"On the Roads Less Travelled" II - Some Questions?





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  1. #1
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    Default "On the Roads Less Travelled" II - Some Questions?

    HI,

    We are on the final planning stages of a trip to Kenya next October. Picking on the excellent and original thread "The roads less travelled" by WW, I wonder which way would be best to get from Lake Jipe to the Northern developed area of Tsavo West NP (Chyulu Public Campsite). Any comments would be much appreciated.

    Thank you.

    AP
    Last edited by apfac; 2018/05/27 at 11:16 PM. Reason: spelling

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    Default Re: "On the Roads Less Travelled" II - Some Questions?

    Hi Pedro,

    I believe Wazungi Wawili and her husband are already on their way toward Angola on their latest bundu bashing trip, so she will probably not be able to give you guidance very soon. And I don't think there are many other forum members that have visited those less traveled parts of Kenya.

    But if you haven't bookmarked it yet, save the URL of The Kenyan Camper's blog. This is exactly the part that you are asking for: https://thekenyancamper.com/2017/08/...ampsite-kenya/
    24 hours in a day.... 24 beer in a case.... Coincidence?
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    Default Re: "On the Roads Less Travelled" II - Some Questions?

    Hi Ortelius,

    Apologies for the late reply! Thank you for the link. Yes I already had it bookmarked and had a look at it during the weekend. The route is possibly the one to take. Nevertheless I was just wondering if anyone in the forum has done it before, or if there is any other alternative.

    Thanks again.

    AP
    Last edited by apfac; 2018/05/28 at 11:50 PM. Reason: Phrase construction!

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    Default Re: "On the Roads Less Travelled" II - Some Questions?

    Greetings from the Namibia Angola border.

    Apfac: I will reply in detail in about 6 weeks, but, briefly, there are a number of potential routes from Lake Jipe to Chyulu public campsite. You could backtrack to the main Taveta-Voi road and drive up that tarmac road to the Manyani (I think that’s the name) gate and then towards Kilaguni lodge and the public campsite. Or you could go due north from Lake Jipe to the Manyani Gate. For this second option I would ask the staff at Lake Jipe about the state of this track.

    Otherwise, you could turn your trip around and go to Chyulu campsite first and then take a track south to the Ziwani gate, through the farm and to Lake Chala, and then from Lake Chala to Lake Jipe.

    Not so brief in the end...

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    Default Re: "On the Roads Less Travelled" II - Some Questions?

    PS

    Apfac

    I am thrilled that you are going on the Kenyan roads less travelled and thank you and ortelius for your nice comments.

    Obrigado (practising our Portuguese!)

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    Default Re: "On the Roads Less Travelled" II - Some Questions?

    Hi WW,

    Thank you for taking the trouble to answer to the thread. Once you back we can discuss it a little bit further.

    Have a safe and joyful trip into Angola.

    Boa Viagem (safari njema!)

    AP

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    Default Re: "On the Roads Less Travelled" II - Some Questions?

    Cant wait for WW to get back and read her trip report. No pressure!

    As an aside, is it worth putting Olduvai Gorge down as a interesting spot to visit ?

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    Default Re: "On the Roads Less Travelled" II - Some Questions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Slowones View Post
    ...As an aside, is it worth putting Olduvai Gorge down as a interesting spot to visit ?

    Hi Slowones,

    Olduvai/Oldupai Gorge sits in Tanzania, on your way to the Serengeti from NCA (East B144). It is indeed a very scenic and beautiful place to visit, specially if you want to take a overnight break between the two major parks.

    AP

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    Default Re: "On the Roads Less Travelled" II - Some Questions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wazungu Wawili View Post

    "... there are a number of potential routes from Lake Jipe to Chyulu public campsite. You could backtrack to the main Taveta-Voi road and drive up that tarmac road to the Manyani (I think that’s the name) gate and then towards Kilaguni lodge and the public campsite. Or you could go due north from Lake Jipe to the Manyani Gate. For this second option I would ask the staff at Lake Jipe about the state of this track.

    Otherwise, you could turn your trip around and go to Chyulu campsite first and then take a track south to the Ziwani gate, through the farm and to Lake Chala, and then from Lake Chala to Lake Jipe.

    Not so brief in the end...

    Hi WW,

    Thank you again for the input. I gather (T4A info) that the access gate to Tsavo West, from the Taveta - Maktau gate- Voi towards Ziwani Gate is closed. Do you know if this is true? As you said there are several options to get from Jipe to Chyulu PC. Turning the the trip around , I think it would not be feasible as we plan to go towards Tsavo East before returning to Nairobi.

    The intended itinerary will look like this :

    - 1N Nairobi (JJ)
    - 6N at Mara Conservancy, 2N of which will be on a SCS (Olarro);
    - 1N Nairobi (JJ)
    - 3N Amboseli (Kimana PCS);
    - 1N Tsavo West - Lake Jipe;
    - 2N Tsavo West - Chyulu PCS;
    - 3N Tsavo East - Ndololo PCS ;
    - TE to Nairobi and then a late night flight Home (unfortunately);

    Do you think that the spreading of nights on the second half of the trip (Amboseli/ TW/TE) is Ok?


    Any comments from our forum members will be most welcome.

    AP
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    Last edited by apfac; 2018/08/05 at 12:32 PM.

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    Default Re: "On the Roads Less Travelled" II - Some Questions?

