History of Tsavo West National Park
History of Tsavo West National Park: Tsavo West National Park is one of the largest national parks in Kenya. Its located in the Coastal province of the republic of Kenya. The park is the second largest national park after Tsavo east national park. Its nicknamed “Land of Lava, springs, Man-eaters and Magical Sunset” The magical sight of fifty million gallons of crystal clear water that is gushing out from the underground of parched lava rocks. Mazaima Springs is one of the unique attractions at this park. The Shetani lava flows and the volcanic mountains around the park make the rough rocky bridges. The savannah ecosystem of Tsavo West national park is composed of Woodlands, scrubs, riverine vegetation, rocky ridges, Acacia woodlands and many more. Tsavo West is more scenic with rugged beautiful wilderness.
The park is part of the greater Tsavo national park which is composed of Tsavo West and Tsavo east national parks. The park is adjoining the popular wildlife ranches
Tsavo West national park history is not far from the Tsavo East national park history. The park was gazetted in 1948 April with the main purpose to protect and conserve the diversified wildlife at Taru semi desert area. The park has little attachment to the stone age era especially the old stage age period. On few cases especially around the Galana river some new stone age evidence was got. The small evidence shows that the locals lived in the area around 6,000 to 1,300 years ago. They lived along the shores of the river which meant that they were fisher men. They were also hunters because they lived in the semi-desert area where wild animals lived. The local people who first inhabited the area used to hunt wildlife at the park. They also had domestic animals which they kept.
Tsavo West national park history tells that where the park is located was a feared area by many. The area was considered dangerous for humans to settle in. The traders and the Swahili merchants were the first foreign people to step on the land of Tsavo. Their main purpose was to get ivory, slaves and Catskins from the locals. This was rated in 700 AD or even earlier than that as some documentaries indicate that. However there is no evidence of the colonization by the Swahili people in Tsavo. They only traded with the locals through batter trade. They could exchange the goods and take them directly to the coast where they can ship them to their home countries. The Swahili people kept on trading with the locals. Some of the cowry shells and beads were later discovered in some of the archaeological sites which were dating back in the early Swahili period.
Tsavo West national park history also tresses the 19th Century when the Germans and British explorers. They documented locals in the area called Orma and Waata during their long journeys in Africa through Tsavo West national park. They feared the “Nyika” as they show them as hostile people who were against their main motive. Its in late 19th century that the British began to plan on the colonization of East Africa. They started to connect the coastal area to the interior of Kenya. They started the construction of the Uganda railway through Tsavo national park. The construction of the Uganda railway started in 1898.
During the construction of the railway, the engineers were faced by great challenges and the most notable was the man-eaters when they were constructing the bridge over Tsavo river. The lions killed over 135 railway workers. Among the dead were 28 Indians and others were Ugandans. The pair of turf maneless male lions stalked and killed workers. Its from this Tsavo West national park history that the park was nicknamed as “man-eaters park”. Later after observing the great impact of these lions Lt.Col John Henry Patterson shot and killed all the two lions. Till now the skins and the skulls of the two powerful and historical Lions are displayed at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. The construction of the Uganda railway continued peacefully after the death of the maneless lions. It has remained in the Tsavo West national park history.
Tsavo west national park was then later gazetted as national park in April 1948. The local habitants who occupied the land those are Orma and Maasasai pastralists as well as the Waata hunters were relocated from the park. The locals were relocated to the nearby small towns like Voi, Mtito Andei. Some of the locals went to settle in the nearby Taita Hills. After Kenya gaining her independence in 1963, the first president turned the park to be under the management of Kenya wildlife Services. This improved on anti poachjing activities. Todate Tsavo national park is one of the best photo-tourists destination across the world.