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“Fantastic Location”

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Sarova Salt Lick Game Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Haverhill, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
58 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Fantastic Location”
Reviewed March 14, 2014

We visited this lodge as part of a Safari trip on 1st March 2014. When we booked the holiday including the safari we didn't realise we would be staying at this lodge and we certainaly wasn't disappointed. The location was out of this world with our room overlooking the waterhole. On arrival there was some Elephants right out the front reception area drinking from the pond, they were so close you could have reached out and touched them.
There is a very clean and well lite tunnel from the lodge to a wonderful bunker place next to the waterhole, the windows to this bunker all have mesh over to stop any bugs getting in making viewing very comfortable and bug free.
The rooms themselves were very comfortable, yes the decor was a little dated, the curtains in our room were almost falling down, the shower pressure wasn't the best either, but the bed was comfortable and the view from the windows was fabulous therefore we couldn't fault the room. We slept with the curtain open anyway so we could watch the stars and the constant visit of the elephants during the night. The windows do open but you have to remember to keep the mesh part of the window shut to stop the bats getting in.
The bar area had indoor and outdoor seating overlooking the waterhole, drinks were reasonable and nibbles were also provided. The resturant was cramped and very noisy, the food was average, we had eaten better at the other lodges on our Safari.
Animal viewing during the evening and night at the lodge was good, Elephants visited regularly during the night, we even witnessed a pair of elephants mating, Civet cats and Jackels made regular visits too, A large group of Baboons visited the waterhole during early evening, a family of ducks alarted us when something was approaching the waterhole. The funniest bit was the pair of domestic (most likely ferrel) cats hanging around the waterhole probably catching any mice or small insects!
I would highly reccommend this lodge for its fantastic views and quirky design to anyone wishing to visit Tsavo West.

Room Tip: Even number rooms over look the waterhole, Odd number overlook the reserves itself still allowing vi...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
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1 Thank Vanessa B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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712 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Helsinki, Finland
Level Contributor
32 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed March 11, 2014

I totally agree with most other reviewers: the location is stunning. We visited at the end of February when it had been raining, so no animals came to the waterhole right outside our room window, but it was still magical to stay here. I loved the round room and the walkways suspended in air are so much fun to walk. It was a long way from reception though and you need full mobility to stay here: there are a lot of stairs.

The decor is not brand new anymore but our room still had great ambience. It was fun to listen to the tsk! tsk! noise made by the bats at night. The bathrooms will need an upgrade soon. However, if you happen to get noisy neighbours you will hear everything next door.

What I disliked was the lack of pool and the chaotic mealtimes. We visited at weekend so the place seemed fully booked with Western and African guests (couples and families). This resulted in a huge amount of people in the restaurant both at dinner and breakfast, so we were constantly bumping into people and queuing at the buffet. Service was slow too and it was not really a pleasure to eat in such a busy environment. I also disliked the fact that we had to eat indoors. Food was OK but I found that all the lodges we visited seemed to offer very similar food.

I really liked the bar upstairs though. There you can sit outside and marvel at the bats hunting in the air. The bar has a view towards the waterhole so it must be amazing when animals gather there. Drinks were reasonable - we paid around Ksh400 for a G&T.

This was not my favourite lodge mainly because of the meals but if it was quieter it would be a great place. However, I still enjoyed my visit and would happily be back at a less busy time.

Room Tip: Make sure your room is overlooking the waterhole!
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Nefernefernefer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Staffordshire
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed March 6, 2014

We stayed here during safari in February 2014. The lodge attracted us due to its unique looks and it didn't disappoint!

Try to get an even numbered room so that your looking out over the waterhole, we stayed in room 102 and withing 5 mins of being in the room there was a group of elephants at the watering hole!

The food here was lovely and drinks very reasonably priced, rooms are basic but clean and do the job fantastically, the quirkiness really adds to the experience of being out in the middle of nowhere with nothing but all the animals for company.

We would thoroughly recommend this place to anyone going out on safari, or even just after some days to kick back and relax!

Room Tip: even numbered rooms look out over the waterhole
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lee K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed March 5, 2014

We stayed here for 1 night during our 8 day safari with JT Safaris. This is a really unique place to stay, clean rooms, lovely food, and amazing views, especially of the watering hole. An amazing stay at an amazing place.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Skyhigh1953
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Templecombe, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed February 24, 2014 via mobile

We stayed here for one night during our safari. This was the lodge that we were looking forward to the most, purely because of the look of it. It definitely has the 'wow factor' as soon as it comes into sight.

