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“Holiday at Galdessa camp”
Review of Galdessa Camp

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Galdessa Camp
Nairobi, Kenya
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Holiday at Galdessa camp”
Reviewed 7 June 2014

We had an amazing time at the Galdessa camp , the bed was a king size bed with an amazing mattress , the room overlooked the Gelana River and very private . The whole camp was clean and the food was nice. The staff were all polite and friendly and the Manageress was very accommodating .
Make sure you have cash on you for the drinks and the tips .
Make sure you have an off road vehicle in order to access the Tsovo East East National park .
The restuarant has an amazing view of the river with lots of hippos entertaining you whilst you relax in the lounge are a.I would love to go back there some day.

Room Tip: All the rooms are facing the river so they are all perfect .
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
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Thank Stuart712189625
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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216 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (39)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Leiderdorp, The Netherlands
1 review
Reviewed 6 June 2014

This was my second time visiting. Back in 2005 I stayed in the main camp. This time we had the luxury of staying in the private camp due to the fact that it’s low season. I hoped the experience would exceed my memories of the last visit and it did! We were a group of 4 (2 couples) and really felt welcome from the start. I have done quite a few safaris in Africa and have seen my share of tented camps and lodges but not many can compete with Galdessa. The location by the Galana river is truely breath taking, the staff are amazing, the bandas and mess area very comfortable and the food very much up to standard. Nu buffets but proper a la carte meals. The location is a bit secluded but this is more an advantage then a disadvantage. You meet less other vehicles and really get the ‘bush experience’. Many camps and lodges in Tsavo do their game drives in the Aruba area not even bothering making the trip to the north of the park whilst this is -to my opinion- the most beautiful part. The walking safari that Galdessa organises to the Lugard Falls really adds to that. All in all the experience was amazing and I would recommend Galdessa to anyone that wants to have the best Tsavo experience possible. Thanks to everyone at Galdessa and Protsavo for the great service!!!

Room Tip: All by the river and a good space between them so you can't go wrong!
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Markvg01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Orleans, Louisiana
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 May 2014

We spent 10 days in Tsavo and Amboseli staying in a variety of lodges in the beginning of May, 2014. While their website says they are closed in May, luckily we checked and found they were indeed open in May. Galdessa was simply outstanding! Our room overlooked the river where we could watch and hear the hippos. We also had a pair of eagles roosting just across the river each morning. The room was absolutely spotless, which is amazing considering the open-air character of the camp. The bathroom was also very large and spotless. We are from New Orleans and are typically disappointed by the food when we travel but found Galdessa Camp was outstanding! A huge amount of wonderful food, I was amazed at the variety of food they had to offer in such a remote location and they certainly provided the finest meals of our entire 2 week stay in Kenya.

Apparently off season, there were very few people in Tsavo or at Galdessa. I can not even imagine why as the weather was simply perfect. Neither too hot nor too cold we could not have asked for better weather. The animals seem to have felt the same and we spotted something at every turn as we drove out of the camp each day. Unlike our other lodgings the camp is not fenced and animals do wander through the camp. We saw lion prints only 10 meters from our camp and a pair of elephants wandered through the camp on both our days there.

We had a flexible schedule and considered staying an additional day at Galdessa but decided to move on to another lodge. This was a mistake and we now wish we had spent another day at Galdessa and entirely skipped Sarovo Saltlick Lodge.

When we began planning our trip many of the Safari groups we contacted steered us toward cheaper lodgings and provided a single total price for the trip. I understand this policy as the companies can then provide a more competitive/lower price while providing less appealing/cheaper lodging. We insisted on itemized pricing which clearly showed each of the lodgings cost along with park fees and truck costs (We chose Sunworld Safaris who proved brilliant). While Galdessa was typically $20-30 more per night than other lodgings it was far superior and absolutely worth it.

Definitely place Galdessa and Tsavo at the top of your list of places to stay and visit.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 1880Ghost
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fabrizio M, Owner at Galdessa Camp, responded to this review, 29 May 2014
Thank you so much for taking time to post your positive feedback, as you could spend 10 days on safari between, Tsavo West , East and Amboseli, you could get a clear picture about the differences between the lodges and camps you have visited.

Galdessa is a totally different experience from lodges having between 30 to 60 rooms, as they are just hotels in a national park. As we are so small and located in such a remote and totally unspoiled area of Tsavo east national park, we can offer a real safari experience far away from the bitten tracks surrounded by a wild environment.

The fact that we are not fenced and that we are located on the Galana river is is the main plus, as hippos get out of the water and climb up right in front of our bandas and elephant are a common site in the camp.

