Tsavo National Park, Safaris, Lodges and tented Camps in Tsavo East and West
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    Tsavo East National Park Accommodation, Hotels, Safari Lodges, Tented Camps, Kenya

    If you are looking for an authentic Africa experience from your luxury safari Tsavo National Park is the ideal destination. Here you can spend your days exploring some stunning unspoiled wilderness within the privacy and solitude of the beautiful park, the Tsavo East National Park is one of the oldest and largest parks in Kenya at 11,747 square kilometers. Tsavo East National Park is by far the biggest of Kenya’s parks. At more than 13,700km², Tsavo East is nine times bigger than the Masai Mara National Reserve: indeed you could fit the whole of the Mara reserve into the southern tip of Tsavo East National Park, opened in April 1948; it is located near the village of Voi in the Taita-Taveta District of Coast Province. The park is divided into east and west sections by the A109 road and a railway. Named for the Tsavo River, which flows west to east through the national park, it borders the Chyulu Hills National Park, and the Mkomazi Game Reserve in Tanzania. Tsavo East National Park is a beautiful landscape and proximity to the Mombasa Coast makes it a popular Kenya safari destination, Tsavo East National Park is accredited as one of the World's leading bio-diversity strongholds, bushy grassland and open plains alternating with savannah and semi-arid acacia scrub and woodlands. Green swathes cross the Tsavo East National Park where the river banks give rise to lush vegetation. North of Galana is a true wilderness.

     

    A number of leading safari companies offers private safaris throughout this area plus wildlife safaris, lodge safaris and camping safaris are a feature. Tsavo East National Park is also recommended for clients on photographic safaris with its fabulous light and unbelievable views, in particular the Mudanda Rock and the Yatta Plateau, the world's largest lava flow. Luggard's Falls on the Galana River are remarkable for the shaped water-worn rocks. Game includes: elephant, rhino, lion, leopard, crocodile, waterbuck, kudu, gerenuk, and zebra and Aruba Hunter's Hartebeest can be seen with its Lyre-shaped horns. Home to some of the largest elephant’s herds in Kenya, the elephants glow red after dust baths, blowing the vivid red dust through their trunks over their bodies. 500 bird species are recorded including ostrich and some migratory kestrels and buzzards stop at Tsavo-East during their long flight south. Considerably flatter, more arid, and a good deal bushier than neighboring Tsavo West National Park, the Tsavo East National Park is also the less-visited park. Its vast expanses of thorn brush scrubland are cut through by the impressive spine of the Yatta Plateau -- at about 290km (180 miles) long, it's the world's longest lava flow (also the oldest fossilized lava flow on Earth), reaching up to 10km (6 1/4 miles) wide and 300m (984 ft.) high in places. For many years, the northern reaches beyond the Yatta Plateau have been closed to general tourist traffic and holiday makers, thanks to poachers who cross the border from Somalia, threatening the security of animals, visitors, and Tsavo East Park employees alike. But Tsavo National Park rangers have been putting up a solid fight. In 2006, five poachers were killed in two separate incidents, and rhino horns and AK-47 rifles were recovered; in 2007, conflict resulted in three rangers losing their lives. There have been no such incidences since, and officials are hopeful that the war on poaching is being won. Tsavo East National Park authorities even have plans to open this lesser-explored part of the Tsavo East National Park in the very near future, hopefully with a focus on exclusive vacations and low-impact tours. Those who do take the time to explore this vast and, in parts, extraordinary Tsavo East National Park terrain are rewarded with an intriguing mix of habitats; the rugged, varied landscape comprises brown, dust-strewn arid plains; thick scrubland; and volcanic lava fields. Rugged, untamed, and often harsh, Tsavo East's vast, unpredictable expanses are stomping ground for large herds of aggressive elephants -- there are more here, in fact, than in Tsavo West National Park Kenia, as well as a tiny population of one of the world's rarest antelopes -- the hirola, or Hunter's hartebeest. Other uncommon species regularly spotted here include lesser kudu, gerenuk, fringed-eared Oryx, and Peter's gazelle. The Tsavo East National Park also supports Africa's largest unfenced black rhino population; at least 50 of the endangered animals roam the area around Galdessa Camp. The Tsavo East National Park also serves as a temporary refuge for birds migrating from Oman, Malawi, Iran, Germany, and Russia. Tsavo East National Park is a good opportunity for visitors from the Mombassa and Malindi beach hotels to make a short safaris, Tsavo East is a relatively easy overland trip from Mombasa, yet the Tsavo East National Park remains one of the lesser-explored wildlife safari destinations in Kenya, its prospects often marred by its reputation for severe drought, which creates the impression of a hostile wilderness. In the past, even the 85-hectare (210-acre) Aruba Dam, built across the Voi River in 1952, has succumbed to the heat and dried up completely.

