Tsavo National Park, Safaris, Lodges and tented Camps in Tsavo East and West
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    Galdessa Park Camp Tsavo Kenya, Africa & Galdessa Main Camp

    Galdessa Camp is a small luxury eco-camp located in Tsavo East National Park Kenya' largest wildlife park, The word Galdessa means baboon in Walangulu, the tribe that used to live in the area of Tsavo National Park hunting elephant with bows and arrows. The site is located 15 kilometers upstream from Lugards Falls, famous for its beautiful rock formations, where there is also a camp airstrip, which can be used for flying safari transfers. Galdessa Tented Camp remote access in a very wild part of the park ensures that tourism is kept to a minimum, enhancing the intimacy of the Galdessa Safari Camp, and guests, enjoy with nature. The accommodation and activities are geared at the discerning traveler looking for a private safari Lodge experience in the African bush. The magic of Galdessa bush camp is tangible as the Galana River flows by refreshing in the middle of Tsavo National Park heat and a breeze ruffles the Doum palms over the bandas. This is a remote place off the beaten track where peace wraps around you like a blanket; all creature comforts you require are available at Galdessa Camp Tsavo, polite friendly, service and comfortable accommodation in spacious and romantic bandas is part of your Tsavo safari. A stay at Galdessa Tented Camp Tsavo is an authentic and intimate encounter with nature on your safari to tsavo. In the pristine wilderness of Kenya's largest wildlife reserve, each day of your safari to Tsavo is dressed in a new colour whether on foot safaris, night game drives, or in one of the open safari vehicles, Galdessa Tented Camp Tsavo is divided into 2 separate entities, each with its private lounge and bar which can be reserved on exclusive use for Kenya safaris. Throughout the Galdessa safari camp, the view is overwhelming, the Yatta Plateau, the world's oldest fossilised lava flow, Hovering at the banks of the magnificent Galana River, with hippos and crocodiles permanently in your sights, nonstop entertainment by a troop of gallivanting baboons gorging on doum palm fruit, and regular visits from an ill-tempered elephant named Mugabe, Galdessa safari camp is not only astonishingly beautiful, but is one of those privileged spots where you hardly need to leave your veranda to enjoy an endless parade of wildlife life. Little Galdessa -- just three wood-and-canvas bandas with gloriously breezy bedrooms and great big stone bathrooms, all capped by a swooping upturned banana boat-style thatched roof -- is perfectly intimate and thoughtfully designed with the environment in mind. Elegant and simple, there's a pleasing use of natural fabrics, textures, and colors, which makes these structures really feel like they belong here. A disarming staff waits on you hand and foot -- to serve you drinks, walk you to and from your bedroom, help plan your day, and fill your safari shower with hot water when you want it -- and the enthusiastic tour guides are extremely knowledgeable. Tsavo Galdessa safari camp game drives are the best in Tsavo East, but you can also enjoy an invigorating walk along Lugard's fall or -- for memorable photo shots -- sundowners atop a chunky riverside boulder. Neighboring Private Galdessa is the less exclusive, but no less beautiful, Main Galdessa camp, with similarly designed tents all quite closely packed together. Bedrooms here are marginally smaller, but if you're traveling with children, there's the option of reserving a large family tent, two of the bandas have separate sitting rooms (Banda 4 & 7), and a large veranda on stilts (Banda 7). Bandas 7 is often recommended for honeymooners. The bathrooms are large and have traditional bucket showers, flush toilets and basins with running water, Tsavo Galdessa safari camp is actually two camps; the main lodge has 12 spacious bandas, including one honeymoon banda; the other, private safari camp (exclusive use only) has three bandas, also including a honeymoon one, Each lodge has its own lounge, dining area, and bar overlooking the river. The elegant and imaginatively decorated bandas are built on wooden platforms with an A-frame thatch roof and a private veranda that has breathtaking river views. The furnishings are African themed with huge hand-carved beds, wooden chests, deep-cushioned armchairs, hand-woven rugs, and wall hangings. There's an en-suite bathroom with flush toilet and bucket shower. If you want total privacy, then opt for the honeymoon bandas, which have separate verandas on stilts—perfect for canoodling to your heart's content under the stars. Don't be surprised if you see a herd of elephant strolling along the riverbank or crocodiles and hippos fighting for your attention right in front of your banda, as during the dry season many animals come to the river to drink. The central buildings at Galdessa Camp Tsavo Kenya house a spacious dining area, a bar, and a large, comfortable lounge. The thatch roof, Galana stone floors, and deep, bed-size sofas give it a charming coastal atmosphere. Fallen wood provides the raw material for much of the furniture, the floors are cypress, ostrich eggshells provide milkily-translucent lamp shades for the solar powered lighting. Natural stone harmonises with ochre washed walls and the lovely traditional fabrics used as throws, The Lounge Private Galdessa camp has its own dining room and lounge and can be booked on an exclusive basis allowing your party absolute privacy. The Galdessa private camp has its own staff dedicated solely to ensuring that all of your needs are met during your stay. There are 2 airstrips near Galdessa Camp, Lugard and Manyani. Lugard is an all-weather strip just 15 minutes drive from Galdessa Camp. Manyani Airstrip is a 30 minute drive from camp. Fly-in visitors to Galdessa Camp in Tsavo East National Park must make entry through Manyani Airstrip to settle park fees before flying on to Lugard; alternately guests can take road transfers from Manyani Airstrip to Galdessa Camp. Galdessa Camp is easily reached by car. It is a 5 hour