advertisement

Tsavo East -- Tsavo East's northern reaches have long been closed to general tourist traffic -- at the time of writing, there were plans to introduce a number of small camps and lodges, with a total of 200 beds, into this region. Presently, most accommodations within the park are situated between the Galana River and the main highway. Of these, Private Galdessa is far and away the most attractive option, with two camps in one, giving you different budgetary options. If both Private Galdessa and the cheaper, more laid-back option Satao seem expensive, you may find solace at the lifeless, concrete-and-canvas Aruba Lodge (www.ashnilhotels.com/aruba.html), which opened in April 2008 and has space for around 100 guests. Rates are the main selling point here -- you pay just $174 to $240 double, with all meals included, and a pool takes the edge off Tsavo's intense heat. Most accommodations are in small, drab brick-and-mortar rooms, but there are a handful of beige metal-frame tents with stone floors, built-in bathrooms, and a small porch that are better suited to the safari experience -- but are still behind the ugly fence that secures the lodge perimeter. Aruba may be affordable, but bear in mind that none of your game-viewing activities are included in the room rate.

Tsavo West -- With more development than Tsavo East, you'll find that this park is more saturated with humans, often spilling out of the larger lodges and tearing around in minibuses commandeered by scattershot drivers; by any means, try to avoid this kind of experience. Fortunately, the frenzy is offset by some attempt at careful planning -- no lodge within the park may be within 18km (11 miles) of another, so it is possible to veer off in search of less-traversed terrain. And the relatively smaller camps -- Finch Hattons and Severin -- provide relative exclusivity at a markedly better price than you'll pay almost anywhere else in the country.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.