Tsavo National Park, Safaris, Lodges and tented Camps in Tsavo East and West
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    Ol Donyo Wuas Lodge, Chyulu Hills, Tsavo National Park

    Ol Donyo Wuas Lodge is a luxury exclusive safari lodge located in the heart of the Mbirikani Maasai Group Ranch on the slopes of the Chyulu Hills National Park between Amboseli National Park and Tsavo West National Parks in southeast Kenya. Ol Donyo Wuas means “The spotted hill” in the Masai language, and is named for the hill behind the luxury lodge that has a treeline shaped like a spot on cowhide. Here in the isolated Chyulu hills the Ol Donyo Wuas Lodge is built on lava rock overlooking vast plains with Mount Kilimanjaro rising mistily in the distance. Ol Donyo Lodge Chyulu Hills is one of Kenya’s best kept secrets and it is the only lodge in 275,000 acres of pristine wilderness in the Chyulu Hills, this is a unique Kenya safari experience; nowhere else in Africa allows you to encounter so much wildlife among so few other people in so many different ways. Its location is unrivaled – full views of Mt. Kilimanjaro and in the path of traditional wildlife migration routes. Ol Donyo Lodge is a lodge rich in history, passion and conservation. Perched on a hillside, every view looks out across the vast savannah, No two suites or villas are the same, but what is consistent is the attention to detail, the comfortable yet utterly luxurious décor and the tradition of greatness. Regarded as one of the most attractive lodges in East Africa, Ol Donyo Wuas is a place to call home for as long as possible, special care has been taken in every aspect of the lodge.

     

    There is no dearth of activities– from culture to wildlife to tracking to horseback riding to mountain biking – Ol Donyo Wuas is a holistic experience. For over 20 years Ol Donyo Wuas Lodge Amboseli was the Africa cognoscenti’s dream holiday destination. Tucked away above the heat and malaria of the Kenya coast of Mombasa, and far away from the tourist circuit, Ol Donyo Wuas Lodge was a model for many of the ‘bush safari lodges’ that would follow. Imagine…275,000 acres of scenic Africa, where the wildlife can be found free and roaming, without tourists in mini buses or a set schedule. Imagine…traveling across the archetypal savannahs of East Africa in an open 4x4 game drive vehicle without limitation, feeling the rhythm of Africa beneath your feet as you walk with expert trackers, or horseback riding with Mt. Kilimanjaro as a backdrop. Imagine…exploring this paradise, and then coming home to one of the most luxurious small lodges in Kenya where a hot bath, in or outdoor shower, or private swimming pool await – all with inspiring views across the expansive plains, plus delicious food, charming hosts and world-class service.

     

    Ol Donyo Wuas Lodge Tsavo Park is an exclusive eco-lodge in the wilderness of southern Kenya; Ol Donyo Wuas comprises luxury private cottages and each solar-powered cottage affords sweeping views as well as a rooftop “star-bed” from which to gaze at the night sky. Decorated in the rustic style of wilderness lodges, the Ol Donyo Wuas Lodge Kenya provides comfort and modern amenities including massage services. At Ol Donyo safari Lodge the ‘element of surprise’ is around every corner, and when a lodge is placed upon a 275,000 acre sanctuary— anything is impossible, Ol Donyo Lodge is one of the few areas in East Africa where the Big Five can be found running free and wild outside of a proclaimed national park or game reserve. Yet, over twenty years ago, guests would have been excited if they saw just the fresh footprint of an elephant. Today Ol Donyo Lodge Africa wildlife is thriving, thanks to its practices and its community outreach programs. The area is now the home to some of the largest elephant “tuskers” alive in Africa today. A number of the massive elephants that frequent the lodge’s waterhole carry over 80 pounds of ivory. Amboseli Ol Donyo Lodge is in a really beautiful and remote part of the Chyulu Hills, this is not a place you just go for game viewing only, what you really go to Ol Donyo for is the activities; horseback riding safaris, mountain biking and walking safaris with experienced safari guides who are absolutely amazing, funny and smart. Ol Donyo Lodge is also a great place to learn about, and engage with, the Maasai community.

