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Accommodation

Kipalo Hills

"Experience an affordable and comfortable camp with delicious fresh cuisine coupled with breathtaking scenery"

Budget level: Affordable
Country
Kenya
When to Go
All year
Property Type
Camp Temporary
Location
Amboseli, Chyulu and Tsavo

Perched on the side of the Mbulia Hills, Kipalo Hills enjoys fantastic views looking out across the 4 800-hectare Mbulia Conservancy towards Ngulia Hills and Mount Kilimanjaro in the distance. Kipalo Hills enjoys easy access to both Tsavo West and East National Parks for game drives, renowned for the largest population of elephant in Kenya. Beyond the stunning landscape and wildlife, Tsavo is rife with a fascinating history – from its part in the First World War, to the first Railway, ‘The Lunatic Line’, and the famous Man-eaters of Tsavo…

Kipalo Hill is an affordable camp with delicious, fresh innovative cuisine and eight comfortable double tents and a luxury suite, built to take the best advantage of the beautiful expansive views across the plains. Kipalo Hills was built with the people and for the local community to benefit from protecting the resident wildlife, especially elephant.

Each of the eight double mobile tents have an en-suite flushing loo and a traditional safari shower. The tents are either twin or double with room for an extra bed. The tents are located far apart and all enjoy wonderful views of the spectacular scenery and impenetrable wilderness across the Mbulia Conservancy plains that stretches as far as the eye can see!

The luxury suite at Kipalo is a spacious and elegantly decorated room with a living room, double bed and outdoor bathroom, covered by a massive tent with a natural rock veranda offering incredible views across the Tsavo plains.

The waterhole below the camp attracts a range of wildlife including elephants, buffalo and leopard which can be spotted as they descend on the area for an early morning drink. The Tsavo area is also a bird haven and every room come with a complete bird list. Fly-camping down on the Galana and Tsavo Rivers is an exciting opportunity to sleep out under the stars for a night or more. The joint area of these national parks forms one of the largest and most diverse National parks in the world, making up 4% of Kenya’s land area, the size of Israel.

This wilderness features extreme diversity of landscape, from fields of baobab to huge rocky kopjes framed against vast blue skies. The Yatta Plateau and its lashes of lava flows stretch 300km to the ends of Tsavo and is the longest lava flow in the world. Tsavo is a vast untapped arena of arid bush, split by the azure and emerald meandering Galana and Tsavo Rivers, a water-haven and lifeline to the resident wildlife.

Easy access to Tsavo West and East National Parks allows for good game viewing in Kenya’s largest and one of the oldest National Parks. The game drives are often timed to coincide with sundowners in the bush. A night game drive, permitted only on private reserves and conservancies, is a specialised activity, which typically takes place after dinner in a vehicle especially equipped with warm blankets, hot drinks, and a powerful hand-held lamp, which is used to sweep the bush for likely sightings. Night-time is the exclusive domain of hunters such as lions and leopards, and the only time when you may catch a glimpse of such elusive nocturnal creatures such as aardvarks, civet cats, white-tailed mongoose and cape hares.

Mbulia Conservancy was initiated with the local community who wanted to develop a tourism initiative on their otherwise underutilized land. The agreement was struck between Mbulia Ranch and Amara Conservation who leased the 4 800-hectare conservation area to build Kipalo Hills. The area is an essential dry-season dispersal area for over 11,000 elephant in Tsavo, as well as numerous other wildlife and birdlife. Kipalo fund-raised to fence Mbulia into Tsavo West National Park, a project that was successfully concluded a few years back.

Kipalo Hills employs and trains people from the local villages to work in the lodge, as well as 12 game-scouts from the local community to patrol the conservancy. Their efforts continue to make a monumental difference as increasingly more wildlife, including the endangered African Wild Dog, are choosing to call the conservancy their home. Conservation fees from paying guests staying at Kipalo Hills go towards running the conservancy and protecting the wildlife, as well as towards social welfare projects for the Mbulia community.

Why we like it

  • Affordable and comfortable camp on a hill with great views.
  • Easy access to both East and West Tsavo a vast and diverse wilderness.
  • Great community and conservation project.
  • Two rivers the lifeblood for wildlife of the area.
  • Great fly camping and sleepout along the Tsavo river.

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