     

    The Tsavo East National Park salvation is the lush vegetation along its permanent and seasonal rivers. Snaking its way through the parched terrain is the doum palm-flanked Athi River, which at one boulder-strewn section forms the Lugard Falls, a tremendous, invigorating stretch of gushing white-water cataracts where it's possible to follow a riverside route on foot safaris as you search for sunbathing crocodiles. Not true falls, but a series of rapids, the waters here gush through a tiny fissure before dropping to Crocodile Point, where the river merges with the Tsavo. Here it becomes the Galana River, which supports lush vegetation and is bounded by several sandy beaches -- good for spotting hippos, crocs, and all kinds of animals that come down to drink. Weird, Wonderful, and Nearly Gone -- Known as the "four-eyed antelope" because of the eyelike appearance of their large pre-orbital glands, the hirola (also known as the Hunter's hartebeest) is Africa's -- probably the world's -- most endangered antelope and endemic to the dry Kenya-Somalia border region. Fears for the survival of the species back in 1963 prompted the Kenya Wildlife Service to undertake a translocation of about 50 hirola to Tsavo East, a move that was strongly opposed by local communities. Censuses undertaken in the 1970s counted around 14,000 animals, but competition with domestic cattle and drought, which continues to plague the region, has severely impacted their numbers.

     

    These factors, exacerbated by the escalating conflict in Somalia in the 1990s, saw a continuous decrease in population numbers and urged a second translocation in 1996 -- again fiercely opposed. The move has, however, resulted in an isolated and viable ex situ population of an estimated 100 hirola antelope in Tsavo East, while the total population is now thought to be between 500 and 1,200 animals in the wild, as well as a single female in captivity. Critically endangered and on the brink of extinction, the hirola was identified as one of the top 10 "focal species" in 2007 by the Evolutionary Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) project, a conservation program launched by the Zoological Society of London to help ensure the survival of the world's most unusual creatures. EDGE identifies species; particularly those that have few close relatives and have been otherwise ignored by prevailing conservation schemes, but that are in dire need of better protection to prevent extinction. Spend a day or two in Tsavo East National Park Kenya, and there's a very strong chance you'll spot hirola. Even if you've had your mind firmly set on Big Five sightings, it's worth making the effort to see these antelope. When looking for hirola, the extra set of "eyes" is a dead give-away; the animals have lyre-shaped, conspicuously ringed horns and a sandy brown coat (males are somewhat grayer), with a slightly paler underbelly and, over the bridge of the nose, a small white strip. They're diurnal, so out and about in the day, when they can be seen grazing or appearing to march in single file in herds of between 2 and 40 females led by a single territorial male. Small bachelor herds of about five hirola may also occur. Because the males are very territorial, they tend to stick to certain pockets of land, a factor that may have impacted their diminishing numbers.

     

    Tsavo East National Park Archaeology and history:

     

    Although a few Early Stone Age and Middle Stone Age archaeological sites are recorded from ground surface finds in Tsavo, there is much evidence for thriving Late Stone Age economy from 6,000 to 1,300 years ago. Research has shown that Late Stone Age archaeological sites are found close to the Galana River in high numbers. The inhabitants of these sites hunted wild animals, fished and kept domesticated animals. Because of the sparse availability of water away from the Galana River, human settlement in Tsavo focused on the riparian areas and in rock shelters as one moves west. In 19th century British and German explorers document people we now refer to as Orma and Waata during their travels through the "nyika," and generally viewed them as hostile toward their interests. Beginning in the late 19th/early 20th century, the British began a concerted effort to colonize the interior of Kenya and built a railway through Tsavo in 1898. Legend has it that "man-eating lions" terrorized the construction crews; however modern scholarship attributes the Waata for kidnapping and killing Indian and British labourers in an attempt to stop the unwanted intrusion into their territory. Inevitably, the British colonial authority bolstered security for the construction effort and the railway was built.

     

    Tsavo East National Park Wildlife

     

    Tsavo East National Park is one of the world's largest game reserves, providing undeveloped wilderness homes to vast numbers of animals. A comprehensive list of the animal types found in Tsavo East Park includes the aardwolf, yellow baboon, bat, cape buffalo, bush baby, bushbuck, caracal, African wildcat, cheetah, African Civet, dik-dik, African hunting dog, African dormouse, Blue Duiker, bush duiker, Red duiker, eland, African elephant, bat-eared fox, greater galago, gazelle, large-spotted genet, small-spotted genet, gerenuk, giraffe, African hare, springhare, Coke's hartebeest, hunter hartebeest, East African hedgehog, spotted hyena, striped hyena, rock hyrax, tree hyrax, impala, black-backed jackal, side-striped jackal, klipspringer, Lesser Kudu, leopard, lion, banded mongoose, dwarf mongoose, Egyptian Mongoose, marsh mongoose, slender mongoose, white-tailed mongoose, black faced vervet monkey, Sykes' monkey, fringe-eared oryx, clawless otter, ground pangolin, crested porcupine, cane rat, giant rat, naked mole rat, ratel, bohor reedbuck, black rhinoceros, serval, spectacled elephant shrew, bush squirrel, East African red squirrel, striped ground squirrel, unstriped ground squirrel, suni, warthog, waterbuck, common zebra and Grevy's zebra.

