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Taita Hills

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KENYAN SAFARI PARKS: TAITA HILLS

Scenically stunning, the craggy volcanic Taita Hills, to the west of the Mombasa-Nairobi highway, are classed as a game reserve, despite the main road which runs from Voi to Taveta. There is plenty of game to be seen in this area and even travellers on the main road can be treated to great games-spotting.

Taita Hills Game Sanctuary lies between Tsavo East and Tsavo West parks in the south of Kenya.The Sanctuary, established in 1972, is privately owned and managed by Hilton International (Kenya) Ltd., and covers a protected area of 28,000 acres (approximately 110 sq. kms or 44 sq. miles).

The dramatic hills rise from the plains and climb to over 2,000m (6,500 ft), making it extremely scenic and well watered compared to neighboring Tsavo. The park offers a safe-haven to a wide variety of animals and birds in a compact area of natural beauty.

More than 50 species of mammals are found here on the flatlands at the base of the hills including Elephants, Lions, Lesser Kudu, Oryx, Buffalos, Leopard, Lions , Cheetah and many other species.The most unusual accommodation around here is Salt Lick Lodge, whose rooms are like African thatched Rondavels on stilted platforms. From this amazing vantage point you look down upon the animals who constantly come to the waterhole and salt lick. If you get tired of that you can go underground through a tunnel to a bunker beside the waterhole where Elephants come within centimeters of you. It is a fascinating place to stay and definitely worth a visit during a Kenya safari.

It may seem unlikely, but during the 1914-18 war the nearby Kaisugu Hills were the battle ground between German forces of von Lettow-Vorbeck and the British Army under South African General Smuts.The park consists mainly of plains and woodlands, with typical riverbank vegetation along the water course. Flanked by the eye-catching and craggy Taita Hills, the park is home to over 300 species of birds recorded within its boundaries which attracts birding Kenya safaris.

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