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“Peace and tranquility in proper African bush”

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Tsavo Safari Camp - Kitaani Kya Ndundu
Reviewed July 3, 2013

A really beautiful place, so calm and peaceful. We drove by road from Nairobi and the journey was very easy, on reaching the camp you have to park the car and hop into a little dinghy to be rowed across the river, it's a lovely touch and really makes you feel like you have left civilisation behind. On arriving at the other bank we were greeted by refreshing towels and some fresh watermelon juice and then brought to lunch.
The tents were cosy, all ensuite, with paraffin lamps for light in the evenings which add to the camping atmosphere. The bar area is really cool, gorgeous round wooden bar and lots of comfy looking seats.
The food was exceptional, everything was creative and absolutely delicious. We had a gorgeous candlelit dinner outside under the stars and then retired to the campfire for some drinks.
There is also a lovely swimming pool which is nice after a day of exploring, and they keep some tortoises behind it, take a look!
The staff were all very friendly and helpful and you are a world away from any other tourists or people, this is what makes it so special; you don't feel like you're just another tourist on safari. Tsavo Safari camp is about more than the animals, this is important as this part of Tsavo has very dense bush so it's not so easy to spot game. However the group that had been there before us saw a lion feasting on a buffalo down by the river on one of their game drives so you can still see things, just not as easily as Amboseli or the Mara...but the flipside is you get a more real African safari experience. Definitely worth a trip, I will be back!

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank J O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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36 - 42 of 59 reviews

Reviewed January 9, 2013

Through a friend I made aware of the Tsavo Safari Camp, located in the Tsavo East National Park in Kenya. Since I havent been there much, I decided to go there for my last trip - I will be leaving Kenya soon. Both the Camp and the Park were a very positive surprise! The staff is more friendly then elsewhere, well trained and always on the spot, cooking excellent. As a bird watcher I came with a list of what to expect and the nature guide helped me to find some of the birds, and get an idea whats around over the rest of the year.
Well there were some new discoveries possible, besides the long list of 300 species, already recorded. Tsavo east is clearly under-researched and under-visited, and the Camp proved the ideal base for exploration. Excellent service in the evening and night, adventure during the day! best Fabian

Room Tip: The tents are neat, clean and well maintained, I dont see a difference, maybe only in the distance t...
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled solo
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2  Thank FabianHaas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 1, 2012

This is a fantastic location for a safari lodge with lots of potential for many and varied wildlife encounters. There's a fun little crossing by inflatable across the Athi which was a benign, meandering and shallow river after a long dry spell, but it can be a torrent. There's a landing strip as an alternative, and more refined entry point.
From the outset the hospitality was first class. Food had a simple refinement not expected at such an out of the way location, and was always served with smiles. The lodge itself is fronted by something akin to a beach, with fine golden sand - perfect place to settle in and watch the crocs enjoying an equally languid lifestyle on the opposite banks.
We enjoyed sundowners on the plateau overlooking Kili, with the ribbon of the river reflecting the last of evening light.
The next morning was breakfast on the banks of the river, then we watched a pod of Hippos wallowing a short distance upriver and the wonderful sight of Karibou Storks para-gliding in to investigate a kill. Anthony, the resident guide was extremely friendly and knowledgeable.
The bandas are simple but give a nice sense of an authentic camping experience. There's a lovely pool which is long enough to actually swim in.

All in all highly recommended.

Room Tip: The lodge was quiet when we went but bandas are located further away along the riverfront - better f...
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank longboy74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 7, 2012

Many, many years ago, the favourite weekend getaway for many a Nairobean was a unpretentious little riverside camp called by most Nuttar’s in reference to its then charismatic manager; but more correctly called Tsavo Safari Camp.

The decay of Kenya’s road infrastructure, plus more attractive and competitive camps nearer to the capital saw its gentle decline and then closure. We all hoped it would make a comeback but over the years hope waned. I recall five years or so ago looking at the camp from across the Athi River and a sorry sight it looked and thinking that, that was that.

I had heard through the grapevine that Tsavo Safari Camp had re-opened on a pole-pole (slowly-slowly) basis; some friends stayed and said it was coming together but was not quite ready for prime-time.

Planning a trip to the coast, I happened upon an e-shot from the camp. Now that road travel in Kenya is no longer an adventure but much more a chore, a stopover on the way is to my way of thinking a good idea. Tsavo Safari Camp came on the radar and happily invited us to stop on our way down to the coast.

A four-hour drive from Nairobi to Mtito Andei is pretty straightforward; the turn-off to the camp is 3 kms further on, to the left, then 32 kms of good sandy roads to the Athi River. I think a car could traverse the two or three luggas on the way – but if in doubt contact the camp before you leave home.

The camp and most of the road to it is in Tsavo East National Park, so you will have to check in to the park at the Mtito Andei gate – either with your pre-loaded KWS card (you can recharge them here as well) or pay in cash. For residents, a day in the park is a mighty Kshs. 500, citizens a mere Kshs. 200. The entry gate to the camp is not equipped with Smart Card technology.

Arriving at the river, a small rubber dinghy with a boatman, Gideon Nyagah, who has moved everything across the river to camp for the past 40 years, greets you with a huge smile. A glide over to the far bank, to be met with cold towels and welcome drinks is just the beginning.
The 15 tents are situated along the riverbank, above the high-water mark, I’ll add - ten to the front and five to the back. Ensuite with hot and cold running water, the beds comfortable, the setting serene.