     

    Birds of Tsavo East National Park

     

    Tsavo East National Park has a prolific birdlife with an astounding checklist of up 500 species on record. The Park lies within the migratory routes of pale arctic migrants which qualifies it an important spot for these species especially the rarely seen Sooty and Eleonora’s Falcons. The park is home to 61 of the 94 species of the Somali-Masai biome that occur in Kenya. Four globally threatened species namely; Taita Thrush, Friedmann’s Lark, Lesser Kestrel and Basra Reed Warbler along with seven regionally threatened species namely; African Finfoot, African Darter, Great egret, Saddle-billed Stork, White-headed Vulture, Martial Eagle, and Violet Wood Hoopoe have been recorded at this site. Tsavo East National Park holds substantial populations of a diversity of other wildlife, from large and small mammals to amphibians, reptiles, rich flora, to insects just to mention but a few.

     

    How to Travel to Tsavo East National Park

     

    The Tsavo East National Park can be accessed by three main gates, from Voi through the Manyani gate, from Mombasa through the Bachuma gate or from Malindi through the Sala gate. There are also several airstrips in the Tsavo East National Park that allow chartered light planes. Thanks to the Mombasa-Nairobi highway and its proximity to the Mombassa coast, many people touring Tsavo East National Park do so as a sidebar to seaside holidays to Kenya. By road, Tsavo East is 3 1/2 hours from Mombasa and 4 1/2 hours from Nairobi -- of course, traffic can be scary if you have no control over the speed at which your driver decides to tear along the highway. Coming from Nairobi, Tsavo East National Park is accessed via the town of Voi (where KWS has its headquarters) through either of two gates: Voi or Manyani. From Mombasa, entry is via Bachuma Gate, whereas if you're on the road from Malindi, you'll arrive via Sala Gate. Such details aren't likely to affect you, though, as your driver and Tsavo safari company will conspire to make sure you get there in the quickest possible time -- in fact, better to request a more modestly paced drive, if you can. For Tsavo West, the main access points are Chyulu Gate, if coming from Amboseli, or Mtito Andei Gate if approaching via the highway from either Nairobi (240km/149 miles) or Mombasa. Visitors from Mombasa also use Tsavo Gate near Manyani.Inside the park, the Athi and Tsavo Rivers converge to form the Galana River. Most of the park consists of semi-arid grasslands and savanna. It is considered one of the world's biodiversity strongholds, and its popularity is mostly due to the vast amounts of diverse wildlife that can be seen, including the famous 'big five' consisting of Masai lion, black rhino, Cape buffalo, elephant and leopard. The Tsavo East National Park also is also home to a great variety of bird life such as the black kite, crowned crane, lovebird and the sacred ibis. The slightly larger Tsavo East is generally flat, with dry plains across which the Galana River flows. Other features include the Yatta Plateau and Lugard Falls. Tsavo West National Park is more mountainous and wetter than its counterpart, with swamps, Lake Jipe and the Mzima Springs. It is known for birdlife and for its large mammals. It is also home to a black rhino sanctuary.

     

    How to Travel to Tsavo East National Park by Flying Safaris

     

    Tsavo is close to both the Lamu Island, Diani, Watamu, Malindi and Mombasa coast and the Chyulu Hills, which by private charter takes approximately 35 minutes. A 50-minute flight will get you from Nairobi to Tsavo East National Park; Safarilink has daily flights to Tsavo East National Park departing the Nairobi at 7:30am and the Tsavo Flights can be booked from this site as part of tsavo safari packages. Note that the return flight takes 70 to 80 minutes. Mombasa Air Safari flies from the Mombassa beach coast to the private airstrip at Finch Hattons Camp in Tsavo West. There are no scheduled flights to Tsavo East, but 6 airstrips in the southern part of the Tsavo East National Park and 13 in the northern part are available for charter flights – we as your Tsavo East National Park tour operator will make arrangements for you to be dropped at the one nearest your Tsavo East Lodge or Tsavo East National Park Camp, and land transfers will be organized, too. We can also corganise for V.I.P Executive Private Flights, Executive Private Jet Flights and arriving flights at Jomo Kenyatta fly in tourists who connect direct to National Parks & Reserves or drive to Wilson Airport to connect either commercial flights or private charters.

