Tsavo East and Tsavo West - Overview
The twin National Parks of Tsavo East and West together form one of Africa’s largest wilderness reserves. This single National Park is larger than the island of Jamaica. Tsavo as a whole consists of 10 million acres of pure wilderness, incorporating savannah, ranges and hills, acacia and montane forest, and an extensive river system.
The vast plains of Tsavo are crossed by the main Nairobi-Mombasa railroad. This historic railway was, in 1899, the scene of one of Africa’s greatest Adventure stories.
Two large lions actively preyed on the railway workers as they built a bridge over the Tsavo river, claiming over 120 victims. They evaded hunters for well over a year, and the legend of the Maneaters of Tsavo was born. The sheer scale of Tsavo gives the visitor a chance to really get away from it all, and to explore the wild in total solitude. On safari here you will see large herds of Elephant, their hides often a luminous red with dust, as well as Lion, Buffalo, Eland, Giraffe Impala, Kudu and possibly Rhinoceros.
Tsavo is a birdwatcher’s paradise with numerous species of weavers, hornbills, sunbirds, rollers, and raptors commonly seen. One of Tsavo’s most interesting geographical features is the Lugard Falls, where white water rages through a series of spectacular rock formations.
Also not to be missed is the volcanic Mzima springs. These natural springs produce 50 million gallons of fresh sparkling water daily. These waters are alive with shoals of barbel and Hippopotamus and waterfowl. A unique underwater observatory has been built that gives you an incredible view of this crystal clear underwater world, where massive hippos glide silently through swirling shoals of barbel.
These springs have created a sprawling wetland paradise of giant Raphia palms and oases alive with waterbirds. Both Tsavo East and West are ideal for those who enjoy solitude and a chance to explore wilderness without encountering other people. Lodges and Camps tend to be remote and accessible by long drives or air transfer. Of the two Parks, Tsavo East is the more remote and less visited. Many of these can organize game walks and other activities.
The relative proximity of Tsavo East to the coast make it an ideal safari destination for those staying on the coast, or wishing to combine a safari and beach holiday. Many coast based visitors combine a safari to Tsavo with visits to the Shimba Hills and Taita game sanctuaries, Amboseli National Park, or the Chyulu Hills.