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  1. #1
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    Default Tsavo - where to go?

    All
    Looking at either East / West - just no idea what to expect, self-drive from Nariobi.

    What places are there to stay?

    Been to Amboseli already but Elephants always welcome.

    Cheers

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Tsavo - where to go?

    I wrote a blog post about our visit to Tsavo earlier this year, maybe it will be helpful: https://stuckinlowgear.com/prehistor...national-park/

    Short version: Tsavo West has more scenic landscape, but lower wildlife numbers. Tsavo East has excellent elephant, gerenuk and other good stuff, almost all of which is below the Galana river. Both are good in their own right, but for different reasons. Are you self driving?
    Blog of our African travels: stuckinlowgear.com

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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Tsavo - where to go?

    We visited both Tsavos in September. I would do both as they are very different. I loved the landscape in Tsavo West with lots of lava, vulcaoes, red Murray roads, tall mountains and a wonderful green oasis called Mzima Springs with lots of water. We saw most game in Rhinovlei Valley. Gorgeous place. Camped at Chyulu campsite. Not very nice, but we survived!
    caldriver gave you a lot of info on Tsavo East. Huge area and we only stayed in area by Voi Entrance in a charming place called Red Elephant Lodge. Highly recommend. Ndolo campsite had pesky baboons and vervet monkeys, so only stayed to eat breakfast and lunches there. Saw tons of elephants, cheetah, and lions plus all the special species like Gerenuk.
    Lucky you being in Kenya on a self-drive now. Who are you renting from?
    greetings from KaliCA
    If life is a journey, be sure to take the scenic route!

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  6. #4
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    Default Re: Tsavo - where to go?

    Voyager Ziwani lodge is nice if your looking for a lodge vice camping on the west side of Tsavo West. Nice views of kili, good food, comfortable accommodation and nice staff.

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    ecw

  8. #5
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    Default Re: Tsavo - where to go?

    Cheers, I will have a look - fortunate enough to live in Nairobi so self-drive is available as an option.

    We've got a week to do from a Sunday to a Sunday probably - Not seen many locations in East for staying and those in West is more in the conservancies further close to the coast.....

  9. #6
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    Default Re: Tsavo - where to go?

    Last October we also camped at Ndololo campsite in Tsavo East. No problems with baboons/vervets. There's a camp attendant that can help you with firewood etc.
    It's near Voi gate, also the best area for game imo. Drive along the dry river towards Ashnil Aruba lodge and chance of lion/leopard/cheetah. We saw all 3 in 3 nights there. West is indeed more scenic and game was really hard to find. You can run into wild dogs tho....

    Voi Safari Lodge is also a nice lodge to stay, also for a swim/drink during the day while camping.

    ENJOY!

  10. #7
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    Default Re: Tsavo - where to go?

    Quote Originally Posted by ecw View Post
    All
    Looking at either East / West - just no idea what to expect, self-drive from Nariobi.

    What places are there to stay?

    Been to Amboseli already but Elephants always welcome.

    Cheers
    Slightly confused that you live in Nairobi and havenít been to either Tsavo West or Tsavo East National Parks?

    There are a number of lodges and tented camps in the very beautiful Tsavo West NP including the famous Kilaguni Lodge and Finch Hattons. There are also a number of lodges and tented camps in the lower (in altitude) Tsavo East. Plus various lodges and camps on the periphery of both these national parks.

    There are also public and special campsites in both these parks.

    Please see this link to the KWS website for Tsavo West NP http://www.kws.go.ke/tsavo-west-national-park.

    Plus in Tsavo East NP there are a number of lodges and camps including Ashnil Aruba and Satao Camp, and the original Voi Safari Lodge which was the first lodge built in Tsavo East by the famous first warden, David Sheldrick. Voi Safari Lodge has seen better days, but the view from there is fantastic and the staff are very welcoming.