     

    Tsavo East National Park Safaris

     

    Undoubtedly the biggest attraction of any Tsavo East Safari is seeing the big cats and the lions and leopards are included in the 'Big 5' of safaris animals to see, along with the rhino, the buffalo and the elephants. Getting up close to the big cats on safari to Tsavo East is an unforgettable experience, it can sometimes be difficult – as safari tourists will know, and many of the safari operators in Tsavo keep close contact with each other via radio and 'exchange' sightings. The result can be a virtual traffic jam around a subject, however, on safari in Tsavo East you will be thankful that our safari guides are skilled in the art of locating game and we have minimum requirement for a radio since we are located in Tsavo National Park, Our elephant safaris in Tsavo East cover all the main areas where you will encounter large groups of elephant. We recommend your Tsavo East safaris starts with a visit to the David Sheldrick Elephant Trust, this is the orphanage for rescued baby elephants near Nairobi and then travels either to Tsavo East National Park, the Shimba Hill National Park and You will encounter a great variety of other wildlife whilst we follow our Elephant Safari. Tsavo's stunning views over the plains of Africa include the Yatta Plateau, the largest lava flow in the world, Mudanda Rock, which resembles a smaller version of Ayers Rock, and the incredible Lugard Falls. Tsavo receives very little rain, and the brilliant sunshine and fantastic scenery make it perfect for those interested in photography. If the scenery isn't enough for you, don't worry! Tsavo abounds with elephant, buffalo, giraffe, and lion. And while you are chasing the big ones, there are always waterbuck, gazelle, zebra and kudu to watch. Not to mention over 500 species of birds! Ever seen a Red elephant? In Tsavo you will see nothing else. Covered in a fine layer of red dust to stop the biting insects, Tsavo's elephants are certainly not gray! With over 4,000 elephant in the area, this is the park to visit if elephants are your passion.

     

    Famous also for its past, Tsavo became known worldwide in the late 1890's for the man-eating lions which slowed the building of the Mombasa-Nairobi train tracks. For several months two large male lions terrorized the railway workers and brought work to a standstill until they were finally killed. Whilst those two animals are no longer in Tsavo, their descendants are; it is not unusual to see large prides of up to 16 lions lazing under a shady bush. With half the Tsavo National park area banned to safari vehicles, Tsavo still enjoys true wilderness. Walking safaris or mobile camp safaris are the only way to penetrate this area, and even then only with special permission. There are several ways to book safaris to Tsavo East, ranging from unbelievably expensive to affordable. Unless you’re wealthy, or incapable of planning your own Tsavo East vacation, we do NOT recommend booking a Tsavo East safari thru a travel agent! They are so expensive! Some quote for a 2 day Tsavo East holiday safari for as much as $4999 per person! That is outrageous, it is cheaper and easier to book with us directly as we are stationed in Tsavo National Park and the prices are included of the pick up and drop off from Nairobi hotels and Mombassa beach resorts, game drives, 1 night each in 2 different lodges, and all food & non-alcoholic drinks.

     

    Our safari vehicles are a pop-top vans and Toyota land cruisers. There is Tsavo East tour packages segmented to Tsavo East National park, Tsavo East road safaris, Tsavo East air safari and Tsavo East private air charter. Accommodation is tailor-made to meet individual and incentive groups needs and we have Tsavo East budget, luxury camping safaris, self-service catering. All holidays to Tsavo East can be done from Mombasa, Malindi, Lamu, Ukunda, Nairobi, Masai Mara, Samburu, Mt Kenya, Nanyuki, Meru, Lake Baringo, Lake Nakuru, Lake Naivasha National parks and game reserves. There is only one public campsite, which is the Ndololo campsite and is located about 7km from Voi gate, facilities include water and toilets only and you should bring your own camping equipment. In case of emergency, you can camp near the main gates of the park or any other K.W.S. post; there will be no facilities however. Another alternative for cheap accommodation is to go to Voi town.

     

    David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

     

    The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is a small, flexible charity, established in 1977 to honor to memory of a famous Naturalist, David Leslie William Sheldrick MBE, the founder Warden of Tsavo East National Park in Kenya, where he served from its inception in 1948 until his transfer to Nairobi in 1976 to head the Planning Unit of the Wildlife Conservation & Management Department. His legacy of excellence and the systems he installed for the management of Tsavo and wildlife generally in Kenya, particularly in the sphere of wildlife husbandry and ethics, lives on. The name of Sheldrick and Tsavo are synonymous and it is in Tsavo that the Trust places emphasis. 8069 sq. miles in extent, the Tsavo National Park is Kenya’s largest wildlife refuge, harboring the country’s single largest population of elephants and a greater biodiversity of species than any other Park in the world, since, by fortunate accident, there the Northern and Southern races of many species merge. Being of low and erratic rainfall, it is arid marginal tsetse infested land easily reduced to desert under domestic stock and as such unsuitable for ranching or agricultural activities. In a country where an expanding human population is making increasing demands on the land, there is no better form of land use for this region than under wildlife. Tourism is a main source of foreign exchange for the country so Tsavo under wildlife is an extremely valuable National resource.

