A BRIEF ON THE WW1 BATTLEFIELD SITES
Mile 27 on the Voi – Maktau Military Line
Close to Mashoti is the site of a skirmish between a coy section of the 25th Battalion Loyal North Lancashire Regiment and a group of German saboteurs where they engaged in close hand to hand combat resulting in fatalities from both sides.
Built by the Loyal North Lancashire Regt in late 1915, trenches and typical regulation design British Fort laid out according to the ‘book’. Today, it is eroded but fairly visible and easily accessible.
A dusty sleepy little village today. But in 1915 it accommodated over 20,000 Empire troops and the first airfield in East Africa. Unfortunately nothing remains of the important role that the area played. Nearby is Pequet Hill with remains of dry stone wall fortifications on top with magnificent views over the Tsavo Serengeti Plains to the west and Mt. Kilimanjaro. One can often drive close to the top followed by a short walk to the fort. Maktau Railway Station on the now abandoned military line between Voi and Taveta is quite interesting to see. The remaining railway line signals the presence of equipment.
Maktau Common Wealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) Indian WW1 Memorial
CWGC Memorial to several Indian soldiers who were killed defending General Malleson when ambushed by the Germans. It originally had British casualties who were re-interred at Voi.
Snipers Baobab Tree
Legend has it that a German woman was holed up in this magnificent hollow Baobab Tree, sniping at British troops as they tried to attack Salaita Hill.
Described by the British Commanders as the “cork in the bottle” that had to be taken out before the contents of German East Africa were revealed. Strategically located between the Pare Mountains in the South and Mt. Kilimanjaro in the west. Salaita was quickly occupied and made into a strong defensive position by the Germans in 1914. The hill was attacked thrice by the British who were beaten off with heavy loss each time.
A Church Missionary Society mission post that was occupied by the Germans in September 1914 and subsequently fortified by them. Several well preserved trenches can still be seen here.
Taveta Common Wealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) European WW1 Cemetery
Mainly holds the dead from the various attacks made on Salaita and the surrounding area and also from the battle at Latema & Reata Ridges. Also has the dead from the German war. On a Battlefield Tour, ceremonial wreaths may be placed on the Cross of Sacrifice.
Former Taveta Police Station (The Old British East Africa Police Station)
In desperate need of restoration. It was from this building that the first shots of the land campaign were fired from, signaling the start of the East African Campaign.
Taveta Common Wealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) Indian WW1 Cemetery
A memorial to 29 Indian soldiers killed in the area during the East African Campaign.
VOI COMMONWEALTH WAR GRAVES COMMISSION WW1 CEMETERY
A consolidated cemetery with corpses recovered from scattered burial places after the war and re-interred here. Lt. Dartnell VC was buried here.
Day and Night Game drives
Early morning and late afternoon game drives provide an ideal opportunity to view and photograph the diverse array of wildlife within the Sanctuary. The water holes below provide a wonderful opportunity to view animals at close proximity in their habitat.
The lobby and terraced bar offer excellent views and photographic opportunities, while an underground tunnel and bunker with ground level windows provides unbelievably close, yet safe access to variety of animals as they drink water. Night game drives provide guests with an opportunity of seeing animals not usually encountered on daytime game drive such as spotted and striped hyena, mongoose, jackal, Civet, genet, porcupine and bush baby.
Most predators are active at night, so night game drives also provide the opportunity of experiencing the “circle of life”. Our highly trained rangers equipped with powerful spotlights take guests for this experience of a totally difference world after dark, when you may have thrilling opportunity to see a predator actively hunting.
Visit a local and authentic village where you can learn about local cultures, spend a day at Mzima springs in Tsavo West National Park, famous for its thriving of hippos and crocodiles or visit Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary or Lake Jipe, both also in Tsavo West. Alternatively spend the day in Tsavo East National Park, where you can visit popular sites such as Aruba Dam and Lugards Falls, or make an excursion to the nearby Taita Hills with spectacular views, indigenous forest and rural markets.
The region to the west of the sanctuary is also rich in World War 1 history while a crater lake near the Tanzania border is a mere 60 km away.
The sanctuary offers many diverse opportunities for you to experience the unique flora, fauna and culture of this fascinating ecosystem. Take a nature walk with a qualified ranger guide, with emphasis on the natural environment you encounter as you walk leisure through the bush. Marvel at the smaller wildlife normally unnoticed during a game drive yet still important for their impact on the ecology of this diverse ecosystem.