Tsavo National Park Kenya

Welcome To Tsavo National Park Kenya

Tsavo National Park is one of the main tourist destinations in Kenya and is located in the southwestern part of Kenya. Tsavo is divided into 2 having Tsavo East National Park & Tsavo West National Park. The park is known for having quite a number of Lions that were sometime termed as the “Man-Eaters” and other animal species like the large herds of elephants. The park measures 13,747  square kilometers.

Tsavo national park is one of the oldest national parks in Kenya which is located in the southeastern part of the country and it is made up of Tsavo west national park and Tsavo east national park which are separated by a railway line. Famous for man-eating lions, Tsavo national park also consist of a rugged landscape which is also made up of mountains as well as wooded grasslands in Tsavo west national park. In contrast, Tsavo east national park is characterized by semiarid grasslands and savannah where wildlife species can be seen. The man-eating lions in Tsavo national park came to be known as above when two maneless lions attacked construction workers during the construction of the railway passing through the national park. These lions are among the attractions that tourists visiting this national park are interested in seeing as they explore the destination.

Discover Tsavo National Park

The national park is managed by Kenya Wildlife Services which maintains different tourist facilities in Tsavo national park such as the roads leading to the national park, bridges among other facilities as well as promoting conservation at the destination.

Kenya wildlife services is also in charge of ensuring that the tourists follow the rules and regulations out in place in the national park and it also manages, protects and conserves the wildlife in Tsavo national park and in Kenya as a country. 

There are entrance fees which are paid by tourists visiting this national park and they vary according to foreign residents, nonresidents and East Africans. Children also pay different fees from adults during safaris to Tsavo national park.

Nonresidents pay 52 USD for adults and 35 USD for children while East Africans pay entrance fees for Tsavo national park in Kenyan shillings (KSHS). The entrance fees are similar for Tsavo east and Tsavo west national park.

Tourists can enter Tsavo west national park through different entry gates such as Maktau gate, Mbuyuni gate, Jipe gate, Ziwani gate, Chyulu gate and Kasigau gate. The national park can also be accessed from Mtito Andei route from Nairobi which is a main entry gate as well as the Chyulu gate.   

Tourists visiting Tsavo east national park can access the destination through Manyani gate, Voi gate, Buchuma gate as well as Sala gate.  

Attractions that can be seen by tourists during safaris in Tsavo national park include the following;

In Tsavo west national park

  • Wildlife species: Tsavo west national park is among the wildlife viewing destinations in Kenya which attracts tourists to go to the destination to see the various wildlife species which include rhinos, hippos, elephants, buffalos, leopards, lions, hartebeests, impalas, elands, fringe eyed oryx, giraffes, kudu among others.
  • Mzima springs: Tourists visiting Tsavo west national park can also visit Mzima springs which are known to have clear water and hippos and crocodiles. The springs consist of four springs in the western part of the national park. Mzima springs get its water from a natural reservoir under Chyulu hills. The springs are a source of water for the wildlife species which graze around the savannah plains. The trees which surround the springs are home to vervet monkeys which feed on the fruits from the date trees, raffia palms, waterberrys and figs. A variety of bird species can also be seen in the trees around the Mzima springs.
  • Ngulia Rhino sanctuary: Another attraction in Tsavo west national park is Ngulia rhino sanctuary which is located at the base of Ngulia hill. It is home to a number of endangered rhinos which are kept and bred by the Kenya wildlife service and the African wildlife foundation. Due to the poaching of these rhinos, the sanctuary was made to protect them from getting killed. The black rhinos which are kept at the sanctuary are nocturnal species and this means that it is rare to see them however not impossible to see these rhino species. Due to the danger of extinction of the black rhinos, the sanctuary which is well fenced and guarded by rangers and staff boosts the rhino populations as well as other wildlife species such as elephants which can be seen in the national park.
  • Shetani lava flow: Tourists can also enjoy viewing the black folded lava which flows across the savannah as well as the amazing views in the surrounding. Different wildlife species can also be seen during a visit to the Shetani lava flows and these include predators which can be seen wandering around. Shetani caves which were formed as a result of volcanic activity are also found near the lava flows. Shetani means devil which according to the locals describes the time when lava was flowing from the ground and the locals believed that it was the devil himself coming out from the ground. The Shetani lava flow can be accessed from one of the entrance gates into Tsavo West national park which is the Chyulu gate. 

In Tsavo east national park;

The adjoining Tsavo east national park also has various attractions which can be seen during a safari to the destination and they include the following;