Glad you enjoyed our menus and that you appreciated the kind of home made Italian cuisine that we can offer at the camp and that you loved your time with us, a real shame you could stay only one night , best way to get the real felling about the camp and to to try out our walking safaris, it would have been a 3 nights stay. We hope to have you back one day and hopefully for a longer stay.
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malindi
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 May 2014

Galdessa is one of the most peaceful camps in Tsavo situated on the Galana river. I have been there many times and wouldn't hesitate in recommending it if you're looking to enjoy the special location, life along the river together with so many special birds.

Room Tip: My favourite tents are 5, 6 and 7!
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
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Thank himayahouse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fabrizio M, Owner at Galdessa Camp, responded to this review, 29 May 2014
Thank you very much for this lovely review and for being a regular visitor at the camp . It is the right place to relax and celebrate a special occasion. We all look forward to have you back
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Diani Beach, Kenya
Level 6 Contributor
212 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 May 2014

We had been told so much about this camp by friends and others that had been there that perhaps our expectations were too high. We did not have the ‘wow’ factor at all; in fact the initial impression was one of disappointment. The location is wonderful. The tent was cramped (we had an extra bed) but nothing to write home about and the service was good. The food was good but not exceptional. The lighting was dim and it was not easy to see in the tent at night/early morning. We understand that they are on a generator but even so. The toilets are too high and so uncomfortable and the availability of hot water is an issue. The camp is not child friendly. Since communication with the room attendant is so difficult and one is not supposed to walk without the attendant, this creates a problem for energetic children who are spontaneous. The overall impression we got was that the camp is a has been facility and needs refreshing and upgrading if it is to remain competitive.

The explanation given by the manager of how things work was at best mediocre. We were informed that they did not accept payment for extras by Visa or MC, only cash, after we had incurred some charges which could have been embarrassing.

In conclusion we would not go there again, nor recommend it to friends.

Room Tip: The tent closest to the dining area ins No 1. All rooms have an excellent view of the river and the...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CossyWombat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fabrizio M, Owner at Galdessa Camp, responded to this review, 27 May 2014
Thank you for your response on your recent trip to Galdessa Camp. I will address your points individually, keeping in mind that all of them have in common a key point; that you have selected the wrong camp for your expectation.

You should have not chosen an eco friendly safari camp running on solar power, old style bucket shower and in the middle of no where, but a property with electricity in the room, running water in the toilet, electric fence to keep wild life out of the camp with safe walking paths and children playground, telephone lines that could allow credit card machine to make payment online and a gourmet restaurant providing exceptional food.

1) "The tent was cramped" - From the information I had from the Camp Manager you were traveling with 6 suitcases and a child, therefore we had to add an extra bed in a double room. We do have 2 family tents where we have 4 beds and 5 beds each, that are much bigger and are the right choice for families with children, but as you preferred to stay close to the restaurant you decided to have Banda 1. Our banda are spacious and each of them as a veranda overlooking the galana river as per picture on our web site http://www.galdessa.com/accomodationMainGaldessa.php

2) "The food was good but not exceptional" - We are running a safari camp on solar power and generator, we are located in a remote area of Tsavo east national park that is more then one hour away from any sort of supply. Guests choose Galdessa because of the location and the kind of safari experience that we can offer, like our walking safaris that are the main attraction. We do the best we can with our safari kitchen and so far, from feed back received from the great majority of guests, we have managed to please them by offering a good selection of Italian dishes and being always ready to adjust our menus in case of special requests received by clients. Surely we do not rate our food as exceptional.

3) "The lighting was dim and it was not easy to see in the tent at night/early morning" - Being an eco friendly camp, our Bandas run on solar power and not on generator. The positive point is that you can switch on the light in the middle of the night in case you need. The negative is that you have solar power bulbs, that are not as bright as the one using electricity.

4) "The toilets are too high and so uncomfortable and the availability of hot water is an issue" - In our bathroom we have the old style safari bucket shower and guests have to control the amount of water they consume . Each banda has an attendant and in case extra water is needed, we are happy to assist . In relation to the comment that toilet are high and uncomfortable it is the first time that we get this comment and I would not know how to comment on it.

5) "The camp is not child friendly" - Galdessa camp is not a fenced camp and it is our main attraction, as game has right of way and elephants can come right in front to our bandas, for this reason children can not be left free without adults supervision. Energetic children any way can exhaust their power during our walking safaris, that are our main attraction and enjoyed by all our guests.