    And, if you sponsor an orphan elephant through the Sheldrick Trust, you can book to stay at one of the Trustís fabulous self-catering eco lodges near to their reintegration sites at Voi and Ithumba in Tsavo East.

    Safari njema!

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  12. #8
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    Default Re: Tsavo - where to go?

    Thanks, only been in Kenya 9 months so looking to explore....... sometimes have to work between trips also

    thanks for the references to lodges, campsites....

  13. #9
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    Default Re: Tsavo - where to go?

    Getting ready to make the booking - is it worth staying on the Galana River at a special campsite ( no issue in paying and self sufficient) or better down south at Ndololo ...... I am looking for some dark nights for astro photography also as this will be new moon evenings during our visit.

  14. #10
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    Default Re: Tsavo - where to go?

    Quote Originally Posted by ecw View Post
    Getting ready to make the booking - is it worth staying on the Galana River at a special campsite ( no issue in paying and self sufficient) or better down south at Ndololo ...... I am looking for some dark nights for astro photography also as this will be new moon evenings during our visit.
    If cost isn't an issue then YES! Mind you I liked Ndololo, but I think a special campsite at the river would be wonderful.
    Last edited by CalDriver; 2023/01/31 at 03:44 AM.
    Blog of our African travels: stuckinlowgear.com

  15. #11
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    Default Re: Tsavo - where to go?

    One week and counting - leaving Saturday morning for 6 nights to Tsavo East (Camping) and 2 nights in Tsavo West (lodge)

    3/4 nights at Lugards Special Campsite
    2/3 nights at Ndololo Public Campsite
    2 nights at Kilanguni Serena

    Forecast is scattered thunder showers and nice hot days....

    Trip report will follow.....

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  17. #12
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    Default Re: Tsavo - where to go?

    Quote Originally Posted by ecw View Post
    One week and counting - leaving Saturday morning for 6 nights to Tsavo East (Camping) and 2 nights in Tsavo West (lodge)

    3/4 nights at Lugards Special Campsite
    2/3 nights at Ndololo Public Campsite
    2 nights at Kilanguni Serena

    Forecast is scattered thunder showers and nice hot days....

    Trip report will follow.....
    Safari njema!

    I look forward to your trip report.

    I hope you have seen my recent trip report. https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...es-and-forests
    Last edited by Wazungu Wawili; 2023/03/21 at 01:11 AM.

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  19. #13
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    Default Re: Tsavo - where to go?

    What an experience..... back in the chaos of Nairobi, fighting the trucks on Mombasa road this morning

    Trip report with photos will follow...

    Day 1 NBI to Lugard's Special Campsite

    Leaving a week of rain behind, not really as we left just after 6am the skies opened and we were on our way in a deluge on the way down to Athi River. Rained until after the Cement factory and then cleared.

    If there was a quicker way East other than Mombasa Road I will take it - yes there is the Isinya Kimana road but that is just to far South if you want to get to Tsavo East and haven't planned for a stop-over somewhere on the way.

    Got to Manyani gate (monkey gate) in one piece and from 13C down to 30C in about 5 hours. Road to Lugard Falls was recently graded and not too bad - really dry and not a lot of game on this stretch. Arriving close to Galdessa we saw our first Elephants hiding away underneath the palm trees from the heat. Quick stop at the Lugard Fall's view-point, not a lot of water coming down and moved on towards the campsite. Giraffe, buffalo and zebra on our way past 162 / 163 and then the turn-off to the campsite, nicely situated underneath the palm trees fronting the Galana River with a lone elephant bull grazing in the river in front of us. Who would've thought that the peaceful flow will turn raging a couple of days later.

    Set-up camp, pulled out the G&T's and watched the wild-life go past, Elephant, baboons (they slept in the palms over-night but didn't bother us), impala on the other-side of the river, hippo down stream (mom and baby).

    Did a quick drive back towards the bridge and over to see where the original crossing was - scary if the river is in flood I would imagine.

