Tsavo National Park, Safaris, Lodges and tented Camps in Tsavo East and West
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    Kilalinda Lodge Tsavo East National Park Kenya

    Kilalinda Lodge is a luxury safari lodge situated on the banks of the Athi River on an 8,000 acre private wildlife conservancy at the edge of Tsavo East National Park, Kilalinda Lodge commands excellent views of Yatta Plateau and on a clear day Mount Kilimanjaro can be seen to the South. It is easy to forget you are in such a wild and arid place, because Kilalinda Safari Lodge lies in a tranquil refuge of greenery by the Athi River, which acts as an oasis for virtually every species of wildlife in Tsavo - including the impressive 'Big 5'. At Kilalinda lodge the emphasis is always on relaxation and you dictate the pace, highly trained staff take care of your every wish and you can relax by the pool or do something more energetic like a game walking safari or drive with an expert safari guide, Dawn is a special time of day in Africa and at Kilalinda Lodge Tsavo we suggest you rise one morning for a sunrise breakfast on the panoramic platform high in the branches of a giant Baobab tree. Watch the sun creep over the land and light up the Chyulu Hills and mystical snow-dome of Kilimanjaro, a romantic alternative is to take your sundowner drinks up here and watch the sunset. Guests at Kilalinda Lodge Tsavo Kenya will love the contrast of the luxurious lodge and arid wilderness to get away from it all in total peace and comfort. Kilalinda Lodge is quite a refuge between Kenya's two largest cities, Mombasa and Nairobi; the place of constant little surprises, of subtle stirring revelations, located on the edge of Tsavo East, the lodge sits on a sandy promontory overlooking the Athi River - a little drop of luxury in the harsh wilds of Tsavo, The lodge is surrounded by a beautiful and well-tendered garden that contrasts with the arid countryside, so typical of Tsavo, the Kilalinda Safari Lodge Tsavo is one of the most stylish and luxurious game lodges in Tsavo and offers invigorating walks through the wilderness, alfresco dining, a unique cultural experience and opportunities to become involved with the local community, Your accommodation is in six cottages, each individually built with private, generous showers. Each guest room is uniquely and immaculately decorated, with earthen walls and olive pillars, giant four poster beds, cushion laden sofas and homespun fabrics, all crafted in complete harmony with the local environment. One of the cottages in Tsavo Kilalinda Safari Lodge is much larger and has its own Jacuzzi or plunge pool and small bar. The accommodation is designed to luxurious levels of comfort and privacy. Each of the 6 guest rooms is uniquely designed and immaculately decorated featuring its own shady patio overlooking a stretch of riverside beach, It is designed to take its guests as far from urban life as possible - to give them a 'home from home' in the middle of the bush. A combination of sisal sacking walls, twisted olive pillars and cool clay - tiled floors, complimented by cushion - laden sofas and home spun fabrics - all crafted in complete kindness to the local environment. If you really need to splash over out, select the Twiga suite that has its very own exclusive Hot tub. The public area consists of a generous dining room with sufficient space for sixteen people and an open lounge and bar with stunning views of the river and the pool. As one would expect, Kilalinda Lodge Africa takes pride in providing first class cuisine. Cuisine and fine wine is of utmost importance here and every dish and dressing is prepared in the country kitchen with all the herbs and vegetables grown in the lodge gardens. The accent is on Five Star cuisine and service, but the setting is always homely and unpretentious. Most of the fresh vegetables are grown on a farm nearby and therefore are obtained daily. All our bread, cakes and pastas are home-made. We can vary menus from the traditional to the exotic and can accommodate most diet preferences. Safari activities at Kilalinda camp include game drives in the 8000-acre sanctuary conducted in specially modified, open top Land Rovers. In addition, safaris to Tsavo East National Park can also be arranged. Guided walking excursions in this area are often the best way to see the bird and animal life. Walking routes around the sanctuary allow you to experience the variety of flora and fauna that is on offer. Tsavo and the surrounding areas are some of the best bird watching regions in the country. Being on the edge of the untouched remote and vast Tsavo East National Park, wildlife is slowly moving into the vicinity of the Kilalinda safari camp. Daily sightings include Elephant, Buffalo, Hippo, Lesser Kudu, Zebra, Crocodile, Impala & Waterbuck. Leopards are regularly seen around the lodge and occasionally Lion & Cheetah visit the conservancy area. Regular sightings of the endangered African Wild Dog are seen in the Conservancy, on the Yatta Plateau & along the Tiva River inside Tsavo East National Park. A host of small mammals come into the lodge grounds everyday, including Porcupines, Banded Mongoose, White-Tailed Mongoose, Genet Cats & Bush Babies. Birdlife is prolific with over 380spps occurring in and around the conservation area. At Kilalinda our aim is to re-introduce game to the area which has been greatly depleted due to poaching in the 70/80s and to educate the Wakamba tribe to protect wildlife and how it could actually become profitable for them in the future. We have a team of game scouts that are being trained to patrol the Kilalinda Safari Camp Tsavo area 24 hours a day. The furniture has also all been made locally. All the locals who helped build the Kilalinda Safari Camp Tsavo have been trained in different departments and now help run the luxury lodge. Fishing safari is available on the river. River trips can be organized in inflatable rafts. This is an ideal way to see many of the birds in the area. As the sun brings a new day to the wilderness of Tsavo, Kilalinda safari camp guests will be waking to another day in paradise. For nowhere else in Kenya offers such a combination of Natural Tranquility and Personal Indulgence. And few places in the world offer such sole - stirring peace, the climate at Kilalinda safari camp Tsavo is hot and dry most of the year. Rainfall is in March and April, but consists of very short and light showers. Although you can reach the Kilalinda tented camp on the road safaris through the sand and gravel road from Nairobi and Mombasa, this is a rather time-consuming and tiring journey, so that almost all the guests of the Kilalinda tented camp come by charter flight, The flight is not only convenient, it is without doubt already an experience in itself as the lodge is located far away from any civilization in nature, however, offers its guests all the comforts to make your stay as comfortable and relaxing as possible.

