Tsavo West, Kenya
Historic, old hotel in Tsavo West occupying pride of place in front of a waterhole that provides a thrilling theatre for guests well into the night.
Full-board starts from Ksh 9,200 pp, sharing. Game drives cost Ksh 4,500 pp.
Kilaguni hotel occupies one of the best locations in the park, with a steady stream of elephant, buffalo and other game to the watering hole, with the sundowner deck positioned in a prime viewing position.
Kilaguni has been around for a while, and parts of its are beginning to look and feel dated, including the standard rooms, which are a little on the petite side. It is a large hotel, so those looking for a more intimate experience might wish to select a more classic safari camp.
Style & Character
Built in the early 1960s, Kilaguni was the first-ever hotel constructed in a national park in Kenya. It was subsequently acquired by Serena, and is decorated in the chain’s trademark style – think big tribal wall hangings, dramatic artwork. It is a perennial favourite with Tsavo-goers, not least because it offers a reliable game-viewing experience from the comfort of the hotel, but because it offers a consistent standard of accommodation and dining.
The hotel overlooks a large watering hole, and is a draw for all sorts of game. It is about five hours’ from Nairobi by road – four hours to Mtito Andei, and another hour on a good park from the main KWS gate. It is a shortish drive to prime Tsavo West attractions, such as Mzima Springs and the Shetani lava field.
The hotel offers both standard rooms and more luxurious and spacious suites. The standard rooms are not particularly roomy, but each has a small veranda facing towards Mt Kilimanjaro and the watering hole. The rooms on the upper floor offer better viewing than those downstairs. The standard rooms can feel stuffy during the hot season, with the overhead fans strangely positioned away from the bed.
Service & Facilities
As you might expect with a large hotel, Kilaguni has lots to occupy guests in-house, such as a running track, swimming pool and gift shop. Service, particularly in the dining room and front of house, is very professional and friendly.
- Swimming pool
- Baby pool
- Running track
- Gift Shop
- Wifi (in rooms and communal areas)
- Spa facilities
- Conference facilities
Food & Drink
The hotel has a good bar with a range of cocktails on offer, as well as fresh juices. The hotel makes an effort to cater to a multitude of tastes, and offers dinner a la carte alongside options to ‘make-your-own’ meal. The food is good, if not exceptional. Breakfast is buffet-style, with eggs made to order.
Value for Money?
The hotel is pretty good value for money for Tsavo West, particularly given its location, with add-ons for game drives and other activities not priced prohibitively.
Yes, definitely. The hotel will oblige families requesting early meals, and the pool has an area for young children, including slides. There are also a number of kid-friendly activities on offer, including a holiday house with playground and board games, and guided nature walks.
Reviewed by Catrina Stewart. Stayed in February, 2018.