Sarova Salt Lick & Taita Hills Game Lodges
I have quite a number of family and friends (my hubby being one of them) who have birthdays in October, and what better way to celebrate them than with a family getaway. We had decided to visit the Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary and for accommodation, we opted for the Sarova Salt Lick and Taita Hills Game lodges. When the day for travel came around, I was very excited.
The distance from Nairobi to Salt Lick and Taita Hills Game Lodges is 400 km, which is a 6-hour drive on a well-tarmacked road. We left Nairobi on a Friday at 7 AM. It was a smooth drive as we were moving against traffic. When we got to Mtito Andei, we had a quick stop for a bathroom and snack break.
Travelling to national park destinations can feel expensive if traveling alone since the means of transportation to most parks is restricted to a 4*4 safari van, a Land Cruiser or a flight. It’s easier to use a travel company so that you can carpool or travel as a group. Luckily for travelers from Nairobi to coastal destinations, the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) is fast and affordable. If traveling to the Salt Lick or Taita Hills Game Lodge, you can choose to travel via the SGR from Nairobi to Voi and have the hotel organize pick up for you from Voi to the hotel which takes approximately 30 minutes from Voi.
Sarova Salt Lick Game Lodge
This was where we were going to spend our first night. It is located in Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary, bordering Tsavo West National Park. For you to access the lodge, you have to go through the sanctuary. You’ll be required to pay park conservation fees and produce either your passport or a Kenyan identification card.
We had beautiful views of the sanctuary during our game drive as we headed to the Salt Lick Lodge after having lunch at Taita Hills Lodge on our arrival.
Finally, we arrived at the Sarova Salt Lick. We had seen so many pics of the lodge on the internet because of its unique structures. The Lodge is built on stilts overlooking various waterholes. It’s perfect for game viewing since the waterholes attract various game such as elephants, zebras, gazelles and waterbucks that come to quench their thirst. We could view the animals both from our rooms, during meals and drinks at the terrace.
For the best views, ensure to request a top room or one of the over waterhole rooms for close up views. The lodge also has underground observatory tunnel where one gets an even closer view of the animals at the waterholes.
In the evening, the waterholes are floodlit, attracting, even more, animals, especially the elephants. You are encouraged to observe silence and avoid using camera flashed in order to avoid scaring the animals away.
Sarova Taita Hills Game Lodge
The second day started with a morning game drive and breakfast at Saltlick, after which we headed over to the Taita Hills Game Lodge where we would spend our second night. The two hotels are only a few minutes away from each other and it’s best to experience both hotels since they each have something unique to offer. The service at both the Salt Lick and Taita Hills lodges was quite exceptional – the staff kept enquiring if we were ok.
After we settled in at the Taita Hills Game Lodge, we headed out for a swim. The swimming pool had a beautiful up-close view of the animal waterhole. Throughout our trip, whether we were out for a game drive or at the hotels, we always had up-close animal views.
If you have children and would like to have connecting rooms, don’t you worry, Taita Hills has got you covered. If you don’t require the connecting rooms, the doors are kept locked from each side. Each room has a balcony with amazing views, though the rooftop of each building was a perfect location for panoramic views of the Sanctuary.
Both lodges offered both international and local mouth-watering cuisines. I am a big fan of the beef and would highly recommend you try it out!
To increase your chances of seeing most if not all animals, it’s recommended to have the game drives either early morning, late evening or both. We had both morning and evening game drives. It is easy to see the Zebras, Waterbucks, Hartebeest, Elephant, Buffalo, and Giraffe. We were also able to see a pride of Lions on a hunt though they did not catch their prey, and a cheetah from afar (we were only able to see it’s head since it refused to stand up. Cats!).
Finally, after a whole lot of animal-viewing and quality time with family and friends, we left for Nairobi. Quick note, please be sure to time your exit from the hotels so as to avoid the hectic Nairobi traffic.
Traveling expands one’s ideologies, creates beautiful experiences and lasting memories.~ Lynn Muturi_Githaiga