     

    Kilalinda Safari Lodge Accommodation

     

    Kilalinda Tented Camp is a place of constant little surprises, of subtle, stirring revelations; a little drop of luxury in the harsh wilds of Tsavo, The lodge is surrounded by well-tended and beautiful gardens that contrast with the arid Tsavo countryside This is hippo and crocodile country, but in this dry land it's an oasis for virtually every species in Tsavo and the only interruptions are the sparkling procession of starlings, sunbirds, weavers and hornbill birds. The bird life is as varied as the landscape, from the conspicuous flocks of golden-breasted starlings around most of the park to the dull, skulking evergreen forest warbler in the Chyulu hills. Accommodation consists of six well spaced out cottages. Each cottage has an individual character with olive wood pillars, giant four poster beds; cushion laden sofas and local handmade tiles in the bathrooms, shingled roofs, private verandas built so as to make maximum use of the cool breeze that blows up and down the river during the different seasons. The Twiga suite even has its own bar, Jacuzzi and plunge pool, the cottages are located along the river giving each room its own view and sandy beach with a hammock for whiling away the afternoon. Kilalinda Lodge offers an unprecedented degree of privacy, seclusion and luxury, behind the safari camp runs 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.

     

    Kilalinda Safari Lodge Meals

     

    The attention to detail at Kilalinda Lodge continues in the catering, in which Kilalinda is in a class of its own, First class service and cuisine can also be found at this Kenya Safari lodge where dinner is a candlelit feast. Kilalinda Lodge takes pride in its 5 star cuisine, with home-made bread, cakes and pasta and fresh local vegetables. Meals are always excellent but served in an unpretentious manner by the beautiful pool, on the river deck or high on a platform in a Baobab tree. The Italian dishes are influenced with homemade pastas, cakes and bread. Most of the fresh vegetables are grown on a farm nearby and therefore are obtained daily. Lunch may be served on the poolside lawn or on a platform over looking the river. All of the bread, cakes and pastas are homemade. Kilalinda can vary menus from the traditional to the exotic and can accommodate any diet preferences. But while the accent in on five star cuisines and service, the setting is always homely and unpretentious, no luxury has been spared from the spacious living areas and thick woolen carpets. The main house consists of a large open circular building that includes a dining room with a large table that sits 16 guests and a lounge cum bar area that overlooks both the river and the pool. But while the accent in on five star cuisines and service, the setting is always homely and unpretentious.

     

    Kilalinda Safari Lodge Activities

     