    Had a quiet evening and watched the sun go down between the palms....

    Day 2 and photos will follow.

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  21. #14
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    Default Re: Tsavo - where to go?

    Asante sana, ecw.

    The quieter road from near Kajiado takes you to the C102 road about 30 kms south of Emali. So, it is much a quieter and pleasant way to avoid much of the Mombasa road - and in particular Athi River and the Ulu escarpment. Three hours or so from Nairobi to Kibwezi and then another hour or so to Manyani gate. There is no need to spend an extra night between Nairobi and Tsavo East when taking the road mentioned above.

    Glad you had a good time in Tsavo East and I look forward to the rest of your trip report.

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  23. #15
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    Default Re: Tsavo - where to go?

    Some photos from the Lugard Falls as we arrived - Ellie ambled around in the Galana river as we set-up camp.

    Can't get the second photo the right side up.....
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  25. #16
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    Default Re: Tsavo - where to go?

    Certainly one of the places to see elephants - these 4 bulls were on their way to the waterhole near 137.

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    If you decide to camp on the Galana river a decision needs to be made - how much are you willing to drive or just chill out next to the river and have a leisurely drive towards Galdessa Camp and then the other way towards Sala gate. We were lucky to see plenty of herbivores - Giraffe / Dik-Dik / Elephant / Buffaloes / Waterbuck (with a little one).

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  27. #17
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    Default Re: Tsavo - where to go?

    Day 2 - Came back from our game drive down South - grabbed a G&T and we sat down and watched the thick cloud bank drift past. We had the wind in our back and as we sat down and the rain passed to the East from us the wind changed direction in the blink of an eye and became a storming blustering wind right into our faces.

    Had to grab all our stuff that wasn't pinned down and hold-on for about 30 minutes with the wind blowing like mad. Had a my charcoal already going and had some coals left after the wind blown through - the only spot with less wind was right next to the river bank and with-out decanting it just braai'ed right on the chimney to make sure I don't loose any heat......

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    Lesson - always pin down all your belongings because we would've picked stuff up all the way up the hill if we weren't there.

    The spot does get windy as it pushes over the escarpment.
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  29. #18
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    Default Re: Tsavo - where to go?

    A couple of Tsavo Tuskers - Close to Pipeline
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    On the way to the water - Aruba waterhole
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  31. #19
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    Default Re: Tsavo - where to go?

    Day 3
    After an eventful game drive day further South as per the prior posts - we got back to the campsite and found this.

    All the rain we left behind in Nairobi got down to Tsavo - the Galana River came down and rose probably by around a meter from Saturday afternoon and where I sat and braai'ed the previous day is under water on the right. Lugard's Falls was just a stream the previous day and did see any real water - now it was rushing past and certainly a lot of water that came down. The water didn't push up any further.

    Fortunate to see it both ways.


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  33. #20
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    Default Re: Tsavo - where to go?

    Lugard's Falls campsite - overall view

    If you want to get away - this is the place to be with-in Tsavo closer to the southern section. Suggestion is to camp to the right hand side as you face the water on the site.

    Roads are graded on a regular basis other than the section on 163 to the river section that has been neglected.

    If you want a more adventurous drive - take 162 towards Voi, good ground clearance is essential as this meanders along the river for the biggest part of the drive, a couple of low river crossings (won't do this when it is flood) and we've seen several Elephants / Hyena / Dik-Dik / Giraffe / Buffaloes.

    We had a leopard walk through the campsite on the first night, saw the paw prints first thing the morning but missed it, baboons didn't even make a noise in the palms above.

    Evening visitors - we had baboons the first night, kept their distance and didn't bother us at all. Monkeys the following couple of days, inquisitive, came closer but no issues with trying to get into or close to the tents.

    If you don't want to drive a fair bit for predators, etc. this is probably not the spot. We drove more than 500km for the first part of the week, enjoyed it though.

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