Tsavo national park comprises of Tsavo East and Tsavo West national parks respectively
Tsavo West National Park
Tsavo West National Park is located on south eastern Kenya, lying along the western side of Mombasa-Nairobi highway. At a whooping 9,065 sq km, it is one of Kenya’s larger parks. Its terrain is mostly woodland and savannah with some hilly scrubland. There are also belts of riverine vegetation and some steep rocky ridges popular with climbers. There has been some recent volcanic activity, about 200 to 300 years ago, with numerous lava flows left behind.
Tsavo West Attractions
One of the main attractions in Tsavo West is Mzima Springs. Rainwater from Chyulu Hills percolates through porous volcanic soil into a network of underground rivulets then surfaces at the Mzima Springs, having stayed underground for up to 25 years. The springs form into small lakes that support a wide range of terrestrial and marine flora and fauna. There’s an underwater viewing chamber that allows for some awe-inspiring views as fish, hippos and crocodiles swim leisurely in the crystal clear waters.
Another attraction is the Shetani Lava Flow which includes several natural caves beneath them. It is telling that shetani is the Swahili name for the devil. Bones of trapped animals stalked by opportunistic predators are common in the area.
The Chaimu Crater is a steep volcanic cone accessible via a nature trail which provides a great opportunity to get out of your vehicle and hike for an average 30 minutes to the peak. The spectacular views at the top are more than worth the trouble.
Tsavo West Wildlife
The park is known for the large prides or lions and huge elephant herds. There is also a rhino sanctuary where you can see these agile, gentle giants. Buffalo Giraffe, impala, and Burchell’s zebra are all in plenty too.
Getting to Tsavo West National Park
From Nairobi by road, use the Nairobi-Mombasa Highway for about 240 km (3 hours) and get in at Mtito Andei. By air you can land on any of the 3 airstrips in the park – about 45 minutes from Nairobi.
Tsavo East National Park
Tsavo East National Park is one of Kenya's oldest national parks. At 11,747 sq km it is also one of the largest, accounting for about 40% of the land that makes up Kenyan National Parks. It is a popular wildlife destination especially with visitors from Kenya’s coast who find the proximity convenient. It is located 333 km from Nairobi.
The terrain at Tsavo East consists of grasslands, acacia and open savanna plains and. Other features include rivers, lakes, glaciers, and peaks.
The park features large prides of lion and huge buffalo herds sometimes up to 1000 strong. The other animals at Tsavo East National Park include: lion, leopard, cheetah, stripped hyena, serval cats, antelopes, kongoni, giraffes, oryx, klipspringer, impala, zebras, gazelles, lesser kudu, buffalos and elephants. Some 500+ bird species have been recorded in the area, including ostrich and some migratory kestrels.
Attractions at Tsavo East National Park
Yatta Plateau, the world’s largest lava flow is located along the western boundary of the park. Others include Mudanda Rock, a 1.6 kilometer inselberg that also acts as a water catchment area attracting large hers of elephant and buffalo. Then there’s Lugard Falls along the Galana River. The Aruba Dam is another major attraction along the Voi River.
How to get to Tsavo East National park
If you are travelling by road from Nairobi, it is 333km of good tarmacked all weather road. You will enter by the Voi Gate or the Manyani Gate. If you are coming from Mombasa, it is 173km of also good roads and you enter via Bachuma Gate. There’s also Sala Gate which is accessible from the Malindi side.
If traveling by air, the chartered light aircraft will usually land at one of the 6 airstrips in the south part of the park, or any of the 13 airstrips in the north.
- big five game
- wildlife watching tours
- bird-watching - over 500 bird species
- bush meals
- visits to mzima springs
- superb accommodation options