I don’t like to think of myself as someone who can only stay in luxury places. After all, as a gap year traveller in India, I saw my share of manky mattresses speckled with blood – presumably from bedbugs – and worse. Sometimes I was lucky to have a bed at all. As I have got older, my expectations have risen, but sadly I don’t have the salary to match my now-exacting standards. So I’m perpetually on the hunt for lovely and quirky places that don’t break the bank. Of which Kamboyo Guest House is one.
The Kenya Wildlife Service has a variety of accommodation, varying quite substantially in standard, probably dependent on the tourism traffic it receives. In Rumo, for instance, a little-visited national park in Western Kenya, the house is so dingy and run-down that I’d have to be pretty desperate to stay there. But I was very pleasantly surprised when we decided to stay at Kamboyo (sometimes called Komboyo), a former warden’s home, in Tsavo West.
First off, its location. It boasts its very own watering hole, frequented by large and small game alike. Secondly, it is airy and spacious with four bedrooms, sleeping nine, and has a remarkably inviting dining / sitting area with log fires in the evening. Another bonus, in my view, is that it’s just 10 minutes from the Mtito Andei gate, so after a long drive there isn’t much further to go.
We have stayed here on several occasions in the past few years, most recently last month on the way back from the coast. It has its downsides – the mosquito nets and frames are flimsy and barely fit for purpose; its kitchen is a little difficult to work with thanks to a lack of small pots and a fridge that doesn’t close; and at certain times of year, the insects can be a nuisance.
But it’s terrific value for money – Ksh 15,000 a night, easily sleeping two families – and has a very convivial communal area and is a superb sundowner spot in its own right. Book through KWS reservations.
Tel: 0726 610 533
About the Author
I'm a former travel magazine editor, focused on Kenya, before which I covered news in Africa and beyond. These days, I travel with my kids.