     

    Ol Donyo was the birthplace of the Maasailand Preservation Trust (MPT) which has done an amazing job working with the Maasai community to reduce poaching and promote conservation, exploring The Chyulu Hills is a magical experience and Tsavo Ol Donyo Lodge acts as the perfect starting point to explore this amazing area which rises up to 2,174m. The surrounding area is one vast volcanic geological outcrop covered by scenic and mysterious acacia forests which are the perfect place to see elephants, oryx, topi, zebra, impala and elands, not to mention a variety of around 380 bird species. The beautiful hills are bordered by an expanse of black lava flow known as Shetani (Devil) which originate from the hills and is the subject in many local legends. Right now Ol Donyo Lodge Tsavo Kenya guests are able to hike through lushness created by recent rains in the shadow of Mt Kilimanjaro but perhaps the greatest charm lies in the vast and mainly uninhabited panorama dominated by the mountain. The breadth and depth of Ol Donyo Wuas' living and dining area is absolutely awe-inspiring. Upon entering, one is immediately struck by spaciousness and yet the intimacy. The entire main area is set high on the hillside, and opens completely to the plains below, and Kilimanjaro in the distance. The use of stone, thatch and wood make for a very tactile experience, which fills the senses. The magnificent iron-ore chandeliers coupled with grand fireplace provide a warm glow, accented by the rich earth tones. The space flows; there are no straight lines and unique architectural details give character to every area. Arched doorways, indoor gardens, bronze sculptures, big wood doors, Victorian furniture and romantic prose grace the space.

     

    It is one-of-a-kind. Over 7,000 wild animals find their habitat in and around the Ol Donyo Wuas environs. Not only are the "Big Five" here - rhino, elephant, lion, leopard and buffalo - but also cheetah, Fringe-eared oryx, gerenuk, and giraffe among many others share this diverse landscape. Guests are able to track wildlife by vehicle, foot, or horseback. And night drives are featured for those interested in spotting the more elusive nocturnal species’ Donyo Wuas serves as an Africa Safari unparalleled by no other. Most of the staff at Ol Donyo Wuas Safari Lodge are Maasai and from Mbirikani, this in itself makes for a great 'soft' cultural experience, in the sense that you'll be in a position to chat with them throughout your stay; chances are that the man who brings your coffee in the morning (it's particularly good here) has hunted a lion in his youth. What's a certainty is that his family still live in a traditional Maasai manyatta by choice and that the thorn bomas they build around them aren't for show. Lion and hyena, of which there are plenty at Ol Donyo Wuas, have a (un)healthy appetite for cattle. Ol Donyo Wuas Lodge Africa itself is a very comfortable small lodge; a place to relax and read a book by the pool as much as to hike to the volcanic crater at the top of the Chyulus, there is no better way to end your day by sipping a nightcap in a very comfortable “star style” bed, falling asleep to the sounds of the African night around you.

     

    Some of the cottages have extra rooms to accommodate guests and young children.

     

    Just below the main area but still part of the hillside is an infinity pool, surrounded by voile curtains and scatter cushions. This is the perfect place to while away an afternoon while you get an impromptu view the resident giraffes at the waterhole below. Going down to the waterhole itself is a real treat. Imagine being a hair’s breath away from a giraffe as it comes down for a drink. The open air hide, or “log jam”, as it is called, provides guests with a safe haven where they can comfortably view the wildlife at an exceptionally close range. Outdoor lunches and candlelit dinners are at the order of the day, but nothing beats a bush breakfast or dinner under the African sky. The exclusivity of Ol Donyo Hotel becomes apparent after your first safari excursion. The entire area is reserved for guests and the local Maasai. This is Africa in its purest form. The Big 5 can often be seen around the reserve, but the rhinos can be quite shy and elusive, especially in the thicket. There is no set itinerary, but guests will not have a chance to get bored. The Maasai tribes are as much a part of the land as the wildlife, and guests are encouraged to Visit the villages to learn more about the local culture and way of life. Note that the Maasai will charge you a small fee if you want to take photos. Ol Donyo Wuas Lodge features ten standalone lodges, some of which are private accommodations and others are set up for families or small groups. There are three one bedroom lodges, the Asali, Mpiya and the Hide, a multi-level cottage located right next to the waterhole. There are four two bedroom lodges.

