Tsavo National Park, Safaris, Lodges and tented Camps in Tsavo East and West
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    Lake Jipe Safari Camp Kenya & Lake Jipe Bandas

    Lake Jipe Safari Camp a luxury safari camp owned by Myriam Debrunner is situated just outside the park gates of Tsavo West National Park. Only around a kilometer from the Lake Jipe this piece of heaven has views of Tanzania’s mountains including Mt Kilimanjaro, with glorious sunsets. Elephants come through Lake Jipe Camp almost every morning and a local fishing boat trip out onto the Lake Jipe is a must to take advantage of the peace and quiet and the aquatic birdlife, you may see the elephants as they come to bathe and drink daily in the Lake Jipe. Far away from mass tourism, Lake Jipe Safari Camp Kenya is located on the shores of Lake Jipe and just 5 minutes away from the Tsavo West National Park entrance. The Lake Jipe Tented Camp eight individual, thatched Banda’s are very comfortable including bathrooms, with all you would expect of a top range lodge and tastefully decorated to compliment the surroundings. The 8 spacious furnished and decorated cottages, each suitable for 2 people, each banda has a flush toilet, hot & cold shower, mosquito nets and private veranda. The central open-fronted lounge area allows one to relax and inwardly digest every minute detail of the bush from sights and sounds to smells. The restaurant offers African and European cuisine to suit all tastes and our well stocked bar serves cold drinks throughout the day. The swimming pool provides our guests the opportunity to cool down from the heat of the day. The Lake Jipe Camp Lake Jipe is owned and managed by Myriam Debrunner of Swiss nationality. Her wish is that when you go home you are more than satisfied and your memories of the time spent in Kenya are happy ones. Prolific birdlife coming to feed at the bird table and water give photographers an ideal opportunity to capture such colorful creatures such as the Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Western Violet-backed Sunbird, Yellow bishop, Abyssinian White-eye and Red and Yellow Barbet to name a few. The staffs at Lake Jipe Safari Camp Kenia are very warm, welcoming and friendly, helping to make your stay enjoyable to the extreme. Lake Jipe Safari Camp Africa is indeed a jewel in the safari crown of Kenya.

     

    Lake Jipe Safari Camp Activities

     

    Game drives in Tsavo West and also along the lake shores outside the park. Lake Jipe is a fantastic bird watching area, especially in November/December and January when many migratory birds visit the lake A trip on the KWS fiber glass boat (rate 1,000/- per person) or on a local fishing canoe from the nearby village (rate negotiable). A walk to visit the farming area in the swamps around the Lume River. Salaita Hill - a famous WW1 site - there are many such sites as this for the interested. A day trip to Lake Chala which is approx. 35kms away, visiting Grogan's Castle along the way and even including a browse though Taveta market - a most interesting and hassle free experience. Jipe Safari Camp is located on the main Nairobi and Mombasa road take the Taveta turn off at Voi opposite the petrol station. The road is initially tarmac and graded murram thereafter. After about 60 kms take a left turn sign posted Maktau gate, through which you enter Tsavo West National Park, and follow the signs to the Lake Jipe gate. The camp is situated just outside the Lake Jipe exit gate

     

    Lake Jipe

     

    Located to the South West of Tsavo West National Park, Lake Jipe is a small, shallow lake (area 28 sq. km and average depth less than 3 m), lying astride the Kenya-Tanzania border, just to the east of the northern Pare Mountains of Tanzania (Mwanga district, in the Kilimanjaro region). It is 12 km long and 2.5 km wide, 12 square km belong to Tanzania and 14 square km to Kenya. Tsavo West National Park of Kenya borders the southern portion of the lake while Mt Kilimanjaro dominates the horizon some distance to the northwest. So unknown is this treasure of Lake Jipe not many Kenyans or Tanzania know of its existence or location. This lake has a many water birds and is one of the few places in East Africa that the Lesser Jacana and Purple Gallinule are common. Also Madagascar Squacco Herron, Black Herron, African Darter and African Skimmer are often seen here. Other wildlife seen here are Hippopotamus, Otters, crocodiles, waterbucks and elephants. The northern half of the lake is in Kenya in the Tsavo West National Park. Tsavo West is famed for its huge elephant population - you stand a good chance of spotting an elephants in this unusual and very off the beaten track excursion. The lake is one of Kenya's most important wetlands, providing refuge for numerous water and marsh birds. There is a motor boat for hire at the gate, or you could do it the local way and hire a dug out from the local fishermen in the village two kilometers from here. Lake Jipe receives its main inflow from Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania via River Lumi passing through Kenya. The other main inflow is via River Muvulani from the Pare Mountains. Several temporary streams, mainly from the Pare Mountains, also drain into Lake Jipe. The lake has one outflow, the River Ruvu, located in Tanzania to the south of River Lumi, the main inflow. Accommodation in Lake Jipe varies from lodges, camps and camp sites, Lake Jipe hotels are also available, therefore you have a wide range to select on what is on offer. Remote and peaceful, Lake Jipe is the ultimate in getting away from it all and since the Kenyan/Tanzanian border slices right through its centre you can float on the waters in blissful ignorance as to which country you are in. Lake Jipe also supports an important heronry, where African darter nest (this is located a few kms outside the park). Lake Jipe is an ornithologists' paradise and there is also a boat available for hire from the KWS rangers. You can also explore the bush around the lakeshore, keeping a close lookout for hippos, which are especially prevalent between the Park Gate and the village.