drive from Nairobi and a 3.5 hour drive from Mombasa. All park fees must be paid in advance to the Kenya Wildlife Service at either Nairobi or Mombasa by means of a KWS smart card, the only other option is to pay cash at the Voi Gate at Tsavo East National Park, Galdessa works closely with Kenya Wildlife Service with the black rhino re-introduction project. Within Galdessa Camp Kenya vicinity there are 51 black rhinos, Africa's largest unfenced black rhino population, the camp has been built with great care not to adversely impact the environment and recycles its waste, uses solar power for electricity and has installed a water treatment plant. Galdessa's founder, Pierre Mourgue d'Algue, is a trustee of the TUSK Trust which works to protect the environment and habitats of Africa and distributes in excess of 90% of the funds it raises directly into the field. The joint mass of Tsavo West and Tsavo East National Parks forms one of the largest national parks in the world and covers a massive 4% of Kenya's total land area. Tsavo East, the larger of the two, lies equidistant between Nairobi and Mombasa and is one of the last great wilderness landscapes on Earth. A dramatically presented theatre of the wild, Tsavo East offers a vast arena of parched scrub and heat-shimmering bush which is washed by the azure waters and emerald-fringed meanderings of the Galana River, guarded by the limitless lava reaches of the Yatta Plateau and patrolled by some of the largest elephant herds in the world. Tsavo achieved notoriety in the 1900's when ‘the Man-eaters of Tsavo', a pair of rogue man-eating lions, preyed gruesomely on the builders of the Uganda Railway, Galdessa luxury camp is featured as one of Africa's top 10 lodges by Lucia van der Post for UK Vogue, January 1998. Selected as one of the world's top holiday destinations for the Millennium and the only one in Africa by Harpers & Queen, January 1999. If you don't want to be herded round with other tourists, this is the place for you. The animals walk around within the small camp, so you definitely feel like you are in the thick of it. The whole exclusive camp is very natural; the bats fly through the restaurant at night. The huts and rooms are beautiful, and you sit on our terrace over looking the river with the hippos and crocs with our own personal butler to bring you drinks in the evening, plus sunset drinks out on leopard point, If you love nature and are not freaked out by being close to them then you will love Galdessa Camp Africa, the Tsavo Galdessa Camp was designed to preserve the natural beauty of the site, Placed under the shade of the Doum palms, it epitomizes the true feeling of a Kenya safari camp in harmony with nature. Tsavo National Park is world renowned for its red Elephants, magnificent Lions and spectacular bio-diversity, its landscape is breathtaking, its birdlife abundant and colourful Tsavo Galdessa Camp is must for a while on a safari to Tsavo. A Camp Kenya safari means a luxury tented camp with no fence or wall, and is much better part of an in Kenya safari than sleeping in a wildlife tented camp, of course in a safari camp accommodations with no fence the wildlife you have come to see, do come into the camp especially at night. Close encounters with an elephant browsing three feet from your tent is what a camping safari is all about. Be it a family safari or honeymoon safari your first experience of a safari in Kenya should be at the famous Galdessa Camp in Tsavo East. The 'tents' are thatched bandas with electricity, running water, and comfortable beds. Most important of all you are sealed in, zipped up at night with good well fitting mosquito nets. When you arrive at Galdessa camp, you are led to your banda, being shown on the way, elephant tracks, lion footprints, and hippo prints as well, all on the path inside the camp. You are advised in no uncertain terms that on a tented safari camp site like Galdessa Lodge under any circumstances even in daylight to leave your banda unless you are with a member of staff, because of the high chance of an encounter with the wildlife. The ultimate in luxury, this stunningly beautiful safari camp in Tsavo is considered by many to be one of the best camps in Kenya, don't be surprised if you see a pride of lions strolling along the riverbank or a few black rhino; this area has the largest unfenced population of black rhino. Galdessa wildlife camp is a premier Camping Safari destination and is small and up market. Galdessa is geared for the family or couple with good taste who want an exclusive type experience on a Kenya Safari, and not mass market. Galana River continues to have a good water flow even in the dry season, and thus good game viewing and great wildlife sightings from the lounge and dining room which means not having to leave the camp when you are on a Kenya safari holiday. The whole impression is one of laid back sophistication, and yet the guest feels in close and intimate contact with the Kenyan bush, and completely off the beaten track, the purpose of a Kenya tented camp safari is to see, and get close to the animals and at Galdessa safari lodge, there are two main activities. The first is the traditional game Drive, and the riverside location means the four wheel drive vehicles follow the river, giving opportunity to see lions, cheetahs, elephants, buffalos, and rhinos who all come to the permanent pools along the river. If the tour is an all day affair, then lunch will be taken at a lunch camp site, and is normally three courses with cold drinks. Bush breakfasts can also be arranged, as can Dinners. The second thrust is a walking safari where you are always escorted by an armed ranger, and you have the chance to see, and get quite close to lions, cheetahs, giraffes, waterbucks, impalas, zebras, dik diks, crocodiles, hippos, and occasionally leopard. When you return to Galdessa Camp, after another incredible day in your kenia safari, you'll always be very happy with the high standard of cuisine, and the top flight service you will receive. You can sit out viewing the river, hearing the sounds of the African Bush and watching the animals coming to the water.


