Tsavo East National Park, Kenya - Adventure 3
Tsavo East is wilder and much less frequented by visitors than Tsavo West. There are few lodges here yet there is one that is rated with the very best. Strung out along the Galana River under doum palms, Galdessa overlooks both the river and the Yatta Plateau. Constant breezes off river and plateau refresh travellers in the day and cool the evening air. Galdessa works very closely with the Kenyan Wildlife Service on their hirola and black rhino re-introduction project and has an excellent conservation record. The riverbed that runs along the camp is where the rhino come to drink, so you may not have to leave the camp in order to see them! The camp's immediate area is home to thirty-six rare black rhinos. The area is renowned for elephant, particularly in the dry season - the 1999 count recorded eight thousand and one hundred. The game can be shy here but there is great bio-diversity. Uncommon species to be seen include lesser kudu, gerenuk, fringe eared oryx, hirola and Peter's gazelle. Tsavo is also rich in birdlife.
The camp itself is quite beautiful. Eight thatched, semi-tented bungalows, called bandas, are well spaced out to provide privacy. Fallen wood provides the raw material for much of the furniture, the floors are cypress, ostrich eggshells provide milkily-translucent lamp shades for the solar powered lighting. Natural stone harmonises with ochre washed walls and the lovely traditional fabrics used as throws. The bathrooms are large and have traditional bucket showers (which allow you to have your water heated to your preferred temperature), flush loos and basins with running water. The high thatch and open sides of the main living banda allow visitors to admire the views and make the most of the breezes off the river while they enjoy the delicious meals. Tsavo East is a wilderness area and Galdessa allows you to experience the savage landscape from a haven of tranquillity.