     

    The Sirra, Myati and El Mau have two bedrooms with private pools that can be used for families or guests that have not met. At certain times of the year when the Maasailand Preservation Trust coordinator is away from the lodge, the Kanga can be used for guests. It has its own dining room, lounge, and waterhole. The Sambu is a four bedroom family lodge with a shared lounge and private swimming pool. Each bedroom has its own en suite bathrooms with stunning views and flush toilets. In addition to the indoor showers and baths, guests can partake in a serene al fresco shower. Each room features private pools, and all rooms (except for the Hide) have a rooftop sundowner spot that also includes star beds for guests that would like to sleep out under the spectacular night sky. Ol Donyo Wuas Camp founder Richard Bonham had often flown over this spectacular landscape but one day in the 1980s, he was moved to land his Cessna on the open plains and meet the local Maasai. That was only the first of many meetings, before the birth of a pioneering community conservation tourism project. The concept was simple: Richard brings guests to this remote group ranch to participate in Kenya safaris, and the Maasai share the benefits. But nothing in Africa is that simple, really. And so began a life-long relationship with the Maasai, the wildlife and the ranch. In the early years Richard and his guests would be excited if they even saw the spoor of a passing elephant or lion. Today, after years of working together in a partnership whereby both the wildlife and the people benefit, there are elephant in front of the lodge almost every day. In fact, six bulls with some of the largest ivory in East Africa are regular visitors. Lion and cheetah, which were always present in many numbers, are on the increase and much less elusive. In a world where the last Black rhino was nearly shot to extinction, Mbirikani Group Ranch and the Maasai protect a secure breeding population deep in the Chyulu Hills’ mist forests. John Heminway, one of the most experienced and astute writers about Africa wrote recently in Travel and Leisure: “Richard Bonham could well be the father of the bush guest house. He built Ol Donyo Wuas many years ago and it still sets the standard.” Over the years, Richard and Tara Bonham with Richard’s sister Trish Luke have created one of the most beloved of East Africa’s bush lodges; and in the process, have played an integral leadership role in community conservation in the region. It was agreed, that though progress was being made, the lodge needed a new injection of investment, activities and conservation initiative. And so Great Plains joined the family, together with Richard and Tara, to initiate further possibilities to the benefit of both the Maasai and the wildlife. This will not be without its challenges, as we look to the pressures facing the people and the land.

     

    Population is expanding and in turn so is agriculture. The pressures on conservation and wildlife have never been so acute. We recognize that we must adapt and evolve, while working with the Maasai both on Mbirikani Group Ranch and surrounding group ranches to forge new partnerships and innovative thinking. It is the intention and the job, that by building a sustainable model for conservation and tourism, we will uplift our neighboring communities and protect the region’s wildlife. OlDonyo Wuas Lodge and the Maasai people of the Mbirikani Group Ranch are partners in plotting our communal destiny. The Maasailand Preservation Trust manages the partnership. The Trust maintains a series of important projects including The Predator Compensation Fund, Community Game Scouts, Environmental Scouts and education, Lion Guardians and field research, water management and reforestation. A visit to Ol Doyo Wuas Lodge is not simply about being a guest; it is about being a participant in community conservation. Each guest contributes to the survival of the region’s flora and fauna, and its noble people, the Maasai. Ol Donyo Wuas is a very diverse experience, so we’ve highlighted some its most special characteristics: With the traditions and history of two decades, but the luxuries of a 21st century rebuild, the lodge is arguably the most impressive in all of Kenya. One of the few properties in Kenya with private villas – a “lodge within a lodge” concept consisting of two suites, private lounge and swimming pool. These villas are designed for extra privacy or for families, groups of friends or multi-generational parties. (Special children safari activities are offered as well). Among the most diverse range of activities in Africa. Included in the all-inclusive rate are: 4×4 game drives; walks with armed guides; half and full-day horseback safaris (with a choice of over 20 quality horses that suit both advanced and novice riders); mountain biking on the open plains; close-up, safe, elephant experiences in the lodges open-air “log-jam” hide; fly camping; romantic roof top “star-beds”; bush breakfasts; dinner under the stars, authentic Maasai cultural visits; tracking with the Bloodhounds, and still more. The all-inclusive rate includes activities, all meals, all local drinks and house wines and laundry.

