Galdessa Camp Tsavo East, Kenya
Tsavo East National Park, on the banks of the Galana River overlooking the Yatta Plateau, 15 km upstream of Lugard’s Falls.
By air, Galdessa is close to both the Malindi/Mombasa coast and the Chyulu Hills, which by private charter are approximately 35 minutes away. The camp is 1 hour’s flight from Nairobi. Galdessa has an all weather strip (Lugard’s) 15 minutes drive from the camp but park entry must be first made at Manyani Airstrip from where clients are either picked up or can take off to the Lugard’s Airstrip once park fees have been settled. Manyani Airstrip is 30 minutes drive from the camp.
By road, the camp is easily accessible: 3 ½ hours from Mombasa and 4 ½ hours from Nairobi.
The camp has a coastal/bush relaxed feel and is designed to blend with the environment using earthy colors and natural woods throughout.
The camp is located along the Galana River under fringed doum palms and overlooks the Yatta Plateau, the world’s longest and oldest fossilized lava flow.
12 comfortable and spacious thatched and semi-tented bungalows on wooden platforms, each with an en-suite bathroom and private veranda. Guests are ensured their privacy as all of the bungalows are situated a good distance apart and natural foliage is used to subtly conceal neighboring bandas. The bathrooms are large and have traditional bucket showers, flush toilets and basins with running water.
Galdessa works closely with Kenya Wildlife Service’s black rhino re-introduction project. Within Galdessa’s vicinity there are 51 black rhino; Africa’s largest unfenced black rhino population. The camp has been built with great care not to adversely impact the environment and recycles its waste, uses solar power for electricity and has installed a water treatment plant. Galdessa’s founder, Pierre Mourgue d’Algue, is a trustee of the TUSK Trust which works to protect the environment and habitats of Africa and distributes in excess of 90% of the funds it raises directly into the field.
The camp’s activities include game drives in open vehicles; walking safaris along the Galana River and sand rivers; sundowners and bush breakfasts; and visits to the nearby Rhino Camp conservation project (15 minutes from Galdessa). The camp’s direct area is home to over 50 black rhino. Tsavo East National Park is a wilderness area of great biodiversity. Uncommon species seen include lesser kudu, gerenuk, fringed-eared oryx, Hirola and Peter’s gazelle. The area is renowned for elephants particularly during the dry season: the last count (1999) recorded 8100. Tsavo is particularly rich in birdlife, with birds migrating from as far as Oman, Malawi, Iran, Germany and Russia.
The camp tailors activities to suit each guest’s requirements. A minimum of 3 nights is recommended to fully explore the rich diversity of Tsavo East National Park. A typical day starts with a hot tea/coffee served on the privacy of your veranda, followed by a morning walk or game drive, accompanied by one of the camp’s many knowledgeable guides. Culminating in a hot, cooked bush breakfast beneath the shade of the doum palms is just one of the many extras the camp provides. In the afternoon, you can again choose between a walk and game drive, ending the day with sundowners and the spectacular Mount Kilimanjaro as a backdrop.
The camp is open for 11 months of the year (closed in May)
Tsavo has a fairly unique climate as it is only 1400 feet above sea level and, therefore, is generally hot and dry. The Galana River and the Yatta Plateau create a constant breeze, so the nights are cool and pleasant. January to March and July to October are prime game viewing months and August to October and February to March are the driest months. Unlike the rest of the country, it normally does not rain in July and August in Tsavo, and the long rains are in April, May and sometimes June. The short rains usually take place from November to mid December.
Temperatures range from 17 C to 20 C at night and 22 C to 33 C during the day.
WHAT IS INCLUDED: (Full package clients only) Non-alcoholic drinks, accommodation, transfers to and from Manyani airstrip, game drives, activities and laundry.
WHAT IS EXCLUDED: Alcoholic drinks, health insurance, gratuities and park fees.
WHAT TO BRING:
Sun protection (hat, glasses, and sun screen), ankle height walking boots and lightweight long trousers or walking shorts. T-shirts/shirts (no white please), one sweater or windbreaker, binoculars and film.
It is advised that you consult your practitioner for anti-malarial prophylactic requirements. As with all destinations in Africa, we strongly advise that you take out a comprehensive medical insurance.
Safari Style – Tim Beddow & Natasha Burns
The Man-eaters of Tsavo – Colonel Paterson
Safari Chic – Bibi Jordan
Out of Africa – Karen Blixen
WHAT THE PRESS HAS SAID:
Galdessa is featured as one of Africa’s top 10 lodges by Lucia van der Post for UK Vogue.
Selected as one of the world’s top destinations for the millennium and the only
one in Africa by Harpers & Queen.
Lucia van der Post, Financial Times “There is scarcely a nicer place to be in the world than sitting on the deck outside your banda, looking at the southern sky and listening to the sounds of the African night.”
Conde Nast Traveller “…Galdessa is all about animals in every form. In the days we had been at Galdessa we had seen so many animals … that it had begun to seem like a fairground in which everyone was a winner.”
Annabel Heseltine, The Mail on Sunday “…I had been told of the beauty of Galdessa … and that the managers would do everything to make me comfortable … at Galdessa the animals come to you.”
Tatler “The bedrooms are timber bandas with swooping, thatched roofs and white canvas walls, open during the day for God’s air-conditioning. The seven-foot-square beds are handmade, and there are huge verandahs, an impeccable laundry service and in-camp tailor.”
Travel Africa “Galdessa is not just another camp in which to relax: it directly involves you in the interest of wildlife conservation … the simple but very stylish and elegant décor is inviting .. the food is exquisite … the staff, always looking after you, ensure a perfect service.”
Tim Beddow, Natasha Burns, Safari Style “Red elephants, elegant Hirola antelopes, man-eating lions, and flocks of vividly colored carmine bee eaters make Tsavo their home, and tourism here is tightly controlled in order to preserve the area’s unique mix of species …”
Vogue Paris “La rivière Galana coule a l’est du Tsavo. Le jour, les éléphants viennent boire; la nuit, les hippos sortent de l’eau. Le camp de Galdessa se cache au milieu de nulle part, derrière un rideau de palmiers doum …”
Cote Sud “ Un lodge naturellement beau, sauvage juste ce qu’il faut avec des meubles bien massifs en cyprès et camphrier ou encore en acacia, sculptes sur place dans les bois morts déracines par les éléphants …”
The main camp is located on the southern bank of the Galana River, partially concealed by coppices of doum palms.
Lounge Main Galdessa – THE CAMP
The camp has its own lounge and dining room where guests enjoy hearty meals and can relax during their free time from activities.
Main Galdessa – ACCOMODATION
11 comfortable and spacious thatched and semi-tented bungalows on wooden platforms, each with an en-suite bathroom and private veranda.
Guests are ensured their privacy as all of the bungalows are situated a good distance apart and natural foliage is used to subtly conceal neighboring bandas.
The bathrooms are large and have traditional bucket showers, flush toilets and basins with running water.
The riverside location of the lounge and dining room ensure frequent wildlife sightings without the need to leave camp, as the game seeks relief from the heat of the day in the cool waters of the river.
Private Accomodation – ACCOMODATION
3 comfortable and spacious thatched and semi-tented bungalows on wooden platforms, each with an en-suite bathroom and private veranda. The bathrooms are large and have traditional bucket showers, flush toilets and basins with running water.
Private Accomodation – THE CAMP
The private camp has its own staff dedicated solely to ensuring that all of your needs are met during your stay. Without leaving the comfort of your camp, you can relax and enjoy the spectacular bird and wildlife that frequent the area, particularly during the dry season.