    Galdessa Safari Camp Accommodation


    This camp in Kenya is divided into 2 separate entities, each with its private lounge and bar which can be reserved on exclusive use for a Kenya safari. Throughout the Galdessa, the view is overwhelming. Under the shade of the Doum palms, Galdessa Safari Camp12 spacious "bandas" are comfortable, fresh, and elegant. Set well apart, they all face the river and the Yatta Plateau, the world's largest fossilized lava flow (over 200 kilometers long). The term "banda" is an African word describing a bungalow-like structure enhanced by the best attributes a true-tented camp accommodation has to offer. Two of Galdessa's bandas are organized in suites, with their own, separate thatched sitting room where private meals may also be served. The most remote banda is ideal for honeymooners in search of privacy, with its own sitting room, viewing platform and water wallow. The Galdessa room is set under a thatch structure for coolness and comfort, with a spacious en-suite bathroom/dressing room. Perfectly adapted to the environment, it is a refined expression of the safaris of yesteryear. The walls are made of canvas and mosquito netting tastefully set in timber frames. The natural woods, thatched roofs, stone tables and mosquito netting form a romantic interior which enhances the contact with the rhythms and sounds of the natural world outside. Guests are ensured their privacy as all of the bungalows are situated a good distance apart and natural foliage is used to subtly conceal neighboring bandas. The bathrooms are large and have traditional bucket showers, flush toilets and basins with running water. The bandas forming the main part of the camp are ranged upstream along the south bank of the Galana, from banda 1 close to the central area of the camp to banda 12, about 300m away. The bandas are built on raised platforms of dark polished boards. Soaring makuti roofs protect an open-sided partly permanent structure with walls of cream-coloured tent canvas and green mosquito screen. It’s a combination – a bit like a tent but really an airy and comfortable cottage – that is hard to get right, but Galdessa has cracked it. The style of furniture in the main areas of camp is continued in the bandas, with fun, but very heavy, armchairs and bed frames, constructed from dead wood trunks and branches, and padded with big cushions. As the bandas aren’t mosquito-proof, all the beds have frame-hanging mosquito nets. Nice toiletries are provided in glass flasks. There are wardrobes and big chests with padlocks for your valuables (though there is no sense that anyone might try to break into them, Bandas 11 and 12 (a family unit) have running water. Others use the bucket shower/safari shower system (water for their handbasins is also supplied by stewards), although the showers are not screened from the rest of the bathroom. All the toilets are the regular, flush variety, though most are set into a wooden frame. Banda 7 is a honeymoon suite, with a step-up terrace as well as a veranda – like banda A in Private Galdessa. Unlike banda A, however, it has no day bed. On the downstream side of the central areas is Private Galdessa – three more-exclusive bandas (A, B and C), a good 20m apart and around 200m from the central areas. Bandas B and C are twins, while banda A is the honeymoon suite, with a huge bed and a separate game-viewing/sundowner deck and day bed. All share a private dining area which is usually used when a group takes the whole private camp exclusively. Private Galdessa clients choose their menus and have a room steward for each banda. Although pricey, Galdessa is probably the best camp in Tsavo East, should you find yourself with a burning desire to visit this part of the world.


    Galdessa Safari Camp Meals


    You arrive into the welcome shade of the main dining and lounge area – a spacious, open-sided, high-roofed structure with glorious views across the river. Seven tables provide plenty of choice for dining spots at one end (though you may also need to choose your dining chair,), and a scattering of a dozen comfy sofas is waiting to be flopped on at the other end. They serve tea and coffee here in the afternoon. All the furniture is custom-made; with heavy, varnished logs of dead wood salvaged from the park and stylish, cream cushion covers. Hearty Italian home cooking forms the basis of meals at Galdessa, with vegetarians always catered for if requested. Morning and afternoon tea are served in guests’ bandas. Breakfast includes a good choice of fruit, fresh bread and pastries and an English-style cooked breakfast prepared to order. Lunch and dinner are both set menus, with pasta always served as a first course, followed by a choice of two main courses. One of the true delights of being on safari is a bush breakfast after an early morning walk or game drive. Guests are taken to a dry, sandy riverbed to find a table laid with pristine linen and china under the shade of the doum palms. Waiters appear from the bushes with cold, refreshing face towels to take your orders, as the welcome smell of freshly cooking bacon and sausages wafts through the air. The perfect ending to a day in the bush is with an ice cold cocktail and hors d’oeuvres in one of the Park’s most spectacular settings for a sundowner. Brightly colored rugs and sofa cushions are laid out on the large boulders overlooking the Galana River where you can lay back and relax and watch the sun slowly set over Mount Kilimanjaro. Galdessa is unfenced and visited constantly by elephants and hippos. Consequently all your movements around camp, day and night, are escorted, by the coolly white-uniformed, red-sashed stewards and waiting staff (guests in the three, more expensive bandas, Private Galdessa, have their own private steward, for the course of their stay).


