Tsavo National Park, Safaris, Lodges and tented Camps in Tsavo East and West
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    Ngulia Safari Camp, Tsavo West National Park, Kenya

    Ngulia Safari camp is a budget traveler's accommodation in Tsavo West national park. Ngulia Safari camp was formerly Ngulia Bandas Tsavo and now Called Rhino Valley Lodge Tsavo West National Park, Ngulia Safari Camp has great bandas in the middle of the vast Tsavo West National Park located 40 kilometers from Mtito Andei and 50 kilometers from the Tsavo River gates. The Camp is set against the backdrop of the rugged but scenic Ngulia Hills. Ngulia Camp offers the most idyllic view of the pristine Tsavo West National Park which teams with wildlife - the lion, buffalo, elephant, cheetah, leopard, hippo, rhino and thousands of Savannah wildlife. Ngulia Safari Camp can be accessed from Nairobi 260 kilometers and 250 kilometers from Mombasa, Ngulia Safari Camp is set against the backdrop of the rugged but scenic Ngulia Hills about 40 kilometers from Mtito Andei and 50 kilometers from the Tsavo River gates in Tsavo West National Park. The Camp has 6 self catering bandas, six standard rooms and a camp-site. The nights have their own unique ambience, a potpourri of hundreds of different animal, birds and insect noises.

     

    The camp is designed to blend with the surrounding vegetation and landscape. From a distance, one may be forgiven for mistaking it for one of Ngulia Hills rock outcrops. The bandas are tastefully furnished and have a well equipped kitchenette and bathroom suite. There is a Rock Room which is suitable for Honeymooners. Ngulia Safari Camp has a modern gourmet restaurant with an elaborate menu specifically designed for those who love the outdoors. It also prides a well stocked `tree bar`, another extra-ordinary experience under wide starry tropical skies and in the warmth of a campfire. The camp is lit by a super-silent generator that comforts to stringent international wildlife and environmental requirements. Ngulia Safari Camp Tsavo offering an idyllic view across the pristine Tsavo West National Park which teams with wildlife - the lion, buffalo, elephant, cheetah, leopard, hippo, rhino and thousands of Savannah wildlife. These can be viewed all year round from the verandas of the camp's bandas as they frequent the water pond just a few meters below the camp. In addition to the game drives with experienced guides the camp offers nature walks and rock climbing up the Ngulia Hills, game viewing, guided walks, rock climbing, bird watching. Tsavo Ngulia safari camp is a budget traveler's accommodation in Tsavo West National Park. Here you get to bring your own personal supplies of food and drinking water. Activities from Ngulia safari camp include morning and afternoon game drives, visits to Mzima Springs, the Rhino Sanctuary and the shetani Lava flows. In the evening you can seat outside your banda as you watch the sun go down on the beautiful horizon of Tsavo west with views of Kilimanjaro on a fair skied day.

     

    Tsavo National Park

     

    The Tsavo National Park, a vast arid region of 20,807sq km (8,034sq miles), is Kenya’s largest wildlife stronghold. The Park comprises a diversity of habitats, open plains alternating with savannah bush and semi-desert scrub; acacia woodlands; rocky ridges and outcrops, and more extensive ranges and isolated hills; belts of riverine vegetation; palm thickets; and on the Chyulu Hills extension area, mountain forest. Asection of Lake Jipe is included in the extreme south-west of the Tsavo National Park an extremely rich bird locality where Pygmy Geese and Black Heron are common The Park which lies roughly half-way between the coast and Nairobi is bisected by the main Nairobi-Mombasa road and railway. This is designated as the Tsavo Road and Railway National Reserve. That portion lying north and east of the road is designated Tsavo Park East; that to the south and west, Tsavo Park West. The Tsavo National Park is watered by two permanent rivers, the Tsavo River which flows through Tsavo Park West and the Athi River which crosses a corner of Tsavo Park East. The two unite above Lugard Falls to become the Galana River. The Voi River, to the south, is not permanent. Mainly on account of the difficult waterless nature of much of the terrain, parts of the Park have not yet been developed for visitors.

     

    These include the uninhabited scrub desert north of the Galana River. Most of the Park is made up of basement gneisses and schists, but part of the western sector is of recent volcanic origin, including the Chyulu Hills extension. Here may be seen many lava flows and cones, such as Shetani, near Kilaguni Lodge, which is a perfect example of a recent volcano. This volcanic zone also contains the famous Mzima Springs, where some 50 million gallons of sparkling crystal-clear water gush out daily from below a lava ridge. Hippopotamus and shoals of Barbel live in the springs and provide a dramatic spectacle. The water is so clear that every action of these huge aquatic beasts under the water, and of their attendant piscine scavengers, may be watched from the lookouts or through the plate-glass windows of the submerged observation chamber.

