• TSAVO WEST NATIONAL PARK

Background Information

Destination Highlights
    From the sight of fifty million gallons of crystal clear water gushing out of from the under parched lava rock that is the Mzima Springs to the Shetani lava flows, Tsavo West is a beautiful, rugged wilderness. The savannah ecosystem comprises of open grasslands, scrublands, and Acacia woodlands, belts of riverine vegetation and rocky ridges including the Poacher's Lookout where visitors can see the teeming herds in the plains below. Tsavo West 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 Warbler.

Tsavo West encompasses mountains and hills for climbing, savanna bush and semi-arid desert scrub, acacia woodland, palm thickets, rivers and the tranquil Lake Jipe Kudu - one of Kenya's animals found in Tsavo. There are many tourist attractions at Tsavo West National Park, from safari tours to see the red-skinned elephants, to birdwatching and hill hiking, to caving and boating. There are many Kenyan animals in the park, including elephants, African lions, hippos, cheetahs, hartebeest and buffalo.

Tsavo West National Park covers 7065kmĀ² but the terrain is much more varied than that of Tsavo East. It ranges from 200-1000m in altitude. The northern sector is bush land with scattered native baobab trees. The railway runs along the border separating Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Park. In 1898, as many as 135 railway workers were attacked and killed by man-eating lions. The pair of male, maneless lions that, unusually, hunted humans rather than livestock, evaded traps and capture for many months. The man-eaters were eventually shot by Lt. Col. John Henry Patterson, but the legend lives on.

It is amazing to see Kenyan wildlife living in close proximity to one another. A bird may sit within a snap of being eaten, yet, unless it is hungry, the predator will ignore it completely. See the huge anthills, the sparse shrubs, and the tortoises plodding along the edge of the track. Keep your eyes open for giraffes - they are surprisingly well camouflaged as they nibble the tops of the trees. Look under the shady trees to find lions sleeping after lunch, and be ready to stop as gazelles or cheetahs stroll across the road in front of you. Birders will be in heaven here, with over 600 species of birds identified in the area, from plains to wetland species. It is a long, hot day on a safari to Tsavo West, so wear cool, comfortable clothing, and a sunhat. Remember to bring your camera and binoculars, sunglasses and water to drink.


How to get there


Distance: 240 km from Nairobi, 250km from Mombasa (Mtito Andei Gate).
By air: There are 3 airstrips in the park
Gates: Tsavo, Lake Jipe, Mtito Andei (Kamboyo HQ), Chyulu, Maktau and Ziwani.
Roads: The main access routes are through Chyulu Gate from Amboseli and Mtito Andei Gate from Nairobi.
Visitors from Mombasa also use Tsavo Gate near Manyani.
The Park can also be reached via Taveta - Voi road through Maktau, Ziwani and Jipe Gates.
Airstrips: Kamboyo, Kilaguni, Tsavo Gate, Jipe, Kasigau,Finch Hottons, Ziwani, and Maktau airstrips are in good.