lamps and framed portrait prints. Several of the tents have recently been upgraded to a far more luxurious and spacious design (reproduction antique furnishings, leather-and-wood beds, leather armchairs, and an overhead fan, making them well worth the additional rates charged compared to other Tsavo safari lodges. you're just inches from a tremendous flurry of activity that goes on in and around the spring -- recline on your daybed watching pied kingfishers dive-bombing for fish and try to make sense of the hippos' daily social rituals. For an extra charge you could be upgraded a superior tent, which are larger than the standard tents and enjoys a great view over the river, you'll spot crocodiles basking on the opposite shore from your tent, in any case quality safari holidays even in Kenya aren't cheap, although they are terrific value for money, if you want to have a have a truly memorable honeymoon safari, or any top end safari holiday in Kenya, then there really are very few Camps to choose from. One of the very best is Finch Hattons luxury Camp. In between game drives and nature walks, guests can cool off in the elevated swimming pool and deck. There is also an all day bar for refreshment, lounge and library cum reading room with plenty of books and music. There are no fences around Tsavo Finch Hattons Camp, and a wide variety of animals can be seen around the safari lodge. Tsavo West National Park, Kenya is part of the largest game park in the country. It is remote and guests are unlikely to see other vehicles or travelers when on game drives. Tsavo West is known for its vast herds of Elephant, their skins stained red from the ochre coloured dust and mud. Many other plains game can also be seen. From here you can take off for guided bush walking safaris, take a sundowner in the Chyulu Hills as you watch the sun touch the wild plains around the Mount Kilimanjaro. Early mornings are the best time to set off for a safari to Amboseli National Park or Lake Jipe but if you wish to remain in the atmosphere of untouched wild, you are best off to explore the massive Tsavo-East surrounding you. Here you are rarely going to come across another human presence whilst observing the full range of African wildlife. The Mzima Springs are only about an hour away. The pools of Mzima Springs are absolutely unique for groups of hippos and crocodiles living in crystal clear water and therefore giving you a glance into their life under water. If you saw the movie Out of Africa, then you'll have some idea, even if it's rather over-romanticized, of whom Denys Finch Hatton was. At the turn of the 20th century he left his native England and fell in love not only with Karen Blixen but also with Kenya safaris. A big-game hunter and host extraordinaire, he soon cultivated a reputation for leading classy, exclusive safaris to Kenya for American tycoons and British royalty, among others. His legend lives on in this superb camp—frequently voted "Best Tented Camp in Africa" by top writers and travelers—where your every whim is catered to, your every dream of Africa comes true, and where you'll dine at a table sparkling with silver and crystal as strains of Mozart (Denys's favorite composer) softly fill the African night. Finch Hatton Camp is designed to reproduce this level of style, and that by itself is a very good reason for staying here on a holiday to Kenya, another reason for choosing Finch Hattons bush camp is the sheer quality of the exclusive camp because the safari camp is open to the wild and unfenced and that always adds to the feeling of being right in the African wilderness. What this in fact means is that Lions, elephants, giraffes, buffalos and many others wander through the bush safari camp as they wish. Finch Hatton tented camp is only a 55 minute flight from either Nairobi or Mombasa, and the camp has its own airstrip, The camp accommodates up to 50 people which is a good number for interesting conversations with other guests.

     

    The accommodation is in large safari tents with deluxe beds, fully stocked mini bar, ensuite toilet, wash basin, and large slate walled shower room. There is mostly solar heated hot and cold running water, and permanent electrical supply to all the tents. The bar is open all day, and there is pool service to the swimming pool for relaxation between game drives. Finch Hattons surrounds a natural freshwater spring, the springs are where a resident pod of hippos lives, and during the day they wallow in the ponds, and then at night they come out and graze in the camp. There are also monitor lizards plus a spectacular and large selection of bird species. Food at Finch Hattons Lodge is a major item in the day, and the six course dinner is the highlight with all the panache and style that would get the approval of Finch Hatton himself, down to traditional tunic worn by the servants. You will find the food of high quality, and the service out of the top drawer.

