There is no better fun to be had, in the world, than a multi-generational safari, in my opinion. Proper bonding time with grand children & grandparents in Amboseli in Kenya is a magical thing.
The last time I drove away from Amboseli, my words were ‘the way this park is now, it probably won’t be around in 10 years’, that was 10 years ago. I couldn’t have been more wrong!
Amboseli (a Maasai word meaning “salty dust”) National Park is currently the most impressive national park in Kenya, in my opinion. First and foremost the heart of the park is a swamp, a magnet for a mass of wildlife varieties; the backdrop is the snow-capped Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa; the wildlife here is a mixture of the huge amount of wildlife you see in the Maasai Mara as well as some northern species like gerenuk, such a treat to see both together; to me the most impressive element of Amboseli though is how much it is cared for, the infrastructure is beautifully attended to, the park staff are welcoming, proud and helpful and the grazing rules appear to be stuck to. It blew me away actually.
If you drive to Amboseli from Nairobi, Kenya’s capital city, it’s a pretty four hour drive, mainly on tarmac road, with the entry into the park as the climax, the cracked salt flats are eerily beautiful with mirages to the distance all around you…. an exceptional place to stop for a leg-stretch after your long drive. As you drive further into the park, you are presented with photographic opportunities at every corner, and every straight actually; the wildlife grazing under an acacia tree or in the swamp with Mt. Kilimanjaro as the backdrop turns you into an avid photographer in an instant.
We stayed in the gold eco-rated Tawi Lodge, a charming little tented lodge in the Tawi conservancy, just ten minutes out of Amboseli National Park.
Hidden in the middle of indigenous trees, this 13-cottage handsome lodge is really all you can ask for if you’re travelling with your kids. The lodge itself is little and truly lovely, its not indulgent but its lovely; your en-suite cottages/bedrooms are huge and tasteful (with an awesome little netted camp-bed for the extra child), each with an incredible view of the mountain; you are hosted by a super South African management couple who take pride in providing truly delicious meals. The main dining room / chilling area overlooks a mown-grass lawn (great for toddlers), then a refreshing swimming pool, then a waterhole which always has something drinking away … and then the mountain in the background. Who needs game drives?
With regards to activities, the swimming pool provided hours of shivering amusement for the children and their ‘game’ grandparents; we went on a tonne of incredible game drives and ticked off pages and pages of amazing animal and bird species including lion, elephant, zebra, hippo, buffalo, an assortment of gazelle including gerenuk, hyena, giraffe, flamingoes, endless birds of prey … and even a Lesser Kudu, lucky us! We went on a wonderful little walk from the lodge for a sundowner, how lovely it is to have some exercise whilst seeing the landscape up close, we even saw the skeleton of a giraffe which a month later is still fascinating the kids. At the sundowner, Tawi’s leading guide joined us and I was very impressed with him, his knowledge and his wise opinions. This place is great.
It’s an indulgence to spend quality time with my parents and my children at the same time. This along with Tawi and Amboseli have restored my faith in Kenya and the Kenya Wildlife Service. I have left this experience a happier woman.
Tawi Lodge – A special place to experience special times. A handsome, though not extravagant lodge where you get to spend valuable time together, as a family, whilst benefiting a community and the environment. Loved it.
Amboseli, Kenya – Shall I bang on more? I guess I can, they deserve credit. Amboseli is an impressive park for its location and wildlife, for its scenery and to see Mt. Kilimanjaro, but to me it was how well managed it is that astounded me.
For those travelling to Kenya with kids – This is an incredible place to visit on a Kenyan safari or for a weekend if you live in Kenya. You will see tonnes of wildlife, birds, the scenery is majestic ….. I highly recommend you spend some time here.
Weather – The weather was beautiful with cool nights and clear, warm days. The hottest month is usually December, January. The wettest month is usually April.
What to Pack? – Shorts for the day with a shirt, a jumper and jacket, trousers and jumpers for the evening …. and swimming costumes for the brave (the pool is quite chilly!) and lots of suncream.
Price – In high season it costs USD545 per person per night, sharing, including all your amazing activities. Very reasonable I say! For Kenyan residents, the rate is Kshs12,000 per person sharing per night, full board!!! For rates or to book, please contact me.
Awards – Tawi lodge is proud of its Eco-tourism Gold rating and so it should be! This means they are solar powered, water conscious, they guarantee Maasai landowners revenue through the lease of their land which in turn preserves an essential natural corridor for the abundant wildlife to roam as they please, as they need. The whole community also benefits with schooling and other projects.
My advise – Stay here, with your kids. It is not top-end luxurious but it is terribly comfortable, it’s amazingly beautiful, you are supporting a positive community project, a successful conservation project, you’ll see endless wildlife and you will spend proper valuable family-time….. a rarity in this day and age.