     

    Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary:

     

    Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary is spectacularly located at the foot of the Taita Hills adjacent to Tsavo National Park, one of the world's largest game reserves.

     

    The Sanctuary, established in 1972, is privately owned and managed and covers a protected area of 28,000 acres (approximately 110 sq. kms or 44 sq. miles) rising to an altitude of 1,200 meters above sea level (3,600 ft.). It consists mainly of plains and woodlands, with typical riverbank vegetation along the water course. Flanked by the eye-catching and craggy Taita Hills, the park offers a safe-haven to a wide variety of animals and birds in a compact area of natural beauty. More than 50 species of mammals are found in this area and over 300 species of birds have been recorded within its boundaries.

     

    Wildlife survives and thrives where there are suitable protected habitats and at Taita, a highly trained team of rangers ensure that none of the animals are disturbed or harassed in any way. An extensive network of roads give good access to most parts of the Sanctuary and every junction is identified with numbered posts. Sections of the Sanctuary are closed to traffic in order to provide a safe haven for timid species. In order to ensure that the conservation efforts remain sustainable and to strengthen efforts in practicing responsible eco-tourism, the Sanctuary has established regulations that all visitors need to comply with. These include no off-road driving, observance of a 30 kph speed limit, conforming with opening and closing times, and respecting the fact that all the animals within the Sanctuary are wild and therefore should not be fed or harassed in any way.

     

    The majority of the Sanctuary is unfenced, and as a consequence there is a considerable fluctuation in wildlife numbers (particularly elephant, buffalo and giraffe) in response to both water resources and food availability. Local herds of plains game (e.g. zebra, hartebeest, Grant's gazelle, eland etc.) support resident populations of predators (including lion, leopard and cheetah) throughout the year. Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary has three prides of lions which total more than 30 individuals - members are seen virtually every day. The vegetation within the Sanctuary shows a north-south, as well as east-west gradient from bush to wooded savanna and grassland. Browsing species such as waterbuck, impala, bushbuck and reedbuck are normally encountered in riverine or marshy vegetation and are preyed on by leopard. An electric fence along our northern boundary prevents elephant and buffalo from venturing into the neighboring villages and damaging crops. This is part of the commitment to supporting local communities.

     

    The best times for viewing wildlife are early morning and mid to late afternoon. Light conditions at these times are also optimal for photography. The Sanctuary also offers a unique and unobtrusive facility for viewing wildlife from a different perspective in this area - night game drives. Since almost 40% of the wildlife species at Taita are nocturnal, night game drives provide guests with an opportunity of seeing animals not normally encountered on a conventional game drive (such as spotted and striped hyena, various species of mongoose, jackal, civet, genet, honey badger, porcupine and bushbaby). Since most of the predators are also more active at night, the chances of encountering them on such a trip are also increased.

     

    Tsavo National Park

     