Our room was clean and comfortable with nice bathroom facilities.

All staff that we met were helpful
And friendly with a 'jambo' for everyone.

Drinks weren't over priced and the view from the bar upstairs was absolutely fantastic.

The only criticism was the restaurant, it seemed very busy and slightly chaotic. We were shown to a table, got up to get our dinner and by the time we got back we had been moved as the table had already been taken. The food it self was lovely but it wasn't a very relaxing experience, the staff were taking your plate away before you'd finished chewing your last mouthful. I'm sure they are pressured to be efficient when in reality it just makes you feel rushed.

Overall though it was a great lodge and we would still recommend it.

Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Kimmydibs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
24 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed February 24, 2014

This place is really unique and the elephants walk right underneath the building you are staying in. The nearby watering hole has an underground viewing room so you can get up close. The rooms are clean and all of them have wonderful views. They come with a mosquito net although the rooms are well sealed so we didn't really get many insects inside. The restaurant served a wide range of delicious food and the bar area was pleasant to sit in and watch out over the watering hole. In terms of scenery and quirky-ness this was the best hotel by far that we've stayed in. The only downside is the lack of a swimming pool onsite. You are able to use the swimming pool at the nearby lodge free of charge (from memory I think it was about 10 mins drive away). There are lots of steps so this lodge would not be suitable for anyone with mobility issues.

Room Tip: Ask for a room overlooking the watering hole
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank LMurphy2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
York, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed February 23, 2014

This is the lodge we were most looking forward to and was the last night of our 4 night 5 day safari. The drive up to it is impressive what a sight! We had checked in at lunchtime up at Sarova Taita Hills Lodge so on arrival just had to get keys. As we entered reception the elephants were drinking at the waterhole so close you could almost touch them from the terrace! What an experience! Rooms were clean, not exceptional but more than adequate, gad an electric problem that was sorted and put right immediately. Drinks on the terrace before afternoon game drive watching over waterholes - I think 4 in total. The animals all seemed to come to the waterholes on way to their overnight 'place' and back again in morning. The only let down was the restaurant - it seemed very disorganised and they were struggling with the 'full house' they had, food was ok but not great and the restaurant didn't seem to be organised to make it flow - the accompaniments were before the main courses - u need to choose the main component of your meal before you know what goes with it! Breakfast was much the same! In their defence it was really busy as the elephant count was on but having said that they should really be able to cope with a 'full house'!
Overall a fantastic setting let down a little by the disorganisation and the staff in restaurant were either new/nervous or poorly trained. The words headless chickens spring to mind!

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank thewinos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sarova Salt Lick Game Lodge

Property: Sarova Salt Lick Game Lodge
Address: | Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary, Tsavo National Park West, Kenya (Formerly Salt Lick Safari Lodge)
Location: Kenya > Coast Province > Tsavo National Park West
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Tsavo National Park West
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Sarova Salt Lick Game Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 96
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the heart of the private Taita Hills Sanctuary, bordering Tsavo West National Park in south-eastern Kenya, Sarova Salt Lick Game Lodge is a truly unique concept consisting of 96 rooms elevated on stilts, each overlooking a waterhole and linked by suspended walkways. At night, the waterholes are floodlit ensuring that you enjoy an uninterrupted view of the numerous animals arriving to quench their thirst. The elevated restaurant, and the bar a level higher, also offer stunning views of the sanctuary and are the ideal vantage points to view game. The lodge has its own fleet of well-equipped safari vehicles with excellent guides. The climate is very moderate with temperatures averaging between 18 and 30 degrees Celsius all year round. There are sporadic rains in March, April, November and December. Due to the unique layout of the lodge, it is not suitable for children below 8 years. Sarova Salt Lick Game Lodge is 400 km from Nairobi and 200 km from Mombasa. The lodge is a one-hour flight from Nairobi or 30 minutes from Mombasa by private charter which lands at the Lodge's own airstrip. The Sanctuary is a 3-hour drive from Mombasa and a 6-hour drive from Nairobi on tarmac roads. So, if you intend to make the most out of your African safari holidays, Sarova Salt Lick Game Lodge is the right place to be. No matter if you plan to head-over to Nairobi or Mombasa, the Lodge turns out to be a perfect check-in option. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sarova Salt Lick Game Hotel Tsavo National Park West
Sarova Salt Lick Game Lodge Kenya/Tsavo National Park West

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