(This week is a guest post from my friend Jess. She gives an account of her visit to the Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary).

Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary is a privately owned sanctuary,  located in Taita-Taveta in the south west region of Kenya.

The sanctuary is majorly savanna with some few areas covered with bushes and thicket. As the name suggests the sanctuary offers panoramic views of the neighboring Taita hills.

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 View of the Taita Hills

 

Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary_Savanna

 

Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary_Savanna2

 

Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary_Savanna3

 

Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary_bushes

 

During my recent visit to the sanctuary I noticed that the number of animals seemed fewer. Our tour guide mentioned that since the sanctuary borders another conservancy and also is near Tsavo West National Park the animals randomly traverse the vast savanna in search of food and water.

The numbers not withstanding we were able to sight the magnificent jumbos in their herds. Elephants are quite common in this sanctuary and can be easily spotted  having a drink at the watering holes or busy browsing for food.

Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary_elephants

 

Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary_elephants2

 

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One thing I have observed during any game drive is the search of the king of the jungle -the lion. Actually to some people no game drive is complete until a lion is sighted. On this particular game drive we privileged to locate two lions- a lion and a lioness.

The excitement of spotting a lion is always preceded by the sight of many tour vehicles congregating in one single area.

Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary_lion chasing

Our convoy lion chasing

 

The thing is that if the lions are busy taking a siesta one can easily drive past them since the grasslands serves as a camouflage.

The savanna discreetly conceals the sleeping cats.

Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary_lion camouflage

 

It so happened that this ‘couple’ was on ‘honeymoon’. During mating season, lions normally retreat to a secluded area. Our guide mentioned that the mating season normally lasts several days and the mating is pretty intense as lions copulate for about twenty to forty times in a day! talk of stamina. All the while having foregone food for that duration..

Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary_honeymooning lions Honeymoon couple

 

Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary_let the action begin

 

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Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary_lion couple

 

Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary_lion close shot

 

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On a clear day one can also spot the snow capped Mt. Kilimanjaro in neighboring Tanzania.

Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary_Mt kilimanjaro outline

Mt. Kilimanjaro

 

For bird watchers, the park also hosts various species of birds from the largest birds on land, the ostriches to the scavenging vultures)

Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary_ostrich

 

Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary_ostrichesA pair of Ostriches 

 

The male ostriches have black feathers while the female ostriches have brown feathers. Ostriches are pretty fierce birds and very protective over their eggs. We also learnt that the male and female take turns to sit on the eggs as the other keeps watch.

We also spotted the helmeted guinea fowls, which apparently can only be found south of the equator, the guinea fowls north of the equator have no helmets.

Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary_helmeted guinea fowlsHelmeted guinea fowls

 

Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary_vulture looking for his next carcass

 A vulture probably looking for his next carcass

 

Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary_beautiful african sky

 the beautiful African sky

 

Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary_Kori bustardThe Kori bustard

 

The sanctuary is home to different types of antelopes and gazelles. Did you know in the antelope family only the males have horns?

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 Waterbucks

 

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Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary_impalas2A pair of Impalas spurring

 

Cape buffaloes can also be spotted in large herds.

Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary_cape buffaloes in the horizonCan you spot the cape buffaloes in the horizon

 

While visiting the sanctuary you can either chose to stay at the Sarova Taita Hills Game Lodge or at the Sarova Salt Lick Lodge. Both lodges are near watering holes which make for excellent wildlife viewing.

Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary_Taita Hills Lodge

 

Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary_Taita Hills Lodge2The Taita Hills Lodge

 

The Sarova Salt Lick game lodge is unique in that the rooms are built on stilts and thus offer amazing views of wildlife and the sanctuary. The lobby, restaurant and terraced bar all provide excellent views and photographic opportunities, while an underground tunnel and bunker with ground level windows provides unbelievably close yet safe access to a variety of wildlife as they drink.

Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary_elephants and the Sarova salt lick rooms

 

Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary_sarova salt lick lodge

 

Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary_sarova salt lick lodge2

 

Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary_sarova salt lick lodge3The Sarova Salt lick Game Lodge

 

The sanctuary is easily accessible via the Nairobi – Mombasa highway and then branching off at the Taita -Taveta road. It is advisable to use of a travel company for both the hotel booking and easy facilitation of the tour in the Sanctuary.