    Tsavo National Park is vast. Put together, the western and eastern areas of Tsavo make up one of the largest animal sanctuaries in the world - imagine the whole of Wales being a park. Tsavo East became renowned, or perhaps more correctly, infamous in the early 20th century, as the home of man-eating lions which treated the railway workers building the Mombasa to Kampala line as a new food source. Tsavo was also the setting in the First World War of battles between British and German troops vying for supremacy in East Africa. Tsavo is old, in that is one of Kenya's longest established parks and yet at the same time young, because the Ngulia Hills that dominate the area are of comparatively recent volcanic origin. Roughly the size of Massachusetts, Tsavo National Park is huge by any standard. So it encompasses a range of habitats that in turn means that it is home to a variety of Kenya animals. So your visit to the Kenya National Parks isn't quite complete until you've been to Tsavo. Two large lions actively preyed on the railway workers as they built a bridge over the Tsavo river, claiming over 120 victims. They evaded hunters for well over a year, and the legend of the Maneaters of Tsavo was born. 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. The parks are located 233 km South of Nairobi and 250 km North of Mombasa on the main Nairobi- Mombasa Road. Distances: Nairobi-Mtito Andei- 233 km, Mtito Andei-Voi: 96 km, -Voi-Mombasa: 153 km. From Malindi, take the western road (C103) and enter in the park via Sala gate 90 km. Tsavo is a bird watcher’s paradise with numerous species of weavers, hornbills, sunbirds, rollers, and raptors commonly seen. One of Tsavo’s most interesting geographical features is the Lugard Falls, where white water rages through a series of spectacular rock formations. Also not to be missed is the volcanic Mzima springs. These natural springs produce 50 million gallons of fresh sparkling water daily. These waters are alive with shoals of barbel and Hippopotamus and waterfowl. A unique underwater observatory has been built that gives you an incredible view of this crystal clear underwater world, where massive hippos glide silently through swirling shoals of barbel. Tsavo National Park is renowned for being home to the world's only red elephants. You will encounter scores of these baffling creatures wandering by. Not just the odd one but upwards of 11,600 red elephants. These African elephants are not born red. However, the fine red volcanic soil in the park permanently coats their hides. Others include Rhino, buffalo, lion, leopard, pods of hippo,crocodile, waterbucks, Kudu, Gerenuk and Hirola among many others. Because Tsavo is huge and consists of diverse habitats, it is an ornithologist's paradise. Indeed, over 500 species of Kenya birds have been recorded here. Tsavo is also located on the southern migration route of European birds so many of the visiting species can be sighted around Ngulia Lodge every November and early December. Generally the weather in Tsavo is warm and dry with the temperatures ranging from 20-40 celcius and rainfall from 200-700mm per year. Most of the year the park is dry and dusty, and it has been said that there isn’t ‘a best time to visit Tsavo’ as the park is always abundant with wildlife, you will just see different things at different times of the year. However, after the rains the National Park is especially beautiful, transformed with new grasses and a fantastic array of lush vegetation and wild flowers. Coupled with impressive landscape, Tsavo’s close proximity to Mombasa means it is an ideal location for those wishing to combine an exciting safari expedition with a relaxing stay on one of Kenya’s finest beaches. African Safari Club offers a number of safaris which incorporate a visit to Tsavo, and our one night safaris to Tsavo are ideal for safari first-timers or those who are seeking a ‘taster’ safari experience.

     

    Tsavo East National Park

     

    Tsavo East National Park is one of the world's largest and oldest game reserves, providing undeveloped wilderness homes to vast numbers of animals and birdlife. The Park measures approximately 11,747 square kilometers making it the largest conservation block in the country. Opened in April 1948, it is located near the village of Voi in the Taita District of Coast Province. The park is named for the Tsavo River, which flows west to east through the national park. Its beautiful landscape and proximity to the Coast make it a popular safari destination. The park has three main access gates, from Voi through the Manyani gate, from Mombasa through the Bachuma gate or from Malindi through the Sala gate. There are also several airstrips in the park that allow chartered light planes. Inside the park, the Athi and Tsavo rivers converge to form the Galana River. Most of the park consists of semi-arid grasslands and savanna. It is considered one of the world's biodiversity strongholds, and its popularity is mostly due to the vast amounts of diverse wildlife that can be seen, including the famous 'big five' consisting of masai lion, black rhino, cape buffalo, elephant and leopard. The park also is also home to a great variety of bird life such as the black kite, crowned crane, lovebird and the sacred ibis. Tsavo East is generally flat, with dry plains across which the Galana River flows than its mountainous and wetter counterpart Tsavo West. Beginning in the late nineteenth/early twentieth century, the British began a concerted effort to colonize the interior of Kenya and built a railroad through Tsavo in 1898. Legend has it that "man-eating lions" terrorized the construction crews, however modern scholarship attributes the Waata for kidnapping and killing Indian and British laborers in an attempt to stop the unwanted intrusion into their territory. Inevitably, the British colonial authority bolstered security for the construction effort and the railroad was built. Tsavo remained the homeland for Orma and Maasai pastoralists and Waata hunter-gatherers until 1948, when it was gazetted a national park. Hunting was banned in the park in 1963 and currently attracts photo-tourists from all over the world interested in experiencing the vastness of the wilderness and incredible terrain. In addition to its vastness, unbelievable views and plentiful wildlife, other interesting and stimulating attractions at the park include the Mudanda Rock and the Yatta Plateau, the world's longest lava flow run; Luggard's Falls on the Galana River with its remarkable shaped water-worn rocks and white water rapids; plus interesting archeological digs.