The swimming pool overlooks the social area which in turn looks over the river, a bar with so much more character than any other safari bar I’ve been in for sometime with ice-cold beers, the company cordial – the ambience perfect No better place to be if you are into bars!
Meals are served, well here is the thing, outside under the stars, a bush breakfast or dinner or wherever the imagination leads the camp’s team. No meal appears to be served in the more than adequate dining room. Fun it was! The food always hot, tasty and always with a touch of something or other, such as class.

We liked, and would go again…

What to do is an interesting question.

The camp has its own safari vehicles for drives along the Athi River towards Lugard Falls for game viewing.

Guided game walks with armed rangers along the river or up the Yatta Plateau. I’d be remiss in not mentioning the Yatta – at 290 kms long, it is the world’s longest lava flow, and it rears up behind the camp.

From here sundowners are a must – with wide sweeping views across Tsavo to the Chyulu Hills and far away in the distance Kilimanjaro. There are two ways of getting to the sundowner spot marked by twin baobabs on top of the plateau. More sensibly by 4X4 or if are feeling really really energetic and like many before you, a run to the top – records are still kept at the bar and are mighty. Of course you could also walk up with the aforementioned armed rangers. We drove…

Fishing in the river at the rapids above the camp is fun, but not really challenging for serious anglers – mudfish abound, so do crocodiles, so be careful.

Guided canoe trips are planned in the near future.

A great place for weddings and birthdays – take over the whole camp and have a ball. Painters have recently discovered the rich colours of the area to portray on their canvasses.

The best way to get to the camp if you have the means is flying in by charter into the camp's own airstrip situated right behind it.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank The_Real_TCB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 20, 2012

This camp is amazing. I adored every minute there and could find no complaints. The types of activities there make for once in a lifetime moments. Our first night we had the opportunity to experience a sundowner. The staff drives your group through the bush and up a cliff to watch the sun set over Tsavo NP with drinks. The moment was breathtaking. The view was gorgeous. And right as the sun was about to hit the horizon the changing light exposed faint views of Mt. Kilimanjaro, which was amazing for me as I have always had a fascination with that mountain. On the way up the cliff we saw elephants up close and on the way down there was a leopard not ten feet from the jeep. The staff were friendly and very knowledgeable. The following morning we had another great experience when the staff prepared a bush breakfast for us. They set up a gorgeous table setting, complete with table clothes and all the settings, right on the river's edge near some rapids. They cooked and served a delicious breakfast right there. You just don't get to do these things everyday. The accomodations were fantastic. Tents had attached bathrooms. Everything was clean and well cared for. The grounds were great, pool was great, dining and bar areas great. Staff was amazing. And I got to spend my mornings reading on a couch on the rivers edge with monkeys playing all around me. Seriously, you can't beat this place. Loved it.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled on business
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Thank SarahTarvin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 4, 2012

We stayed here for two nights (actually in late August 2011).
I will never forget driving through a parched landscape- very dense bush, so dry it was almost colourless- and suddenly arriving at a river, with a stunning lodge perched above it, surrounded by lush greenery.
From the beginning, the staff were incredibly welcoming. Everything was taken care of without us even having to think about it. The permanent tents were spacious and very comfortable with hot showers, which we appreciated after a swim in the pool. The three course meals were delicious with fresh ingredients and generous portion sizes and we enjoyed eating dinner under the stars.
One day, we took a drive through Tsavo West National Park. Compared to the Masaai Mara, less tourists visit Tsavo so apparently, the animals are shyer. However, we loved it, and still spotted many animals ranging from crocodiles, to giraffes and a herd of over 30 elephants. We only passed a small number of other vehicles during the day and I was glad that we could actually appreciate the scenery undisturbed by crowds.
The highlight for me however, were the evening four wheel drives that Meera and Matthias, took us on. One afternoon, we drove through dense scrub to the top of a rocky hill, where we enjoyed "sundowners" and tasty snacks, while watching the sun set.
It was fascinating to learn more about this part of the world through Meera and Matthias' strong local knowledge of the animals and landscape. Matthias' ability to spot crocodiles at twilight was quite amazing! At the same time, we felt very safe due to their knowledge.

Overall, our stay here was the highlight of our time in Kenya and we would highly recommend a visit.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Krystal S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 5, 2012

We were lucky enough to spend a few nights at Tsavo Safari Camp in 2011. It really was an unexpected oasis after the drive through the National Park. The staff were brilliant and our hosts were extremely welcoming. Being off the beaten track, you really sense the authenticity of the Kenyan experience - the animals, the stunning scenery along the river and up to the escarpment - yet you find yourself experiencing it in the lap of luxury! The tents are great - extremely comfortable and clean with en suite. Nature drives and "Sundowners" were a highlight of our stay. It was just a pity we had to leave!

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Tim W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tsavo Safari Camp - Kitaani Kya Ndundu

Address: Off the Nairobi - Mombasa Highway | Mtito Andei Gate, Tsavo National Park East, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Coast Province > Tsavo National Park East
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #12 of 22 Specialty Lodging in Tsavo National Park East
Price Range: $386 - $390 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Tsavo Safari Camp - Kitaani Kya Ndundu 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
An oasis in the heart of Tsavo East National Park, Tsavo Safari Camp - Kitaani Kya Ndundu nestles between the Athi Galana River and the Yatta Plateau, the second longest lava flow in the world. Sun-dappled sand and doum palms line the river banks. Alight from the river crossing and step into a stunning natural landscape where the camp’s seductive charms will feed all your senses...The Camp Tsavo experience! ... more   less 
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Tsavo Safari Camp - Kitaani Kya Ndundu Kenya/Tsavo National Park East

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