Tsavo National Park, Safaris, Lodges and tented Camps in Tsavo East and West
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    Grogans Castle Hotel Tsavo National Park Kenya

    Grogans Castle hotel is a luxury hotel situated below Mt Kilimanjaro on a hill top with stunning 360 degree views of the Pare Mountains, Lake Jipe, Tsavo National Park and obviously Mt Kilimanjaro! Grogan’s Castle Hotel is located in an area full of history, where many bloody battles were fought between the German forces based in their then colony Tanganyika and the British and allied troops based in Kenya. Imperial Germany’s General Von Lettow-Vorbeck slipped across the nearby border at Taveta with his troops and continued to inflict heavy casualties upon the allied forces in several battles and encounters, and a First World War Cemetery still reminds visitors of the events which took place nearly a century ago. Grogan's Castle Hotel is a Moorish/art deco designed building, built in the 1930's with original details that have just been renovated. Grogan's Castle Hotel is situated 280 kilometers from Mombasa, 450 kilometers from Nairobi via Voi, 350 kilometers via Emali /Oloitokitok road or 130 kilometers from Arusha. The Grogan's Castle Hotel Tsavo is only 25 minutes to the Lake Jipe entrance, to Tsavo West National Park. Grogan's Castle Hotel is 20 minutes to Lake Jipe which has the largest concentration of bird varieties in one area in Africa. The entire building was restored in 2008 to now accommodate guests and experience the history and culture of the day. Part monastery, part Moorish fort and part hacienda, the castle is approached via a road which snakes its way up the hill. Guests enter at the foot of broad steps leading to an arch with wrought-iron entrance gates. Beyond the gates is a central courtyard with a fountain and flowerbeds. Guests enjoy meals in Grogan's dining room. Here you will find the original dining table that Grogan hand made. It takes 13 men to move the table. The bedrooms in Grogan's Castle are all different but are all dominated by arches, high ceilings and space. The décor reflects the comfortable English-style decoration and, where ever possible, keeping with how the castle would have looked. There are many of original fittings and furniture from Grogan's time. Guests can relax on the deck and cool of in the splash pool. Five stylish self contained bedrooms now await tourists, coming either to visit Tsavo west and nearby Lake Jipe and Lake Chala, as does a guest cottage in the grounds of the ‘castle’. Meals are served on a ‘communal’ dining table where visitors have the opportunity during meals to share their finds and experiences and bringing them together in a family like setting rather than the separate seating used in other lodges and camps. Meals are ‘home cooked’ and the menu changes with the season to use fresh produce from their own farm and gardens. War history buffs will have rich pickings when coming to this – unjustifiably – less visited part of Kenya where they can still trace the old battle grounds and positions taken by the British and German forces, the latter incidentally never defeated in that campaign. Grogan Hotel Kenya is owned and managed by Basil Criticos, whose family also owns an extensive sisal estate in the area and who is both a former member of parliament for Taita/Taveta as well as a former cabinet minister in the government of then President Daniel arap Moi. Visible from Grogan’s, besides the nearby Pare Mountains, is also Mt. Kilimanjaro across the border in Tanzania which especially at sundowner time often appears in its full majestic view, best enjoyed from either the pool side or the main terrace of the imposing hill top ‘castle’. A 1.200 meter long murram airstrip offers the easiest option to come to Grogan’s and those with a bit of history on their visiting agenda will not be disappointed to have spent a few days there and being able to combine it with visits to nearby lakes and into the less explored part of Tsavo West National Park.

     

    Grogan's Castle Hotel Accommodation

     

