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Solio Lodge was awesome. The accommodation was huge, far too much for two people, but pure luxury. The staff were very nice, friendly and helpful. Ava the manager came up and spoke to you at every meal time and was genuinely interested in your day. The food was excellent, fresh and tasty, although if I was to have one moan there were no options, the evening meal was set. Although I am sure if you didn't like something they would have made an alternative. A fire was lit every evening in your lodge and a hot-water bottle provided, Also all toiletries, including sunscreen in the van, were provided. We would definitely like to come back here again. Amos and Blackie were our driver and spotter and did an amazing job. One evening Blackie spotted a snake no bigger than a pencil swallowing a frog on the side of the road as we were heading out. We thought it was Blackie's pet snake and he had planted it there! The rhino sightings were absolutely incredible - 360-degree rhino. They were also in large groups and interspersed with other animals, mainly buffalo.
On my birthday we saw 123 rhino in one day including six black rhino. My day started at 5:30am we headed out to watch the sunrise over Mount Kenya. We saw lots of animals on the way. Then at 10:30am our driver Amos said another van needed our assistance so we would drive over to help them. We went to the plains and drew up to the other van, however when we stopped they had a banner with 'Happy birthday' tied to two branches they had stuck into the ground. There was a table laid for two people. There was water, soap and a towel all very civilised. We sat down then they sung 'Happy Birthday' and brought a bottle of champagne and a machete; with the machete Amos swiped the cork off and gave it to me as a gift. We had lots of yummy food cooked beside the van and hot drinks as well as champagne. There was a group of 17 white rhino watching: they were only about 25-30 metres away, they were very curious as to what was happening and kept looking over to try and find out. It's was a perfect time, I didn't want to leave. At 11:45am we packed up and headed back to the lodge. When we arrived we were met by Ava the manager who gave me a birthday card and a voucher for a free 1-hour massage. We had lunch on the decking overlooking the park, a giraffe walked past then a black rhino wandered across the plain. After lunch I had my massage in our suite, which was huge. At 4:30pm we left for our afternoon drive, when the sun went down Blackie our tracker put on the spotlight and we saw nocturnal animals including a striped hyena which was extremely rare in the park. We got back to the lodge and went for tea and they sang 'Happy Birthday' and gave me a cake. Best birthday ever :)
At this lodge we saw 360 rhino in total, 12 of which were black rhino.
Sharon Dunn, May 2016
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