     

    The Park’s very size is its strength, for it is self sustainable and ecologically viable without intrusive human interference of its wild populations, other than to monitor, learn, take heed and better understand Nature’s ways. Indeed Tsavo can boast a proven record in this respect, having weathered devastating droughts and violent flooding, epidemics of rinderpest plus natural population surges and swings triggered by elephant induced vegetational progression, yet its rich biodiversity remains intact, strengthened through accepting natural selection which is a vital tool to distil out imperfections and keep the gene pools pure. Besides harbouring most of Kenya’s elephants, and providing the space they need for a quality of life in elephant terms, Tsavo is also home to the last of the great herds of buffalo in Kenya, the rare Hirola, or Hunters hartebeest, the largest population of lions left in Africa and a broad spectrum of other predators in healthy numbers, including the now extremely rare African hunting dogs, striped and spotted hyaenas (under pressure in small sanctuaries) with reported sightings by experienced Naturalists of Brown Hyaenas as well, previously not recorded in this part of the world..

     

    Man Easters of Tsavo National Park

     

    A harrowing primer for a visit to Tsavo is Hollywood's 1996 nail-biter The Ghost and the Darkness (starring Michael Douglas and Val Kilmer). The period thriller is loosely based on the book The Maneaters of Tsavo, a firsthand, true-life account by Lt. Colonel John Patterson, who killed an infamous pair of lions who ate almost 140 railway workers during the construction of a railway, bridge here in 1898. The Nairobi-Mombasa railway, which divides Tsavo East and West, became known as the Lunatic Line, so grueling and dangerous was the construction process, which reached its mad apotheosis when the British reached the Tsavo River and over a 9-month period lost epic numbers of Indian workers to two large male lions. Despite all efforts, using campfires and thorn fences, nothing seemed to stop the lions' seemingly relentless hunt for human flesh. Building came to a halt when hundreds of terrified workers fled the scene. Patterson, the project's chief engineer, became responsible for getting rid of the lions, which he shot and killed within 3 weeks of one another. We will never know for sure why the Tsavo lions became man-eaters, but two factors may have contributed to their unusual diet. In the 1890s, a rinderpest outbreak killed millions of zebras, gazelles, and other African wildlife, forcing predators to look elsewhere for food. Attacks by lions on humans increased across the continent. In Tsavo, it may have been poor burial practices that also contributed to the tragedy. Railroad workers who died of injury or disease were often poorly buried, if at all. Scavenging lions finding such easy meat may reasonably have developed a taste for human flesh and started going after living specimens. After completing the railroad, Patterson became chief game warden in Kenya and later served with the British Army in World War I. He published four books and lectured widely on his adventure. After speaking at The Field Museum in Chicago in 1924, Patterson sold the museum the lion skins and skulls for the princely sum of $5,000.

     

    The two lions were stuffed and are now one of the museum's most popular displays. Anyone seeing the stuffed lions is likely to note that although both of them are male, neither has much of a mane -- and you'll note the same thing among lions living in Tsavo today. Lion manes vary considerably from place to place in terms of color and thickness; Tsavo lions, however, are typically maneless, a novel trait that is believed to be a defining familial characteristic among the lions of this region. These animals represent the worlds only well-documented population of maneless lions -- some have suggested that the Tsavo lions are a distinct species, but this is unsubstantiated. Scientists believe that lions evolved manes for a range of reasons; they attract females, may deter and intimidate nomadic, trespassing males, give a visual sign of a territorial male's control, and protect the vital head and neck regions during fights. Manes serve similar functions as antlers in deer. Recent research indicates that Tsavo's maneless lions have evolved over many generations, perhaps because of the difficulty posed to a mane in the hot, dry Tsavo landscape -- having a mane here would be like continually wearing winter clothes in summer. A mane would also make it more difficult to negotiate the thorns and bramble of Tsavo's thick undergrowth. Another theory links manelessness to elevated testosterone levels. Testosterone causes balding among genetically predisposed humans and is thought to have a similar effect on lions. Testosterone is also known to raise levels of aggression among male lions and is found in higher levels among territorial males than in no territorial males. Tsavo lions are extremely territorial and enjoy a unique social system -- in fact, they are the only lions known to live in large groups of females dominated by a single male. Typical lion prides elsewhere are ruled by a coalition of two to four males. If you saw the movie, though, you'd be forgiven for wondering if the producers set the action in the wrong place entirely. Since manes are so inextricably associated with male lions, filmmakers used maned animals to represent the two man-eaters on screen. Fortunately, though, such heightened testosterone levels have yet to trigger a repeat of the violent killing spree witnessed here 110 years ago.

