Ever heard of the legend of the man eaters of Tsavo? Well, long ago in 1899, during the construction of the Nairobi-Mombasa road and railway, two large lions actively preyed on the railroad workers, claiming over 100 victims! Tsavo Plains, comprising Tsavo West and Tsavo East National Parks, forms one of the largest National parks in the world.
Tsavo Plains is also famous for its elephant populations which remained the strongest in Africa until recently. At one stage, tourists could see up to 20 000 elephants in one herd! Often referred to as ‘Red Elephants’, the elephants of Tsavo do appear luminous red when they cover themselves with the ubiquitous red soil during their dust baths.
Tsavo Plains boasts 4 rivers plus an abundance of watering holes which ensure tremendous game viewing opportunities throughout the year. Witness large buffalo populations, mane-free lions, rhino, hippo, leopards and giraffe. Birders should seek out myriad bird species including sunbirds, hornbills and weavers which are common.
Discover Mzima Springs, a natural source of cool, clear water that gushes out at the rate of 250 million liters a day, creating a home to thousands of aquatic animals, particularly hippo.
Drive through the dense vegetation and keep an eye out for the Big 5. See how the shrubbery enhances the dramatic contrasting setting for the Plains. Explore the largest wildlife reserve in Kenya, stretching nearly 22,000km². Find the park just 280km from Nairobi and 300km from Mombasa.
TSAVO WEST NATIONAL PARK
The landscape of Tsavo West National Park is wooded savanna. More mountainous and wetter than Tsavo East, it is distinguished by hills, volcanic craters, rocks and lava plains. These are situated close to the papyrus-fringed Lake Jipe in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro.
Tsavo East is a flatter, drier and more open savannah terrain broken up by the sinuous length of the Galana River which is the main feature of the park. The river is fringed by riverine forests. The open plains and arid bushveld make game viewing easier in this less visited park.
WHEN TO VISIT
Tsavo National Park is an all-year safari destination with most of the year being dry and dusty. This park in Kenya is always abundant with wildlife with different things to see at different times of the year.
The park is especially beautiful after the rains as new grasses and an array of luxurious vegetation and wild flowers come to life.