Tsavo National Park (East and West)
Tsavo National Park is one of Kenya’s most iconic and expansive national parks, divided into two separate entities: Tsavo East National Park and Tsavo West National Park. Collectively, they form one of the largest wildlife conservation areas in the world, covering a total area of over 22,000 square kilometres (8,494 square miles).
Both Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks offer excellent opportunities for game drives, guided walks, and birdwatching. The parks are less crowded compared to some of the more popular national parks in Kenya, providing a sense of wilderness and adventure. Exploring the vast landscapes and observing the abundant wildlife in Tsavo is a remarkable experience for nature enthusiasts and wildlife lovers.
Overview of Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks:
Tsavo East National Park:
Wildlife: Tsavo East is renowned for its diverse and abundant wildlife. The park is home to the “Red Elephants” of Tsavo, known for their reddish-brown dust baths. Other wildlife commonly spotted in Tsavo East includes lions, leopards, cheetahs, giraffes, zebras, buffalos, hyenas, and various antelope species. The Galana River, which flows through the park, attracts hippos and crocodiles.
Landscapes: Tsavo East features vast open savannahs, bushland, and the Yatta Plateau, which is the world’s longest lava flow. The park is also dotted with rocky outcrops, thorny acacia trees, and seasonal rivers.
Attractions: Notable attractions in Tsavo East include the Lugard Falls, a series of raids on the Galana River, and the Mudanda Rock, a massive rock formation offering panoramic views of the park. The Aruba Dam is a popular watering hole that attracts a variety of wildlife.
Tsavo West National Park:
Wildlife: Tsavo West is known for its diverse wildlife, similar to Tsavo East. The park is home to large elephant herds, as well as lions, leopards, cheetahs, buffalos, giraffes, zebras, and various antelope species. The park also hosts a significant population of rhinos, both black and white, and is involved in their conservation efforts.
Scenic Landscapes: Tsavo West offers varied landscapes, including rugged hills, volcanic cones, lava fields, and natural springs. The park is known for its scenic beauty, with highlights such as the Mzima Springs, a series of crystal-clear natural springs that support a diverse aquatic ecosystem, and the Shetani Lava Flows, a black lava flow formed by ancient volcanic activity.
Attractions: Tsavo West boasts several attractions, including the dramatic Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary, where visitors can observe and learn about the park’s rhino conservation efforts. The Chaimu Crater and Roaring Rocks are viewpoints that provide stunning panoramic vistas of the park and its surroundings.