     

    Tsavo East National Park Fees

     

    Entry to either Tsavo East National park and Tsavo West National park is Non residents $65 per day for adults and $30 for children ages 3 to 18; and for Kenya residents is Kshs 1000 adults and 500 children, if you want to see both Tsavo parks in a single day (although, given the enormity of each of them, you should have no reason to do this), you will need to pay twice. Access to either park is by means of a KWS Smartcard, which your ground operator can purchase or we could purchase on your behalf, and loads for you in advance of your arrival; don't arrive without a prepaid card, as this will mean making a time-consuming detour to Tsavo park headquarters to pick up a new card. Entry fees for various national parks and reserves across the country are set to go up with effect from January 1, 2014. This follows gazettement of the new rates by the Minister for Forestry and Wildlife Hon Dr Noah Wekesa in a Special Issue of the Gazette Notice No. 207 dated December 24, 2010. The name of the charges has been changed from “park entry fees” to “conservation fees” to reflect the fact that whenever visitors enter national parks, they are making a contribution to conservation and continued survival of wildlife and their habitats for generations to come. Conservation is an expensive exercise that constantly demands more resources to maintain infrastructure and the ecological integrity of the wildlife habitats. The new rates will largely affect foreigners visiting five popular but ecologically fragile national parks of Lake Nakuru, Tsavo East, Tsavo West, Amboseli and Meru. The new fees will be applicable during the high seasons months of January, February, March, July, August, September and October. The review aims at encouraging visitation during low season in highly visited parks and reducing congestion during peak seasons to maintain ecological integrity of such wildlife areas. The rest of the national parks will retain old rates for the foreigners. Aberdare National Park has retained the old rates of US$50 for foreigners. In the recent past, Kenyans have shown strong interest in visiting their own national parks with 60 per cent of all visitors to these recreational facilities being Kenyan citizens.

     

    Tsavo East National Park Climate

     

    The weather in Tsavo East is warm and dry. Temperature ranging from 20-40, rainfall from 200mm-700mm per annum (the long rains fall between March and May and the short rains between October and December). The Tsavo West climate is very hot and temperatures can rich 40oC in hot season (January-February). There are two rain seasons: the long rains from March – May and the short rains from October – December. Rainfalls are more important in the South-western part (700 mm/year) than the North-Eastern part of the park (200 mm/year). Most of the year the park is dry and dusty, and it has been said that there isn’t ‘a best time to visit Tsavo’ as the park is always abundant with wildlife, you will just see different things at different times of the year. However, after the rains the National Park is especially beautiful, transformed with new grasses and a fantastic array of lush vegetation and wild flowers.

     

    Best Time to Visit Tsavo National Park

     

    Deciding when to travel to tsavo is a perennial question for visitors. There’s no simple ‘best time to visit Tsavo’ as good conditions vary across the country, and one person’s ideal weather will be another’s disappointment. Having said that, most visitors will find something positive about the weather through most of the year. Whatever the ambient temperature in the shade, when the sun is out – which is a good deal of the time and often from dawn until dusk for weeks on end – it is always fierce: you’re on the equator, and you’ll know all about it if you neglect the sunscreen. May to October is the best time to visit Tsavo National Park, when the weather is temperate and the humidity is lower. This is regarded as the peak tourist season in Tsavo, as the pleasant weather conditions and lack of rain, allow for ideal game viewing. The relatively off-peak season is during the two rainy seasons of Kenya, namely the longer rain months of March to May, and relatively shorter rain period of November to December. Owing to the heavy rains, visiting during these months restricts movement and access around the national park. Another good time to visit Tsavo National Park is during the months of January and February, when there is minimal rainfall. Though humidity and temperatures tend to be relatively higher than those experienced in the May to October time frame, game viewing is still good during these months.

     

    Tsavo East Game Drives

     

    Tsavo East has a big draw over other game reserves: you can set off on a game drive across the seemingly empty wilderness and return to a tsavo east safari camp three hours later without having seen a single other vehicle. There are very few camps and lodges here and, relatively speaking, almost none, with the majority of them close to Voi in the west, near the Mombasa highway. You often have the park to yourself, watching the wildlife under a huge sky: no matter what you’re looking at, Tsavo East always feels like a big spectacle. When considering a Tsavo East holiday safari, it's worth knowing that nearly all safaris to savo take place in the south of the park, south of the Galana River. The enormous northern region of Tsavo East was closed to the public for many years and, although it is now open again, distances are vast up here and there is virtually infrastructure. In practice, it's an area for adventurous explorers, not game drives and Incidentally, although Tsavo East and Tsavo West share a name – and a common border, coinciding with the Mombasa highway – they are two distinct national parks with different eco-systems: the wooded and hilly landscapes, dotted with volcanic cones and dramatic, black lava flows of Tsavo West National Park and the much flatter, more open plains and scattered bush that characterize Tsavo East National Park. The southern part of Tsavo East National Park is a popular destination for short Tsavo East National Park safaris by minibus from the coast. Most of these trips take clients up to Voi, where they stay in one of the Tsavo East lodges, most of which are located only a few minutes drive from the highway. None of Tsavo East’s airstrips are currently used by scheduled flights. While chartering an exclusive flight for your trip (usually from Nairobi) is an option, chartering can be expensive for small parties or couples. We therefore offer high-quality road transfers, in fully equipped 4x4 safari vehicles, for our doing Tsavo East safari add-ons in. These include full board stays, with all activities, at two of the park’s best safari camps.

