Patty&Jan: Ranking Tsavo ??

Oct 13th, 2006, 06:42 PM
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Patty&Jan: Ranking Tsavo ??

Patty, Jan, and anyone else who has been to Tsavo.

I'm curious to know what the game viewing in Tsavo is like (in relation to the Mara).

If we assume game viewing in the Mara is 10/10.

And Amboseli is 8/10.

How would you rank....

Tsavo West /10
Tsavo East /10
Samburu /10

It's a tough thing to do.. but I think you see what I'm getting at!
simbakubwa is offline  
Oct 14th, 2006, 08:07 AM
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I get east and west mixed up. But I thought Tsavo was great, compared to Mara hard to say. Different. Many more elephant, I thought more birdlife (especially raptors) but it could have been the season, and better water holes. But Mara seemed to have more cat/dog/fox/jackel action. Again could be the seasons we went.

I think you'll have more chance to see Rhino at the Tsavo sanctuary. Mzima Springs is one of my favourite places. And the views of Kili from Tsavo are great.

So don't ask me to rate!
Pumbavu is offline  
Oct 14th, 2006, 09:10 AM
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I think Samburu compares favorably to Amboseli. You don't get the view of Kilimanjaro, but the possibility of viewing cats is higher at Samburu (especially those really tame leopards -- keep in mind they are tame because a couple of the lodges bait them at night).

Tsavo -- my gosh, we're talking about such a big park that it's hard to peg. Conventional wisdom is that East is dryer and sparser in terms of wildlife than West. Not true! It depends on where you are. There are open plains around Finch-Hattens and Kilaguni (West); Satao and Aruba Dam (East) where gameviewing is pretty good. The riverine vegetation around Galdessa is interesting -- with hippos and crocs. Much of the rest of the park is composed of thick bush (good for interesting antelopes like the lesser kudu and gerenuk, but if you are not into that sort of thing, the country can be monotonous). The best game drive I've had in terms of the number of animals was along a river from Voi to Aruba Dam in Tsavo East. Despite its reputation, this part of Tsavo East is well-watered.

To answer your original question, I would rank Samburu 8, Amboseli 7, Tsavo East and West 5. That is in terms of game viewing. However, Tsavo is my favorite amongst the three.
safaridude is offline  
Oct 14th, 2006, 09:15 AM
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Thanks for your rankings! This really helps and gives me a good idea. I like how Tsavo is your lowest ranking for game viewing (5/10), but also your favourite park. It shows how much more there is to safari than just the animals!

I was thinking Finch Hattons (in Tsavo west) and then Galdessa (in Tsavo East).

Any comments on those two?

simbakubwa is offline  
Oct 14th, 2006, 01:07 PM
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Difficult question. I've been to the Mara, Samburu and Tsavo East, all of them in June. It's difficult to separate game viewing from overall experience, but doing that I'd give Samburu a 9/10 and that's because I saw wild dogs and all the big cats there. I'd give Tsavo East a 6/10. My driver kept apologizing for the lack of animals, but I saw red elephants everywhere, big herds of buffaloes and lions every day. The oryx, kudu and gerenuk where more skittish than in Samburu, but on the other hand there where almost no other vehicles and I had elephants and buffaloes right outside my tent. Another thing I like about Tsavo East is that the tented camps are a bit more reasonably priced than in other parks, but if you're interested in Finch Hatton's and Galdessa that's probably not an issue.
Nyamera is offline  
Oct 14th, 2006, 01:25 PM
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We were on Tsavo West for a brief time, at Finch Hatton's, so have little imput. Not having gone out on the mornins game drive, it was two afternoon drives, visiting Mzima on one and Shetani Lava fields the other.

While there was game, there's also lots of bush, so you you to look everywhere. Though I didn't see elephant which surprised me, we saw lots of other game, including large herds or oryx.

But what I enjoyed most was the landscape, so vastly different than the Mara, Samburu, certainly Amboseli... probably more like Meru.

Finch Hatton's is a traditional camps in the West, but set around hippo pools which is quite interesting; and unfenced, so you never know what you'll come upon. Pricewise it's moderate (mid-range); and great food. Kilanguni is a Serena lodge property also in the mid-range. Both of these are open year-round. Galdessa on the otherhand is in the East, a small camp and on the higher-end costwise and is closed during some of the rainy months, so verify this.

Can't rate any of the parks, as they're all so different in landscape and game... none have ever disappointed, if that's sufficient.
Oct 14th, 2006, 03:07 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I don't think I could put a number rating on it. They're all different experiences.

Like safaridude, Tsavo is one of my favorites. We stayed at Finch Hattons in February last year. I loved the hippo pool setting. We spent many wonderful hours on our deck watching them (to the point that we would actually skip game drives) and fell asleep and woke up every day to their sounds.
Patty is offline  
Oct 14th, 2006, 03:09 PM
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Do you know which lodges are still baiting leopards in Samburu?
Patty is offline  
Oct 14th, 2006, 04:19 PM
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Samburu Game Lodge and Samburu Serena Lodge have historically baited for leopards. I am pretty sure they still do.
safaridude is offline  
Oct 14th, 2006, 05:07 PM
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I've stayed in all three parks and love them all for different reasons.

Amboseli is great for the beauty of Kili, the sometimes huge herds of elephants who are extremely tolerant of all us safari goers watching them and the sometimes exciting and/or sorry things that happen such as spearings of wildlife. Even in the dry season I've never seen so many shades of green as you do at Amboseli near the swamps.

Samburu is great for getting closer to the animals. Vehicles do not stay on the road and you can get very close to elephants, buffalo, lions and leopards etc. Not as exciting as Ambo or Tsavo though.

Tsavo East is amazing. It is HUGE, the size of the state of Massachusetts. If you are there in the dry season you see thousands of animals, but not as up close as the other two places. The southern part of the park has many more viewable animals. North of the Galana it is almost impossible to see the wildife. On my trip to Ithumba we saw only one small elephant family of 5 running terrified across the road. There the bush is so thick that any game viewing is difficult. Therefore, if I were going to Tsavo I would stay at Satao, Voi Lodge or Tarhi rather than Galdessa. Not as chic, but you'd see far more animals.

Perhaps some of my most exciting times have been because I am a "returner" to the same parks/reserves and stay in the same lodges/camps. The people have gotten to know me, know what I am most interested in viewing and will go out of their way to come and get me to show me the unusual. The most exciting events have happend at Amboseli and Tsavo East and that is why I return again and again. The adrenaline rush I get from these events is something one would never get at home and something I'll cherish for a lifetime.

JanGoss is offline  
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