    Galdessa Safari Camp Safari Activities


    Galdesa Safari Camp location alongside the Galana River makes it ideal for game drives and wildlife sightings. Our open four-wheel drive vehicles will take you to discover the river frontage and its seasonal tributaries (lugards). As they often have permanent pools, the lugards are favorite haunts of lion, cheetah, elephant, buffalo, and rhino. Full or half day game drives can be arranged to explore the Park’s expanses, and a 3-course picnic lunch served by our staff with cold, iced drinks at our selected lunch camp sites. Bush breakfasts and dinners can also be organized. Galdessa Safari Camp is renowned for its walking safaris. Tsavo East National Park is great walking country Guests can enjoy discovering the diversity of the park on foot and have an intimate encounter with the wildlife that frequents the area, including lion, cheetah, serval cat, genet, elephant, Masai giraffe, waterbuck, impala, lesser kudu, Perter’s gazelle, dik dik, zebra, fringe eared oryx, eland, mongoose, monitor lizard. Generally is Galdessa Safari Camp recommended for children: but best for mature children; and all would need constant supervision. This is quite a refined camp, and it’s popular with honeymooners and older couples. There’s nowhere for kids to let off steam and noisy children would not go down well. Tsavo East National Park is frequently viewed as a minimum one -night safari destination for Mombasa safari package tourists. Knowing Galdessa, this is a pity, as the park deserves more visits from real safari-lovers. You will love the peaceful setting, the beautiful riverine landscape and the serene contentment that accompanies a stay here. The wildlife isn’t as prolific as it is in some parts of Masai mara, but the strong character of the landscape – the river, the doum palms, the rocks and the red soil – has its own very memorable appeal. really knows how to make its guests comfortable.


    Galdessa Camp Park Fees


    All clients on self drive safaris to Galdessa camp MUST have a KWS smart card loaded with US $ and Kenya Shillings. NON resident will be charged USD 65 per adult and USD 30 per child under 18 years for 24 hours stay in the park • Residents will be charged Ksh 1,000 per adult and Ksh 500 per child under 18 years for 24 hours stay in the park, Citizens will be charged Ksh at 300 per adult and at Ksh 200 per child under 18 years for 24 hours stay in the park • Vehicles less then 6 seats will be charged Ksh 300. Vehicles less then 12 seats will be charged Ksh at 1000 for 24 hours stay in the park Smart card can be obtained from KWS offices in Nairobi or Mombasa KWS to issue smart card will require from you: citizen : Kenyan ID card for permanent KWS smart card. Resident : Passport and with work permit valid for minimum stay of 6 months for permanent KWS smart card. If less than 6 months KWS will issue a temporary non-resident card. Please ensure you have sufficient park fees amount for passengers and the vehicle for the entire duration of stay. Note: Cash transactions is NOT allowed at Manyani, Bachuma or Sala gates. Cash transaction is only allowed at Voi main gate. However, it is best to get one from Nairobi or Mombasa to avoid inconveniences on the way.


    Galdessa Camp Access


    By air, Galdessa is close to both the Malindi and Mombasa coast and the Chyulu Hills, which by private charter are approximately 35 minutes away. The Camp is 1 hour's flight from Nairobi. Galdessa has an all weather strip 15 minutes away but park entry must be first made at Manyani Airstrip from where clients are either picked up or can take off to the Lugards Airstrip once park fees have been settled. Manyani Airstrip is 30 minutes drive from camp. By road, the camp is easily accessible, 3 ½ hours from Mombasa and 4.5 hours from Nairobi. STYLE: The camp has a coastal/bush relaxed feel and is designed to blend with the environment using earthy colours and natural woods throughout. Tsavo has a fairly unique climate, as it is only 1400 feet above sea level and therefore is generally hot and dry. The river and the Yatta Plateau however create a constant breeze and the nights are cool and pleasant. January to March and July to October are prime game viewing months and August to October and February to March the driest months. Unlike the rest of the country it normally does not rain in July and August in Tsavo, the long rains are in April, May and sometimes June and the short rains usually take place from November to mid December. Temperatures range from 17°C to 20°C at night and 22°C to 33°C during the day