     

    Without specifically mentioning the game drives, you can be assured that they in common with everything else associated with Finch Hattons are superbly well organized, and take place mainly early in the morning and late afternoon. At Finch Hattons safari Lodge guests are subject to park fees and a cordial welcome with a cool, wet facecloth for hand-wiping and a delicious fruit juice to quench your thirst, and you are on our way to your tent, the tents are carefully positioned on raised wooden platforms and covered with thatched roofs to protect them from rain and hot sun, and they are situated strategically around the edges of a pool and a couple of streams running through the lodge, the walk to the tents from the main buildings is quite a short one, rendered secure by well-tended gravel and stone pathways, one has the feeling of being safe and protected, Elephant damage to trees and old droppings are everywhere, the pool is full of the most delightful hippos with grey heron on their backs, relaxed and frolicking without a care in the world, as well as many sizable crocodiles, baboons are foraging nearby, and the monkeys entertain you most of the time, Finch Hatton Lodge Tsavo is touted to be a luxury tented camp, but that is an under statement, the expression conjures images of over-the-top and out-of-place urbanity in the wilds. At Finch Hatton’s, everything was positively first-class!

     

    Finch Hatton's Camp Accommodation

     

    The Finch Hatton's camp accommodates up to 50 people, in large safari tents with twin beds, en suite bathrooms, brass fittings, large mirrors, WC, hot and cold running water and showers. The spacious, beige, safari “tents” each have large “windows”, wooden flooring and a permanent thatched roof. Inside their comfortable decor includes an en-suite bathroom, large mirror, WC, hot and cold running water and showers. A fully stocked mini bar, shaver outlet for 110v and 200v and hairdryers all mean that guests are experiencing the bush in comfort and style. Period brass lamps, writing desks and Afghan ‘Kilims’ complete the setting. The tents are all built on elevated platforms with spectacular views of the surrounding springs and forest. Outside the tent is a comfortable day bed, chairs, table and a large wooden deck which allows guests a tranquil and relaxing retreat. There is an extensive library of books and an excellent range of classic music- including Denys Finch Hatton's favorite selections of Mozart.

     

    Finch Hattons Camp Restaurants & Bars

     

    Finch Hattons gourmet meals are served in a remote and wild setting. They aim to achieve standards of food preparation and culinary protocol that are are unmatched elsewhere in the bush. The imaginative and delicious cuisine uses only fresh Kenyan produce, and is very good indeed! Breakfast and lunch are served “al fresco” on the terrace that overlooks the main hippo pool. It is a stunning place to dine with with a backdrop of Mt Kilimanjaro in the distance. A six course meal is served each evening in the elegant dining room. Finch Hattons have a well stocked bar and offer an extensive selection of imported wines from their exclusive cellar. They also have a wide range of premium spirits and other preferred beverages to suit your taste. Most special dietary requirements and meal preferences are happily accommodated by Finch Hattons’ chefs. The bar is open all day and also services the pool terraces. Finch Hattons tented lodge can be accessed from the Mtito Andei Gate which is the main entrance for Tsavo West National Park on the Nairobi – Mombasa highway. The camp is about 1.5 hours drive from the gate. The driving time from Nairobi to Mtito Andei Gate is about 5 hours and from Mombasa to the gate it is about 4 hours. There is secure parking available at Finch Hattons for guest vehicles and driver/guides can be accommodated.