     

    Easy and reliable daily scheduled flights on Safarilink from Nairobi to the lodge’s private airstrip, with convenient onward connections to the Masai Mara, Laikipia and elsewhere. Built more than 20-years ago, Ol Donyo Wuas has established itself as one of eastern Africa’s first bush lodges, and has been recognized as a symbol of authenticity and tradition ever since, this quaint lodge offers guests an experience far from touristy hot-spots and large groups of travelers. While participating in safari to Kenya excursions throughout your stay, you’ll discover everything from insects and reptiles, when you’re not taking part in a game drive or walking safari, you can learn about indigenous plants used for medicinal purposes from the Maasai people during a Maasai cultural visit. After 20 years, Ol Donyo Lodge was starting to look jaded and the decision was made to rebuild rather than to patch. Towards the end of 2007, the old rooms were torn down and a fresh, new Ol Donyo reopened in July 2008 to enthusiastic reviews. Today, Ol Donyo has a total of 22 beds in seven stand alone cottages. The seven individual cottages are built with local materials.

     

    Ol Donyo Wuas Safari Lodge Accommodation

     

    8 cottages are each defined by a unique character; with the emphasis on comfort and privacy. The architecture is uniquely African and the cottages were constructed using only local materials. The lodge has featured in leading European and African architecture journals. All cottages have a veranda with panoramic views of the plains and Mount Kilimanjaro in the distance. Ol Donyo Wuas also focuses on development and eco-tourism, forming the Maasailand Preservation Trust in 1992 to build schools, health clinics and also to oversee the training of 86 community game scouts in the Tsavo/Amboseli ecosystem. The cottages have en suite bathrooms, with solar power lighting and hot showers. Wood burning stoves serve as as a back ups. Two of the cottages have an additional bedroom for guests traveling with children. 300 000 acres of wildlife lies stretched out in Ol Donyo Wuas, with only the one fence that surrounds the lodge to keep the wildlife out. 7000 head of resident wildlife and the Big Five roam within the 300 000 acres. A resident herd of elephant roam near the lodge. 71 species of mammals have been identified around Ol Donyo Wuas, including the Oryx, Eland, Gerenuk, Lesser Kudu, Giraffe, Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, Jackal, Hyena, and Bat-eared Foxes. 333 species of birds, 1030 species of plants, 28 species of reptiles and 68 species of butterflies have so far been recorded in the Chyulu Hills. Activities include night and day game viewing from open landrovers. Horse riding on the open plains or through the misty forests, walking and hiking, are some other activities that involve you closely with the bush. The waterhole lies just below the swimming pool, giving you unlimited game views while you take a dip in the gorgeous pool. Ol Donyo Wuas has recently been Highly Commended for the British Airways Tourism for Tomorrow Awards for our community projects and eco-friendly practices

     

    Ol Donyo Wuas Safari Lodge Meals

     

    The breadth and depth of Ol Donyo Lodge's living and dining area is absolutely awe-inspiring. The entire main area is set high on the hillside, and opens completely to the plains below, with Mount Kilimanjaro ever present in the distance. The use of stone, thatch and wood make for a very tactile experience, which fills the senses. The magnificent iron-ore chandeliers coupled with grand fireplace provide a warm glow, accented by the rich earth tones. Arched doorways, indoor gardens, bronze sculptures, Zanzibar wood doors, Victorian furniture and romantic prose grace the space. Al fresco lunches on the verandah and or candlelit dinners in the main dining room are wonderful, but we also enjoy hosting breakfasts in the plains and dinners under the African sky; or surprise sundowners and classic English tea in the romantic setting of the bush. Finally, it's a night cap around the cozy outdoor fireplace to round out another perfect day in Africa. Just below the main area, but also on the hillside is a breathtaking infinity pool, complete with a private lounge and dining area. With views of the lodge’s famous waterhole and luxurious voile curtains and cushions, it's the perfect place to while away the afternoon. There is a range of activities available – from cultural visits, good quality wildlife viewing and tracking, horseback riding and mountain biking, In-room massages.

