Travel is one of the greatest of Life’s Joys.
A memorable family trip involves more than sand castles and amusement parks, though those are certainly kids’ favorites. It’s the experience that matters. Showing your children that a world exists beyond their back door, with beautiful colors, eccentric cuisine, a rich history and the great wilderness that is Kenya.
Sometime back my wife Ciru & I decided to be adventurous and pick a destination on the map in our living room with our eyes closed and as much as I secretly hoped for Malindi our fingers fell on the Tsavo.
She quickly got in touch with our favorite travel agent to find us a good camp, our agent suggested we make a round trip, start with Tsavo, hit Malindi, then Kilifi, Mombasa and finally Tsavo West on our way back.
We set off on December 21st and in less than 5 hours we were at the Voi Station gate to the Park. This by far was one of those hot Decembers with the temperature hitting 36° C but as we neared the Park a Cool came down on us and as we drove into the Park I remember seeing our boys in the back seat struggling to stay awake.
As we drove through the Tsavo wilderness, we had a spectacular view at Mudanda Rock a series of ayers like rock whose bare flanks form a natural water catchment area that feeds into a large, seasonal lake, attracting large numbers of animals and at this point after a nice break at Ashnil Aruba we set on our journey to exit the Park from the Sala Gate where we were introduced to one of the best birds of nature, the Somali ostrich, the male of which has a blue neck and legs, and herds of the handsome, fine-striped, Grevy’s zebra.
Before I knew it I was exiting the gate from the park having driven through the vast Tsavo East. As we exited I remember hitting this saw like terrain that vibrated the car so much I could feel its chamber rattle.
Took a left after 4km’s and even worse getting to the Camp I met so many rocks I nearly regretted using my much priced Mercedes Benz, a few meters up then down the path and we were met by this deserted look of an entrance that felt like we had walked into a ghost town, before I could switch off my engine a group of this strong Swahili men and Maasais welcomed us with such delight I remember saying if they hadn’t done it, I would have risked a drive back to Aruba.
We walked in, got each a cold towel to wipe off the layer of fatigue and sip down a glass of cold limeade. The view from where we were seated was just inviting, the sun going down and its reflection on the river, I simply didn’t want to leave my seat.
Unfortunately or fortunately we had to visit the rooms set out for us, the boys took a tent that had two spectacular beds and we took the amazing Executive, the tent so airy despite the heat outside, the view even better, after a bit of rest we took to the dining for dinner where we were graced by the Italian Owner who was such a host we couldn’t stop laughing at his humor.
We enjoyed the all Italian evening where the Chef invited us to an array of gnocchi and a selection of Homemade Pastas and one of the best Lasagnas I have ever had. By the end of this evening we were was so happy and had indulged so much all we needed was a soak and a good nights sleep.
The next morning we woke up to the sound of our boys enjoying a swim in the infinity pool, the sound of the hippos and birds… One of the most amazing features of this beautiful property is the two crocodiles that came as part of the lodge and reside in the deep of the river right beside the restaurant.
They even got names, the residents Giorgio and Suzy. Amazing crocodiles who roam the river and pop up upon their names being called.
Kiboko is a lodge that you would best enjoy its beauty by letting yourself go and being in the midst of one of the most serene getaways away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Its smack in the middle of the wilderness with at least an hour and a half to Voi and to Malindi.
Be sure not to use a Saloon car. I recommend a 4×4 to enjoy the drives around and in the park. My only other disclaimer is due to the heat, beware of “Mosquitoes” so remember pack a set of repellent oils or sprays…