This lodge is a bit hard to categorize, since it is more than just a place to sleep, but not a wilderness experience in the same league as Treetops and other famous Kenyan retreats. There is a small herd of waterbuck that roam freely on the grounds, and they are impressive enough. Elephants are quite thick in the surrounding bush, but of course you are not guaranteed a sighting. They did not visit during the day that I was there, but they were noticed hanging around at night. I was told they have invaded the lodge numerous times, tried to enter the dining room and even drunk from the swimming pool!
The lodge has a "sanctuary" that is really just an area of fenced bush that is home to a few impala and a zebra or two. I actually found the unfenced areas more interesting. They are not lying when they say the lodge has a lot of bird life. The second-floor viewing lounge is a comfortable place to spot them, and the resident Maasai guide, Jacob, is well up on his bird and nature lore.
The rooms are bush-basic but tidy, with mosquito nets but no fans (power is supplied by generator until 10 pm only). The three-course dinner was not gourmet but it was very big and well-cooked, and the 750 shilling price is pretty reasonable for a set meal at a bush lodge these days. There is no a la carte menu; just ask the manager what kinds of meat he has (steak, chicken, etc) and he will build the meal around that. The gravy may be of the instant type, but food always feels better when eaten in the wild.
It is not a new lodge, but everything looked well kept. The dining room/lounge is a big, comfortable thatched affair and the pool was clean and blue. The staff are truly friendly and eager to please. If Sagala Lodge has any disadvantage, it is that it is an eccentric place that doesn't fit easily into any tourist category, hence it tends to be bypassed by the block booking agents as well as the overland circuit. It also has to contend with the fact that it is in the Voi area and hence lies close to many other lodges that offer better wildlife experiences. I would recommend it to visitors who have time to spare and want to see what else is out there. It is not, however, a first-rate "safari lodge" boasting an intensive wildlife viewing experience.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Sagala Lodge is ideally located between Tsavo East and West National Parks. It comprises of 25 bungalows, 1 deluxe suite bungalow and one cottage, pool, restaurant, shop, bar, lounge and a 5000 acre private wildlife park. Bungalows can be rented short or long term. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sagala Hotel Voi