Tsavo, Kenya

Finch Hattons

Price per night from$1,306.77

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (USD1,306.77), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Sepia safaris

Setting

Tsavo west side

In the expansive acreage of Tsavo National Park, Finch Hattons in Kenya is a boutique lodge in the bush where you can still find a little old-school safari spirit. Named for the big-game-loving aristo who switched hunting for conservation (dreamily immortalised by Robert Redford in Out of Africa), the hotel has 17 tents (but there are no poles here). The Chyulu Hills and Mount Kilimanjaro form the backdrop, as do natural springs frequented by thirsty (and probably hungry) hippos. Days are spent tracking game (notably the red elephants the park’s famed for) in the vast savannah, but we’d wager evenings will be better still, with sundowners under the stars, candlelit Kenyan cuisine and free-to-raid minibars for self-mixed tipples on your terrace.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A 60-minute signature massage – which involves rhythmic hand movements and warmed volcanic healing pumices – each

Facilities

Photos Finch Hattons facilities

Need to know

Rooms

17 tented suites.

Check–Out

10am, but flexible, on request. Earliest check-in, 12 noon.

Prices

Double rooms from £1261.93 ($1,640), including tax at 25.5 per cent.

More details

Rates usually include all meals and most drinks, park fees, return transfers to the Finch Hattons airstrip, activities and laundry.

Also

The lodge runs regular yoga treats, photographic safaris and even (for especially lucky suits) ‘business in the bush’ corporate powwows.

At the hotel

Free WiFi throughout, gym, yoga pavilion. In rooms: maxibar with homemade snacks and liquor, free bottled water, tea and coffee kit, and Cinnabar Green bath products.

Our favourite rooms

Each tent has a terrace, from where you can watch the thirsty local wildlife come in search of hydration, but some are further away from the communal lodge than others – if you want to be closer to the action, book a room nearer the main building. For the most space (along with a private plunge pool), go for the Finch Hattons Presidential Suite.

Poolside

There are two: a free-form outdoor one for dips in between safari drives, and an adults-only one at the spa.

Spa

The Chyulu Spa has two treatment rooms, a hammam, lap pool and hill-facing yoga pavilion. Rituals include couples’ treatments, massages, facials and mani-pedis.

Packing tips

Bring Out of Africa-channelling outfits to feel like Mr Smith is your very own Robert Redford: white, taupe and khaki never looked so good.

Also

There are ramps in the communal areas and a vehicle that can help disabled get around the camp more easily; one suite is suitable for wheelchair users.

Children

Mini Smiths over six are welcome. There are two-bedroom tents at the camp. Babysitting is available on request.

Food and Drink

Photos Finch Hattons food and drink

Top Table

Ask for a front-row seat to the waterhole action at the springs: hydrating hippos, crocodiles and even monkeys call in for a cup.

Dress Code

You can choose between smartening up for supper or sticking with your safari slacks (it’s that sort of place).

Hotel restaurant

There’s dining potential in the main pavilion, but that doesn’t mean you’ll always be eating there – not when the staff like to get creative at mealtimes. They’ll set up breakfasts in the bush, candlelit suppers under the stars or just a plain old poolside snack. The main restaurant looks out across the springs and Kilimanjaro if it’s clear, but if it’s the skies you’re interested, head to the stargazing terrace for dinner. The Kenyan chefs cook up seafood from the coast, mezze platters and full-blown five-course Swahili-inspired menus. Breakfast is a spread of muesli, chia puddings and fresh fruit and juices, with pancakes, waffles and sandwiches prepared to order.

Hotel bar

The Karen Blixen Lounge Bar is lined with old safari photos documenting Kenya’s history – and a well-stocked wine cellar. There’s another open-air bar by the boma, where you can watch the springs and/or stars with your sundowner. You’ll also have generously sized bottles of gin, rum and whisky (each with its designated mixer) that are free to raid from your maxibar.

Last orders

Breakfast is served between 7am and 10pm; lunch is from 12.30pm to 3pm; and dinner is 7pm to 10pm. Drinks are served until 10pm.

Location

Photos Finch Hattons location
Address
Finch Hattons
Tsavo West National Park
Tsavo West National Park
00502
Kenya

Finch Hattons is in Tsavo West National Park in southern Kenya, north-west of Mombasa and south-east of Nairobi.

Planes

The lodge’s airstrip is four kilometres away; the 10-minute transfers are included in your rate. International arrivals are most likely to touch down at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta Airport; from here, you can transfer to Wilson Airport for your connection to Finch Hattons’ tarmac.

Trains

The Madaraka Express links up Mombasa with Nairobi, calling in at Mtito Andei along the way. This station is around an hour’s drive from Finch Hattons. Hotel transfers from this station cost US$200 each way for a six-seater vehicle. The station is opposite the main gate to the national park, and so the journey will technically be your first safari drive.

Automobiles

The lodge is just off the A109 road that runs between Nairobi and Mombasa. It’s about four hours and 20 minutes by car from Nairobi; to Mombasa, it’s just over three hours. Driving in Kenya is not for those afraid of articulated lorries with a penchant for precarious overtaking; but, there is free valet parking when you arrive.

Other

Private charter flights and helicopter transfers are possible.

Worth getting out of bed for

Finch Hattons gives its guests a little peek into what Kenyan safaris might have been like a few decades ago (though now thankfully the ‘man-eater’ lions have calmed down a bit). The surrounding national park is big: no fewer than 9,065 square kilometres, and home to red elephants, leopards, cheetah, buffalo, rhino, giraffe, zebra, lions and more. You’ll also be able to see Mount Kilimanjaro in the distance, as well as the Chyulu Hills. Days are spent out and about in Tsavo National Park, a reserve that’s split into east and west sides by a road (and railroad) that runs through the middle. Your guide will take you on day and night game drives, bush walks, crater climbs and volcano hikes. They’ll set up breakfasts in the bush and sundowners somewhere special. Back at basecamp, head to the spa, pool or join one of the daily yoga classesVisit the nearby Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary to learn about the efforts being made to protect the local black rhinos from poaching, which has drastically cut the population from thousands to now just 20.

Local restaurants

The lodge is in the middle of a national park and all meals are included – just as well, as there’s not much else in the bush, anyway.