    Grogan’s Castle Lodge is situated below Mt Kilimanjaro on a hill top with stunning 360 degree views of the Pare Mountains, Lake Jipe, Tsavo National Park and obviously Mt Kilimanjaro. There are five huge en-suite double bedrooms (or family as extra beds can be added). Each room is unique and tastefully decorated in the theme of that era – all have majestic views. The bedrooms in Grogan's Castle are all different but are all dominated by arches, high ceilings and space with en suite bathrooms. The decor reflects a comfortable "English" style decoration, where ever possible in keeping with how the castle would have looked. There are alot of original fittings and furniture from Grogan's time. Four of the rooms can accommodate extra beds and or a baby cot as they are so large. There is also a self catering cottage that can accommodate up to 8 people within the hotel grounds. There is a plunge pool with magnificent views of Mt Kilimanjaro and the Pare Mountains. There is also a self catering guest cottage that sleeps 4-6. Grogan’s Castle Hotel is about 20 km's south-west of Taveta town on the Kenya-Tanzania border. By road it is a five hour drive from Nairobi, turning south at Emali to Loitokitok, then turning left and follow the road to Taveta passing Lake Challa. Or Through the game park take the Mtito Andei gate and head for the Ziwani Gate near taveta. OR Voi take the Mwatate road to Taveta. From the coast, it can be reached through Tsavo West National Park exiting at the Lake Jipe Park gate or turning off at Voi. From Arusha it is a 2 hour drive through the Taveta Border take the Voi road and there are sign posts on the road. There is a dirt airstrip 1,200 meters in length adjacent to the Castle…coordinates are available.

     

    Grogan's Castle Hotel Activities

     

    Tsavo National Park

     

    Tsavo National Park is Kenya’s largest park divided by the Nairobi-Mombasa road into Tsavo West and Tsavo East. Grogan’s Castle actually adjoins Tsavo West, with the Park’s Lake Jipe Gate a mere 20 minutes drive away. Tsavo West is justly famous for its huge variety of wildlife; elephants, lion, leopard, giraffe, buffalo and even rhino abound. Crystal clear Mzima Springs, fed by the distant volcanic Chulyu Hills, has a unique underwater viewing hide to watch hippos and crocodiles swimming.

     

    Lake Chala & Lake Jipe

     

    These two lakes are very different from each other, Lake Jipe is a very shallow lake, with a high content of soda which one can see by the soda pans where the lake used to be in Grogan's time, when the lake reached below the castle. Lake Chala is so deep they have not found out its depth, the water comes direct from Mt Kilimanjaro by underground channels and is pure spring water. The British Army put a special dye into the water of Lake Chala to find out where the waters of Lake Chala went, and it came out just south of Shimoni near the Kenya-Tanzania border on the coast over 150kms away. Located to the South West of Tsavo West National Park, Lake Jipe is a small, shallow lake (area 28 square kilometers and average depth less than 3 meters), 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. Lake Chala is a crater lake in a caldera on the borders of Tanzania and Kenya on the eastern edge of Mount Kilimanjaro, not far from the town of Moshi and 8 km north of Taveta. Depending on the time of year, it ranges in color from deep blue to turquoise and green, it is surrounded by a 100 meters high crater rim. The lake is fed by groundwater flows, which come from Mount Kilimanjaro.

     

    Grogan's Castle Hotel History

     

    Grogan’s Castle was built in the 1930's“Part monastery, part Moorish fort and part hacienda it was approached via a road which snakes its way up the hill and deposited visitors at the foot of broad steps leading to an arch in which wrought-iron entrance gates were later set. Beyond the gates was a central courtyard with a fountain and flowerbeds.” Col Ewart Grogan “Once met, never forgotten” Ewart Grogan, dubbed "the boldest and baldest of a bold, bad gang" of pioneering settlers in Kenya, was a gentleman adventurer possessed of magnetic charm, a formidable intellect and a near boundless ego. He built Grogan's Castle in the mid 1930's and lived there until the late 1950's. Born in 1874, Col Grogan died on 16th August 1967 in a small flat in Rondebosch, South Africa - despite his wish to spend his last days at the Castle. Ewart Grogan fell in love with Gertrude Watt, the sister of a Cambridge classmate, but her stepfather disapproved of the match; while Grogan came from a respectable family, his own life had little to recommend it. He proposed becoming the first man to make the Cape to Cairo journey; the stepfather agreed that this would be a suitable test of his character and seriousness. He commenced his safari expedition from Cape Town to Cairo at the age of 24, reaching Cairo in 1900, after two and a half years of traveling. He had been stalked by lions, hippos, and crocodiles, pursued by headhunters and cannibals, plagued by parasites and fevers. He returned home a popular sensation. He was made a fellow of the Royal Geographic Society and met Queen Victoria. In four months of effort, Grogan wrote about his journey in From the Cape to Cairo; the first traverse of Africa from south to north (1902). Capping his success, he married Gertrude. He built and named children’s hospital after her when she died - called Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital which is still situated and operating in Muthaiga, Kenya. "Not only is the whole Hospital his gift to the children of East Africa, but his personal interest, drive and perseverance have been largely instrumental in thrashing the way through all the regulations and controls which make construction work such a nightmare to the ordinary citizen" From a report on the progress of the Gertrude's Garden Children's Hospital, given by Mrs. F.O.B Wilson in January 1947, shortly before the establishment of the Hospital.

