Tsavo East National Park
Tsavo East National Park is one of the oldest and largest Kenya national parks established in 1948 formerly as Tsavo National Park until it was divided to bring about the creation of Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Park. The Park covers a total area of 13,747 square kilometers. Tsavo East is situated in a semi-arid area that was formerly known as the Taru Desert. Located near the town of Voi in the Taita-Taveta County of Kenya, Tsavo East National Park is named after the Tsavo River which flows west to east throughout the whole original park formation. Tsavo East borders Chyulu Hills National Park, as well as the Mkomazi Game Reserve in the Republic of Tanzania. Tsavo East is regulated and governed by the Kenya Wildlife Service.
Tsavo East National Park Attractions
Tsavo East is mostly comprised of semi-arid grasslands and savannah, a great habitat for wildlife. Tsavo East is rich in great biodiversity and is known to inhabit a large diversity of wildlife species. Attractions in Tsavo East National Park include;
In Tsavo East, you shall encounter a variety of wildlife species including the famous African big five that include lions, cape buffaloes, elephants, leopards and black rhinos. A number of other wildlife species that tourists can see include the African wildcat, African civet, African wild dog, bat-eared fox, common eland, gazelles, gerenuk, giraffe, African savannah hare, slender mongoose, ground pangolin, naked mole-rat, suni, waterbucks, warthogs, zebra, and Sykes’ monkey, among so many others. All these wild animals tourists can spot with game viewing or game drives in Tsavo East, as well as walking and horseback safaris.
The birdlife in Tsavo East is quite diverse too, giving birders busy days when in the park. Over 500 bird species have been recorded in Tsavo East. Some of the bird species that travelers can spot while in Tsavo East National Park include the crowned crane, lovebird, sacred ibis, black kite, hornbills, starlings, kestrels, ostriches, herons, among so many others.
The Yatta Plateau in Tsavo East National Park has the world’s longest lava flow which runs along the western part of the park just above the Athi River.
Tsavo East has the Lugard falls which were named after Frederick Lugard. The Lugard falls are a series of white water rapids that flow on the Galana River.
The top highlights and attractions that usually crown any tourists Kenya safari in Tsavo East National Park are the huge herds of elephants covered in red dust from wallowing and rolling in the red dust, the Mudanda rock and the Lugard Falls, all of which are great views. The many prides of lions can also be spotted in Tsavo East, the home of the great man eaters which devoured over 100 people that worked on a construction site of the railway in 1898.
Activities in Tsavo East National Park
Game drive/Game viewing
Game drives/game viewing in Tsavo East is the most done tourist activity in the park. Game drives take tourists through the grasslands of Tsavo East, to be rewarded with great views of different wildlife species say elephants, buffaloes, baboons, zebras, waterbucks, impala, marsh mongoose, giraffes among so many other wildlife species. Game drives in Tsavo East take place throughout the day, with the early morning game drives and evening game drives being the most rewarding. Night game drives in Tsavo East are also allowed, to give tourists interested an opportunity to encounter nocturnal wildlife like leopards.
Bush walks are another allowed activity in Tsavo East for not all Kenya national parks can conduct night game drives and walking safaris. Bush walks in Tsavo East allow travelers to have an up close encounter with the wildlife in the park as well as explore more while on foot. Bush walks are done in the company of armed rangers at all time.
Mudanda rock and the Yatta Plateau give travelers a great hiking/rock climbing experience in Tsavo East. Travelers get rewarded with amazing views of the park.
Travelers can enjoy horseback safaris in Tsavo East. These have travelers horseback riding in the vast savannah lands of Tsavo East along with wildlife like zebras, impala, elephants and so much more. Horseback safaris also have travelers enjoying the activity in the company of an armed ranger guide.
With over 500 bird species recorded in Tsavo East, travelers can enjoy birding in the park. Keen birders can actually spot more than 100 bird species in a single day. Making use of a bird guide and taking the recommended trails, as well as carrying a good pair of binoculars shall have you spotting more bird species in a single day.
Getting to Tsavo East National Park
Getting to Tsavo East can be done by both road and air. By road, travelers can take the Nairobi route which is only 233km from Tsavo East. The main entrance gate, the Mtito Andrei gate, is within reach using this route. The Mtito Andrei gate is also 230km from Mombasa. By air, travelers can get chatter flights o any of the airstrips in Tsavo National Park depending on one’s lodge of stay. These airstrips in Tsavo East include Aruba airstrip, Satao airstrip, Sala airstrip, Ithumba, Sangayaya, Mopeo and Buchuma airstrips.
The best time to visit Tsavo East National Park
The best time to visit Tsavo East is during the dry season which runs through the months of June through early September, and mid-December through February. During this time, the roads are easily passable and game viewing is much easier given the vegetation is not so over grown. During the wet season which falls in all the other months have roads quite unpassable. 4WD vehicles are to be used at all times for easy access of the park. Tsavo East can however be visited throughout the year, depending on what you prefer as a traveller.
Accommodation in Tsavo East
There are a number of accommodation facilities in Tsavo East National Park that travellers can stay in while in the park. Get to explore the great hospitality that can be offered to you, depending on your budget. Accommodation in Tsavo East National Park range from budget to luxury, and some of the facilities that travellers can stay in include Kilalinda Safari Camp, Satao Camp, Ithumba Camp, Voi Wildlife Lodge, and Man Eaters Safari Lodge among so many others.
Tsavo East offers travellers great Africa safari experiences, with extensive and wild game viewing. Travellers can spend at the very least 3 days exploring Tsavo East, and can include other Kenya national parks or even the Kenya coastal safaris for great experiences. Get in touch with a reputable tour operator to help you put together an amazing Kenya safari tour to visit Tsavo East.