     

    Horseback Riding on Safari

     

    The expansive open spaces at Ol Donyo Wuas provide an outstanding setting for horseback rides and walks. Horseback riding safari is a specialty with Ride Kenya stables on site, they can do excellent three hour trail rides for novices or operate full on multi-day riding safaris with mobile camping for experts. Most of the horses are thoroughbreds but they had an excellent power horse, Ride Kenya Mobile Horse Safaris boasts access to one of the largest expanses of Africa. Extending through an awe-inspiring range of ecosystems – from the dry lakebeds of Amboseli in the east and to the majestic Chyulu Hills in the west – this is quintessential East Africa. Mount Kilimanjaro rises in the distance providing watch over our explorations. But how did this all come to be? It may seem to be a fairytale, but for Patrick Stanton and Nicola Young, it is reality. The intrepid duo envisioned taking their love of horses to the African bush. After meeting as students in Connecticut, American-born Patrick and UK-born Nicola set their sights on conducting horse safaris in Africa. An introduction to Richard Bonham, owner of ol Donyo Lodge at the time, proved to be just the right match. And after a few years of setting up the stable, including many trips to southern Africa to obtain the absolute best retinue of horses, Ride Kenya Mobile Horse Safaris was ready to go.

     

    That was in 2006 and since then; Ride Kenya Mobile Horse Safaris has grown into an entity all its own, offering day trips for guests of ol Donyo Lodge as well as multi-day mobile horse safaris. Nicola and Patrick are true experts in their field, and under their guidance, Ride Kenya Mobile Horse Safaris has become internationally recognized for its professionalism and extraordinary experiences. Joining Patrick and Nicola is Kimani Davy, a young Kenyan man who has grown up riding horses, including competitions and extensive overland safaris. Kimani is a 'jack of all trades' as well, often seen fixing vehicles at one point and then doctoring and training horses the next followed by cooking over the fire. There are two options to participate with Ride Kenya Mobile Horse Safaris’: half-day or full day rides from ol Donyo Lodge, or join a multi day guaranteed set departure luxury mobile horse safari to the Amboseli or within the Chyulu Hills environs. The latter operate independently of oI Donyo Lodge and are managed and guided by Patrick or Nicola. Ride Kenya Mobile Horse Safaris’ herd of over 25 very well schooled horses are fit to handle many variables depending on the terrain, the wildlife and all experience levels of rider, although intermediate to advanced riders are only confirmed on our multi day guaranteed set departure luxury mobile horse safaris. The typical day on one of our multi day guaranteed set departure horse safaris consists of about four to seven hours in the saddle, covering a distance between 15 – 30 miles depending on terrain and sightings. We also offer riders the chance to enjoy game drives, bush walks and night game drives during their mobile safari. Many of Ride Kenya’s Mobile Horse Safari guests enjoy a night or two at ol Donyo Lodge either before or after their safari. This is an excellent add-on to our set departure safari itineraries.

     

    The "Log-Jam" Hide

     

    Imagine being at eye-level with one of Ol Donyo Wuas' 100-pound tusker elephants, or looking at the knobby knees of a giraffe, all while sitting peacefully and absorbing the intimacy of this precious moment. It is a privilege. This is Ol Donyo Wuas' "log-jam" hide, a mass of heavy logs piled about five feet high and 3 feet thick, where guests are able to safely view wildlife at exceptionally close range at the lodge's waterhole. After a visit to the hide, guests learn so much about the wildlife, and elephants in particular, as they are able to watch interactions and movements closely. It is almost like briefly being a part of the herd. The "log-jam" hide, located just a short walk from the lodge's main area, can be a short activity at mid-day, or it can be a full half-day activity. This lodge is particularly family friendly and is perhaps the ideal location for multi generational family safari holidays with plenty to suit all age groups. Ol Donyo Lodge can be combined in a superb flying safari circuit with Rekero Camp or Il Moran Camp in Maasai Mara and a few days in Kinondo Kwetu in South coast.