    Kilalinda Camp is an amazing place, great staff, managers Anthony Chiles and Silvia Roberts set an example of how a luxury safari camp should be run with friendly and organized with lots to do such as white water rafting and game walks, but at the same time with total relaxation generously catered for. A great number of enjoyable holiday themed activities are lined for guests stay at Kilalinda tented camp including; day and night game drives in open 4 wheel drive vehicles, whitewater rafting, fishing, bird watching safaris, bush-meals, sun-downers, star bath, swimming and photography, being on the edge of the untouched remote and vast Tsavo East National Park, wildlife is slowly moving into the vicinity of the lodge. Daily sightings include Elephant, Buffalo, Hippo, Lesser Kudu, Zebra, Crocodile, Impala & Waterbuck. Leopards are regularly seen around the Kilalinda tented camp tsavo and occasionally Lion & Cheetah visit the conservancy area. Regular sightings of the endangered African Wild Dog are seen in the Conservancy, on the Yatta Plateau & along the Tiva River inside Tsavo East National Park. A host of small mammals come into the lodge grounds everyday, including Porcupines, Banded Mongoose, White-Tailed Mongoose, Genet Cats & Bush Babies. Birdlife is prolific with over 380 species occurring in and around the conservation area. Kilalinda bush camp is run by two experienced Managers. The staff are all locally employed from the area, Wakamba tribe and has been trained to a high standard. At the moment there are 40 Wakamba staff employed. A minimum of 2 nights is recommended to fully enjoy and explore the area, with an extra day or two for fly camps. 1 hour by private charter from Nairobi, the lodge has its own airstrip about a 10 minute drive away.3 hours drive from Nairobi. A conservation fee is charged per person per day and is managed by the Kilalinda Trust. The conservation fee will be used to improve education, build a Rhino sanctuary and for the re-introduction of wildlife species to the area. Kilalinda has been built with all local materials without felling any trees or ruining the natural environment. The climate is pleasant all year round at night with daytime temperatures between 32 degrees and 20 degrees. The rainy season in which it is not always rains in April / May and the short rains in November. In recent years, however, has shown that these times are not as reliable as in the past. Outside of the rainy season, it is dry and sunny; the vegetation is correspondingly dry, which is favorable for wildlife observation.

     

    Tsavo National Park

     

    The National Parks of Tsavo East and Tsavo West together form one of Africa's largest wilderness reserves. Tsavo as a whole consists of 10 million acres of pure wilderness, incorporating savannah and hills and an extensive river system. The sheer scale of Tsavo gives the visitor a chance to really get away from it all, and to explore the wild in total solitude. On Tsavo safari here you will see large herds of elephants, their hide’s often bright red with dust, as well as lions, buffaloes, elands and giraffes. Tsavo is a birdwatcher's paradise with numerous species of weavers, hornbills, sunbirds, rollers, and raptors commonly seen. Tsavo is easily accessed from the coast at Mombasa. The combined area of Tsavo West and Tsavo East national parks makes this by far the biggest wildlife reserve in Kenya, Of the two Tsavo national Park, Tsavo West, encircled by roads and encroaching human populations, is the most visited and the most developed. Yet within its vast 7000 square kilometer extent, the popular part that receives nearly all visitors is a “mere” 1000 square kilometres, known as the Developed Area, located between the Tsavo River and the Mombasa highway. Here, a combination of magnificent landscapes and good access and facilities (Kilaguni and Severin both welcome casual visitors, and Kilaguni has fuel supplies) attracts visitors in large numbers, while the well-watered, volcanic soils support wooded grasslands and a great quantity and diversity of animal life – though it’s not always easily seen.

     

    Tsavo East National Park

     

    Tsavo East National Park is 11,747 square km (4,535 square miles)—is a fairly harsh landscape of scrubland dotted with huge baobab trees, and photographers will revel in the great natural light and the vast plains stretching to the horizon. There's lots of greenery along the banks of the Voi and Galana rivers, and the big Aruba Dam, built across the Voi, attracts game and bird life galore. You'll see herds of elephant and buffalo, waterbuck, and all kinds of animals coming to drink at the dam. The Lugard Falls, on the Galana River, is more a series of rapids than actual waterfalls; walk along the riverbank to catch a glimpse of the water-sculpted rocks. Another fascinating feature in the park is the 290-km-long (180-mile-long) Yatta Plateau, one of the world's longest lava flows. It runs parallel to the Nairobi/Mombasa Highway and is 5 to 10 km (3 to 6 miles) wide and 305 meters (1,000 feet) high. Mudanda Rock, a 1.5-km (2-mile) outcropping, is a water catchments area. You'll see plenty of wildlife coming to drink at the dam below. There's a lot of game in this park, including zebras, kongoni antelope, impala, lion, cheetah, and giraffe, and rarer animals such as the oryx, lesser kudu, and the small klipspringer antelopes, which can jump nimbly from rock to rock because of the sticky suction pads under their feet. And yes, it's true: those fat and hairy marmotlike creatures you see sunning themselves on the rocks—the hyraxes—are first cousins to elephants. The park became infamous in the late 1890s because of the "Man Eaters of Tsavo," a pride of lions that preyed on the Indian migrant laborers who were building the railway. More than 130 workers were killed; the incident was retold in the 1996 thriller, The Ghost and the Darkness, starring Val Kilmer. In the 1970s and '80s Tsavo became notorious once again for the widespread poaching that decimated the elephant population and nearly wiped out rhinos altogether. Today, thanks to responsible management, enlightened environmental vision, and proper funding, both elephant and rhino populations are on the rise.