     

    Finch Hattons Camp Game Drives and Activities

     

    After a morning of game viewing, guests may want to relax and enjoy a refreshing swim. The elevated swimming pool is next to a shaded deck area, surrounded by indigenous trees. Drinks are available from the bar and make this a stunning and very peaceful place to relax. There is a cosy library and reading room with a varied choice of books, located on the elevated mezzanine floor. An excellent range of classical and slightly more contemporary music is found here which includes many of the Mozart classics favored by Denys Finch Hatton. Mid morning and afternoon game drives in the park are offered in customized, open sided 4x4 safari vehicles with professional driver guides. You may book an exclusive safari vehicle by prior arrangement. Escorted Nature Walks are available and optional Sundowners and/or Bush Breakfasts can also be arranged. The Camp is in West Tsavo and day excursions safaris in Amboseli National Park - famous for its massive herds of elephants and proximity to Mt Kilimanjaro. It takes around 2.5 hours to drive there and can be arranged, if prior notice is given to Edwin of African safaris and Adventures, A small gift shop is open that sells high quality books and gifts and is open throughout the day. For those guests traveling with their own laptop, a WI-FI Hotspot service is available at the camp. For guests who choose a self drive safari to Tsavo to Finch Hattons, a secure parking area is on site. There is a guide’s room where drivers are welcome to stay (meals provided) A “same day” laundry service is available 7 days per week.

     

    Visit Shetani caves and Mzima Springs

     

    The Park is ideally situated for visits to the massive expanses of sister park, Tsavo East whilst the verdant Taita Hills and the volcanic eruptions of the Chyulu Hills are close by. World-renowned Amboseli National Park is also within easy reach. The lush, hippo-inhabited pools of Mzima Springs, fed daily by 250 million liters of water gushing from the lava flows of the Chyulu hills, provide an oasis of green, an Under-water hippo-viewing chamber, two nature trails and some unique picnic spots.

     

    Henry Finch-Hatton

     

    If one name is synonymous with luxury safaris in African bush it must surely be that of Denys Finch Hatton, a man who inspired a whole generation of safari guides - while his hot showers and fine wines became the hallmarks of the modern camping safari. Today Finch Hatton`s name lives on in a remote corner of Tsavo, where his example has inspired what is arguably the most luxurious camp in Africa. Set on the shores of wildlife-rich volcanic springs, Finch Hattons offers a rare blend of old Africa and modern luxury against the majestic backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro. Denys George Finch Hatton was an aristocratic big-game hunter and the lover of Baroness Karen Blixen (also known by her pen name as Isak Dinesen), a Danish noblewoman who wrote about him in her autobiographical book Out of Africa, first published in 1937. In the book, his name is hyphenated: "Finch-Hatton". Finch Hatton was the second son and third child of Henry Finch-Hatton, 13th Earl of Winchilsea, by his wife, the former Anne "Nan" Codrington, daughter of Admiral of the Fleet Sir Henry Codrington. He was educated at Eton and Brasenose College, Oxford. At Eton, he was Captain of the cricket Eleven, Keeper of the Field and the Wall (two major sports played at Eton), President of the Prefects Society called Pop, and Secretary of the Music Society. In 1910, after a trip to South Africa, he traveled to British East Africa and bought some land on the western side of the Great Rift Valley near what is now Eldoret. He turned over the investment to a partner and spent his time on hunting safaris; Finch Hatton was not known to have had any serious romances before he met Baroness Blixen. They were introduced at the Muthaiga Club on 5 April 1918. Soon afterwards he was assigned to military service in Egypt. On his return to Kenya after the Armistice, he developed a close friendship with Blixen and her Swedish husband, Baron. He left Africa again in 1920 but returned in 1922, investing in a land development company. By this time, Karen Blixen had separated from her husband, and after their divorce in 1925, Finch Hatton moved into her house and began leading Kenya luxury safaris for wealthy sportsmen. Among his clients were Marshall Field and The Prince of Wales. According to author Mary Lovell, in 1930 Finch Hatton began a love affair with Beryl Markham, who was working as a race-horse trainer in Nairobi and the surrounding area. This relationship inspired Markham to take up flying safaris; later, she would become known as a pioneer of Kenya flying safari flyer herself. On the morning of 14 May 1931, Finch Hatton's Gypsy Moth took off from Voi airport, circled the airport twice, then plunged to the ground and burst into flames. Finch Hatton and his Kĩkũyũ servant Kamau were killed. In accordance with his wishes, Finch Hatton was buried in the Ngong Hills overlooking Nairobi National Park. Later, his brother erected an obelisk at the gravesite upon which he placed a simple brass plaque inscribed with Finch Hatton's name, the dates of his birth and death