    Galdessa Camp Game Drives


    Game drives in open vehicles. Walking safaris along the Galana River and sand rivers. Sundowners, bush breakfast. Rhino Camp (conservation project), 15 minutes from Galdessa. The camp's direct area is a home to over 51 black rhino. Tsavo East National Park is a Wilderness area and the game can be shy but it offers great bio-diversity. Uncommon species seen there include lesser kudu, gerenuk, fringed eared oryx, hirola and Peter's gazelle. The area is renowned for elephants particularly during the dry season; the last count (1999) recorded 8100. Tsavo is particularly rich in birdlife. Itineraries, the camp tailors activities to suit each guest's requirements. A minimum of 3 nights is recommended to fully explore the rich diversity of Tsavo East National Park. A typical day includes a walk in the morning followed by a bush breakfast, and a game drive in the afternoon, or a game drive in the morning and a walk in the afternoon, followed by sundowners and a night game drive then back to the camp. SEASONS: The camp is open for 11 months of the year (closed in May). This immense park, with 21,000 square km (as large as two thirds of Belgium), is one of the wildest places in Kenya. Tsavo is split into Tsavo West National Park and Tsavo East National Park by the Mombasa-Nairobi railroad and main road. Tsavo East is by far the larger of the two, with two-thirds of its area. Tsavo is so vast and wild that tourism has had little impact on its environment. Galdessa is the only up-market facility in Tsavo East and is situated in the middle of the Park on the banks of the river Galana; due to its remote position in the centre of a high protection black rhinoceros area, its area is generally free of tourism other than its own. Tsavo is particularly rich in birds, making it a favorite among bird watchers, and is famed for its elephants, of which it counts over 8100. During their migration, it is not rare to witness herds of 200 to 300 animals.Tsavo is also famous for its man-eaters, a couple of lions who terrorized workers during the building of the Mombasa-Nairobi railroad at the turn of the century. A visit to the Black Rhinos Free Release Project which is only 5km from Galdessa Camp can be easily arranged. A rare opportunity to see rhino on foot and to gain exposure to the world of active conservation through lectures given by the Kenya Wildlife Service officer in charge of this worthy project.


    Galdessa Camp Communications


    There is usually poor cell phone reception at Galdessa, but in an emergency, guests can access the internet in the office. There are whistles in the bandas for calling stewards (escorts) and general alarms.


    Galdessa Camp Health


    It is advised that you consult your practitioner for anti-malaria prophylactics requirements. As with all destinations in Africa we strongly advise that you take out a comprehensive medical insurance. A first-aid kit is available, but no medically qualified staff. Manyani clinic is minutes away, and Manyani airstrip is a 30-minute drive away, too. In an emergency, the closer airstrip at Lugard’s fall can be used.


    Galdessa Camp Security measures:


    There are Maasai askaris with rungus and spears on duty at night (in radio contact with the manager). By day, the room stewards perform day-watch duties around camp. All guests are escorted at all times.


    What to see and do


    Aruba Dam Aruba Dam is an 85-hectare man-made dam built by the Parks authorities in 1952 to staunch the waters of the seasonal Voi River, which flows down from the Taita Hills in the southwest. It usually holds water throughout the year and is frequented by huge numbers of ibis, many grey heron and a kaleidoscope of other water birds. It is also part of the territory of a large pride of lion, which can often be seen in the dam's vicinity


    Kanderi Swamp The Kanderi Swamp lies near Voi Gate and during the dry months provides one of only two drinking areas in Tsavo East, thus attracting large herds of buffalo, impala and antelopes as well as yellow baboons and lion.


    Mudanda Rock Kenya's answer to Ayer's Rock of Australia is called Mudanda Rock, a massive 1.5km whale-backed rock which rears out of the shrub between Manyani Gate and Voi and is famous for its photo-opportunities, offering marvellous light, panoramic vistas and an excellent chance of prime wildlife shots. It is also an excellent vantage point from which to look down on the natural dam below, which can at times attract hundreds of elephant. This area is also known as a favourite leopard haunt, though daytime sightings are rare.


    The Galana River The Tsavo and Athi Rivers join above Lugard's Falls to form the Galana River, which then flows down to the Indian Ocean. A major feature of the park, the serpentine reaches of this river are fringed by riverine forests dominated by Acacia elatior, the Doum Palm Hyphaene compressa and the shrub Suaeda monoica.


    Lugard's Falls Named after Britain's first proconsul in East Africa, Captain (later Lord) Lugard, the falls are better described as rapids than falls progressing from foaming cataracts to narrow cascades that gouge deep into the gneiss bedrock creating fantastic shapes that have been surreally rounded by thousands of years of rushing water. Mighty when in full spate, the falls gush through a small fissure, narrow enough for the foolhardy to leap across, before plunging to the pool below, where massive crocodiles bask motionless in the sun. There is a parking area at the falls and visitors either climb around the bizarrely eroded rocks or walk down the river to view the rapids. 1km east of the falls another short diversion takes you to Crocodile Point where hippos and buffalo wallow and zip-jawed crocodile grin.


    The Yatta Plateau, an ancient valley frozen in time The Yatta plateau is a ridge or tongue of lava about 300km long and a maximum of 10km wide, which forms a seemingly never-ending backdrop to Tsavo East. One of the longest lava flows in the world, the Yatta affords fabulous views across the rolling reaches of the Park, is an ornithological paradise and makes a peerless sundowner or picnic spot. It is made up of a form of lava known as phonolite, which is between 11 and 13.6 million years old. Current thought suggests that the Yatta Plateau was formed when a stream of lava flowed across the land until it found its way into an ancient river valley. The lava then flowed down the valley; taking on the shape of its contours, until eventually it cooled and solidified. Thereafter the surrounding land was gradually lowered by erosion leaving the frozen river of lava standing up as a ridge.


    What The Press Has Said: Tatler, November 1999 “The bedrooms are timber bandas with swooping, thatched roofs and white canvas walls, open during the day for God’s air-conditioning. The seven-foot-square beds are handmade, and there are huge verandahs, an impeccable laundry service and an in-camp tailor.”


