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Kilaguni Serena Lodge
is located in the heart of Tsavo West National Park
of Southeast Kenya
At 9,065 square kilometres, Tsavo West is a this very substantial conservation area is best know for its broad red plains, whose endless acacia scrub and open plains sustain dispersed populations of wildlife, which clusters around the few sources of permanent water, especially during the Jul/Oct dry season.
Set in a stand of woodland out on open plains, this large and commercial was the very first to be built inside a national park in Kenya, so is something of an institution. The substantial public areas looking directly out over an extremely productive waterhole, a view for which the place is rightly renowned. Guest accommodation is in a total of 56 rooms which are arranged in large two-storey blocks, each with a private verandah and view of the waterhole. As will all the lodges in the Serena chain, service levels are very reliable.
Activities are centred on vehicle safari in the local area and further afield. The landscape in this northern sector of the park is impressive, with distant mountains and volcanoes providing the backdrop for undulating acacia covered hills and open plains, with a good range of wildlife, notably including lions and leopards along the ephemeral Tsavo River. Two particular sights of interest are the well known Mzima Spring, where an underwater hide sometimes provides views of swimming hippos and the world's longest continuous lava flow at Shetani, formed millions of years ago by outflow from the Ol Doinyo Sabuk volcano.
The main potential downsides are the design of the lodge itself, which is of a very heavy build and rather dated by modern standards. There is also the potential for encountering high volumes of budget safari traffic out in the main reserve and the wildlife during the Nov/Jun green season can become very dispersed and difficult to find.