     

    Day trips to Amboseli

     

    Our proximity to Amboseli National Park gives the opportunity for full day safari to Amboseli. Guests depart the lodge after breakfast for a leisurely drive across the plains and through small villages. We usually arrive at the park in the mid-morning and depart in the mid-afternoon. We have selected this time of day as it coincides with the time when the guests from the large lodges are on siesta, and vehicle density is at its lowest. This is also the time when the elephant and plains game congregate around the waterways and marshes in high density. This excursion can only be guaranteed in advance, please book it at the time of reservation. It is subject to additional cost. We operate where possible on an all-inclusive tariff where everything at the lodge is included. The exceptions to this are the Amboseli excursion and the Amboseli Park entry fees and massages. The Maasai villagers will charge individuals for having their photos taken, but the cost of getting there is included in the tariff.

     

    Ol Donyo Wuas Safari Lodge Conservation

     

    The Maasailand Preservation Trust was founded in 1992 by Richard Bonham in response to the increasing conflict between the ecosystem and its human inhabitants. Its main focus is to provide the Maasai people with financial and other critically important benefits in return for conserving wildlife and habitat. A pioneering project that has been very successful is the Predator Compensation Scheme. Maasai pastoralists around Amboseli have for the first time agreed not to kill predators in retaliation when a lion, cheetah, leopard, or hyena kill their livestock. Instead they are now financially compensated for their losses. Every livestock animal killed by a predator results in an agreed cash compensation for the owner. Agreements and contracts have been signed with Maasai communities over an area of over a million acres. This project has been so successful that the predator slaughter and population decline has stopped. But the financial costs are high. Ol Donyo Wuas, via its affiliated trusts, now spends between $100,000 and $200,000 a year to compensate the communities for any livestock killed around Ol Donyo Wuas and on the tribal lands that surround Amboseli. he trust has also worked in close collaboration with local communities on 1) improving health care and education, 2) using game scouts to combat game meat poaching and resolve human-wildlife conflict, 3) monitoring of highly endangered species, such as the Chyulu Black Rhino, and 4) conserving habitat through reforestation and natural resource management. in its battle against poachers, Ol Donyo Wuas is one of the few places that makes highly successful use of bloodhounds for tracking. An equally significant conservation program at Ol Donyo Wuas is the partnering with the neighboring community to create a new wildlife conservancy and sanctuary that will guarantee the safety of wildlife while simultaneously uplifting the local Maasai community. The community will lease land to Ol Donyo Wuas to create a new conservancy.

     

    In return, Ol Donyo Wuas will guarantee payments each quarter to some 4500 rural Maasai families who earn little or no other revenue besides what they can earn from their livestock. The first phase of this program is to create a conservancy of over 22,000 acres. An agreement has been struck in principal and the plan ultimately is to enlarge this to 70,000 acres, once Ol Donyo Wuas’s occupancies and revenues increase. This will create wildlife migration corridors that will link up old migration routes between Amboseli, Tsavo, and Chyulu parks. Besides the obvious benefit of creating a wildlife conservancy, the project will ensure that money gets paid largely to families. “The aim of this form of payment policy is to ensure that the lowest strata of Maasai society in the region receive direct financial benefits from wildlife and the creation of the conservancy – and in particular that the women and families have the opportunity to earn money themselves. Studies have shown that once the women are involved in the community’s finances, their families and that of the community at large have the best chance of upliftment.”