  • River Galana: Different wildlife species gather around River Galana which is among the attractions in Tsavo east national park. The source of this river is the highlands in the south eastern part of Kenya and it flows through the national park and into the Indian Ocean. During a visit to River Galana, tourists can also see crocodiles as they explore the beauty of Tsavo east national park.
  • Yatta plateau: The Yatta plateau is among the relief features at this destination and is an attraction in Tsavo east national park which lies between River Athi and River Tavi. The plateau is characterized by plain wide valleys as well as shallow spaced valleys which were formed as a result of lava flows.
  • Lugard falls: Tourists can also visit the Lugard falls during their safaris to Tsavo east national park and it is an attraction formed along the Galana River. This attraction is characterized by rock patterns of cooled lava. The falls were named after Lord Fredrick Lugard as he made his way through the region. The rapids were formed as a result of interruption of the river flow by sculpted channels and rocks. At the bottom of the falls, tourists can see wildlife species buffalos and hippos as well as crocodiles in the pool formed at the bottom of the falls.    
  • Mubanda rock: This rock stands out from the rest of the national park and is located near the Manyani gate in Tsavo east national park. During the dry season, wildlife species gather around the water catchment area near the stratified rock which makes it easy for tourists to see the various wildlife species during their safaris as they watch the wildlife drinking from the pool.
  • Aruba dam: Located east of the Voi gate, Aruba dam is a drinking point for the various wildlife species which can be seen in Tsavo east national park such as waterbucks, zebras, warthogs, elephants, duikers, hartebeest, dik dik, leopards, rhinos, giraffes, buffalo among others. it provides water for the wildlife species during the dry season of the year and was built by the park authorities.
  • Kanderi swamp: Another attraction which tourists can enjoy seeing during their visits to Tsavo east national park is Kanderi swamp. This swamp is also a fresh water source for the wildlife species in the national park. The swamp is also located near the Voi gate which is an entry gate to the national park.
  • Tsavo River: Tsavo River is another attraction which can be seen at this destination and it runs through Tsavo east national park. The river connects with river Athi to form Galana River. 

Activities which tourists engage in during their safaris in Tsavo national park include the following;

Game drives: Tourists can engage in game drives as they explore Tsavo national park to see its different wildlife species and other attractions around the national park. These game drives take place at different times of day and they include morning game drives, afternoon or evening game drives as well as full day game drives.

During morning game drives, tourists can see different wildlife species which are active at this time of day. They are recommended for tourists to get an amazing wildlife viewing experience in Tsavo national park and to catch sight of wildlife species as they graze around the national park such as elephants, buffalos, baboons, warthogs, waterbucks, impalas, zebras, hyenas, giraffes, kudus, antelopes, leopards among others.

Full day game drives are also among the game drives which tourists can engage in during their safaris to Tsavo east national park. This form of game drive enables tourists to see wildlife species and observe their way of life at different times of day. 

Night game drives can also take place in the national park to see the nocturnal wildlife species. Ranger guides accompany tourists during the night game drives during which photography and filming can be carried out.

Birding: Bird watchers are also not left out during their safaris to Tsavo national park as they get to see various bird species such as ostriches, starlings, storks, pied kingfishers, vulturine guinea fowl, African fin foot, reed warbler, corncrakes, lesser kestrel, martial eagles, northern brownbul, and red backed shrikes, black faced sand grouse among others. 

Mzima springs are a good birding location in Tsavo west national park where tourists can also enjoy amazing views and also see monkeys in the trees near the springs, as well as hippos and crocodiles.

Nature walks: Another unique way of exploring the beauty is a nature walk which involves moving around Tsavo national park on foot. This wildlife viewing activity gives the tourists a close interaction with nature around their surroundings.

These nature walks take place in the company of a ranger guide who shares information about the different attractions which can be seen at the destination as they follow different routes in Tsavo national park.   

Hiking: Tourists can also engage in hiking adventures during their safaris to Tsavo national park as they enjoy the beautiful scenery at the destination from a higher view point. The hilly and rugged nature of Tsavo west national park makes it possible to carry out the activity. 

During hiking, the climbers can also enjoy seeing wildlife species such as elephants roaming in the plains. The different rocks which are climbed give the tourists a unique climbing experience due to the nature of the climbs that can sometimes be difficult and strenuous and at times requiring less effort.

How to get to Tsavo national park

There are different ways which tourists can use to access Tsavo national park to see its different attractions and engage in various wildlife viewing activities and these include road means and air or flight means of transport.

By road, tourists can drive along the Nairobi-Mombasa highway to reach Tsavo east national park. And by flight, there are different airstrips which tourists can use to fly to the national park and these include Voi airstrip, Aruba airstrip, Satao airstrip, Sala airstrip, Ithumba airstrip, Bachuma airstrip among others.

To access Tsavo west national park, tourists can use scheduled and charter flights. By road, tourists can drive from Nairobi. 

Where to stay in Tsavo national park

During visits to Tsavo national park, there are different places where tourists can stay and these include luxury accommodations, midrange accommodation as well as budget accommodation. The choice of where to stay depends on different factors such as the budget of the tourists. 

Luxury accommodations include Finch Hattons camp, Sarova salt lick lodge, Rhino valley lodge, Kiboko camp, Satao camp, Kiboko camp and many others.

Midrange accommodations in Tsavo national park include Voi wildlife lodge, Asnil Aruba lodge, Red elephants safari lodge, Severin safari camp, Lions bluff lodge.

Budget or basic accommodation includes Lake Jipe safari camp, Manyatta camp, Voyager Ziwani safari camp, Leopard lodge among others.

Experience the wilderness of Tsavo national park as you relax and explore the home of the man-eating lions while engaging in different wildlife viewing adventures by planning your safari to this destination with Focus East Africa tours.

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