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Finch Hattons - Tsavo West, Kenya

Tsavo West National Park - Kenya

Finch Hattons lies at the foot of the Chyulu Hills, one of the youngest volcanic ranges in the world. Styled to replicate the privileged safaris of the white hunters, such as Denis Finch Hatton, one of the most famous figures of the colonial period, and the model for Robert Redford's role in ‘Out of Africa', Finch Hattons is the epitome of tented camp luxury.

Denys Finch Hatton was perhaps the most romantic of East Africa's white hunters; famous for the style of his 1920s ‘grand' safaris in the 1920s. An English aristocrat, Denys was famously the lover of Baroness Karen Blixen, author of the book ‘Out of Africa'. He was also the first of the hunter-conservationists, having founded the Hunters Association in 1920: the first association to campaign against the wholesale slaughter of Africa's wildlife. A debonair, witty, fearless and handsome safari leader, Denys was renowned as the man who introduced royalty to the safari concept: he memorably escorted Britain's future King George VI on a number Kenyan safaris. Denys died when his plane crashed in Voi, just outside the boundaries of the Tsavo National Park, which he loved so much.

The 35 acres that form Finch Hattons Lodge are unfenced. Lion, buffalo, elephant, giraffe and plains game may come and go as they wish. Hippo and crocodiles live in the three huge pools on the site and the hippos often graze around the tents.

Tsavo lies some 232 kms from Nairobi and can be reached by road or air (three air strips).

The Background
The joint mass of Tsavo East and West national parks represent the largest national park in the world, covering a massive 4% of Kenya's total land area. Tsavo East, one of the last great wilderness landscapes on Earth, offers a vast arena of emerald-fringed meanderings of the Galana River, guarded by the limitless lava the world. Tsavo West, land of lions and lava, is painted on a sprawling canvas of endless skies, emerald hills, liquid lava flows, palm-fringed rivers, teeming wildlife and sparkling oases, where rafts of hippo wallow, snort and blow in the crystal clear melt-waters of Mount Kilimanjaro. Kenya's largest National Park supports all the members of the ‘Big Five' as well as the country's largest elephant population. Tsavo achieved notoriety in the 1900's when ‘the Man-eaters of Tsavo', a pair of rogue man-eating lions, preyed gruesomely on the builders of the Uganda Railway. Today the Park is more famous for the numerous prides of mane-less lion that patrol the plains and police the herbivore herds.

Wildlife highlights: elephant, lion, hippo, rhino, zebra, hartebeest, lesser kudu, eland, waterbuck, Grant's gazelle, impala, gerenuk, giraffe, dik dik and klipspringer. Birds: 600 recorded species.

Kenya hotels and accommodation
Amongst the wide range of Kenya hotels, some make the ideal Kenya safari destination. Choose a safari lodge, safari hotel, bush camp, luxury lodge, safari camp, tented camp or bush lodge. National park accommodation usually takes the form of a traditional safari lodge or tented camp, but numerous other options exist on the park boundaries. Luxury lodges and luxury camp options are also offered in the private wildlife conservancies.

The camp offers 35 widely-spaced thatched tents, each with its own slate-tiled ensuite bathroom (hot and cold running water, electricity). Tastefully presented in antique colonial style, the tents offer deluxe beds and have their own mini-bar.

Dining and bars
The main lodge offers a dining hall, bar, lounge and mezzanine library - the latter a favourite spot for post-prandial coffees and delicious petit fours. Dinner is served in full ‘silver service' style and the camp prides itself on the quality of its cuisine, particularly in relation to desserts and home-made patisseries. A well-stocked cellar offers an excellent range of European, American and South African wines. The elegantly presented central dining room offers a truly fine-dining experience, while breakfast is served on the al fresco terrace. There is also a charming lounge, bar and library.

The camp welcomes children over 12 years of age.

Other facilities
The camp has its own luxury swimming pool and pool-deck.

What to see and do
Highlights and special features

Game Drives, nature walks and medicinal plant discovery
Experience the real safari - morning and afternoon game drives through the park with our trained driver-guides. Picnic lunches and sundowners can be provided. Tsavo offers some of the most magnificent game viewing in the world - vast herds of dust-red elephant, fat pods of hippo, giant crocodile, teeming herds of plains game, a fantasia of bird life and some magical flora. All walks accompanied by Kenya Wildlife Service armed rangers.

Bush lunches and dinners
Private ‘bush' lunches and dinners can be arranged in the bush, complete with waiters, private bar and private BBQ cooking station, campfires and hurricane lamps.

Visits to the magic of Mzima Springs
The lush, hippo-inhabited pools of Mzima Springs, fed daily by 250 million litres of water gushing from the lava flows of the Chyulu hills, provide an oasis of green, an
Under-water hippo-viewing chamber, two nature trails and some unique picnic spots.

Exploring the Shetani caves and lava flows
Around and about

The Park is ideally situated for visits to the massive expanses of sister park, Tsavo East whilst the verdant Taita Hills and the volcanic eruptions of the Chyulu Hills are close by. World-renowned Amboseli National Park is also within easy reach.


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