     

    Ol Donyo Wuas Lodge Fly Camping

     

    East Africa is classic safari country and it would be a shame for guests to visit Kenya without experiencing a night out under canvas with traditional camp amenities, drinks under the open sky by the fire followed by our superb campfire cuisine. Ol Donyo Wuas Lodge campsites are chosen based on the season, so your camp may be out on the plains or up in the Chyulu hills, and you can choose to get to your fly camp on horseback, by vehicle or the way the explorer's did - on foot. Seduction Rock is a famous overnight spot (and we are led to believe that it always works!) 8.5 hour international flight to Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta Airport, then its 30 minute by road to Wilson Domestic Airport. Scheduled flights from Nairobi’s Wilson airport to Ol Donyo Lodge airstrip take about 1 hour. On arrival at the airfield, the vehicle transfer to the lodge is approximately 30 minutes, allowing time for game viewing.

     

    Tsavo National Park

     

    Tsavo National Park covers an area of 20,807sq km and is Kenya's largest wildlife stronghold. The park is bisected by the main Nairobi - Mombasa road and railway. The portion lying north of the road is known as Tsavo East and the portion to the south, Tsavo West. Tsavo East is the larger of the two covering just over 12,000sq km although much of the area north of the Galana River is closed to the public. The Southern section of the park is very accessible with a good network of dusty tracks. Certain sections around the Voi Gate can be pretty busy with traffic but the park is so vast that it is possible in other areas to drive several hours without seeing another vehicle. The terrain is not as varied as in West Tsavo but switches between open plains, semi arid acacia scrub and woodlands. The most scenic section is along the Galana River which flows throughout the year and provides a corridor of lush greenery amongst a frequently harsh and arid landscape. At Lugard Falls the entire river disappears into a rocky grove so narrow that it is possible to stand astride the cleft with the Falls immediately below. Tsavo is not a reserve to come and tick off large numbers of big game. Rather, it is about relaxing and enjoying the animals and birds in a true wilderness. Elephants in big herds are possibly the main attraction of the park with many converging on the rivers and waterholes to drink in the dry season. Many of these elephants are "red", and this unusual colour is created by taking dust baths in the brick red earth. Lions are not uncommon and it is also a good park to see lesser kudu as well as buffalo, common waterbuck, eland, gerenuk, fringe-eared oryx, impala and Maasai giraffe. Over five hundred species of birds have been recorded including the saddle billed stork, martial eagle and the violet wood hoopoe.

     

    Tsavo West National Park

     

    Tsavo West National Park is located in south-east Kenya and stretches over 9,065 square kilometers. Tsavo West provides various different landscapes with hills and mountains, rocky ridges, open grasslands, semi-arid desert-scrublands, Acacia woodlands and belts of riverine vegetation with palm trees. The mountains and hills are of volcanic origin and several lava flows like Shetani and Chaimu report of recent eruptions only some hundred years ago. In Tsavo West National Park you have a good chance to see leopard and black rhino (there is a fenced protection area - sanctuary for black rhino within the park), elephant, giraffe, lesser kudu, zebra, waterbuck, lion, buffalo, baboon, vervet monkey, mongoose and rock hyrax. Around 600 bird species have been recorded in Tsavo West, including eagles, hawks, herons, ostriches, kingfishers, weavers, hornbills, buzzards, secretary birds and many more. During the period from October to January you will also see lots of migratory birds spending the European winter time in Tsavo. A special attraction in Tsavo West National Park is Mzima Springs, a natural spring whose water covers a journey of 50 kilometers underground through volcanic rocks before getting to the surface. The spring produces a clear stream that flows through a series of pools, surrounded by rich vegetation of Acacia trees, date and raffia palms, figs and others. The trees are home to vervet monkeys and various birds while the water is the habitat of crocodiles, hippos and several kinds of fish, easy to watch from the windows of a submerged viewing point in one of the pools. These are the most numerous of Tsavo’s inhabitants. There are the characteristic termite mounds, with turrets rising into the air or clinging to the sides of shading bushes. The rains awaken veritable army of sleeping siafu who swarm over the landscape devouring all and sundry. Butterflies gather at puddles and include the delightful, Colotis, with bright-red wing-tips.

