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Tsavo East And West National Park

Short Overview

Divided by road and rail from the adjacent Tsavo East, Tsavo West National Park covers a good 9.000 kilometers. Together with adjoining ranches and protected areas, they comprise the Tsavo Conservation Area. Tsavo West National Park is more mountainous and wetter, with swamps, Lake Jipe, and the four enchanting natural Mzima springs. Tsavo West homes a variety of wildlife, and also a black rhino sanctuary. So you are likely to see the critically endangered eastern black rhinoceros and the rest of the big five – the maneating maneless lions, giant elephants, and cape buffalos, leopards. Tall necks of the biggest giraffes in Africa, cute bushbabies, herds of hartebeest, and much more are awaiting! Perhaps a guided walk along the Tsavo River? Thanks to its topography, it offers also excellent rock-climbing opportunities.

Details of Tsavo East and West National Park

Land of Lava, Springs and Man Eaters. The twin parks form one of Africas largest wilderness reserves consisting of 10 million acres of pure wilderness made of savannah, range and hills, acacia, montane forest and extensive river system. They cover 4% of Kenya’s total land area of 11,747sq.km in the Southeast of Kenya. Rising to 1,200 m above sea level, it has warm and dry climate and features bushy grasslands, open plains, semi-arid acacia scrubs and wood lands.


The Park is home to most of larger mammals, vast herds of dust red-red elephant, Rhino, buffalo, lion, leopard, hippos, waterbucks, Kudus, Gerenuk and Hirola.

The ‘Man-Eaters’ of Tsavo

The Park acquired its name ‘Tsavo’, meaning ‘slaughter’ from the Akamba people, who first migrated to the area some five centuries ago – long before the arrival of the more famous leonine slaughterers, the ‘Man-Eaters’ of Tsavo.

Man Eaters of TsavoThis historic railway was, in 1899, the scene of one of Africa’s greatest Adventure stories where two large lions actively preyed on the railway workers as they built a bridge over the Tsavo River, claiming over 120 victims. They evaded hunters for well over a year, and the legend of the Man eaters of Tsavo was born. The Park is therefore famous for its numerous pride of mane-less lion Tsavo East is the larger of the two, dramatically presents a theatre of the wild.

Largest safari elephant herds in the world

It offers a vast arena of parched scrub and heat-shimmering bush which is washed by the azure waters and emerald-fringed meanderings of the Galana River, guarded by the limitless lava reaches of the Yatta Plateau and patrolled by some of the largest safari elephant herds in the world.

Unlike Tsavo West it is the epitome of the African bush, with mile upon mile of arid, thorny scrubland sweeping to the horizon. On the other hand Tsavo West Park lies on the western side of the Mombasa – Nairobi Highway and is painted on a sprawling canvas of endless skies, emerald hills, liquid lava flows, palm-fringed rivers, teeming wildlife and sparkling oases, set against the unforgettable backdrop of mile upon mile cloud-shadowed African savannah.

Elephant in Eden

You see the sights of dust – red elephant wallowing, rolling and spraying each other with the midnight blue waters of palm-shaded Galana River – one of most evocative images of Africa.

The Aruba Dam

The beautiful 85 hectare man-made dam located on the north bank of the seasonal Voi River. It is visited by thousands of animals and birds making it a great game viewing destination.

The Mundanda Rock

Here is where wild animals usually go to before embarking on a quest for water especially during the dry season. The whale-backed rock towers above a natural dam and acts as a draw to thousand of elephants.

The Yatta Plateau

Is the longest lava flow in the world at 300kilometres in length and 10kilometres wide, formed when the flow cooled and solidified, it was left standing as a ridge after the surrounding land was washed by erosion making it a marvelous spot for picnics and a sundowner.

The Lugard Falls

Named after Captain Lugard the first proconsul to East Africa, the falls feature white water ranging through eroded rocks and plunge into forming rapids and crocodile infested pools.

The Galana River

Which is a formation of the Tsavo and Athi Rivers above the Lugards Falls before flowing into the Indian Ocean. The Galana River is the color and consistency of chocolate milk, even in the dry season.

Tsavo West Attractions

  • Tsavo is a birdwatcher’s paradise.

  • Mzima springs offering millions of fresh water every day.

  • Recent Volcanoes, lava flows and caves.

  • Underwater hippo.

  • Fish watching

  • The lions, leopard, cheetah, wild dogs, buffalo, rhino, giraffe, zebra, crocodile, mongoose, hyrax dik dik, lesser kudu and nocturnal porcupine.

  • Birdlife Tsavo is a birdwatcher’s paradise with prolific bird life featuring 500 recorded species in the East and 600 in the West. Species include weavers, hornbills, sunbirds, rollers, and raptors.

  • The African skimmer, goshawk, red and yellow bishop, palm nut vulture and the white-headed buffalo weaver, woodpecker, sunbird, starling and pigeon, Maasai and Somali ostrich abound along with kori bustard, bateleur, carmine bee-eater and an East African specialty, the vulturine guinea fowl are commonly seen.

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