     

    What to see and do at Tsavo East National Park

     

    The main purpose of a wildlife safari is to see Kenyan animals in their natural state. It never ceases to surprise people when they see birds perched near crocodiles, or gazelles grazing near big cats; however, the truth is that predators generally only kill to eat and, otherwise, the animals live together in harmony. These are the most common Kenyan animals you may see during your visit to Tsavo East National Park: Cape buffalo, cheetahs, duikers, African elephants, gazelles, gerenuks, giraffes, hares, hartebeests, hyenas, impalas, leopards, lions, mongoose, black faced vervet monkeys, Sykes's monkeys, crested porcupines, giant rats, black rhinoceros, squirrels, warthogs, waterbucks, and zebras.

     

    Tsavo National Park Mzima Spring:

     

    The biggest attraction in Tsavo West is Mzima Springs. This stream of crystal-clear water was made famous by Alan Root’s 1983 film Mzima: Portrait of a spring, which followed crocodiles and hippos in their underwater lives. It’s a delightful, and popular, spot, so you’re advised to arrive very early to avoid a possible tour-bus atmosphere. With luck, some of the night’s animal visitors may still be around, while the luxuriant growth around the water reverberates noisily with birds and monkeys. You can walk around freely, as elephants and predators rarely visit, and there are KWS rangers posted by the car park to look after you, but make sure you’re not close to the water’s edge, where large crocodiles lurk. Equally be sure that you’re not between a hippo and the water, especially early or late in the day, or during wet weather. They seem settled in their routine, content to snort and flounder en masse, but are notoriously irritable animals. There are two large pools, connected by a rush of rapids and shaded by stands of date and raffia palms. The upper pool used to be the favoured hippo wallow, though in recent years they seem to prefer the lower pool. The springs’ hippo population was cruelly hammered by the drought of 2009, during which the springs were the only source of water in the region, and the surrounding grasslands, on which the hippos graze at night, were reduced to a dustbowl as wildlife moved into the area. Despite the efforts of the KWS and local lodges to supply bales of hay, dozens of hippos starved to death. Their numbers are increasing again, but it will take years for them to recover fully. At the side of the top pool, a circular underwater viewing chamber has been built at the end of a short pier. With luck (and it doesn’t happen on every visit), you’ll see the unforgettably comic tip-toeing of an underwater hippo, or the sinuous, streamlined stealth of a crocodile in motion, as well as the blue swirl of large fish.

     

    Roaring Rocks in Tsavo National Park

     

    Climb the Roaring Rocks in Tsavo National Park West and immerse yourself in an unspoiled world of serene beauty. Never before has the scene been so elegantly crafted by the wisdom of nature. Tsavo National Park West, halfway between Nairobi and Mombasa, Kenya, has a curious mixture of wildlife features, ranging from vast open plains that carpet the landscape in thick golden matting that glows in the sun shine; to plains dotted with savanna scrub and trees; to acacia woodlands that thrive with bird life; to rocky ridges carved out by ancient rivers or pushed out by thousands of years of cosmic tectonic intervention; to mountains and pristine mountain forests punctuated with abundant wildlife. Various rocky outcrops present themselves in this enormous African park where your agility and strength will surely be tested in the climb to reach the top and enjoy the expansive views over the rest of the park that avail their bewildering beauty before your eyes. Climb the Roaring Rocks to get an eerie chill from the sound of the wind, and reward you with the magnificent views from the top. You will also bee interested in climbing the Chyulu Hills, formed by the recent Shetani lava flow; the occurrence of a recent volcano. Caves, rock faces and cliffs have formed as a result of the volcano, and are perfect for exploration by climbers. A wide variety of camps and lodges host you in Tsavo National Park West, varying from luxury lodges to luxury tented camps that provide for your every need. Climb the Roaring Rocks at Tsavo National Park West to face the challenge of rock-climbing. Once the top has been reached, panoramic views, that are the prized envy of eagles and buzzards stretch out over Rhino valley and the Ngulia Hills. The Roaring Rocks is an observation point for the protection of the black rhinoceros and the fight against poaching. Cicads inhabit the Roaring Rocks. When the wind rushes through them and hits the rocks, an eerie haunting or roaring is heard, producing a chilling effect on climbers. At nearby Mzima springs, a rich procession of wildlife prevails, as elephants, hippos, crocodiles, gazelles, zebra and giraffe gather at the source of water. From atop Roaring Rocks, a 100 meter high edifice, eagles swirl about the air, keeping watchful purpose over their nesting places. Expansive views of Tsavo National Park West stretch out: just reward for the exhilarating climb.