6) "We were informed that they did not accept payment for extras by Visa" During the briefing on arrival the camp manger explains to every guest that in case they have no cash or cheque, we can get paid for extra by credit card, but considering that our telephone network is very poor, it could take time to contact card centre in order to get the confirmation and could create unpleasant delay.

7)" The overall impression we got was that the camp is a has been facility and needs refreshing and upgrading if it is to remain competitive " During the months of May and June, being low season period, we always make renovation at the camp, in order to remain competitive and to maintain our leading position In Tsavo Eats National park, as we have just been awarded the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence as the winner for Tsavo east for 2014
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2 reviews
Reviewed 4 May 2014

We arrived on the 17th April and spent 4 nights and 5 days being completely spoilt and doted on. The camp was immaculately kept, the food was delicious! (compliments again to the Chef) and the staff who cared for us were exceptional: Sylvia, Harrison, James, Thomas, Duncan and Peter.

It was my Husband's birthday on the weekend and they even went so far as to bake him a cake and sing him Happy Birthday. He loved it and it is a memory we will cherish forever.

We loved our time at Galdessa and experienced one of the most top notch game drives with Thomas! We saw a variety of animals and were delighted with the number of red sand elephants and baby calves that we were able to view. Thomas is a fantastic game ranger. He also took us on a guided walk with Kotcha, who is 81+yr old. This Gentleman lead us along the banks of the Galdessa River and even started a fire for us demonstrating the use of an old traditional fire starter.

I would recommend Galdessa Camp to anyone who is interested in visiting a luxury tented camp.

Thank you again to Sylvia and her Team!! It was a delight meeting you all and we thank you for making our weekend such a special and memorable one.

Room Tip: We stayed in tent 61 which was perfectly situated, with a gorgeous view of the Galdessa River and th...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Claudette D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fabrizio M, Owner at Galdessa Camp, responded to this review, 29 May 2014
Thank you very much for taking the time two write and for describing so well your stay at Galdessa. As you stayed for 5 days you really had the possibility to fully appreciate what Galdessa can offer. Glad to know you enjoyed our food and even more important that you were so impressed by game drives with our guide Thomas, We hope to have you back another time at the camp
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London
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 April 2014

This is a comfortable camp with good food and a wonderful location overlooking the Galana river in an area where we saw few other vehicles. A hippo was feeding so close to our banda one night we could hear it breathing and an elephant tried to join us in the lodge for breakfast -see photo. Over our three day visit the service from all the staff was excellent and the sundowner drinks and bush breakfast were both nicely done. We had two wonderful guided river walks with the knowledgeable Thomas. Two good sightings of leopard were an unexpected treat.
Highly recommended.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank thestylemeister
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fabrizio M, Owner at Galdessa Camp, responded to this review, 27 May 2014
Thank you very much for taking the time two write and for describing so well your stay at Galdessa. As you stayed for 5 days you really had the possibility to fully appreciate what Galdessa can offer. Glad to know you enjoyed our food and even more important that you were so impressed by game drives with our guide Thomas, We hope to have you back another time at the camp
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Galdessa Camp

Property: Galdessa Camp
Address: Tsavo National Park East 454, Kenya
Region: Kenya > Coast Province > Tsavo National Park East
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 23 Speciality Lodging in Tsavo National Park East
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Galdessa Camp 3.5*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Due to maintenance work Galdessa Camp will be closed from the 1st November 2016. We are not able to communicate at the moment the re-opening date that will be announced as soon as we can avail the exact entity of the work to be carried out. Located along the Galana river, in wildest and most secluded location of Tsavo East National park, this stunning camp's main focus is on relaxation and letting the wildlife come to you right in front of your tent. Galdessa sits beneath giant doum palms, 15 kilometres upstream from Lugard's Falls, with its elegant thatch-and-canvas tents, overlooking the meandering waters of the Galana River, Galdessa offers the ultimate 'bush style' safari experience. Game drives in open vehicles, walking safaris along the Galana River and sand rivers. Sundowners, bush breakfast. The camp's direct area is a home to over 51 black rhino. Tsavo East National Park is a Wilderness area and the game can be shy but it offers great bio-diversity. Uncommon species seen there include lesser kudu, gerenuk, fringed eared oryx, hirola and Peter's gazelle. The area is renowned for elephants particularly during the dry season. Tsavo a bird watcher paradise being particularly rich in birdlife. SUGGESTED STAY TO REALLY APPRECIATE WHAT WE CAN OFFER 3 NIGHTS. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Galdessa Camp Tsavo East National Park Hotel Tsavo National Park East
Galdessa Camp Kenya/Tsavo National Park East

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