     

    Tsavo West National Park

     

    Tsavo West National Park covers 7065 km2, approximately 30% of Kenya’s area under parks, and contains a diversity of habitats, wildlife and a mountainous scenic landscape. Tsavo West has a more varied topography and a more diverse array of habitats than its neighbor Tsavo East, the park is a vast expanse of savanna stretching from Mtito Andei, along the Mombasa-Nairobi road and south to the Tanzanian border. The park is located on south eastern Kenya, 240km from Nairobi along the western side of Mombasa-Nairobi highway. The savannah ecosystem comprises of open grasslands, scrublands, and Acacia woodlands, belts of riverine vegetation and rocky ridges. Major wildlife attractions include elephant, rhino, Hippos, lions, cheetah, leopards, Buffalos, diverse plant and bird species including the threatened corncrake and near threatened Basra Reed Warbler. Other attractions include the Chyulu Hills which are porous peaks of volcanic ash, whose youngest cones formed about 500 years ago. Rising 7,000 feet (2,000 meters) above an arid plain, the vast black Shetani lava flows and ash cones spreads out at the foot of the Chyulu Hills. There is a walking trail amongst the lava flow and it is possible to climb up to the crater rim as well as into the caves. The Hills trap up to three feet (one meter) of rain each year from moisture-laden winds, All that rain soaks into the sponge-like ash and percolates down until it hits impervious bedrock and begins its underground journey to Mzima Springs some 25 miles (40 kilometers) away in the Northern side of the park. Water that has filtered underground from the Chyulu Hills gushes from below a lava ridge into a series of clear pools. The cool and shallow spring offers buoyant relief to a herd of ponderous hippos, one of four groups that loll all day in the protected waters of Mzima’s three main pools. By night the hippos graze on nearby grasslands. The Park’s main access routes are through Chyulu Gate from Amboseli and Mtito Andei Gate from Nairobi (240 km) and Mombasa. Visitors from Mombasa also use Tsavo Gate near Manyani. The park can also be reached via Taveta – Voi road through Maktau, Ziwani and Jipe gates. The Parks Airstrips are Kamboyo, Kilaguni, Tsavo Gate, Jipe, Kasigau, Finch Hutton’s, Ziwani and Maktau. The best months to visit the Tsavo West National Park are in January and February as well as June to September. Game viewing is all year round. 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. Best time to visit Tsavo East National Park: September, October, January.

     

    Tsavo West Accessibility

     

    The main access routes are through Chyulu Gate from Amboseli and Mtito Andei Gate from Nairobi (240 km) and Mombasa. Visitors from Mombasa also use Tsavo Gate near Manyani. The park can also be reached via Taveta-Voi road through Maktau, Ziwani and Jipe gates. Tsavo National Park contains a huge variety of game; including all of the Big Five, although only very few Rhino still roam free. Inhabitants include Kenya’s largest single elephant population, lion, leopard, cheetah, crocodile, hippo, waterbuck, hyena, impala, gazelle, Kudu, Gerenuk, giraffe and zebra. Tsavo is also well known for the spectacular herds of up to 1000 buffalo which reside in the Parks. Furthermore, over five hundred species of bird have been recorded, including ostrich, African skimmers, goshawks, red and yellow bishops and some migratory kestrels and buzzards stop in Tsavo during their flight south. In the past, Tsavo was home to the largest herds of elephants still left in Africa, with counts of up to 20,000 at a time spotters reported that elephants would cover the entire surface of the land as far as the eye could see. Naturally, such large herds of elephants caused a rapid depletion of Tsavo’s vegetation and eventually nature took its course so now such concentrations are unheard of, although Tsavo still remains famous for its large herds and visitors are often treated to sights of herds of 50 or more elephants. Elephants in Tsavo are often referred to as’ Red Elephants’, and although their skin is in fact no different than that of other elephants, they do appear a vivid red colour, as they cover themselves with the red soil which covers much of Tsavo, during their dust baths.

     

    Tsavo West Airstrips:

     

    Kamboyo, Kilaguni, Tsavo Gate, Jipe, Kasigau, Finch Hottons Camp, Ziwani and Maktau airstrips are in good condition.

     

    Tsavo West Attractions

     

    Recent volcanoes, lava flows and caves with potential for geological and cave exploration, and hiking. Mzima Springs & underwater hippo watching, Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary, Lake Jipe, Mt. Kilimanjaro, elephant, rhino, diverse bird and plant species.

     

    Tsavo West Lodges:

     

    Ngulia Lodge; Kilaguni Serena Lodge; Severin Safari Camp and Lodge Finch Hattons.

     

    Tsavo West Campsites:

     

    Lake Jipe (public); Kamboya (public); Royal Little (special); Simba (special); Kenge (special); Kudu (special).

     

    Tsavo West Bandas:

     

    Lake Jipe; Kitani; Ngulia.

     

    Tsavo West Picnic Sites:

     

    Poachers look out; Chaimu Crater; Shetani Lava Flow; Roaring Rocks; Mzima Springs; Visitor Information Centre Picnic Site.

     

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