     

    Tsavo National Park

     

    Tsavo National Park is one of the oldest and largest parks in Kenya, covers an area of 11,747 square kilometers. Situated in a semi-arid area previously known as the Taru Desert, it opened in April 1948 and is located near the town of Voi. The park is divided into east and west sections by the A109 road and a railway. It has been named after the Tsavo River, which flows west to east through the national park. It borders the Chyulu Hills National Park, and the Mkomazi Game Reserve in Tanzania. The park can be acceTsavssed by three main 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 slightly larger and flat, with dry plains across which the Galana River flows. Other features include the Yatta Plateau and Lugard Falls. Tsavo West National Park is more mountainous and wetter than its counterpart, with swamps, Lake Jipe and the Mzima Springs. It is known for birdlife and for its large mammals. It is also home to a black rhino sanctuary. Tsavo East National Park is one of the world's largest game reserves, providing undeveloped wilderness homes to vast numbers of animals. A comprehensive list of the animal types found in Tsavo East Park includes the aardwolf, yellow baboon, bat, cape buffalo, bushbaby, bushbuck, caracal, African wildcat, cheetah, African Civet, dik-dik, African hunting dog, African dormouse, Blue Duiker, bush duiker, Red duiker, eland, African elephant, bat-eared fox, greater galago, gazelle, large-spotted genet, small-spotted genet, gerenuk, giraffe, African hare, springhare, Coke's hartebeest, hunter hartebeest, East African hedgehog, spotted hyena, striped hyena, rock hyrax, tree hyrax, impala, black-backed jackal, side-striped jackal, klipspringer, Lesser Kudu, leopard, lion, banded mongoose, dwarf mongoose, Egyptian Mongoose, marsh mongoose, slender mongoose, white-tailed mongoose, black faced vervet monkey, Sykes' monkey, fringe-eared oryx, clawless otter, ground pangolin, crested porcupine, cane rat, giant rat, naked mole rat, ratel, bohor reedbck, black rhinoceros, serval, spectacled elephant shrew, bush squirrel, East African red squirrel, striped ground squirrel, unstriped ground squirrel, suni, warthog, waterbuck, common zebra and Grevy's zebra. variety of accommodations in tsavo is staggering and you can always find somewhere to stay, The Tsavo hotels vary from luxury hotels to bottom budget hotels level. Budget Tsavo campsites can be either organized safari package group or self drive camping. If paveling with an organized group you get camping safari equipment, safari guide and a safari cook. Book the hotels in Tsavo as far in advance as possible. Some of the Tsavo accommodation requires reservations months in advance during peak vacation months.

     

    Tsavo West National Park

     

    Tsavo West National Park Covers about 7065 km2, approximately Tsavo West National Park is 30% of Kenya’s area under parks, and contains a diversity of wildlife, habitats and a mountainous scenic landscape. The Mzima springs are one of the top attractions of this national park. You can get to watch elephants bathe among the the crocs and the hippos under-water glass tank from a unique vantage point. The baobabs that dot the landscape aren’t too shabby either. Stretching from Mtito Andei, The park is a vast expanse of savanna south to the Tanzanian border and along the Mombasa-Nairobi road. Along the Highway at The North Eastern boundary adjoins Tsavo East National Park, but Tsavo West has a more diverse array of habitats and a more varied topography than its neighbour. With Savannah bush and semi desert scrub, the park’s habitats include open plains alternating acacia woodlands; outcrops, rocky ridges and more belts of riverine vegetation; extensive ranges and isolated hills; palm thickets and on the Chyulu hills, mountain forest. There are numerous ridges and rocky outcrops, while a part of the park towards the Chyulu Hills, is of recent volcanic origin with lava flows and ash cones including the Shetani lava flow, an example of a recent volacano. On the Kenya-Tanzania in the far south western corner border is Lake Jipe, part of which is in the park. This very attractive lake is fed by the North Pare Mountains and runoff from Mt. Kilimanjaro. In the North of the park, at Mzima Springs, water that has filtered underground from the Chyulu Hills gushes from below a lava ridge into a series of clear pools. Actually, Tsavo West National Park located on South Eastern Kenya, inland from Mombasa, and the altitude ranges between 200 – 1000m. Attractions include he Major Attractions

