Tsavo West National Park

Tsavo West

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 West?

Leave Nairobi and drive towards Mombasa on the Indian Ocean coast; half way along the road (2-and-a-bit hrs about 250 Km) turn right and you’re there.

amboseli-buffalo

How big is the park?

7,050 Km²  – huge!

Access to the park
There are a total of 6 gates; 3 airstrips and about 6 of the lodges have private strips.

Habitats 

Include savannah, ranges of low hills, acacia and montane forest, and an extensive river system. The sheer scale of Tsavo gives the visitor a chance to really get away from it all and explore the wild in total solitude.

Animals

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 is a birdwatcher’s paradise with numerous species of weavers, hornbills, sunbirds, rollers, and raptors commonly seen.

amboseli-cheetah

Eyeball-to-eyeball: cheetah and waterbuck

Accommodation

A dozen campsites and 6 excellent lodges, the most famous of which is the excellent Finch Hatton’s Camp.

Park note

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: 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.

In Tsavo West, not to be missed, is the volcanic Mzima Springs. These natural springs produce 50 million gallons of fresh sparkling water daily which are alive with shoals of barbel. Hippopotamus and waterfowl also enjoy the abundant fresh water. A unique underwater observatory has been built that gives you access to the underwater world without getting wet. Watching massive hippos glide silently through swirling shoals of barbel is otherworldly; they are surprisingly graceful!

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.