I was asked the other day which is my favourite Serena. It was hard to pick – I have only visited a few of the Serena properties and I loved them all – but admittedly it has also been some time since my last visit to Kenya – or anywhere for that matter. With a young family at home my opportunities for travelling to far-flung destinations has been severely curtailed!
But having given it some thought I decided in the end that it has to be Kilaguni Serena Safari Lodge in Tsavo West. Not only is Tsavo the best place for spotting ellies which are my absolute favourite – but the scenery with the open plains and Mount Kilimanjaro in the background ticked all the boxes for my childhood image of “Romantic Kenya”. My highlight was relaxing at the central dining/ bar area where you can watch the wildlife come down to the waterhole day and night to drink whilst you enjoy your meals or sip sundowners in comfort. This view alone is worth making a trip to Tsavo and this prime location is the reason Kilaguni is one of Kenya’s oldest game lodges! It’s like having 24/7 access to one of the best Hides in Africa!
The rooms are wonderfully cool and inviting – little cottages built from natural lava stone and thatch – set in lush green gardens with views over the plains or the waterhole. I will never forget the smell of the flowers at dusk or the noises of Africa. I was reluctant to go to bed at night, or on the game drives, in case I missed a good sighting at the waterhole! One activity which is worthwhile is a visit to Chaimu and Shetani Lava sites (see photo above!).
The lodge is great for anyone – from honeymooners to families and offers great value for money! So much so that Kilaguni Serena Safari Lodge was a 2012 TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Award winner in the category of Top 25 Bargain Hotels in Africa, coming in at a very respectable 15th place! I also remember Kilaguni for having one of the best vegetarian curries I have EVER eaten! I am drooling just at the memory of it!