The drive from Tsavo West to Tsavo East takes about an hour. We drove along bumpy roads through the town of Voi and entered Tsavo East through the main gate just outside of Voi. Since the Hilton package included entrance fees to Tsavo West but not Tsavo East, we had to pay an entrance fee of $40. Normally we would have also had to pay an entrance fee for our guide, but since it was a national holiday in Kenya (December 12 is Jamhuri Day; the day Kenya became an independent nation), all Kenyans were allowed to visit any national park free of charge.
Salt Lick Lodge packed us three lunches, and we planned to stay all day, returning around 6 p.m. to the lodge. We had heard from other guides in Tsavo West that there were more animals to be seen in Tsavo East and indeed there were. We finally saw giraffes; cape buffalo; hippos; crocodiles; Gerenuk, also called gazelle giraffes (gazelles who stand on their hind legs and eat leaves from the trees); and cute little Dikdiks, which are tiny deer-like animals. We hadn't seen any of these animals at Tsavo West.
It had rained heavily at Tsavo East the day before, so many roads were blocked due to flooding. Since it was a holiday, there were quite a lot of cars and safari vans around.
We ate our lunch in the van under a tree at
Aruba Dam. The lunch box had a sandwich, a chicken thigh and leg, an orange, an apple, a box of orange juice, a piece of marble cake, and napkins. We were usually never allowed outside the safari vehicle, but at Lugard Falls there is a lookout where you can park and walk about 20 feet to view the falls. It is there that we spotted the hippos and crocodiles. They were across the Galana River, but with the binoculars, they were easily observed.
We ended the day with a visit to Voi Safari Lodge for a Tusker beer (Dominic, however, drank a Coke). This lodge also has a watering hole, but it is further down the hill. There is a beautiful view from the bar and restaurant over the flat landscape below. The drive this day lasted 11 hours from the time we left Salt Lick Lodge until the time we returned. As it was such a long day, we told Dominic that we wouldn't do the early game drive the next day so that we could all sleep in. He was very happy at this news.