     

    Downstream from the springs is a dense and luxuriant stand of wild date palms and Raphia palms, the latter with immense fronds of up to 9m (30ft) long. It is not unusual to spot the rare and elusive African Finfoot swimming between the fronds where these touch the water. One of the other great spectacles of Tsavo Park, perhaps it’s greatest , is Mudanda Rock between Voi and Manyani. This 11/2km-long outcrop is a water catchment area which supplies a natural dam at it’s base. In the dry season, hundreds of elephants come to drink and bathe. From a safe vantage point just above the water visitors may have the luck to sit and watch the activities of great beasts below them. A similar elephant spectacle may also be observed at Aruba Dam. The Lugard Falls on the Galana River, 40km (25 miles) from Voi, are remarkable for the fantastic shapes of the water-worn rocks. The river disappears into a rocky gorge so narrow in one part that it is possible to stand astride the cleft with the Falls immediately below. At present there is a network of over 800km (500 miles) of roadways in the Tsavo Park, passing through much of the best game viewing areas and following the rivers where there is the greatest concentration of game during the dry season. Specially rewarding circuits are those along the Galana River from Lugard Falls to Sobo, southwards to Aruba and then north-west to Mudanda Rock; and from Kilaguni Lodge to Tsavo Gate, along a stretch of the Tsavo River. Elephants in large herds are the number one attraction in Tsavo. For those who like to indulge in game watching without effort, what could be pleasanter than to recline in a comfortable chair on the veranda of Kilaguni Lodge, a cold drink at hand, and watch the elephants take their refreshment from the waterhole 90m (100yd) or so away.

     

    Tsavo is also a good place to see one of our most beautiful antelopes, the Lesser Kudu with spiral horns and white striped coat. Whilst you may come across these graceful animals almost anywhere, the dry bush along the Galana River is their favourite haunt. Other animals likely to be encountered are Buffalo, Common Waterbuck, Eland, Gerenuk, Fringe-eared Oryx, Impala and Masai Giraffe. Black Rhinoceros, once numerous, are now less frequently seen. Birdlife is legion in the Park and the visitor is constantly meeting with new species. One of the most conspicuous is the White-headed Buffalo Weaver, brownish-black and white with a startling vivid red rump when it flies. Starlings are numerous, including the brilliantly plumaged Golden-breasted Starling and the rare but duller Fischer’s Starling. Hornbills are another prevalent group of birds, eight species occur in the Park. Birds of prey, Bustards, Sunbirds and Weaver-birds are other families well represented. Hole-nesting birds – Starlings, Parrots, Barbets and Rollers – are often associated with the thick trunked Baobab trees which are such a feature of the landscape. Accommodation in the Tsavo National Park includes Kilaguni Lodge, 35km (22 miles) from Mtito Andei, with full catering facilities and amenities. Some 32km (20 miles) from Kilaguni, at the end of the Ngulia Valley is the Ngulia Safari Lodge, also with all facilities. Nearby mist-netting is used to catch palearctic migrant birds for ringing. Just outside the southern boundary of the Park, south of the Taita Hills, are the Taita Hills Lodge and the nearby Salt Lick Lodge from which one can sometimes watch an elephant display at the water-holes there. One of Africa’s rarest birds, the Taita Falcon, sometimes visits these water-holes whilst hunting its avian prey. Voi Safari Lodge, sited on top of one of the hills near the main entrance gate to Tsavo East AT Voi, also offers full amenities. Further west there is a luxury camp operated by Tsavo Safaris on the Athi River, with an access road from Mtito Andei. Self-service accommodation is available at Kitani Lodge, Ngulia Self-service bandas and Murka Lodge in Tsavo West, and at Aruba Lodge in Tsavo East, 35km (22 miles) from Voi. There are bandas and a camp site with water at Lake Jipe, where a boat is also available. In addition there are camp sites with showers, toilets and drinking water at Tsavo East and West, Mtito Andei Gate, Chyulu Gate, Voi Gate and Buchuma Gate. They are sometimes used by film companies and booking is recommended. Outside the Park accommodation is available at hotels at Mtito Andei and at Voi. Main roads connect Tsavo National Park with Nairobi and Mombasa, and for those who travel by air there are landing fields at Kilaguni Lodge, Aruba and elsewhere.

     

    Tsavo West National Park

     

