Having travelled using the SGR, we were picked from the Mtito Andei terminus and driven to Rhino Valley Lodge in a very sturdy Toyota Probox. But these cars are underrated. The spot is conveniently located inside the Tsavo West Park. Right from the entrance, the heavy wooden-mahogany feel hits you.
The artistry from the walls to the seats (that resembled mini-beds) to the counter is all made of wood, great dark finely curved wood. The idea to make the space feel natural in every aspect was well thought out.
As soon as we arrived shortly after 1.30pm, a butler picked our luggage as we took our seats at the reception lobby. Chilled pineapple juice was served as the receptionist, Fredrick Nzai, detailed to us a few housekeeping rules.
He mapped out the place and cited that the resort runs on a generator. “It will be switched on at 6pm and turned off at 10pm, then in the morning, it will come back on at 5am up until 10am.
Ensure you charge your phones and cameras at that time,” he smiled. He also outlined the dining area and time and also cautioned us to ask for one Jacob, a Maasai butler, if we needed moving around at night because well, wild animals roam freely.
Security starts with you there, quite literally. With that, we were escorted to our rooms. The rooms’ floors are tiled, as heavy wood well-curved doors have hide embossed on them. I did not expect such an interior lodge to have such profound furniture.
The closet even had hangers! The bathroom was neatly made and pleasant to one’s eyes. It had big clear top to bottom windows. I thought to myself; how whoever designed this place must have been a staunch Christian, I mean, ‘let there be light’ was taken to a whole new level.
I knew I would enjoy my night. At around 6pm, after the game drive, which is the main activity at the resort, we were back to the lodge and sure enough, the lights were on and so was the cold. We made our way to the dining area and were served a full-course meal, which was nicely done.
The waiter was prompt in taking away our dishes as soon as we were done and in bringing us the next plate. We enjoyed the soup, the salad and the main course. Later, fruit dessert and drinks followed. The chilly weather stopped us from lounging around the dining area for too long.
Soon, Jacob came and guided us as we walked to our respective rooms. After a hot shower, I slept like a baby. It was not until 8am that the chirping of birds woke me up. It was time to get ready and get packing. After breakfast, we left for our next destination. The five-star treatment lodged deep in the heart of Tsavo West Park will be fondly remembered.