Tsavo West National Park
Tsavo West national park like its counterpart Tsavo east National park are the two national parks that form the great Tsavo National park. The park is known as “ Land of Lava, Springs, Man-eaters and Magical Sunsets”. Its popularity is based on the man eating lions that killed hundreds of people during the construction of the Railway line and the highway during the colonial era. Tsavo West national park is the second largest national park in Kenya covering an area of 9,065 square kilometres. Its separated from Tsavo East national by the A109 highway that connects Nairobi to Mombasa. The park is also a home of over fifty million gallons of crystal clear water that comes from under parched lava rock. The park is more scenic than Tsavo East national park with rouged mountainous areas. The Mazima springs and the Shetani lava flows are unique attractions found at the park. Tsavo West national park is wetter than Tsavo East national park.
The park is among the oldest national park in Kenya, it was established in April 1948 alongside Tsavo East National park. It was named after the magnificent Tsavo river which is the main river that drains the park. Its one of the strongholds of biodiversity across the world.
Tsavo West national park is more popular due to its scenic beauty that is characterised by the wide range of vegetation. The park is adjoining the great wildlife ranches where the Black and White Rhinos are found. The park is covered by the open savannah grassland dotted with Acacia woodlands, Scrublands, Rocky ridges and the Riverine vegetation. Its remotely located at the coastal province. It’s a home of all African big game especially the African big five which include: Lions, Elephants, Buffalo, Rhinos and the shy Leopards. The other big game found at the park are: Giraffes, Zebras, hyenas, cheetahs, hippos, crocodiles, Gerenuk, Lesser Kudu, Waterbucks, wildebeests and others. The parks also hosts a good number of bird species especially the rare birds like Corncrake, Basra reed warbler, secretary bird and many others.
Location of Tsavo West national park
Tsavo is located in the South Eastern part of Nairobi along the Nairobi Mombasa highway. Its found in 240 kilometres from Nairobi following the main Nairobi –Mombasa A109 highway. From Mombasa its only few hours driver covering a distance of 250 kilometres. Its found in the former Taru Desert which is dominated by semi-arid climatic conditions. These climatic condition has led to the scares human population in the area hence giving the animals a wide space of vacant land to occupy.
How to get there
Tsavo West national park is easily accessed by Road or flights. By road, the A109 highway passes directly in the middle of the park. Its always advisable to use local tour operator so that you have good experience on your way to the park. You can use public means with buses operating daily from Nairobi to Mombasa passing through the park. You can enter the park through any of its gate like Tsavo gate, Mtito Andei gate, Chyulu gate, Ziwani gate and Maktau gate. If coming from Mombasa the main gate which is the park head gate is your entry point that is Mtito Andei gate or use the near Tsavo Gate near Manyani. If your Kenya safari includes or start from Amboseli national park then Tsavo West national park, you will enter to the park through Chyulu gate. Traveler can also use an alternative route that is Taveta-Voi road where you will enter the park through Maktau gate or Jipe gate or Ziwani gate.
If planning to use flight, this is also possible landing to any of the airstrips found at the park like Tsavo gate airstrip, Ziwani airstrip, Kamboyo airstrip, Jipe airstrip, Kilaguni airstrip, Finch Hottons airstrip and Maktau airstrip.
You can book our Tsavo West national park flight safaris that start from Nairobi in Wilson airport in Nairobi.
Attractions in Tsavo West national park
There are several attractions that are found in this large national park that travellers go and experience. It’s a true wildlife wilderness where guests get that feel of African wilderness. Below are the highlights of the parks attractions:
Mzima Springs: The Mazima Springs is the sight of fifty million gallons of crystal water that originates from underground of the parched lava rocks. This is the great place of sightseeing not only in Kenya but entire Africa. It’s a miracle place as you see white crystal water coming from underground. This is one of the unmissable attractions in Tsavo West national park. This is where the park got its nick name “ Land of Lava, Springs, Man-eaters and Magical Sunsets”.
Mammals: The park is regarded as true wilderness of Africa, a land of Man-eaters the lions. It’s a home of large herds of African big game like lions, leopards, black and white Rhinos, yellow baboons, giraffes, gazelles, hyenas, impala, jackals, foxes, wildebeest, cheetahs, Elephants, buffalo, African wild dogs and others.
Birds: The park has a record of over 400 bird species including the rare birds in the country. Birding is enjoyed along the Ngulia hills, the park is also a bird migratory route. The bird ringers always come to the park around October and January each year. The long list of the bird species is achieved with long holidays at the park like River warbler, Marsh warbler, red-backed Shrike, Eastern black-headed oriole, African finfoot, Corncrake, starlins, Golden pipit and many more.
Poachers lookout: The poacher’s lookout is a hill found at the centre of the park which gives you 360 degrees view of the park. It was named after its popular use by the poachers to view the wildlife at the park. From the time poaching was eradicated at the park, the hill has retained its name and popularity.
Ngulia Sanctuary: This is a unique sanctuary where the rare and endangered black rhinos are found in Tsavo west national park. This sanctuary hosts the overwhelming growing population of black rhinos in Kenya.
Tsavo West national park is among the African destination where you can achieve your dream of viewing the great wildlife experience. Its remotely located but easily accessed from the capital Nairobi.