    Tsavo West National Park is a 9,000 sq km game park in southern Kenya, located about 200 km south-east of Nairobi. Separated only by the Mombasa/Nairobi road from Tsavo East, Tsavo West is part of the entire Tsavo eco-system. Tsavo is a model national park in both layout and its geophysical, animal amd plant diversity. Tsavo West has more than 2000 km of well maintained, all weather, roads. Good signposting leads the visitor from one natural wonder to another. Chief among these must rank the marvel of Mzima Springs, replenished with two hundred and twenty million litres of crystal clear water every day, from the underground streams stemming from the lava massif known as the Chyulu Hills, 40-50 km away. Mzima forms a haven for a rich wildlife pageant with elephant soaking half immersed in the waters, hippo, apparently weightless, tip-toeing across the bottom, crocodiles basking on the bank or swirling through the water; gazelles, zebra and giraffe wandering around the banks through the thick acacias and raffia palms together with hundreds of chattering monkeys and birds. There is well marked nature trails, an observation platform and an underwater glass tank which provides a special vantage point to view this remarkable oasis. Not far fron Mzima Springs, along a well-marked track, lies the precipitous magnificence of the Ngulia escarpment at the foot of the Ngulia Hills which rise to 1825 metres. Each year from late September to November, Ngulia has become the base of a unique phenomenon. Attracted by the lights of Ngulia Lodge, thousands of migrant birds descend through the mists which are prevalent at this time of the year to be netted, ringed and released. It has become one the the bird wonders of the world and provides vital information on the migratory routes and habits of many species common to the northern hemisphere. Reports of ringed birds have been received from as far north as St Petersburg, and from countries as widely separated as Oman, Malawi, Iran and Germany.

     

    Apart from the elephant population there are many lion-some undoubtedly the descendants of the famous Man-eaters of Tsavo! Among the less common animals to be found at the fringed-eared Oryx, the gerenuk and lesser kudu. The carnivores in addition to lion include serval, hyena, leopard, cheetah and caracal. The landscape is dominated, especially off the hills by the giant baobab, a tree which is reputed to live a thousand years. After the rains the park is showered with white and pink ipomea, the morning glory family, and the acacia trees are festooned in feathery masses of white and pink blossoms. The desert rose, somewhat like a miniature baobab, produces fuschia-pink flowers of striking beauty at almost any time of the year. This feast of wildlife, flora and birds combines to make Tsavo of special interest - an interest perhaps made greater by geological activity evidenced by a mass of recently extinct volcanoes and massive lava flows. It is also possible to make an excursion to the Chyulu Hills National Park which abuts tsavo to the North West. The Chyulus are one of the world's newest mountain ranges; the most recent volcanic peak was formed only 500 years ago. A four wheel drive track leads to this peak - Shaitani - from the Chyulu gate and it is simple to walk to the caves on the side of the volcano. It is a breathtaking landscape of rampant ferocity and the vistas to Kilimanjaro are unbeatable. At the other end of Tsavo West, in the south west corner, lies Lake Jipe. Bisected by the border with Tanzania it is a favorite haunt of bird watchers and boats are available for ardent ornithologists.

     

    Tsavo East National Park

     

    Tsavo-East is one of Kenya's oldest and largest National Parks covering almost 40% of the total area of Kenya's National Parks. The combined area of Tsavo East and West form one of the world's largest game reserves- 13,000 sq.km. Practically all of Kenya's wildlife is represented in the two Tsavo parks, with generous portions of elephant herds. Its beautiful landscape and proximity to the coast make it a popular safari destination. It is accredited as one of the world's leading biodiversity strongholds, bushy grassland and open plains alternate with semi-arid acacia scrub and woodlands. Green swathes cross the park where the river banks give raise to lush vegetation. North of Galana is a true wilderness. A number of leading tour guides offers private safaris across this area, camel safaris are a feature. Tsavo-East is recommended for photographers with its fabulous light and unbelievable views, in particular the Mudanda Rock and the Yatta Plateau, the world's largest lava flow. Lugard Fall on the Galana River are remarkable for the shaped water-worn rocks.

     

    Game includes: elephant, rhino, lion, leopard, crocodile, waterbuck, kudu, gerenuk and zebra and Hunter's Hartebeest can be seen with its lyre-shaped horns. Home to some of the largest herds in Kenya, the elephants glow red after dust baths, blowing the vivid red dust through their trunks over their bodies. Some 500 bird species have been recorded in the area, including ostrich and some migratory kestrels, while buzzards stop at Tsavo-East during their long flight south. The vegetation around Tsavo East National Park is savannah grassland with thorny bushes and some swampy marshland near Voi River. The landscape is unique because of the Yatta Plateau formed from the lava that oozed from Ol Doinyo Sabuk Mountain. The main river that passes through this park is the River Galana. A variety of animals can be seen: lions, leopard, cheetah, zebras, giraffes, serval, antelopes, kongoni, lesser kudu, oryx, klipspringer, impala, stripped hyena, gazelles, buffalos, and elephants. A variety of migratory and native birds are seen. The birds are viewed between late October and early January, and come from as far as Eastern and Western Europe. Commonly seen birds are African skimmers, goshawks, red and yellow bishops, palm nut vultures and the white-headed buffalo weavers. Some places of interest near the park are: Lugard Falls named after Lord Lugard, who volunteered for the British Diplomatic Services in East Africa. Crocodile Point on the Galana River. Mudanda Rock, a 2 mile stretch of an Ayers type of rock, which acts as a water catchments area supplying water to the dam below. Large numbers of elephants congregate there during the dry season.

     

    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 Taita Hills Wildlife 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 bush baby). Since most of the predators are also more active at night, the chances of encountering them on such a trip are also increased.

     

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