Tsavo National Park
Tsavo National Park is one of the oldest and largest parks in Kenya. It is 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 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.
Tsavo National Park is situated near the Tanzania boarder and close to the Kenyan coast, this is perfect in case you want a beach holiday after your Safri from Tsave National Park. The park is named after the river that flows through the parks, Tsavo is split into two national parks Tsavo East and Tsavo West and these are divided by the Mombasa- Nairobi high way.
Tsavo National Park offers some of the most magnificent game viewing in the world and attractions include elephant, rhino, Hippos, lions, cheetah, leopards, Buffalos, diverse plant and bird species including the threatened corncrake and near threatened Basra Reed Warbl.
Tsavo West National Park
Tsavo West National Park is located in the Coast Province of Kenya. The park covers an area of 9,065 square kilometres. The A109 road Nairobi-Mombasa and a railway divides it from the adjoining Tsavo East National Park.
Tourists can enter Tsavo west national park through different entry gates such as Maktau gate, Mbuyuni gate, Jipe gate, Ziwani gate, Chyulu gate and Kasigau gate. The national park can also be accessed from Mtito Andei route from Nairobi which is a main entry gate as well as the Chyulu gate.
Due to its vast size of the Tsavo west, you are unlikely to see any other vehicles when out in the bush. It is a home to all of the Big Five and many rare northern Kenya species, there are plenty of animals to spot.
Tsavo West is slightly more challenging than Tsavo East and other national parks in Kenya due to low animal densities, thick shrubbery and dense woodland. However, experienced guides and drivers can increase your chances of finding wildlife, as they know all the best spots and early morning and evening game drives are recommended, as wildlife is more active during these times.
But Tsavo West is also a great park to choose if you are travelling on the cusp of the rainy season. Due to its semi-arid climate, rainfall is infrequent, meaning roads and excursions are unlikely to be affected by the rains
Attractions in Tsavo West National Park
Wildlife densities in Tsavo West aren’t that great, but everything is there. There are many elephants, and they are often covered in red dust, giving them an eerie appearance. The park is also known for its maneless lions and big herds of buffalo. Black rhinos have been on the comeback in Tsavo since the ’80s when they were close to being locally extinct. Other animals in this park include Leopard, Cheetah, Wild dogs, Giraffe, Zebra, Crocodile, Mongoose, Hyrax, Dik- dik, Lesser Kudu, and Nocturnal Porcupine
Best time for wildlife viewing in Tsavo West National Park
The best wildlife viewing in Tsavo West NP is in the Dry season (June to October), although the park is worth a visit any time of the year. During the Dry season, the vegetation is minimal, and animals tend to hang around the few available water sources.
Bird species in Tsavo National Park
Tsavo west national park also counts a good number of birds over 400species including,Avid BiAfrican finfoot, Basra reed warbler, Black-faced, sandgrouse, Common whitethroat, Corncrake, Fischer’s starling, Golden pipit, Golden-breasted starling, Lesser kestrel, Marsh warbler, Martial eagle, Narina trogon, Northern brownbul, Pangani longclaw, Red-backed shrike, Red-bellied parrot, River warbler, Rufous chatterer, Shelley’s starling, Slender-tailed nightjar, Somali bee-eater, Somali bunting, Somali ostrich, Taita falcon, Taita fiscal,Thrush nightingale.
What is the best time for watching birds in Tsavo west National Pak?
Tsavo West offers great bird watching in all seasons. Many of the more unusual specials are resident and can be spotted any time. Migratory birds, a real feature of the birding in the park, fill the trees, waterways and skies from November to April. Peak migration months are October and November. November and April are peak months for rainfall – good to keep in mind if birding is your primary interest here.
Attractions in Tsavo East National Park
Tsavo East national Park is located in the southern part of Kenya near the coatal part of the country and also bordering Tanzania. It is famously known as the theatre of wildlife especially the red duty Elephants that spray and roll on the Termite molds at the Park. It is slightly larger and less accessed, Tsavo East is a marginally better choice than the western side however both offer great scenery and, as the dense bush dries back in the winter months, very good game viewing and birding that is second only to Naivasha.