    Annabel Heseltine, The Mail on Sunday, September 1999 “ … I had been told of the beauty of Galdessa … and that the managers would do everything to make me comfortable … at Galdessa, the animals come to you.”


    Conde Nast Traveller, September 1999 “… Galdessa is all about animals in every form. In the days we had been at Galdessa we had seen so many animals … that it had begun to seem like a fairground in which everyone was a winner.” Travel Africa, Spring 2000 “Galdessa is not just another camp in which to relax: it directly involves you in the interest of wildlife conservation … the simple but very stylish and elegant decor is inviting … the food is exquisite … the staff, always looking after you, ensure a perfect service.”


    Lucia van der Post, Financial Times, July 1999 “There is scarcely a nicer place to be in the world than sitting on the deck outside your banda, looking at the southern sky and listening to the sounds of the African night.”


    Safari Style, Tim Beddow, Natasha Burns “Red elephants, elegant Hirola antelopes, man-eating lions, and flocks of vividly coloured carmine make Tsavo their home, and tourism here is tightly controlled in order to preserve the area's unique mix of species ...”


    Galdessa is featured as one of Africa's top 10 lodges by Lucia van der Post for UK Vogue, January 1998. Selected as one of the world's top destinations for the Millennium and the only one in Africa by Harpers & Queen, January 1999.


    Tsavo National Park Information


    The Tsavo National Park is one of Kenya’s oldest and largest covering an area larger than Wales. It is named after the Tsavo River which runs from west to east through the park, bordering the Chyulu Hills National Park and the Mkomazi Game Reserve in Tanzania. It is located about 100 miles south east of Nairobi and is one of the closest parks to Mombasa. The Tsavo National Park is found on one side of the famous Mombasa Road near the town of Voi found in the Coast Province of Kenya. It is near the Amboseli National park and would be great to check out the two within a week of Kenya safari. It wild safari experience is gritty. If you so wish to see more of the area and more wildlife, bordering the Tsavo Park are the Chuyulu Hill National Park and the he Mkomazi Game Reserve. The Tsavo National Park is divided into two regions – the Tsavo East and Tsavo West. These two regions are very different in appearance. Tsavo West has a varied topography consisting of granite outcrops, lava fields and semi-arid plains. In contrast Tsavo East does not have as many mountains. Its vegetation is mainly thorn bush scrub with the odd patch of green. Droughts are more common in East Tsavo.


    Like the Amboseli National Park, the area has large herds of elephant, as well as other animals such as lions, leopard, cheetah, caracal, serval, fringe eared oryx, gerenuk, lesser kudu, black rhino, hippo, giraffe and crocodile. The Tsavo National Park is popular amongst experienced rock climbers. The setting is wonderful, with roaming elephants below and soaring eagles and vultures above. An early start is recommended as it can get hot on clear days when Mount Kilimanjaro is visible. Tsavo is a good choice of a holiday destination for that safari to Kenya enthusiasts seeking privacy and solitude with the focus on wildlife. Galdessa Camp, a privately owned camp situated in Tsavo, is a good choice. The luxurious tents are all built on elevated platforms with magnificent views of the surrounding springs and forest. The cuisine is superb and the chefs manage to prepare gourmet meals in this remote bush setting and dietary requirements can be catered for. Activities include early and mid morning and afternoon game drives with expert guides, nature walks, and excursions to the Amboseli National Park can be arranged. A Tsavo safari will offer you some of Kenya’s most dramatic scenery, as the park boasts some notable geographical features, including the Lugard Falls and the Mzima Springs. On daily game drives wildlife that you’re most likely to see include the full complement of Big 5, as well as a variety of antelope species. Comprising wide expanses of open savannah, Tsavo is famous for its large populations of elephant and buffalo. The scrubby vegetation and hillsides of the southern section of Tsavo are home to large numbers of animals, especially along the rivers where the animals gather to drink. This section of Tsavo National Park is rarely visited by tourists, offering a truly remote and untouched Tsavo safari. Tsavo West National park and Tsavo East National Parks was once a single park, but are now separated. Tsavo West National Park is situated west of its sister, Tsavo East National Park, and is approximately 188km west of Mombasa. This park is considered the best for topography fans who also want to view Kenya's animals and birds. This is an area where there is malaria and it is recommended that you take the necessary precautions if you visit this area.