     

    Shetani Lava Flow and Cave:

     

    The Shetani flow, a black lava flow of 8 km long, 1.6 km wide and 5 meters deep, is the remain of volcanic eruptions . Climbing the flow is not an easy task as the thick black soil is composed of uneven chunks of solid magma. The cave, located near the center of the outflow, has two large opening and one ancient tree is growing between them. Although the cave is only few meters long, the exit is not accessible.

     

    Chaimu Crater:

     

    Chaimu crater – or the devil’s crater translated in Kamba is a tall rising hill clad in the brighten black color of the lava stones. This recent volcano can be climb as there is a track leading to the top. Climbing the hill is not easy as it can be very hot and the ground, where no vegetation is yet grown, is not very stable and slippery. At the top, the view is again breathtaking.

     

    The Mudanda Rock is an Ayer’s Rock-like sandstone inselberg whose bare flanks form a natural water catchment area that feeds into a large, seasonal lake, attracting large numbers of animals. The Yatta Plateau is a 300km ancient lava flow that stretches along the east and north bank of the Athi-Galana. Its geomagnetic qualities are believed to play a role in guiding migratory birds and large numbers of Palearctic migrants can be seen in the area. The Lugard Falls are a series of short falls and steep rapids on the Galana River, where relatively harder rock has created a bottleneck in the valley and impedes the river’s progress. Crocodile Point, where the big reptiles can often be seen basking in the sun, is just downstream from here. At some point on most Tsavo East safaris, you're almost bound to stop here to stretch your legs and takes photos.

     

    Tsavo East National Park Rules

     

    • It is forbidden in Tsavo National park to travel in an open vehicle while in the Tsavo National Park.
    • Stay in your Tsavo National park safari vehicle all the time.
    • Get out only at designated areas.
    • Off road driving in Tsavo National park is not allowed.
    • View the Tsavo National park wildlife from a distance with binoculars.
    • Off road driving destroys vegetation, might kill wildlife and could interfere with the daily routine of animals. The tracks formed become an eyesore.
    • Animals have a right of way.
    • Do not harass them or make loud sounds – this might scare then and make them nervous.
    • Patience pays!
    • Remember not to litter in Tsavo National park Remember: Do not take away anything in Tsavo National park, but photographs and leave nothing behind but footprints.
    • Respect the privacy of the wildlife, this is their habitat.
    • Beware of the animals, they are wild and can be unpredictable.
    • Don't crowd the animals or make sudden noises or movements.
    • Don't feed the animals, it upsets their diet and leads to human dependence.
    • Keep quiet, noise disturbs the wildlife and may antagonize your fellow visitors.
    • Stay in your vehicle at all times, except at designated picnic or walking areas.
    • Keep below the maximum speed limit (40 kph/25 mph).
    • When viewing wildlife keep to a minimum distance of 20 meters and pull to the side of the road so as to allow others to pass.
    • Leave no litter and never leave fires unattended or discard burning objects.
    • Respect the cultural heritage of Kenya, never take pictures of the local people or their habitat without asking their permission, respect the cultural traditions of Kenya and always dress with decorum.
    • Stay over or leave before dusk, visitors must vacate the Tsavo National park between 6.00 p.m. - 6.00 a.m. unless they are on Tsavo National park camping safari overnight. Night game driving is not allowed.
    Our Safari Guides

     

    We are known worldwide for employing the finest naturalists on the planet! In Kenya, rather than using less qualified local camp guides at each stop, or an inexperienced safari guide as a tsavo trip escort, our safari guides are the most highly trained guides in Africa, and equally devoted to providing highly personalized service tsavo tours. On our tsavo safaris our travel guides are also expert photographers, constantly by your side to help you get the best possible pictures. With our groups from beginning to end, our tour guides average more than 15 years' guiding experience each, and their training is further enhanced by our premiere scientists. Our philosophy on this is simple: an African safari is only as good as the safari guide, so we must provide the very best! We will explore the wilds of Kenya in custom-built, durable 4x4 Toyota Land Cruisers or Land Rovers.

     

    We limit our vehicles to only six guests per vehicle plus the guide giving all travelers a window seat and extra access to one of three separate roof hatches, or one large one that can be opened to maximize photo opportunities or closed during inclement weather and longer transfers. In certain areas of Savo National Park, open sided vehicles with a canvas roof are used, offering an open field of view and protection from the elements. Built to withstand the rigors of rough roads, they provide a comfortable ride and excellent wildlife viewing opportunities for travelers. Reinforced suspension systems and spacious interiors enhance the vacation to Tsavo experience. Amenities available in each vehicle include a car fridge or cool boxes with water and soft drinks, bird and mammal reference guides, bean bags for camera stability, and Maasai shuka blankets for added warmth on cool morning and evening drives. Our vehicles truly enhance our safari experience!

     

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