What do you think of the Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary? Please share in the comments …

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19 Comments

  1. January 24, 2015 at 8:43 pm — Reply

    Wow – what gorgeous photos – love the guinea fowl, so much detail and the “houses” on stilts #wkendtravelinspiration

  2. January 25, 2015 at 4:00 am — Reply

    Absolutely breathtaking #wkendtravelinspiration

  3. January 25, 2015 at 8:50 am — Reply

    Wow. This place is amazing. So vast and endless in the early photos and so filled with life in the animal ones. That lodges is pretty amazing too. I am inspired, and Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary is now on my bucket list. Glad to be partnering with you on weekend travel inspiration.

  4. January 25, 2015 at 10:26 am — Reply

    Beautiful pictures….

  5. January 25, 2015 at 2:24 pm — Reply

    Gotta love the lions! I am a Leo 😉 . I love the pictures, and l am so glad you had an up close one of the lodge on the stilts as l thought they were way too close to the ground. This really makes me want to go there…

  6. January 25, 2015 at 8:41 pm — Reply

    I enjoyed my virtual tour of the sanctuary through your stunning photos. I love the amazing nature – the beautiful vegetation, the wide and beautiful variety of wildlife, the lovely sky, etc. I’m fasciated with Sarova Salt lick Game Lodge. It looks very unique. I can just imagine the great vantage view of the wildlife and landscape from its rooms.

  7. January 26, 2015 at 11:14 am — Reply

    Wow! This sanctuary is now on my list. I love the fact that you can go underground at the watering hole. Also, my favorite photo is the guinea fowl. I’m always trying to get a good shot of them, and I’ve been unsuccessful! Yay! Weekend Travel Inspiration!

  8. keniamoja
    January 26, 2015 at 12:51 pm — Reply

    Great post, I have always seen pics of the Sarova Salt lick Game Lodge and thought it was located in one of the Tsavo’s.

    Btw, is that Mt kilimanjaro in the background in the lion camouflage pic (11th pic from the top)?

  9. January 26, 2015 at 5:18 pm — Reply

    Beautiful pictures! I love that the lodge is on stilts, and I also like the underground feature. It would be amazing to witness these animals in their natural habitat.

  10. January 27, 2015 at 4:47 pm — Reply

    Wonderful scenery and what a unique lodge!

  11. January 27, 2015 at 7:56 pm — Reply

    The photos make me almost feel like I’m there and could reach out and touch a honeymooning lion, although that probably wouldn’t be advisable in real life. I love how Mt. Kilimanjaro looks almost like it’s floating above the plains. The Salt Lick lodge looks like a great way to enjoy watching wildlife without bumping around in a jeep.

  12. January 27, 2015 at 10:12 pm — Reply

    This place looks absolutely lovely! Love the photos of all the animals 🙂

  13. January 29, 2015 at 1:54 am — Reply

    Wow, what an amazing place! This is #wkendtraveninspiration indeed… loving the houses on stilts! and, of course, all that wonderful nature and wildlife.

  14. February 2, 2015 at 5:52 am — Reply

    WOW! That was just an amazing virtual tour! Your photos especially of the wildlife are just stunning. This sanctuary is one I’d love to visit someday with the family. I love the way the Sarova Salt Lick game lodge looks. What an amazing trip!

  15. Mike
    February 3, 2015 at 8:04 am — Reply

    Jess, you did an great job on this guest post and your photos are absolutely breathtaking! Especially those of the elephants and lions which I could look at all day long. Thank you for sharing her with us, Rachael! 🙂

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  17. March 31, 2015 at 10:46 am — Reply

    Stunningly beautiful! Saroba Salk Lick game lodge is definitely on my list now as is this beautiful wildlife sanctuary…after we are done with Oceania next two years, Africa beckons 🙂 Would love to visit here..

    • April 2, 2015 at 12:13 pm — Reply

      I am sure you will enjoy yourselves.

  18. September 9, 2017 at 12:20 pm — Reply

    nice to read this article great place to visit. there are so many wildlife sanctuaries around the world on of them is jim corbett national park,
    india. you can check out here and give some review. Jim Corbett Resorts

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