Red Elephant Lodge sits next door to Voi Wildlife Lodge, but has far fewer guests and is often empty. Unlike some of the reviewers here, I found that a bonus rather than a turn-off. What is not to like about having a waterhole all to yourself and enjoying the passing elephants, buffalo and waterbuck with no loud distractions from busloads of (mostly Italian) package tourists?
Red Elephant's waterhole is smaller and more natural than the big pond at Voi Wildlife Lodge, but the animals visit both places throughout the day so you don't miss anything. (Note: I stayed during the dry season. Be aware that the animals are thinner on the ground during the rains as they fan out into the bush.) What's more, at Red Elephant you can stand closer to the animals than at the other lodge. There is only an electrified fence and perhaps 50 feet separating you from the waterhole action. Photography is also better here as you can aim your lens between the wires for some authentic safari shots. At Voi Wildlife Lodge you are confined to a large deck and need a good zoom lens to get any worthwhile shots, and the cement-lined waterhole has a definite artificial look.
I camped in my own tent when I was at Red Elephant (800 shillings). The basic but clean rooms start at around 6,000 but I would guess the price is negotiable. There is a large, rather dimly lit lounge area with a bar and restaurant, which you may have all to yourselves, especially on a week night. With so few customers, the restaurant isn't really a la carte, but the very pleasant cook will prepare you a hearty Kenyan meat-and-potato kind of meal if you give a few hours' notice. The 400 shilling breakfast was very generous - not many places have full breakfasts for that price anymore.
It is odd to see two lodges that are side-by-side yet are so different. However, when I stuck my head into Voi Wildlife Lodge and saw how busy and noisy it was, I didn't regret my choice.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The construction of Red Elephant Safari Lodge was done in the style of Eco Tourism. We try to avoid artificial and super luxurious facilities and equipment. Majority of our guests come from modern places all over the world to discover real Safari Life and prefer good comfort, security and hospitality. This is where we see our goals. We offer 5 Safari-Double-Rooms, 7 Safari-Twins, 2 Safari-Triples and one Mini Suite within our main building wings. Further more we provide 4 Bush Houses, bordering the National Park. We are organizing and operating Safaris throughout Kenya and Tanzania for over 23 years. If you are looking for worthy tours, relieable services and professional staff, please get in touch with us. And if you have special wishes, please note that we are always able and ready to create your "tailormade" Safari at reasonble rates. Also for tours starting from and ending at Red Elephant Safari Lodge we are the right people to plan with. Hope to meet you soon at Safari in Red Elephant Safari Lodge! ... more less