Tsavo National Park
Tsavo East National Park is one of the oldest and largest parks in Kenya at 13,747 square kilometers. Situated in a semi-arid area previously known as the Taru Desert it opened in April 1948, and is located near the town of Voi in the Taita-Taveta County of the former Coast Province. The park is divided into east and west sections by the A109 road and a railway. Named for the Tsavo River, which flows west to east through the national park, it borders the Chyulu Hills National Park, and the Mkomazi Game Reserve in Tanzania.
It is considered one of the world’s biodiversity strongholds, and its popularity is mostly due to the vast amounts of diverse wildlife that can be seen, including the famous ‘big five’ consisting of lion, black rhino, Cape buffalo, elephant and leopard. The park is also home to a great variety of bird life such as the black kite, crowned crane, lovebird and the sacred ibis. Tsavo East National Park is generally flat, with dry plains across which the Galana River flows. Other features include the Yatta Plateau and Lugard Falls. Tsavo West National Park is more mountainous and wetter, with swamps, Lake Jipe and the Mzima Springs. It is known for wildlife and for its large mammals. It is also home to a black rhino sanctuary
Wildlife in Tsavo national park
A comprehensive list of the animal types found in Tsavo East Park includes famous are the Tsavo lions, the aardwolf, yellow baboon, bat, Cape buffalo, bush baby, bush buck, caracal, African wildcat, cheetah, civet, dik-dik, African hunting dog, African dormouse, blue duiker, bush duiker, red duiker, eland, African bush elephant, bat-eared fox, greater galago, gazelle, large-spotted genet, small-spotted genet, gerenuk, giraffe, African hare, spring hare, Coke’s hartebeest, East African hedgehog, spotted hyena, striped hyena, rock hyrax, tree hyrax, impala, black-backed jackal, side-striped jackal, klipspringer, lesser kudu, leopard, lion, banded mongoose, dwarf mongoose, Egyptian mongoose, marsh mongoose, slender mongoose, white-tailed mongoose, vervet monkey, Sykes’ monkey, fringe-eared oryx, clawless otter, ground pangolin, crested porcupine, cane rat, giant rat, naked mole rat, ratel, bohor reed buck, black rhinoceros, serval, spectacled elephant shrew, bush squirrel, East African red squirrel, striped ground squirrel, unstriped ground squirrel, suni, warthog, water buck, plains zebra and Grevy’s zebra.
Activities in Tsavo national park
Tsavo is a birdwatcher’s paradise with prolific bird life featuring 500 recorded species in the East and 600 in the West and they 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.
Visit Mzima springs
These Natural springs produce 50 million gallons of fresh sparkling water daily. These waters are alive with Shoals of Barbel and Hippopotamus and Waterfowl. A unique underwater observatory has been built that gives you an incredible view of this crystal clear underwater world, where massive hippos glide silently through Swirling Shoals of Barbel.
A walk on safari is an excellent way to stretch the legs and to get up close to nature and walks are only allowed in areas where visitors are safe, and they are normally with a park ranger. A walk is highly recommended, even if it’s only for a short distance.
Cultural visits enrich any safari with the Akamba people and spend an hour at a local orphanage be something you will never forget. Check with your tour operator to see what the children might need. Books, pencils, erasers and back packs are always welcomed. Many safaris incorporate visits with local tribes, where guests can join them on their daily activities. Visits with local bush men often include the ability to participate in a hunt.
The park has a wide variety of wildlife including the dust-red elephant, lions, leopard, cheetah, wild dogs, buffalo, rhino, giraffe, zebra, crocodile, mongoose, hyrax dik dik, lesser kudu and nocturnal porcupine.