Hello my friends! 😀 It’s been a fun, wild two weeks here on the blog venturing down South to Lusaka, Zambia and back East to Kigali, Rwanda!
So today we pay homage to our country, Kenya, with this splendid Taita Hills experience! Because as they say, East or West, home is best! 😀
A Perfect day for firsts… the Journey to Taita Hills.
With only 2 hours of sleep and a mad rush to catch the SGR (Madaraka Express train), my Taita Hills experience took off rather excitingly!
Being my first time taking the SGR, I was feeling a little anxious about missing it! Thankfully, my brother had given me a rundown of what to expect of the process…
My travel companions: Janet Gitau, Emanuel Yeswal and Eliud arrived shortly after I did… And soon enough, we took off on the Madaraka Express!
I was quite impressed with the train’s timeliness and their seamless executions at every station, along the way!
Sitting across from strangers takes a little getting used to, but I think we did okay. 🙂
About 4 seemingly short hours later, we got to Voi, and the train carried on to Mombasa.
You know Sarova doesn’t play small when they send an entire bus to pick your entourage of 4! 😀
It was an enjoyable drive to Taita Hills Game Lodge, with the clear tarmacked road ahead and the lush, green rolling hills around us.
Whether you are self-driving or taking the Train, Taita Hills Game Lodge is easily accessible.
Located within the Tsavo National Park, about a 1 hours’ drive from Voi, the road is mostly tarmacked, with a tiny rough road section that is well-leveled.
UPDATE: The hotel formerly known as Sarova Taita Hills Game Lodge changed to the Taita Hills Safari Resort and Spa and is currently under new management.
Enter Taita Hills Game Lodge…
As we approached the Lodge, gorgeous green walls cloaked with climbing plants came into view, setting my memory aflame…
It took me back to 3 years ago, when Wanjiku Thuo and I stopped by Taita Hills Game Lodge, on our drive back from Grogan’s Castle. It was a hot sunny day, and the drive had been dusty.
After freshening up in their airy restrooms, we had a quick look around.
We’d hoped to do a Game drive, but as it happened we didn’t have enough money on us. I recall telling the guy at the reception, ‘One day I will stay at this Lodge, and write about it.’
3 Years later, my vision was coming to pass… I couldn’t help thinking- See God!! In that moment, I felt really blessed. 😀
After checking in, we made a beeline for the restaurant, drawn in by the most tantalizing scents….
Exceptional Service and Dining
You know how confusing buffets can be, right? That was my exact feeling as my eyes took in the feast before us!
One of the servers, Linet, noticed my predicament… And like a fairy godmother, she helped me choose what to serve, giving helpful recommendations!
For the starter, I went with the beef soup, which had a light and appetizing taste to it.
And you probably know I can hardly ever resist roast potatoes, or any potatoes for that matter… 😀 Both the vegetable panache and the butter-fried Tilapia, were like a special delight to my taste-buds!
>>From that point onward, I made sure to look out for Linet during meal times, because her recommendations were ever spot on. 🙂
Lunch went by like a breeze, as it usually does when you are in great company. I couldn’t have asked for better travel mates!
Bright & Refreshing Accommodations…
I went off to my room after lunch, feeling rather heavy-footed with sleep & fatigue quickly catching up!
On seeing my delightful room, I felt a surge of fresh energy! I loved how the stoney, white walls and the glass door adorned with colorful curtains brightened up the room.
The sliding glass doors opened to a small balcony overlooking the garden…
I couldn’t help taking the first of many refreshing naps on that huge, comfortable bed. 🙂
I caught up with the guys later on, at the rooftop, where the sunset was divinely staining the sky with smoky hues of orange and grey.
From the rooftop, you also get to appreciate the name- Taita Hills. It offers magnificent views of the raggedly beautiful landscape gathering into multiple hills, marking the distant horizon.
At dinner, the chicken veloute soup, prepared by Ruffence, stole the show! Mwende Ngao, Levy Tolbert and a few more people arrived, bringing even more life to the party.
Of Secret Gardens & Classic Film Sets…
The next day, I woke up feeling like a new born! Thus, I could now appreciate the beauty of Taita Hills, through fresh, new eyes.
The entire Lodge is like a secret garden, with the walls lavishly draped with heavy blooming, brilliant green plants.
Indoors, it feels like you’re taking a step back in time, into the grande castle of a classic film, thanks to the exposed stones jutting out of the wall, bamboo sticks’ roof and rustic decor…
Wholesomely, Taita Hills is like a wellspring of History and nature. 🙂
The Save Tsavo Run #TsaveTsavo
Beyond savoring the charm of Taita Hills, another bigger mission was at play…
The Sarova Hotels in partnership with the Tsavo Heritage Foundation and other key stakeholders hosts the annual Tsavo Run, that was happening that weekend.
It is aimed at promoting conservation awareness, while addressing challenges like environmental degradation and the adverse climate change effects.
The Tsavo Run takes place along scenic routes of the Tsavo National Park. And the beauty is that, it allows members of the public to run in the conservancy they are trying to save.
It was impressive to see many turn up in great numbers, looking pumped to take on this challenge!
The tough, high endurance race was organized in a relay fashion, with teams set to tackle an 84Km course.
When the day was done, it was obvious that the Tsavo Run had taken its toll on the participants… Yet their spirits remained high and unbroken.
It had, undoubtedly, been a successful event! 😀
As our time at Taita Hills drew to an end, I felt a deep sense of gratitude. It was the perfect place to bring our 2019 travels to a close. 🙂
- Taita Hills Game Lodge has 60 furnished, ensuite standard rooms and 2 luxurious suites perfectly suitable for honeymooners.
- They have SGR and accommodation packages for their guests.
- Their current festive rates are Kes 23,000 and Kes. 26,000 for the Standard and suites respectively.
- Activities include: Game Drives, bird watching, sun downers and more.
- UPDATE: The hotel formerly known as Sarova Taita Hills Game Lodge changed to the Taita Hills Safari Resort and Spa and is currently under new management.
My sincere thanks to the warm Taita Hills family for their generous hospitality!
And a special thanks to Linet and Frederick at their Chala Restaurant, for going above and beyond to make us feel welcome! 🙂
I hope you’ve enjoyed this read, and that Sarova Taita Hills is firmly added to your bucket list!
Do you have a question or feedback to share? Please leave a comment down below, and I’ll be sure to respond!
P.S. Thank you for riding with Scrapbook Journeys this year, and always! I appreciate you! Happy Holidays my dear friends! 🙂
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