     

    Recent volcanoes, caves and lava flows with potential for cave exploration and geological hiking. Mzima Springs & underwater hippo watching, Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary, Lake Jipe, Mt. Kilimanjaro, elephant, rhino, diverse bird and plant species. If you are lucky, there are also Wild dogs. Common vegetation is acacia commiphora is the most of the northern sector bush land with scattered trees such as baobabs, Adansonia digitata and Delonix elata. A range of craggy hills in the Ngulia area is heavily wooded and reaches around 1800m. The southern sector consists of open grassy plains. Through the northern part of the park with a fringe of riverine Acacia elatior, the permanent tsavo river runs Hyphaene compressa woodland. Bordered by extensive beds to Typha, Lake Jipe has large permanent swamps at its western and eastern ends. Fringed by Phoenix reclinata and Raphia farinifera palms are Mzima springs. To get to Tsavo west by roads, from Amboseli and Mtito Andei Gate from Nairobi (240 km) and Mombasa, the main access routes are through Chyulu Gate. From Mombasa, Visitors also use Tsavo Gate near Manyani. The park can also be reached via Taveta-Voi road through Maktau, Ziwani and Jipe gates. By Airstrips, there are in good conditions of airstrips like Kamboyo, Kilaguni, Tsavo Gate, Jipe, Kasigau, Finch Hottons, Ziwani and Maktau airstrips. Or via Park gates such as Chyulu, Mtito Andei, Tsavo, Jipe, Maktau Gate, Kasigau and Ziwani Gates.

     

    Tsavo East National Park

     

    Tsavo East National Park is the largest park in Kenya, Tsavo East National Park is home to elephant, giraffe, cheetah, lion, basically all the favorites. The park just an hour’s drive from mombasa and luckily its man-eating lions have long since been dealt with. Established on 1st April, 1948, Tsavo National Park has an area of 21,812 Km2, which make it as the largest Park in Kenya. For administrative purposes, in May 1948 Tsavo National Park was divided into East and West. The two Parks are divided by Nairobi and Mombasa railway road. Tsavo has many historical events when the Kamba and Waliangulu tribes used it as a hunting ground prior to gazettement. In 1848, Dr. Krapf journeyed on foot through this area crossing the Tsavo River on his way to Kitui, first European to see Mount Kenya. In 1898, construction of the railway reached Tsavo River. Lions terrorized the workers during the construction of the bridge, before being killed by Col. Patterson; the lions had been killing over 130 people. Tsavo East National Park is one of Kenya's oldest and largest parks: covering about 40 per cent of the total area of all national parks. Its beautiful landscape and proximity to the Coast make it a popular safari destination. t is one of the world's leading biodiversity strongholds, with bushy grassland and open plains alternating with savannah and semi-arid acacia scrub and woodlands. Green swathes cross the park where riverbanks give rise to lush vegetation. North of Galana is a true wilderness. Leading tour guides offer private safaris across this area. Camel safaris are available. Tsavo-East is recommended for photographers with its fabulous light and fantastic views, especially the Mudanda Rock and the Yatta Plateau, the world's largest lava flow. Lugard Falls on the Galana River are remarkable for the shaped water-worn rocks. Game includes: elephant, rhino, lion, leopard, crocodile, waterbuck, kudu, gerenuk and zebra. Aruba hunter's hartebeest, with its lyre-shaped horns, can also be seen. 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. One of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust elephant release sides is in this park. If you are a sponsor of a baby elephant you can arrange a visit with the Trust and visit with the elephants when they come for their afternoon drink and bath. About 500 bird species have been recorded including ostrich, some migratory kestrels and buzzards, which stop at Tsavo-East during their long flight south. To get to Tsavo East National Park Via Voi from Nairobi through the Manyani gate or Voi gate. Similarly, from Mombasa via Bachuma gate. From Malindi, via Sala gate. This road was recently graded and is attracting many visitors from North Coast. There are thirteen airstrips in the Northern part and six in the southern part of the park. No scheduled flights to the Park but chartered light planes can be used. The Park opens at 6.30 a.m. and closes at 6.30 p.m.

     

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