Tsavo, the region where Tsavo and Athi rivers meet, and the historical Mombasa-Kampala railroad stretches to connect the ocean with the depths of East Africa , is one of the most marvelous parts of Kenya for wildlife watching. The big five are ever-present in both Tsavo East and Tsavo West National parks, and Mt Kilimanjaro towers over the savannah in the distance. It is a great setting for a luxury vacation, and we have picked 7 most original luxury lodges for an unforgettable African holiday.
One of the oldest lodges in the area, Kilaguni Serena offers clear views over Mt Kilimanjaro and volcanic marvels of Chyulu Hills. Right by the lodge, you will find a large watering hole, frequented by wild animals at dawn and in twilight. The name of the lodge itself, means Place of the young rhino, and you will see a few of them in the surrounding savannah. Kilaguni landing strip is just 1km away.
A castle is a castle. Nothing can possibly beat a stay on magnificent double beds, within luxurious castle walls of Grogans. Built in 1930, this establishment is one of the oldest historical hotels in Kenya, overlooking Mt Kilimanjaro and Lake Jipe. Located only 70 km from Kilaguni airstrip, Grogans Castle provides both accessibility and privacy, surrounded by the stunning Kenyan landscape of Tsavo.
Located just off the Nairobi-Mombasa Highway, the camp offers accommodation in luxury tents overlooking the Tsavo river. Its name comes from the Bonnie and Clyde of the lion world, two man eating lions who terrorized the workers of Mombasa-Kampala railway in the end of 19th century. Fictional account of their lives featured in the 90s film, The Ghost and The Darkness, and their maneless descendants still roam the plains of Tsavo East and Tsavo West National parks, just within a short drive from the lodge.
This camp is one of the remotest corners of Tsavo East National Park, and if you are looking for complete privacy, this is place is your best bet for peace and quiet, away from the rest of civilization. Its 8 spacious bandas (bungalows) overlook the enormous volcanic Yatta Plateau and are extremely popular among adventurous honeymooners.
Sarova Salt Lick Game Lodge is located in the Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary, overlooking a large water hole that attracts wildlife from around the Park right before your eyes, while you are having your morning coffee in the Lodges delicious restaurant. Possibly one of the most fantastic perks of Salt Lick is the stilt construction: all bungalows are elevated on stilts high above the ground, providing you with a 360-degree view over the vast plains of Tsavo. No one has ever left this place indifferent and unsatisfied.
Kilalinda is located in the private wildlife conservancy at the edge of Tsavo East National Park and overlooks the breathtaking Athi River. Mt Kilimanjaro can be seen in the South on a clear day. All cottages in Kilalinda Lodge are tailored for privacy and extreme comfort (one of them even has a jacuzzi), and its private airstrip is accessible by a charter from Nairobi (the journey takes just 1 hour!)
This luxury lodge is located on the Aruba Dam, built specifically for fishing in the 1950s. The lodge has its own swimming pool and spacious bar, offers unique guided walks with expert bird watchers and lectures on wildlife conservation, as well as sunset cocktails and organized wedding or engagement ceremonies in the heart of wild savannah.
Castle, banda, tented camp or comfortable cottage Tsavo has it all for various tastes and characters. Make sure to bring your camera to capture the magical luxury of this corner of the planet.
Javier Luque is a Co-Founder and Director of Your African Safari.
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