The Tsavo East national park is gifted with a wide range of attractions that guests enjoy while on the Safari to the scenic Park. 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. Some of the largest elephant herds in Africa reside here; there is also the opportunity to see dust-red elephants bathing in the Galana River.
The red elephants of Tsavo East are the only red elephants in the world. Actually, they are really the same color as every other elephant in the world, but they just appear red due to constantly dust-bathing with the Park’s fine red volcanic soil. Other animals in the park include hyenas, cheetahs, zebras, wildebeest, oribi, Dik-dik, Topi, baboons and many others.
When you need to mix up African wildlife experience and coast white beaches then Tsavo East will be right destination to choose because its located near the coastal province with easy accessibility from the cost.
Best time to view wildlife in Tsava west National Park.
Trip to Tsavo East is best planned in June to October and January to February, when conditions in the park are favorable for wildlife watching. During the peak of the short rains (November) and the long rains (April and May) conditions can be more challenging. The vegetation at these times is denser and animals spread out, which makes spotting them more difficult.
Bird species in Tsavo East National Park.
Tsavo East has an impressive checklist of over 500 bird species. It has many dry-country specials which are easy to spot, including the magnificent golden-breasted starling, golden pipit and vulturine guineafowl. The park is also the southernmost stronghold for the Somali ostrich. The park’s huge area is a significant wintering ground for migrant species from Europe. Migrant birds are present from November to April.
Best time to spot birds in Tsavo East National.
Tsavo East offers great bird watching that can be taken advantage of at any time of year. A lot of unusual specials are resident, making it easier to spot them with regularity, year-round. Migratory birds call the park home from November to April. The peak months in the short and long rains are November and April with heavy rain a possibility, leading to bird-watching activities being disrupted.
Major activities in Tsavo west and National Park
Tsavo National Park is rich in wildlife much as it is less visited. This makes it one of the best-protected areas to visit especially by visitors who do not love crowds. Its popularity comes from the large red wallowing elephants which have been called red elephants.
Game viewing in Tsavo National Park is so rewarding due to the rich wildlife variety. Most notable are the Big Five especially the red-dusty elephants, lions, Cape buffalos, leopards and the Rhino. These game drives are done following tracks which usually lead to the water holes where these animals gather. Other animals you are likely to encounter include Giraffes, Impalas, Zebras, Cheetahs, Dik Dik among others
Camping in Tsavo National Park can be done either at the community camping sites or private camping sites. These sites are located in good animal viewing areas and are protected by rangers. From your tent balcony, you can easily view animals at your comfort and the most exciting moments about camping are being awoken by the birds singing or the roar of the king of the jungle patrolling its territory.
West National Park offers some of the best rock-climbing adventures in Kenya. The most impressive rock climb is the famous 300m Kichwa Tembo rock which attracted the first adventure and later, the second expedition to conquer the impressive Tsavo Chimney. Other hiking and rock-climbing areas include the Ngulia Hills, Tsavo Mastodon and Ivory tower. These viewpoints allow you to have a panoramic view of the landscapes, large herds of elephants roaming the vast plains and flocks of birds in the park. The rock climb usually happens in the morning hours before the heat of the sun becomes intense and for safety purposes, climbers are escorted by an armed ranger.
With over 800 bird species, Tsavo West & East National Parks are considered the best places to visit for birding. Between October and January, bird lovers flock to Ngulia hills annually because of its strategic location along one of the world’s busiest bird migration routes to see birds which include River Warbler, Marsh Warbler, Red-baked Shrike, Verreaux’s Eagle Owl, Vulturine Guineafowl, Golden-palm weaver among other portfolio species.
The Shetani caves, located next to the Shetani lava flows, were formed as a result of volcanic activity. Visitors can visit these caves to learn about their attached history. While at the caves, there is a high possibility of seeing hyenas and other small mammals. Exploring the cave requires one to carry a torch for lighting since it gets dark when in there.
The Tsavo National Park has a lot to offer to tourists with a lot of activities that will give your visit to this park a colourful one. Consult the tour operators that are experts in this, they will organise for you the best safari because they know more about these parks ans also understand what give best to a tourist.
EXPLORE EAST AFRICA WITH US