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When choosing a Safari in Africa you are usually presented with a few different options for accommodation depending on your budget. If you want to stay inside the national parks these options include: camping in the wilderness, Tented lodges or luxury camping (glamping), safari lodges and private games reserve villas. When we went to Kenya on our safari, we opted to stay in the mid-range Voi Safari Lodge on the first night of our tour. You are not likely to find any hotels or bed and breakfast accommodation within the game reserves, but you could easily find some on the outer edges if you are looking for a cheaper safari.
Voi Safari Lodge is located in Tsavo East National Park, strategically placed on the side of a rocky hill overlooking the savannah. Voi was designed for maximum visibility of the African wildlife and offers visitors multiple panoramic views of the park. With 52 en-suite bedrooms all facing the vast expanse of the Tsavo East National Park, this 3* hotel has plenty to offer and there is no such thing as a room without a view.
The lodge provided welcome drinks of orange juice or an alcoholic cocktail on arrival. Each room had free bottled water which was replaced daily or on request. The lodge also had free wifi available for the guests. It also had a lovely clean pool overlooking the African bush with sun loungers and free towels which was a welcome relief from the African heat. Around the edges of the lodge were sitting areas where you could relax and take in the view.
The rooms themselves were clean and tidy with a large mosquito net over the beds. The room we stayed in had a double bed and a single bed and were very comfortable. The bathroom was basic with a toilet, sink and shower. We were provided with complimentary soap and shampoo along with clean towels and the water stayed on 24 hours a day this is not always the case in some lodges.
The lodge did not have air conditioning, but in the communal areas it was completely open with no windows. A fan was provided in each room so it was comfortable enough until the power went out. Due to the high up location there was a good breeze through the windows in the rooms too. Although the windows came with a warning not to leave them open when you weren’t in the room because of monkeys raiding your things. This wasn’t news to us as we know monkeys can be dicks from living in St Kitts!
We were told on arrival that there were daily planned power outages between the hours of 10pm and 6am. This is so the wildlife don’t get scared away. Our safari guide also warned us in advance to have a shower and charge our devices before the power went out because we would be leaving for our morning game drive before it came back on.
Food and Drink
The restaurant had a huge 180-degree panoramic window with a vista of the African bush. The style of service was an all-inclusive buffet with a good but small selection of dishes. Options included a meat, fish and vegetarian dish with lots of local vegetables, rice and potatoes. There was also a salad bar although we wouldn’t recommend this. This is because it may have been washed in local water (not filtered) and could cause sickness. A choice of homemade desserts was on offer and usually included some biscuits too.
Drinks were not included in room rate, but the selection was good including tea, coffee, bottled water, soft drinks, local beers, wine and a small selection of spirits which were reasonably priced. Although it was limited we were pleased with the selection of things on offer especially the food. There was not so much that there would be a vast amount of waste.
Wildlife at Voi Safari Lodge
There is a specially built hideout which is really cool! It’s only accessible for able bodied guests, as it is down a very long and steep winding staircase. The hide is situated next to the main attraction-the watering hole. It was built by the lodge and the water is supplied from them. You can easily get up close and personal with ‘The Big Five’ as they come from miles around. I was in my element in here and I’m sure other photographers and nature enthusiasts would be too. We spent over an hour quietly watching a family of elephants bathing, drinking, and playing in the water.
There was lots of animals to spot in and around the Voi Safari Lodge including lizards, colourful birds, baboons, monkeys, rock hyrax, elephants, giraffes, zebra and gazelles. Even if you stayed here and didn’t do any game drives you would easily see plenty of African wildlife.
Getting To Voi Safari Lodge
Voi Safari Lodge is located 160km from Mombasa City. Access to Voi Safari Lodge is by road through the Tsavo East National park via either the Bachuma gate through Aruba Dam or Voi Gate at the town of Voi. For visitors preferring air travel there is a small airstrip 4km from the lodge. We booked the Voi Safari Lodge as part of a 3 day guided safari tour for the first night. We had a private tour guide for all of our game drives with just our group in the 4WD vehicle. The second night of our safari we stayed at the Ngulia Safari Lodge. The guide collected us from our hotel in Diani Beach where we stayed for the majority of our holiday, and dropped us back off there at the end of the safari tour.
The lodge is definitely trying to be eco-friendly with the power conservation, limited water supplies and the minimal food waste. There is room for improvement however with the packaged shampoo and soap in the rooms and the plastic bottles of water. Overall it was a great experience and we would recommend the Voi Safari Lodge to anyone planning a trip to Tsavo National Park.
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Have you stayed at Voi Safari Lodge? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!
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