Tsavo National Park, Safaris, Lodges and Tented Camps in Tsavo East and West
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    Ndololo Safari Camp Tsavo National Park Kenya

    Ndololo Safari Camp is a backpacker’s safari camp that enjoys one of the most spectacular sceneries in Tsavo East National Park, Kenya’s preserved game renowned for its concentration of diverse wildlife and home to the fabled “Man Eaters of Tsavo. The Ndololo Tented Camp lies on the broad, thickly forested banks of Voi River in Tsavo East National park. Ndololo Safari Camp is accessible throughout the year by all weather roads and is located 7 kilometers from Voi gate, 63 kilometers from Buchama gate and 36 kilometers from Manyani gate. There are permanent structures and no fence there for Ndololo Camp offers a camping safari adventure in taste of true African wild. Through a deep thicket there is a makeshift reception complete with welcome facilities, you have arrived at the Ndololo Tented camp, but an even bigger surprise awaits you down another path, something that will leave you lost for words- a tented camp complete with all the amenities of a luxury tented camp. At Ndololo Safari Camp Tsavo you settle for dinner under the skies and canopy of trees- an event that guarantees you an unforgettable wildlife safari experience and adventure. In the morning, an early wakeup call sets the motion for yet another captivating experience- a game viewing which starts a few meters from your Ndololo safari camp tent. After checking in from the evening game drive, Ndololo Camp Tsavo Kenya visitors take dinner where they share the rich history of Tsavo National Park, the stories of famous man eaters of Tsavo, African culture and general information on Kenya safaris with the very experienced tour guides of the Ndololo Camp Tsavo. Visitors get information on safety measures while at the Dololo Camp Tsavo.

     

    The attractive Ndololo Camp Africa is a tented camp with 20 simply furnished tents equipped with a bath room with running water and a toilet. Some of the tents have single, double and triple beds to cater for different tastes. All are furnished in a classic blend of ancient and modern, rich African fine hand carved olive wood furniture, with modern amenities. The Tsavo Ndololo Camp was originally a semi permanent camp next to the main Tsavo East camp site but has not become permanent with stone and permanent tented rooms. All accommodation is situated in a rather bushy area which blocks the view from the tent and there is no water hole, but the location is a very busy one for animals as the river runs right close and the forest is important for the animals that hide in there from the heat. At night many visitors like elephants, buffalos, antelope and even leopards roam around the Ndololo Safari Camp Kenia, but you usually hear them and don’t see them till the day time when you go for drives. Late afternoons and early mornings nearby in the forest you often will see animals which you still have to go and visit by safari vehicle. This camp is ideal for people who want to go on a low budget safari; the restaurant serves decent but simple meals in buffet style. After the game drive there is a camp fire where the visitors surround and talk about the legendary tsavo of the man eaters and all there experience of the day. The indigenous forests around Ndololo Safari Camp are home to the big five wild animals, including the elephant's, the buffalo's, the rhino's, the lion's and the leopard's. The area is also frequented by ostrich's, zebra's, giraffe's and many more safari animals, while the trees are filled with melodies of a wide variety of birds. Meals in Ndololo Safari Camp are in African buffet style and evening activities include campfire story - telling, guided game walks etc

     

    Accommodation in Ndololo Safari Camp

     

    Ndololo Safari Camp Tsavo East is an awesome hilltop lodge overlooking the dry terrain below, one can spend hours looking at animals around the two waterholes in front of the resort and you have to spend at least 2 nights here to experience the African nostalgia! Ndololo Safari Camp offers 20 luxurious, well-spaced tents each self-contained with a verandah and bedroom. Some of the tents have single, double and triple beds to cater for different tastes. All are furnished in a classic blend of ancient and modern, rich African fine hand carved olive wood furniture, with modern amenities. Dololo Safari Camp is accessible both from Mombasa and Nairobi. It lies 160 kilometers from Mombasa along the Mombasa-Nairobi highway. You would require about 1 hour 30 minutes from Mombasa by road. From Nairobi, it will take you about 4 hours by road. There are no schedule flights into Tsavo East National park. But a private charter can land at the airstrip which lies just 4 kilometers from the Ndololo Safari Camp.

     

    Facilities and Activities at the Ndololo safari Camp

     

    Ndololo camp offer ensuite facilities fully equipped kitchen, a dining room where well prepared and delicious cuisine is served and well equipped bar serving a variety of drinks. Bush barbecues are also served. The reception centre offers a variety of African curios, books and mementos. While staying at the Ndololo safari Camp you may engage in safari game drives and nature walks with the camps naturalist. The area around the camp has wonderful view of this savannah with wild animals roaming freely in their natural habitat. The area is a beautiful place as you will get to breathe fresh and have the true African safari experience as you get to take photos as a reminder of the tour. The site of herd of dust red elephants patrolling the area as the sun goes down behind the Tsavo Mountains giving the perfect back drop for any image of value.