    Tsavo West National Park


    Tsavo West National Park is operated by the Kenya Wildlife Service. It encompasses mountains and hills for climbing, savanna bush and semi-arid desert scrub, acacia woodland, palm thickets, rivers and the tranquil Lake Jipe. There are many tourist attractions at Tsavo West National Park, from safari to see the red-skinned elephants, to bird watching safaris and hill hiking, to caving and boating. There are many animals in the park, including elephants, African lions, hippos, cheetahs, hartebeest and buffalo. Tsavo West National Park covers 7065km² but the terrain is much more varied than that of Tsavo East. It ranges from 200-1000m in altitude. The northern sector is bush land with scattered native baobab trees.The railway runs along the border separating Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Park. In 1898, as many as 135 railway workers were attacked and killed by man-eating lions. The pair of male, maneless lions that, unusually, hunted humans rather than livestock, evaded traps and capture for many months. The man-eaters were eventually shot by Lt. Col. John Henry Patterson, but the legend lives on. A Tsavo wildlife safari is the best way to see Kenya's wildlife close-up in its natural environment. Tsavo West is home to the largest population of red-skinned elephants as well as to members of the rest of the "Big 5" African animals (buffalo, African lions, leopards and rhinos). Tsavo west is home to all of Kenya’s ‘big cats’- lion, leopard and cheetah. The lions of Tsavo are leaner and of a more ashy color than their pride-forming cousins. Lions can often be seen resting in the shade near the waterholes. Leopards patrol the thickets, keeping to the dense cover of the hillsides. Cheetahs may be seen on the plains, where they hint dik-diks and gazelles. Other carnivores include both the common spotted hyena, whose eerie calls penetrate the night, and the rarer striped hyena. Servals, caracals and African cives as well as nocturnal genets and mongoose are all part of Tsavo west’s carnivore fauna. The endangered black rhino is found in Tsavo West, carefully protected and monitored by KWS. The name “black” does not refer to the color, for these rhinos can appear grey, black or brick-red, depending on local soil color. Watch for black rhinos along the edges of thick bush on hillsides. They sometimes cross open areas to wallow in mud pools or visit waterholes. Black rhinos are typically encountered as females with young ones or solitary males. A single calf is born after a gestation of 15 to 16 months. Young suckle for up to a year and remain with the mother for between two and five years. They can live for up to forty years in the wild, a ripe old age for any animal to reach in the unforgiving African bush. There is also a host of Kenyan birds and other animals, both large and small, to see. From Lake Jipe, on the Tanzanian border, to the mountain forests of the Chyulu Hills, the wide range of landscape offers protection to many endangered African wildlife including the black rhinoceros, Cosen's gerbil, Hunter's hartebeest, several species of shrew and rat, Grevy's zebra and wild dogs. Upon entering Tsavo West National Park, the park warden will give you several commonsense rules. For example: do not get out of your vehicle, except at designated spots; do not harass the animals in any way; keep to the tracks; no off-road driving; and remember that the animals always have the right of way. When driving along the red-earth tracks, keep your eyes open for movement and signs of African wildlife. The more you look, the more you will see, and it increases the camaraderie and excitement of the trip as you point out the wildlife, and pull to a halt. Don't forget to enjoy the sights in real-life, not just through the lens of your camera or video recorder! It is amazing to see Kenyan wildlife living in close proximity to one another. A bird may sit within a snap of being eaten, yet, unless it is hungry, the predator will ignore it completely. See the huge anthills, the sparse shrubs, and the tortoises plodding along the edge of the track. Keep your eyes open for giraffes - they are surprisingly well camouflaged as they nibble the tops of the trees. Look under the shady trees to find lions sleeping after lunch, and be ready to stop as gazelles or cheetahs stroll across the road in front of you. It is a long, hot day on a safari to Tsavo West, so wear cool, comfortable clothing, and a sunhat. Remember to bring your camera and binoculars, sunglasses and water to drink. Tsavo West National Park is just a few degrees south of the equator. The temperature remains the same throughout the year at 27-31°C (81-88°F) during the day and 22-24°C (72-75°F) during the night. Humidity is high from December through April. The rainfall defines the seasons. The long rainy season, or monsoon season, is from March to May. The shorter rains come in October through December. To get to Tsavo west, By air: There are several good airstrips for chartered aircrafts at Chyulu, Mtito Andei, Tsavo, Jipe, Maktau, Kasigau and Ziwani gates. By Road: From Amboseli (52km), head for the Chyulu Gate. From Nairobi (272km), enter using the Mtito Andei Gate. From Mombasa (188km), use either the Tsavo Gate near Manyani, or the Mtito Andei Gate. There are also entrances at Maktau, Ziwani and Jipe, depending upon where you want to be within the national park. Tsavo West National Park offers many activities and tourist attractions, as well as wildlife safaris. Lake Jipe attracts a lot of wildlife and is a good place for bird watching. It is fed by the run-off from Mount Kilimanjaro and the North Pare Mountains. Take a boat excursion on the lake, or explore the swamps at each end. Mzima Springs is at the north end of Tsavo West. Water from the Chyulu Hills runs from beneath the lava ridge and forms several natural pools. Fringed with palm trees, these pools are popular watering holes for birds and African wildlife. You can also watch the hippos bathing underwater here. Visit the Lava Flows and Caves for geological interest; explore the caves or hike along the lava flow. Bird watching safaris are best between October and January, featuring many migratory birds including African skimmers, red and yellow bishops, goshawks, buffalo weavers and palm nut vultures, to name a few. The swamps on Lake Jipe and the acacia woodlands also attract many birds. In fact, over 500 bird species have been recorded in the park, including ostriches, kestrels, buzzards, starlings, weavers, kingfishers, hornbills, secretary birds and herons. The cliff faces in Tsavo West offer some of the best rock climbing in Kenya. The views over the savanna plains are spectacular, and Mt Kilimanjaro can also be seen on occasion. Visit the 300m high, east side of Kichwa Tembo, the Great Tsavo Chimney and the Ivory Tower on Elephant Rock. Climbing can be arranged through the Mountain Club of Kenya. January and February are good time to visit Tsavo West, as well as June to September. Visiting during the heavy rainy season of March to May should be avoided as the roads become very muddy. There may be some rain from October to December. Temperatures stay at a pleasant 27-31C (81-88F) during the day and 22-24C (72-75F) at night year round. The best months for birdwatchers to see migratory birds are October to January. The best times to view the park's animals are early and late in the day, as they tend to sleep in the hot afternoon sun. You can drive to the park and buy a ticket at the gate (Not Recommended). If you are staying in one of the park's Tsavo lodges or Tsavo camps, there are many online tour operators and safari companies who will book organized all-inclusive Kenya safaris for you before your arrival, it is advisable to book through this us because we are located in Tsavo National Park and we have offices in Nairobi and Mombasa.


