The Finch-Hatton Birdwatchers Luxury Safari

Amboseli, Tsavo West, Tsavo East, Mombasa

Kenya Birdwatching Safari

Due to its proximity to the coast, this safari can be easily combined with a beach extension to Mombasa, Malindi or Lamu.

Denys Finch Hatton epitomizes safari glamour. A British aristocrat whose passionate love affair with Baronness Karen Blixen was immortalized in the movie Out of Africa, Finch Hatton was also a great leader of safaris. He was famed for his handsome looks and height, his grace, and easy manner and his prowess as a hunter. In 1925, Denys took up hunting professionally and began leading safaris for wealthy sportsmen. Among Finch Hatton’s clients were Marshall Fields III, grandson of the Chicago department store magnate; Frederick B. Patterson, an American vending machine tycoon; and, in 1928 and 1930, the Prince of Wales (later Duke of Windsor). The Baronness Karen Blixen wrote of his love for luxury, the amazing safaris they took together, and their exciting flights over Kenya’s plains. Lions reportedly sunned himself on his grave. Finch-Hatton spent significant amounts of time hunting in Voi, in what is now Tsavo National Park. Thus, this safari focuses on his old haunts in Tsavo and Amboseli.

Tsavo East National Park covers an area of about 12,000 km2, 40% of Kenya’s parks’ total area. Much of the park is level, open country with scattered rocky ridges and outcrops. Due to its size, the park is one of the world’s wildlife and bio diversity strongholds . The seasonal Tiva and Voi rivers are important features of the Northern and Southern sectors respectively. There are scattered seasonal pools, swamps and dams, but relatively few sources of permanent water.One of the great spectacles of the park is the Mudanda rock between Voi and Manyani. This 1 1/2 km long outcrop is a water catchment area which supplies a natural dam at its base. In the dry season, hundreds of elephants come to drink and bathe here. Tsavo West national park covers 9000 km2, approximately 30% of Kenya’s area under parks, and contains a diversity of habitats, wildlife and a mountainous scenic landscape. Tsavo West has a more varied topography and a more diverse array of habitats than its neighbour.

Amboseli lies immediately North West of Mt. Kilimanjaro, on the border with Tanzania. Amboseli was established as a reserve in 1968 and gazetted as a National Park in 1974. The Park covers 392 km2, and forms part of the much larger 3,000 Km Amboseli ecosystem. Large concentrations of wildlife occur here in the dry season, making Amboseli a popular tourist destination. It is surrounded by 6 communally owned group ranches. The National Park embodies 5 main wildlife habitats (open plains, acacia woodland, rocky thorn bush country, swamps and marshland) and covers part of a pleistocene lake basin, now dry. Within this basin is a temporary lake, Lake Amboseli, that floods during years of heavy rainfall. Amboseli is famous for its big game and its great scenic beauty – the landscape is dominated by Mount Kilimanjaro.

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