     

    Tsavo West National Park

     

    Tsavo West National Park is located in the Coast Province of Kenya. Size: The Park covers an area of 9,065 square kilometers. The A109 road Nairobi-Mombasa and a railway divide the park into east and west. The western part is a more popular destination on account of its magnificent scenery, Mzima Springs, rich and varied wildlife, good road system, rhino reserve, rock climbing potential and guided walks along the Tsavo River. The park is operated by Kenya Wildlife Archaeology and history: Although a few Early Stone Age and Middle Stone Age archaeological sites are recorded from ground surface finds in Tsavo, there is much evidence for thriving Late Stone Age economy from 6,000 to 1,300 years ago. Research has shown that Late Stone Age archaeological sites are found close to the Galana River in high numbers. The inhabitants of these sites hunted wild animals, fished and kept domesticated animals. Because of the sparse availability of water away from the Galana River, human settlement in Tsavo focused on the riparian areas and in rock shelters as one moves west. Swahili merchants traded with the inhabitants of Tsavo for ivory, catkins, and probably slaves as early as 700 AD (and probably earlier). There is no evidence for direct Swahili "colonization" of Tsavo. Instead, trade was probably accomplished by moving goods to and from the Swahili Coast via extended kin-networks. Trade goods such as cowry shells and beads have been recovered from archaeological sites dating to the early Swahili period. Rock climbing: In 1978 Bill Woodley, then the warden of Tsavo West National Park, invited the Mountain Club of Kenya (MCK) to explore the cliffs in the park. The setting for climbers is superb with elephant roaming the plains below the cliffs and eagles, vultures and falcons circling on thermals around the crags with Kilimanjaro frequently visible on a clear day. The rock-climbing is some of the best in Kenya; solid gneiss walls are often covered in holds and free of vegetation. Cracks and corners abound, but tend to be more vegetated. The most impressive piece of rock, the 300m high east face of Kichwa Tembo, attracted the first explorers and resulted in the ascent of Great Tsavo Chimney. Mastadon took 3 visits before it was completed. A more recent route, Ivory Tower on Elephant Rocks, ranks with the best and hardest bush climb in Kenya. Generally pegs need not be carried. Unless climbing in the shade, an early start is advisable as it often gets very hot on clear days. The permit the MCK has to climb here, and to camp by the Tsavo River, is a special privilege and every effort must be made not to jeopardize this situation by careless actions. Wildlife: Tsavo West National Park has a variety of wildlife, such as black rhino, Cape buffalo, elephant, leopard and Maasai lion. There are also other smaller animals that can be spotted in the park, such as the bush baby, hippo, hartebeest, lesser kudu and Maasai giraffe.

     

    Tsavo East National Park

     