     

    When to travel to Tsavo East National Park

     

    Tsavo East National Park is accessible all year round, so the peak season is actually based on demand months such as migration time in Kenya (July-October) and also vacationers getting away during the winter months—especially Europeans. That being said, March to May is the rainy season, and there are short rains in October and December. Humidity is high from December to April. Tsavo East is 233 km (148 miles) south of Nairobi and 250 km (155 miles) north of Mombasa. There are nine airstrips. There's no public transport within the park. Park entry fees are $65 per person per day, although this is always included in a packaged safari tour. It is forbidden to travel in an open vehicle while in the Tsavo East National Park. Stay in your safari vehicle all the time. Get out only at designated areas. Off road driving is not allowed in Tsavo East National Park. View the wildlife from a distance with binoculars. Off road driving destroys vegetation, might kill wildlife and could interfere with the daily routine of animals. The tracks formed become an eyesore. Animals have a right of way. Do not harass them or make loud sounds – this might scare then and make them nervous. Patience pays! Remember not to litter. Remember: Do not take away anything, but photographs and leave nothing behind but footprints.

     

    Mzima Springs

     

    The biggest attraction in Tsavo West is Mzima Springs. This stream of crystal-clear water was made famous by Alan Root’s 1983 film Mzima: Portrait of a Spring, which followed crocodiles and hippos in their underwater lives. It’s a delightful, and popular, spot, so you’re advised to arrive very early to avoid a possible tour-bus atmosphere. With luck, some of the night’s animal visitors may still be around, while the luxuriant growth around the water reverberates noisily with birds and monkeys. You can walk around freely, as elephants and predators rarely visit, and there are KWS rangers posted by the car park to look after you, but make sure you’re not close to the water’s edge, where large crocodiles lurk. Equally be sure that you’re not between a hippo and the water, especially early or late in the day, or during wet weather. They seem settled in their routine, content to snort and flounder en masse, but are notoriously irritable animals. There are two large pools, connected by a rush of rapids and shaded by stands of date and raffia palms. The upper pool used to be the favoured hippo wallow, though in recent years they seem to prefer the lower pool. The springs’ hippo population was cruelly hammered by the drought of 2009, during which the springs were the only source of water in the region, and the surrounding grasslands, on which the hippos graze at night, were reduced to a dustbowl as wildlife moved into the area. Despite the efforts of the KWS and local lodges to supply bales of hay, dozens of hippos starved to death. Their numbers are increasing again, but it will take years for them to recover fully. At the side of the top pool, a circular underwater viewing chamber has been built at the end of a short pier. With luck (and it doesn’t happen on every visit), you’ll see the unforgettably comic tip-toeing of an underwater hippo, or the sinuous, streamlined stealth of a crocodile in motion, as well as the blue swirl of large fish. Mzima Springs’ water is filtered to aquarium transparency by the lava of the Chyulu range, just to the north of here: the porous rock absorbs the water like a sponge and gravity squeezes it out into the springs. A direct pipeline from Mzima to Mombasa, completed in 1966, is the source of most of the city’s drinking water. Engineers devised a way of taking water from beneath the lava, but above the spring, preserving the area’s integrity. There are one or two signs of the pipeline, but most are unobtrusive. You don’t have to be a botanist to enjoy Mzima’s two tree trails, with examples of various trees labelled with their common uses and their English, local and botanical names. It’s easy to spend a couple of hours in the area: try to sit for a while completely alone on the bank and you’ll begin to piece together the ecological miracle of the place, as the mammals, birds and other creatures forget about your presence. And look out for sycamore figs, the spectacular tree that features in the extraordinary nature documentary The Queen of Trees (Mark Deeble & Victoria Stone, 2006; widely available on DVD) about the symbiotic relationship between the sycamore fig and the tiny fig wasp.

     

    Climbing

     

    Іn 1978 Bill Woodley, then the warden оf Tsavo West, invited the Mountain Club оf Kenya to explore the cliffs іn the park. The setting fоr climbers іs superb wіth elephant roaming the plains below the cliffs аnd eagles, vultures аnd falcons circling оn thermals around the crags with Kilimanjaro frequently visible оn а clear day. The rock-climbing іs sоme оf the best іn Kenya, solid gneiss walls аre often covered іn holds аnd free оf vegetation. Cracks аnd corners abound, but tend tо be more vegetated. The mоst impressive piece оf rock, the 300m high east face оf Kichwa Tembo, attracted the fіrst explorer’s аnd resulted іn the ascent оf Great Tsavo Chimney. Mastadon took 3 visits before іt wаs completed. А more recent route, Ivory Tower оn Elephant Rocks, ranks wіth the best аnd hardest bush climb іn Kenya. Generally pegs need nоt be carried. Unless climbing іn the shade, аn early start іs advisable аs іt often gets very hot оn clear days. The permit the MCK has tо climb here, аnd tо camp by the Tsavo river, іs а special privilege аnd every effort must be made nоt tо jeopardize thіs situation by careless actions. Оther climbers should initially contact the MCK іf wishing tо climb here.

     

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