Tsavo National Park: 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 National Park 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 National Park is one of the oldest and largest parks in Kenya at 13,747 square kilometres. Situated in a semi-arid area previously known as the Taru Desert it opened in April 1948, it is located near the town of Voi in the Taita-Taveta County of the former Coast Province. The park is divided into Tsavo East National Park and Tsavo West National Park sections by the A109 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 West National Park is more mountainous and wetter than its counterpart, with swamps, Lake Jipe and the Mzima Springs. It is known for birdlife and for its large mammals. It is also home to a black rhino sanctuary.
Most of Tsavo National park consists of semi-arid grasslands and savanna. 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 Masai lion, black rhino, cape buffalo, elephant and leopard. The park is also home to a great variety of bird life such as the black kite, crowned crane, lovebird and the sacred ibis.
The Mudanda Rock is a 1.6 km inselberg of stratified rock that acts as a water catchment that supplies a natural dam below. It offers an excellent vantage point for the hundreds of elephants and other wildlife that come to drink during the dry season.
The Yatta Plateau, the world’s longest lava flow, runs along the western boundary of the park above the Athi River. Its 290 km length was formed by lava from Ol Doinyo Sabuk Mountain.
Lugard Falls, named after Frederick Lugard, is actually a series of white water rapids on the Galana River.
Aruba Dam was built in 1952 across the Voi River. The reservoir created by the dam attracts many animals and water birds.
Tsavo East National Park is one of the world’s largest game reserves, providing undeveloped wilderness homes to vast numbers of animals. Famous are the Tsavo lions, a population of lions, where adult males often lack manes entirely. In total there are about 675 lions in the Amboseli-Tsavo ecosystem.
A comprehensive list of the animal types found in Tsavo National Park includes the aardwolf, yellow baboon, bat, cape buffalo, bushbaby, bushbuck, caracal, African wildcat, Tanzanian cheetah, African civet, dik-dik, African hunting dog, African dormouse, blue duiker, bush duiker, red duiker, eland, African elephant, bat-eared fox, greater galago, gazelle, large-spotted genet, small-spotted genet, gerenuk, giraffe, African hare, springhare, Coke’s hartebeest, hunter hartebeest, East African hedgehog, spotted hyena, striped hyena, rock hyrax, tree hyrax, impala, black-backed jackal, side-striped jackal, klipspringer, lesser kudu, leopard, lion, banded mongoose, dwarf mongoose, Egyptian mongoose, marsh mongoose, slender mongoose, white-tailed mongoose, black faced vervet monkey, Sykes’ monkey, fringe-eared oryx, clawless otter, ground pangolin, crested porcupine, cane rat, giant rat, naked mole rat, ratel, bohor reedbuck, black rhinoceros, serval, spectacled elephant shrew, bush squirrel, East African red squirrel, striped ground squirrel, unstriped ground squirrel, suni, warthog, waterbuck, common zebra and Grevy’s zebra.
Over 500 bird species have been recorded in the area, including ostriches, kestrels, buzzards, starlings, weaver birds, kingfishers, hornbills, secretary birds and herons.
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Kenya Safaris Quick Travel Info
|Official Languages||Kiswahili, English|
|Population||45 M (2014)|
|Currency||Kenyan Shilling (Ksh)|
|Time Zone||EAT (UTC +3)|
|Traffic Drives||Leftt Side|
|Best Time to travel||Low Season (Mar–May)|
Shoulder (Nov & Dec)
High Season (Jul-Oct, Jan & Feb)