    Tsavo East National Park is one of Kenya's oldest and largest National Parks: covering about 40 per cent of the total area of all Kenya's National Parks. Its beautiful landscape and proximity to the coast make it a popular safari destination. It is accredited as one of the world's leading biodiversity strongholds, bushy grassland and open plains alternate with semi-arid acacia scrub and woodlands. Green swathes cross the park where the river banks give raise to lush vegetation. North of Galana is a true wilderness. A number of leading tour guides offers private safaris across this area, camel safaris are a feature. Tsavo East is recommended for photographers with its fabulous light and unbelievable views, in particular the Mudanda Rock and the Yatta Plateau, the world's largest lava flow. Lugard Fall on the Galana River are remarkable for the shaped water-worn rocks. Game includes: elephant, rhino, lion, leopard, crocodile, waterbuck, kudu, gerenuk and zebra and Hunter's Hartebeest can be seen with its lyre-shaped horns. Home to some of the largest herds in Kenya, the elephants glow red after dust baths, blowing the vivid red dust through their trunks over their bodies. Some 500 bird species have been recorded in the area, including ostrich and some migratory kestrels, while buzzards stop at Tsavo East during their long flight south, the entry to the park is through Safari Card which is available at Voi Gate. There are loads of wildlife attractions at this park with the best being a trip to the Elephant in Eden where herds of elephants wander and play with each other in the waters of Galana River. Aruba dam is the best sightseeing and gaming attraction visited by thousands of wild animals. At the Lugards Falls one gets to view crocodiles basking in the sun along the waterfront of the flowing Galana River. Avid birdwatchers all get a chance to see numerous species of migratory birds visiting the wildlife sanctuary from all over the world. The park boasts of abundance of the wild animals like large mammals, crocodiles, rhinos, lions, leopards, hippos, elephants, buffaloes, waterbucks, Kudu, Gerenuk and Hirola.

     

    Chyulu Hills National Park

     

    The Chyulu Hills National Park was formed between the Amboseli National Park and Tsavo West National Parks to protect this unique habitat and because of its significance as a water catchment area. A magical land of open grass plains and tree covered rolling green with Mount Kilimanjaro as a backdrop. The Park is surrounded by miles of Masai land, dusty, dry and stalked by scarlet cloaked herders and dust plumed cattle. Chyulu offers the perfect horse riding safaris, Enjoy riding through a great variety of truly wild, unfenced ecosystems; from the vast savannah plains of the lowlands, through thick acacia forests, to the famous Chyulu Hills. The range of scenery and terrain are perfect for both horse and rider. The wildlife on this ride is more spread out than that of the Amboseli Ride, but there are great sightings nonetheless. It is an ideal itinerary for families, or less-experienced riders. The ride starts at the Ol Donyo Lodge, nestled in thick Acacia woodland. The Chyulu Hills offer some of the most stunning scenery in Africa; rolling extinct volcanic hills, Acacia forests, and grassy plains all under the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro. The first day (Day 2) we explore the forest and savannah around camp with thick with umbrella-shaped Acacia tortilis, where giraffe browse and antelope abound. Then we depart by road before dawn to enjoy a half-day game drive in Amboseli National Park. The Amboseli is home to around 1,500 elephant, which live in and around the swamps beneath Mount Kilimanjaro. As well as the famous elephant, there are plenty of hippo, buffalo, plains game, predators and birds to enjoy viewing followed by a ride in the afternoon, ending up in a scenic spot for sunset and drinks. The next day we ride to the Chyulu East National Park to enjoy wandering with the game on their daily movements. Kicking up wildlife in the forest is thrilling; from small sightings like flocks of guinea-fowl, pairs of dik-dik or packs of jackal, to the huge bulk of a herd of eland, oryx or elephant. In the later afternoon, take the opportunity to climb the volcanic crater in pursuit of the very rare Verreaux’s Eagle which nests in the nearly inaccessible rocky outcrops at the rim. Then we ascend another 2,000 feet higher into the Chyulu Hills with a noticeable change in climate and temperature as you reach over 7,000 feet above sea level. The ride is dominated by incredible vistas of the vast wilderness of Tsavo East National Park to the east, and Mount Kilimanjaro and Amboseli National Park to the west. Our final riding day is a full day ride to explore the forests of Olecutu. This area is extremely beautiful and remote with herds of giraffe, gazelle, zebra and wildebeest. Enjoy seeing ostrich and Kori bustard bathing in the red dust. Maasai herdsmen and women also bring their livestock for water in the swamps. Enjoy a scenic spot for a barbecue lunch, atop some beautiful rocky outcroppings. Ride across the vast savannah after lunch and into camp.

     

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