Tawi Lodge: Our full report
Opened in 2009, Tawi Lodge is an independent luxury safari lodge with individual cottages located in the ...... Amboseli ecosystem. The lodge is located 4km outside the eastern Kimana Gate of Amboseli National Park, in its own 6,000 acre Kilitome Conservancy, where the lodge's guests have exclusive game driving and walking rights.
Tawi Lodge’s stylish and very welcoming central areas are based around a large, thatched, two-storey building where the reception, lounge, bar, dining area and gift shop are located. Stairs lead upstairs to a viewing deck with comfy sofas and a small library. Outside, under a large covered veranda, is the dining area with pale green upholstered chairs around individual tables. The main building sits in verdant gardens and ponds, overflowing with local plants and trees - a proper oasis in this relatively dry region, and a big attraction for bird and insect life which is ever-present in the grounds. Across the well-kept lawn is a swimming pool, with a smaller kiddies’ pool beside it. On a clear day, you will get uninterrupted views of snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro – the amount of snow varying with recent rainfall in the area.
The 13 cottages at Tawi are individual terracotta coloured thatched cottages, accessed along a network of gravel footpaths meandering amongst indigenous plants. Although each cottage is constructed of brick and thatch, part of the front wall of each cottage, including the “door” and “windows” is made of canvas, which means it can be completely opened up to make the most of the views. The rooms are comfortable and stylish but can be rather dark. Each room has dark wooden floors and either double or twin chunky wooden four-poster beds, surrounded by a mosquito net, as well as comfy armchairs around a fireplace. Through a door is the spacious bathroom with twin basins, a large Victorian bath and spacious shower, with a door leading outside. Toiletries are provided. Outside each room is a private wooden deck, with directors’ chairs and sunbeds, with views over the bush and (cloud cover permitting) Kilimanjaro beyond.
Tawi also has a small spa where you can be pampered between activities. A waterhole in front of the lodge is a great attraction for elephant, impala, zebra, kudu and lots of other local wildlife. The lodge even has two very friendly rescue donkeys which roam around the property.
The whole lodge is surrounded by an unobtrusive electric fence to deter intrusion by elephants and buffalos.
Activities at Tawi include bush walks and game drives, including night drives. The walks in the conservancy are rewarding and Amboseli National Park is only a 15-minute drive away, making it easy to be flexible about your activities which are, by default, conducted on a shared basis with other guests. It’s also possible to visit a local Maasai village at an additional cost.
On a previous trip to Tawi we noted that it would have been good to see more evidence of community engagement – the local Maasai inhabitants of this land didn’t appear to have much association with conserving the environment or the wildlife. However, on a more recent trip in 2019 we were encouraged to hear, from the new management couple, that they had many plans to improve this.
This small, smart, very professionally run lodge, has beautifully landscaped gardens and very good food. The management and staff are very friendly and attentive, and we found the spacious cottages very comfortable, and the lawns, planted areas and ponds at the heart of the property highly attractive. Tawi is a beautiful green oasis in the middle of the African bush.
- Amboseli and the Chyulu Hills, Kenya
- Ideal length of stay
- 3–4 nights
- Tawi Lodge is one hour drive from Amboseli Airstrip.
- Accessible by
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Full Board & Activities
- Food quality
- When we visited in 2019 we found the food here to be very tasty and imaginative. Each day’s lunch and dinner menus are posted up on a blackboard in the dining area.
For lunch we had a cold cucumber shot served with crackers. The rest of lunch is served buffet-style and we helped ourselves to a selection of pizzas – salami and cheese and tomato and cheese. There was also a green salad, tomato and basil salad and a bean salad. This was finished off with a mango surprise.
Dinner usually consists of a starter, a choice of two main courses and a dessert. We had a delicious starter with asparagus and hollandaise sauce. The main course was either a fish or meat dish. We opted for a sirloin steak with garlic butter and jacket potatoes, served with orange and ginger carrots and green beans. This was followed by a very tasty chocolate dessert.
- Dining style
- Individual Tables
- Dining locations
- Indoor and Outdoor Dining
- Drinks included
- Drinks are included except for premium drinks
- Attitude towards children
- The lodge accepts children from 2 years old.
- Special activities & services
- The pool is a great attraction for children in the hot season, but there is no lifeguard so parents need to be vigilant.
- Baby cots and high chairs are available.
- Generally recommended for children
- Although the lodge is fenced to deter larger animals, smaller animals are still found in the lodge grounds. Parents need to supervise their children at all times.
Our travellers’ wildlife sightings from Tawi Lodge
Since mid-2018, many of our travellers who stayed at Tawi Lodge have kindly recorded their wildlife sightings and shared them with us. The results are below. Click an animal to see more, and here to see more on our methodology.
- Power supply notes
- The lighting and water is solar-operated. There is a generator as a back-up.
- Wi-Fi is available only in the lounge (not in the rooms).
- Water supply
- Water supply notes
- Filtered drinking water is provided at meals and in the cottages.
Health & safety
- Malarial protection recommended
- Dangerous animals
- High Risk
- Security measures
- The camp is fenced, although smaller animals such as antelope are still able to get in. Askaris (guards) are on duty to walk guests to their rooms after dark.
- Fire safety
- There are fire extinguishers at each cottage and in the main areas.
Guided walking safari
- Disabled access
- On Request
- Laundry facilities
- Laundry is included in the rate and returned within 12 hours depending on the weather. Ladies’ underwear is not included for cultural reasons.
- At the foot of the bed in each room is a large chest with a padlock. Valuables should be stored here and guests keep the key during their stay.
- Accepted payment on location
- All credit cards are accepted except for Amex. Cash in Kenya shillings, US dollars and euros is accepted.
Other lodges in Amboseli and the Chyulu Hills
Alternative places to stay in this same area.