    Hi apfac

    I have not heard about any closures of gates to Tsavo West NP from the Taveta-Voi road. Please see this http://www.kws.go.ke/tsavo-west-national-park which mentions all the gates from the Taveta-Voi road as well as the Ziwani gate.

    I have a proposition for you. What about going from Lake Jipe on to the Taveta-Voi road (which is excellent new tarmac) and all the way to Voi? Then do Tsavo East NP entering at the main Voi gate.

    After your time in Tsavo East NP, exit through the Manyani Gate. Then enter Tsavo West NP through the Tsavo Gate and make your way to the Chyulu public campsite. This then avoids too much backtracking and limits your time on the main Mombasa-Nairobi road.

    From Chyulu campsite, exit Tsavo West through the Chyulu gate and take the dirt road from there west to the Amboseli area. At the village of Kimana just outside Amboseli turn right (north) on to the tarmac road up to Emali where you will join the main Mombasa-Nairobi road. This makes a nice loop without too much backtracking and you will then spend much less time on the main road and more time seeing Africa (instead of a wall of trucks).

    Anyway, something for you to think about.

    You might want to spend less time in Amboseli NP. It is one of the “premier parks” with higher park fees than either of the Tsavos. But I love Amboseli which is picture postcard iconic Africa. For what it’s worth, I prefer Tsavo West to Tsavo East because of the mountains and landscape, but the bush is thick and game spotting can be a challenge. Tsavo East is flatter and hotter (lower in altitude).

    I see from your map that you are planning the road less travelled along the border from near Oloitokitok past Lake Chala and then to Taveta and Lake Jipe (as we did in our “Roads less travelled” adventure in December 2017).

    Let me know if you need any more help.

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    Default Re: "On the Roads Less Travelled" II - Some Questions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wazungu Wawili View Post
    " ... I see from your map that you are planning the road less travelled along the border from near Oloitokitok past Lake Chala and then to Taveta and Lake Jipe (as we did in our “Roads less travelled” adventure in December 2017). ..."
    Hi WW,

    First, apologies for the late reply, and in thanking you back for your comments. Yes, we are following some of the roads less travelled, and so adding some spice to a classic Kenyan Route.

    Your suggestion in doing the West first and then the East is quite pertinent, as we would leave the park westward, to Emali, on our way back to Nairobi. The reason I did not think of it first was that I wanted/ want to explore / transverse the southern part of Tsavo West on our way to the "Developed" Northern part. Scenery wise it might be much more interesting (wildlife viewing more difficult though), and we would take that day as an "exploring" /game drive day in the park, while moving from Jeep to Chyulu CS. This would leave us with one day less to explore the Northern part, or we should extract it from somewhere else. While searching the route I could only get hold of some reports, from 3 different people, but pertaining to the same trip (I guess). Further I do not know what to expect from the conditions of those murram roads, in October.
    You suggestion looks safer, but less "exploring" regarding the southern part of Tsavo West.

    It will be a difficult decision, that I will have to mature, and probably only decide during the trip, as the degree of confidence (or not) on the rented wheels grows.

    Thank you again.

    AP

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    Default Re: "On the Roads Less Travelled" II - Some Questions?

    Apfac

    I think your idea of seeing how things are when you get to Lake Jipe and ask the rangers is a good plan.

    But it is undoubtedly true that the southern section of Tsavo West NP (that is, between the Taveta-Voi road and the Tsavo river) is in the category of the “roads less travelled” - and therefore not much maintenance. This is also the area where illegal grazing of cattle was happening during the last drought. There are luxury tented camps (such as Finch Hatton’s) near the Ziwani gate, but nothing so far as I know around the Mbuyuni or Maktau gates. Luxury tented camps and lodges are generally set up where there is game to be seen.

    A few years ago, the roads south of the Tsavo river were in a very poor state. The road from Ziwani gate to the Mzima Springs area was reasonable and will be driven more often. There are also fine views of Kilimanjaro from/around Ziwani.

    Many years ago, near the Maktau gate, we saw a lioness looking out of a window of an old abandoned house. A truly surreal sight.

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    Default Re: "On the Roads Less Travelled" II - Some Questions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wazungu Wawili View Post
    Apfac

    I think your idea of seeing how things are when you get to Lake Jipe and ask the rangers is a good plan.

    But it is undoubtedly true that the southern section of Tsavo West NP (that is, between the Taveta-Voi road and the Tsavo river) is in the category of the “roads less travelled” - and therefore not much maintenance. This is also the area where illegal grazing of cattle was happening during the last drought. There are luxury tented camps (such as Finch Hatton’s) near the Ziwani gate, but nothing so far as I know around the Mbuyuni or Maktau gates. Luxury tented camps and lodges are generally set up where there is game to be seen.

    A few years ago, the roads south of the Tsavo river were in a very poor state. The road from Ziwani gate to the Mzima Springs area was reasonable and will be driven more often. There are also fine views of Kilimanjaro from/around Ziwani.

    Many years ago, near the Maktau gate, we saw a lioness looking out of a window of an old abandoned house. A truly surreal sight.

    Just to update the info herewith. We could not have a better decision in doing the internal road from Lake Jipe to Maktau Gate ( Full trip report :https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...less-travelled). Beautiful scenery, easy and enjoyable driving, and very good sightings. Lake Jipe is indeed a very good base to explore the southern parts of Tsavo West.

    Thank you WW for the hint on this memorable drive.

    AP.
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