History of Tsavo East National Park

History of Tsavo East National Park

History of Tsavo East National Park

History of Tsavo East National Park: Tsavo East National park is among the magnificent national parks not only in Kenya but entire East African region. The park is part of the greater Tsavo National park together with its counterpart Tsavo West national park. This park is the largest national park in Kenya covering 13,747 square kilometres. Its located in the previously known semi-desert area of Taru, near the town of Voi in Taita-Taveta County. Tsavo east national park history dates back in the erra of the Arab traders who came to East Africa through the Indian ocean. The park was established in April 1948 to conserve and protect the wildlife in the Taru Desert. The park is separated from Tsavo West national park by the A109 road and the railway that runs from Mombasa to the capital city Nairobi.

Tsavo east national park was named after the great Tsavo River that is a key drainer of the park. It flows from West to East through Tsavo national park. The park borders the Chyulu Hills national park and Mkomazui Game Reserve of Tanzania. The park is managed by the Kenya Wildlife Service which is the government arm that is responsible for wildlife in Kenya.

Geographically, Tsavo east national park is flat dominated by open savannah grassland which is short. This vegetation has enabled game viewing to be more excellent at Tsavo east than Tsavo West. Tsavo West is rougher with volcanic hills dotted with springs and water holes. The park boasts for hosting large population of Red Dusty Elephants. It habits all the African Big 5 those are Elephants, Rhinos, Buffaloes, Lions and Leopards. Other game at the park include Hartebeests. Wildebeests, zebras, Antelopes, kobs, gazelles, topis, Giraffes and many more. The park is also birding paradise with over 500 bird species like Starlings, common bul bul ,Buzzards, open bill stork, Weaver birds, Herons, Secretary bird. Lovebirds, Kestrels, Ostriches, Doves, Little egret, Harmer kop, crown cranes, Horn bills, Kingfishers and many more.

Tsavo east national park history has little attachment of the old stone age and middle stone age archaeological sites.  However there is small evidence that thrives from the late stone age that dates back in 6,000 to 1,300 years ago. According to the research, the evidence of the late stone age is fund around the famous Galana River. This is because the long ago people settled around the water catchment areas. The early inhabitants of the place were hunters and fisher men. They also kept some few domestic animals like dogs, cattle and sheep.

The Arab merchants traded with the locals that inhabited Tsavo national park for Ivory from Elephants and Rhinos. Its from this connection that the railway line was developed and constructed to connect the interior of Kenya with the coast.

In the 19th century, the Germans and British explorers reached to this area and documented the Orma and Watha people. The “Nyika” ( Bush or Hiterland) were hostile towards the Europeans interest. Later in 19th to 20th Century, the British started laying their tools for colonising Kenya and they started the construction of the railway to the interior so as to ease their access to the interior of Kenya for their mission. The railway line was constructed in 1898 through Tsavo national park.  During this time of construction, two dangerious lions killed the constructors. Tsavo east national park history made it got its nickname “Man-eaters park” because of the man-eating lions.  These two lions tertrirised the construction crew that was led by Lt. Col Patterson. He later shot and killed the two lions after the lions killed over 135 indians who were working in the construction of the railway.

Tsavo east national park history tells that Orma pastoralists remain the inhabitants of the Tsavo national park till 1948 when the park was gazetted. The local Orma people together with their livestock were displaced together with the Watha people to Voi. The forceful eviction was done by the colonial masters. Some settled in Mtito Andei while others went nearby Taita Hills. After Kenya gaining their independence in 1963, the president banned hunting completely. Tsavo east national park was handed over to the Kenya wildlife services to be managed by the authority. The locals after crossing with their livestock to the savannah areas settled here. Some even adopted the new like bee-keeping and farming.

After the park was declared national park in 1948 by the government of Jomo Kenyatta started receiving tourists across the glob. In 1970s the park saw high poaching rate which led to the decline of Rhinos and Elephants at the park. In 1980s and 1990s saw the park regaining its popularity of African big five.

Tsavo east national park history remains one of the great factor that led to the popularity of Tsavo East national park.

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