    Tsavo East National Park


    In 1898, long before Tsavo National Park was created, a pair of maneless male lions terrorized the area. They reputedly killed 135 railway workers who were building the Kenya-Uganda railway. These man-eating lions dragged men from their tents, despite the thorn fences (bomas) built to keep them out. The maneless lions evaded traps and ambushes and were finally shot by Lt. Col. John Henry Patterson. Tsavo East National Park is 333km south-east of Nairobi, and 173km north-west of Mombasa. Its relative closeness to the beaches and tourist attractions around Malindi and Mombasa make it an ideal one-day wildlife safaris destination for those who do not want to stay overnight. Tsavo East National Park is a natural area of flat, dry plains, with thorny bushes and swampy marshland near the river. It is teeming with diverse Kenyan animals including large families of giraffes, gazelles, hartebeests and zebras, as well as the "Big Five" must-see animals - buffalo, African elephants, lions, rhinos and leopards. Although it is a popular African safari wildlife park, it is very rare to see other traffic except under certain circumstances when viewing the wildlife. The guides communicate with each other by radio if they find something unusual, such as a pride of lions, and there may be a sudden convergence of vehicles to the site, but they soon disperse again. The best time to view the wildlife is early or late in the day, as the animals tend to sleep in the hot midday sun. The park is open from 6.30am to 6.30pm daily, and the wardens at the gate give visitors a few sensible rules: do not get out of your vehicle, except at designated spots; do not harass the animals in any way; keep to the tracks; no off-road driving; and remember that the animals always have the right of way. Suitable dress for a day's wildlife safari to Tsavo East National Park should include loose, cotton clothing and a sunhat. Binoculars, cameras and sunglasses are essential. It is also a good idea to carry a bottle of water, frozen overnight, for you to sip during the day. As it melts, it makes a delicious drink to help you avoid dehydration in the heat. Don't forget to enjoy the sights in real-life, not just through the lens of your camera or video recorder! There are rest areas with restrooms and water fountains. The safari viewing lodges also provide excellent buffet lunches while you enjoy watching the animals through the huge panoramic windows. There is also a camouflaged hideout where you can view the African elephants at the watering hole. These are the most common Kenyan animals you may see during your visit to Tsavo East National Park: Cape buffalo, cheetahs, duikers, African elephants, gazelles, gerenuks, giraffes, hares, hartebeests, hyenas, impalas, leopards, lions, mongoose, black faced vervet monkeys, Sykes's monkeys, crested porcupines, giant rats, black rhinoceros, squirrels, warthogs, waterbucks, and zebras. Since Tsavo East National Park is only 156km (97 miles) from Malindi and 173km (108 miles) from Mombasa, most people stay in the Mombasa beach resorts and beach hotels along the coast, visiting Tsavo East for a wildlife safari during the day and returning to their hotels in the evening. For those wanting to stay overnight in the park, there are several accommodation options available. Moderately priced lodges near the park include Voi Safari Lodge and Voi Wildlife Lodge. Both lodges are popular with travelers due to their close proximity to the Nairobi-Mombasa highway. Tented camps included Galdessa Camp, the Epiya Chapeyu Camp, Tsavo Safari Camp, Satao Camp(10 rooms), and Sobo and Patterson Safari Camp. The Public campsites do not have any facilities, and you must provide all of your own camping gear. These include Ndololo, Kandri and Main Gate campsites. January and February are good months to visit, as well as June to September. Avoid visiting between March and May as this is the heavy rainy season. There may also be some rain from October to December. Temperatures year round are 27-31°C (81-88°F) during the day and 22-24°C (72-75°F) at night. For birdwatchers, the best months to see Kenya's migratory birds are October to January. The best times to view wildlife are early and late in the day, as animals tend to sleep in the hot midday sun. Tsavo East is about 200km south east of Nairobi and 120km north of Mombasa on the main Nairobi to Mombasa Highway. From Nairobi take the main Nairobi to Mombasa road (A109) via Voi through the Voi gate or Manyani gate. Distance about 200km, From Mombasa take the main Nairobi to Mombasa road (A109) and enter through the Bachuma gate. Distance is about 150km, From Malindi go to the Sala gate on the (C103) from Malindi, this road was recently graded and is the shortest way from North Coast. A smartcard is needed to enter Tsavo, these can be obtained and loaded at Voi gate and then used at a number of National Parks throughout Kenya including Nairobi, Lake Nakuru, Aberdare, Amboseli, Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks.


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