     

    Tsavo Safari

     

    Being close to the Kenya beach makes Tsavo National Park a very popular safari destination for tourists on beach holidays in Malindi and Mombasa. The Tsavo Safari Lodges and safari camps based along the Galana River are mainly used by safari companies in Malindi whilst those in souths of the Tsavo Park, close to Voi, are used by Mombassa tour operators. The thick bush and lack of tracks means that finding some of the more elusive animals like lion, leopard and cheetah can be extremely difficult however, the park's very remoteness can often throw up surprises since the animals tend to be less disturbed by tourist traffic. Once you get away from the more popular areas, and especially first thing in the morning, it is possible to stumble on rarities like honey badger, aardwolf and striped hyena. The abiding memory of Tsavo East is of a vast red landscape with many of the animal’s tinged red by the soil.

     

    Large herds of red elephants and a variety of specialized dry-country animals such as the weird looking gerenuk, dik-dik, fringe-eared Oryx and lesser kudu are all there to be found. Tsavo East was the home of the infamous man-eaters of Tsavo, a pride of lions that delayed the construction of the railway line through Kenya for several months, in the early 20th century, when they developed a taste for human flesh and started eating the workers. Their descendants can still be found today - far wilder than their more easily seen savannah counterparts, they always appear larger and more intimidating in the thick bush of Tsavo East. There are number of accommodation options available both in and outside the park, which we use depends on a number of factors. Some of the camps along the Galana River are quite stunning considering their remoteness, some of the lodges around Voi, catering for the more budget-conscious traveler, slightly less so. We tend to use Voi Safari Lodge, perched on a rocky hillside, not far from the park's main gate, with unparalleled views across the park and a permanent waterhole that attracts a constant parade of wildlife to it, or Ndololo Safari Camp which provides a more intimate bush experience, situated close to Kanderi Swamp, again with its own waterhole. For people wishing for a bit more of an adventure we also often use Ndololo campsite which, for a wild campsite, is extremely well serviced and looked after by the Kenya Wildlife Service. Close to Kanderi Swamp the camp is often visited by elephant and lion as well as less problematic visitors such as waterbuck, dik-dik, impala and baboons. Whilst the two Tsavos are unlikely to provide close up encounters with vast numbers of animals, like those experienced in places like the Masai Mara, the animal sightings here do tend to be more personal and rewarding, relying as they do on far higher levels of knowledge of animal behavior and habitat. This, combined with the scenic grandeur, vastness and wildness, make Tsavo one of our favorite destinations. If you’re looking for a unique safari experience which gives something back, look no further!

     

    Tsavo National Park Information

     

    Tsavo is the largest game reserve in Kenya by a very long way; it is in fact one of the largest game sanctuaries in the world. In area it covers more than 20,000 sq km; to put this into perspective the 2 parts of the park (Tsavo East and Tsavo West) are larger than Israel and about the size of Wales. Off-road driving is strictly forbidden in the park and only a small part is open to the public, however a 'small part' of Tsavo covers a lot of land! The Tsavo soil is a very rich, red colour and this gives rise to the rather interesting (though somewhat confusing) sight of 'pink elephants' strolling across horizon! Among the rarer mammals that can be spotted here are Klippspringer. Usually these shy animals stay high up on rocky escarpments but in Tsavo they can be seen amongst the lava boulders in the rather lunar landscape in the Chyulu area. 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. Tsavo is home to both species of Kenyan Ostrich with the Common Ostrich present in Tsavo West and the Somali Ostrich in Tsavo East. Hartlaub's Bustard is found in both parts of the NP. Tsavo lies on one of the main migration routes for northern hemisphere birds. Each year from September to November the Ngulia region becomes the base for a large-scale netting and ringing exercise. This provides important information on the migratory routes and the habits of many common northern species. This position on the migration route makes Tsavo a good place to spot some of the rarer migrant falcons, with Eleonora's Falcon and the Sooty Falcon both being on the bird list for the region (they're most commonly seen in October and November although they may also be seen from March to May).

     

    Tsavo West, or at least the southern part of the park, is also fairly close to the Taita Hills. The Taitas are home to the Taita Thrush, an edangered species endemic to Kenya, and the Taita White-eye both of which are found only in that part of Kenya. Right down in the South-West corner of Tsavo on the border with Tanzania is Lake Jipe where some of Kenya's less common water birds, such as the African Water Rail, Purple Swamphen and Lesser Jacana can be seen

     

    Tsavo West National Park

     

    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 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). 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.

     

    How to Get to Tsavo West National Park. 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.

     

    What to See and Do at Tsavo West 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. The Kenya Safari Lodges in Tsavo West cater to everyone from the medium budget visitor to the luxury-seeking tourist. Lodges include the unfenced and wildly luxurious Finch Hattons Camp, and the Voyager Ziwani Safari Camp - a popular honeymoon destination in Kenya due to its spectacular view of mount Kilimanjaro and high level of privacy. Moderately priced Kilaguni Serena lodge, Severin Safari Camp and Ngulia Lodge are good choices for the budget traveler. Campsites: Lake Jipe and Kamboya are both open to the public. Royal Little, Simba, Kenge and Kudud are special camps. Best Time to Visit Tsavo West, January and February are good months 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.

     

    Entrance Fees to the Park Adults $40, Children $20, Students $10 There are reduced fees for Kenyan citizens and residents. Additional fees apply for landing aircrafts, camping and mountain climbing.

     

    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.

     

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