     

    Tsavo East National Park

     

    Tsavo East national park in Kenya consists mainly of flat, open savannahs without dense vegetation giving it's visitors better options for wildlife viewing – for many the main reason to go on a safari. Typical of the Eastern park is the magnificent red-brown color of the earth and roads, and the lonely baobab trees on the savannah plains. Of interest in this eastern side of Tsavo include the Yatta Plateau, with 290 kilometers the world’s longest lava flow, which runs along the western border of the park. The Lugard's Falls, named after British colonial administrator Frederick Lugard, is actually a series of rapids on the Galana River. In general, a lot of animals gather around the waterhole at Voi Safari Lodge, at the Kanderi Swamp and at the Aruba Dam across the Voi River. Waterbucks, kudus and Dik Diks are common along the banks of the Galana River, one of Kenya’s biggest rivers which flow through the park. At Crocodile Point, you can see hippos and crocodiles. Elephants are mainly present in the southern part, and during the dry season they often gather at Mudanda Rock. Pretty unique is the population of Hirola antelopes, which has been decimated during the last decades by poachers. Tsavo East now harbors a quarter of the total Kenyan Hirola antelope population of about 500. There are also some 50 black rhinos in Tsavo East. Furthermore, Tsavo East national park in Kenya is home to over 500 bird species, among which are buzzards, kestrels, weaver birds, starlings, herons, secretary birds, kingfishers and ostriches. Tsavo East National Park is home to large families of elephants, constantly ranging over the plains and bush in search of forage and water. Wise, old matriarchs lead the herds over expansive territories to congregate at rivers or, in severe droughts, to dig wells in the dry riverbeds. The sight of dust-red elephants wallowing, rolling and spraying each other with the waters of the palm-shaded Galana River is one of East Africa's most evocative and enduring images. Waterholes are the best place to watch for wildlife as both predators and prey come to drink, hunt and play. In the bush, watch for the darting diminutive dik diks and the regal oryx, running with their splendid horns spread back. Rolling savannah, dotted with rocky hills, are the favored haunt of lion as they trail herds of buffalo, zebra and antelope. Giraffe frequent areas along the Galana River near troops of yellow baboon. Below Lugard's Falls is Hippo Point and Crocodile Point, popular sites for wallowing hippo and basking crocodile. Keep your eyes open for black rhino, especially in the Ashaka area, and for small herds of the critically endangered Hirola (Hunter's hartebeest) which have been translocated to the park. In the dry bush banks of the Galana River, resides one of Kenya's most beautiful antelopes, the lesser kudu. Tsavo East’s prolific bird life with over 500 recorded species, includes the noisy flocks of orange-bellied parrots, whose clashing colours of green and bright orange are difficult to miss, and the rare Somali ostrich, with its distinctive blue legs and neck. Hunting over the savannahs are many birds of prey: the magnificent martial eagle, the lovely Bateleur and the migratory lesser kestrel. Often seen are the shy African finfoot and the white-headed buffalo weaver with its bright and red rump. Around Aruba Dam is a profusion of birds, while along the Galana River you’re likely to spot the Maasai and Somali ostrich as well as the saddle-billed stork and an east Africa speciality, the vulturine guinea fowl.

     

    Chyulu Hills Park

     

    Chyulu Hills Hotels, Camps and Lodges, Hotels in Chuylu National Park Kenya. Chyulu Hills National Park is an extension of Tsavo West National Park. Chyulu Hills are a volcanic mountain range situated between Amboseli and Tsavo West and covers an area of 741 square kilometers. Chyulu Hills National Park stands at an altitude of 1,500 – 2,160 meters above sea level and is located in Makueni District, south-east of Nairobi about 230 kilometers away or a 5 hours drive by road. Chyulu Hills National Park Safari Hotels, Lodges and Hotels include Campi Ya Kanzi, Tsavo West Finch Hattons Camp, Tsavo West Kilaguni Lodge Serena Lodge, Tsavo West Ngulia Safari Lodge. Others include Tsavo West Ol Donyo Wuas, Tsavo West Salt Lick Lodge – Taita Hills Sanctuary, Tsavo West Severin Safari Camp, Taita Hills Lodge – Taita Hills Sanctuary, Tsavo West Voyager Ziwani Safari Camp and Tsavo West Man Eaters Camp

     

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