Kenya’s oldest and largest national park, Tsavo East’s rugged volcanic landscape, is a haven for Kenya’s northern and southern species. It is located halfway between Nairobi and Mombasa and is ideal for those who wish to combine their Safari with a beach Holiday.
Tsavo East National Park forms part of the largest protected area in Kenya and is home to most of the larger mammals, vast herds of dust –red elephant, Rhino, buffalo, lion, leopard, pods of hippo, crocodile, waterbucks, lesser Kudu, gerenuk and the prolific bird life features 500 recorded species. Tsavo East covers more than 13,700 km², making it nine times larger than the Maasai Mara. It has lovely scenery and its attractions include the Mudanda Rock and Yatta Plateau, the world’s largest example of lava flow. The park is probably best known for its enormous herds of red elephants that dust themselves with the red-oxide soil so typical of Tsavo. Other species to be on the lookout for are the endemic desert warthog, hirola (also known as Hunter’s hartebeest) and Peter’s Gazelle. Apart from its teeming elephant population, another main attraction at Tsavo East is its sheer vastness. Even less developed than Tsavo West, the eastern sector feels far more remote and wild. Sometimes, it’s possible to go on game drives all day without encountering another vehicle. Tsavo National Park makes a great addition onto any Kenyan safari itinerary.
Tsavo East National Park: The Experience
Tsavo East National Park terrain varies between open plains, semi arid acacia scrub and woodlands. The most scenic section is along the Galana River which flows throughout the year and provides a corridor of lush greenery among a frequently harsh and arid landscape. At Lugard Falls the entire river disappears into a rocky grove so narrow that it is possible to stand astride the cleft with the Falls immediately below.
Tsavo national park hosts a recorded number of 675 wildlife individuals with a huge population of lions which the park is famous for. Wildlife species found in Tsavo East national park include mammals and primates. Mammals found in Tsavo East national park include elephants, leopards, cheetah, buffalos, black rhinos, gazelle, impala, aardwolf, Grevy’s and plain’s zebra, warthog, waterbucks, warthogs, civet, dik-dik, caracal, African wildcat, African hunting dog, duikers that is, eland, African dormouse, stripped and spotted hyena, tree hyrax, black-backed and side stripped jackal, lesser kadu, gazelles, small spotted genet, greater galago, bat-eared fox, African hare, species of mongoose such as banded mongoose, dwarf mongoose, Egyptian mongoose, marsh mongoose, slender mongoose and white-tailed mongooseand species of duikers such as bush duiker, red duiker and blue duiker among others.
Tsavo East National Park: Birdlife
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.
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.