The twin National Parks of Tsavo East and West together form one of Africa’s largest wilderness reserves. Tsavo as a whole consists of 10 million acres of pure wilderness, larger than the island of Jamaica.
Where is Tsavo East?
Half way between Nairobi and Mombasa on the Indian Ocean coast.
How big is the park?
Access to the park
4 gates and nearly a dozen different airstrips. Between 3 and 4 hrs driving from either Mombabsa or Nairobi.
Include savannah, ranges of hills, acacia and montane forest, and an extensive river system.
Large herds of elephant, their hides often a luminous red which comes from the dust they throw over themselves, as well as lion, buffalo, eland, giraffe, impala, kudu and possibly rhinoceros. Tsavo East is a birdwatcher’s paradise with numerous species of weavers, hornbills, sunbirds, rollers, and raptors commonly seen.
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.
This historic railway was, in 1899, the scene of one of Africa’s greatest adventure stories: 2 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 lions were eventually shot and one of them is in the entrance hall of the Nairobi Safari Club.
One of Tsavo East’s most interesting geographical features is the Lugard Falls, where white water rages through a series of gorges.
The relative proximity of Tsavo East to the coast makes 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. Perhaps best of all (for total contrast) a diving or snorkelling trip to Watamu Marine Park.