Tsavo National Park
Tsavo National Park is one of the oldest and largest national parks in Kenya. The national park covers 13,747 square kilometers and is situated in a semi-arid area previously known as the Taru Desert. The national park was opened to the general public in April 1948.
The park is situated in the eastern part of Kenya, near the town of Voi in the Taita-Taveta County of the former Coast Province. The national park is divided into two sections which are east and west Tsavo. The two sections of the park are divided by a road and railway line. The park derives its name from the Tsavo River which flows west to east through the national park.
The national park borders the Chyulu Hills national park and Mkomazi Game Reserve in Tanzania. Tsavo national park is managed by Kenya Wildlife Service and has a high number of wildlife animals from elephants, zebras, Coke’s hartebeest, Aardwolf, bushbucks, African civet, duikers, eland, gazelles, genet, giraffes and so many more.
The national park is one of the world’s largest game reserves and offers undeveloped wilderness homes to vast numbers of animals. Tsavo national park became famous for its man eating lions. The adult male lions in Tsavo national park have no manes which makes them unique in their own way. The park has about 675 lions that are distributed between the Amboseli-Tsavo ecosystem.
While the park is generally flat with dry plains across which the Galana River flows through; Tsavo West national park is more mountainous and wetter with swamps, Lake Jipe and Mzima Springs. The western part of the national park is well known for its rich biodiversity of birdlife and large mammals. This section of the park is home to the Ngulia Sanctuary which is a safe haven for black rhinos.
Attractions and Activities in Tsavo National Park-Kenya.
The Lugard Falls in the park are situated in the eastern section of the national. Tha falls are named after Frederick Lugard of white water rapids on the Galana River, which is the second longest river in Kenya.
This rock is a 1.6 km inselberg of layered rocks that act as a water catchment that supplies a natural dam below. Mudanda rock offers an excellent vantage point for hundreds of elephants and other wildlife that come to quench their thirst during the dry season.
This dam was built in 1952 across the Voi River. The reservoir created by the dam attracts many wildlife animals and water birds. It is a great spot for tourists interested in doing birding when visiting the national park.
The Yatta Plateau is the world’s longest lava flow and it runs along the western boundary of the park above the Athi River. The plateau is 290 kilometers long and was formed by lava from the eruption of OL Doinyo Sabuk Mountain.
Wildlife is the main attraction drawing tourists to Tsavo national park. The park is home to the Big Five including Lions, Cape Buffalo, Leopard, African Savannah Elephant, and Rhinos. Visitors can best view wildlife during a game drive in the park.
Game drives in the national park are the best for viewing wildlife in the park. Some of the commonly viewed wildlife animals in the park include; baboons, cape buffalos, hyenas, zebra, warthogs, waterbucks, impala, marsh mongoose, elephants, and giraffes to mention but a few. The national park offers visitors both day and evening game drives; with night game drives only for those who are interested in viewing nocturnal animals like lions, civerts, leopards, and cheetah to mention but a few.
The park in Kenya is good for bird watching safaris. The national park is home to over 500 bird species and some of the bird species viewed in the national park include; ostriches, starlings, marabou stalk, kestrels, herons, secretary, hornbills, weaver birds and buzzards among others.
The national park also offers visitors camping; with designated camping spots located within both sectors of national park. Camping in Tsavo national park offers visitors great opportunities to spend quality time amidst nature.
Accommodation in Tsavo National Park.
For accommodation in the park, check out the following accommodation options which vary from budget to mid-range and luxury facilities; Nguthuni Lodge, Voi Wildlife Lodge. Man eaters safari camp, Ashnil Aruba Lodge, Leopard Lodge, Manyatta Camp, Red Elephants Safari Lodge, Ndololo camp, Ithumba camp, Impala safari lodge, Kulalu camp, Kilalinda safari camp and Kiboko camp to mention but a few.
How to Get to the Park.
Tsavo national park can be accessed by road, railway, or air transport means. By Air, the national park can be accessed from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport or Moi International Airport and land at any of the following airstrips in the park such as; Aruba airstrip, Cattar airstrip, Bachuma airstrip, Satao airstrip, Voi airstrip, Sala and Ithumba airstrips.
By Road, visitors can access the national park from Malindi and enter the park through Sala gate; and from Mombasa through Voi gate. Tourists visiting Tsavo East national park can access the park through the Bachuma Gate entrance.