Tsavo National Park, Safaris, Lodges and tented Camps in Tsavo East and West
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    Satao Camp Tsavo National Park, Kenya, Africa & Satao Safari Camp

    Satao Camp is an exclusive tented Camp in the mighty Tsavo East National Park, Satao Camp takes you back to the classical Out of Africa safari with green canvas tents, bush style showers and personal and friendly service; evoking a feeling of the true ‘Old African’ experience. Our location is indisputably unique; nestled beneath the shade of the old Tamarind trees, just in front of a very favored waterhole, our guests are ensured breathtaking view to the many elephants coming daily for a drink and a refreshing wash, spread out among tamarind and acacia trees near the seasonal Voi River, the Satao Camp is the only camp in this area of Tsavo East National Park. Fairly luxury by safari standards, it is owned and managed by one of the most respected Kenya safari company, and is regularly visited by baboons, impalas, giraffe and hippo, while the central area is an oasis for birdlife and various nocturnal creatures, including genets: in the bar, one regular genet drapes himself on an overhead rafter. Somewhat aptly, Satao means ‘giraffe’ in the language of the Walingulu, the original, hunter-gatherer inhabitants of this area, as the Satao Safari Camp is unfenced, all your movements after dark require an escort – which as a plus, as it gives you a shot of local cultural or natural history insight from your camp guard on every walk to and from the dining area.

     

    A paging button in each tent means that you can call a guard for an escort. The permanent structures of Satao tented camp main central area are ranged out behind the sandy drop-off area where you arrive. Beyond the simple, open-sided reception building, spacious and shady dining and lounge terraces under high-pitched makuti-tile roofs are set on either side of a raised central bar area, with a campfire directly in front. Open plan and essentially open-air, these main areas are welcoming, but quite large. Away to the south is a fully open-air lunch area that has good views of the plains and a large waterhole. Close to the water hole, a high-level viewing deck known as the Lookout, with a shaded platform and directors’ style, canvas chairs, is accessed up a steer flight of steps. You can ask to be woken in the night if anything you want to see makes an appearance at the waterhole. Satao Camp Tsavo is luxuriously superb, wild and rustic accommodations where most have never have heard about but ought to visit it. Close your eyes for a second and imagine a comfortable wilderness place for yourself. A place so relaxing and incomparable to anything where animals walk in and out of Satao Safari Camp Tsavo like magic, surrounding you when you stealthily trot, and scurry briskly where your shrug a move. Imagine a place, which felt so divinely blessed with the experience most visitors don't have the opportunity to learn about but you do because you know you will only accept the best and will not conform to doing what everybody else does. This is the magic of Satao Tented Camp Tsavo through the experienced eyes of Africa like no other experience in the whole of Kenya - Guaranteed! The wildlife such as waterbucks and impalas at Satao Camp are literally residents of the camp because Satao was intellectually designed around a traditional migratory trade route and the tamarind trees that have been growing over the last 100 years attract the wildlife. If the day was not exciting enough with the wildlife running free in the heart of the African Wilderness, the evening brings out pleasures and realities on a lucky night when nine lions visit the Tsavo Satao Camp grounds looking for a stray antelope but never daring to come close to camp. Guests sit back from the comforts of their dinner table and watch the dance of survival from the distance. With greeting of the sunrise, guests are awakened by the birds singing, the elephants trumpeting and zebras neighing and galloping in the distance. As you recall the experiences from the night that flew by when you’re slept comfortably, you look forward to breakfast, after which you know that your need to head out for the day to seek out more wilderness and wildlife, otherwise or no such opportunities will ever exist.

     

    Travel to Africa on a journey that is exceptional as the destination. Experience a unique combination of adventure, relaxation, service and culinary delights amid the African wilderness. Tsavo East & West National Parks occupy 21,000 square kilometers; the Tsavo East Park is a total of 11,747 sq km. It is one of Kenya's oldest and largest National Parks: covering approx. 40 per cent of the total area of all Kenya's National Parks. The tents at Satao Camp Tsavo Kenya are exquisite; all are attractively furnished with locally made beds and unique African designs, you would never believe you are in the African Bush. The chef's ensure quality food at all times, for breakfast you may choose - continental - full English - pancakes - omelettes - fresh fruits in season. Lunch is served under a 200 Year old Tamarind tree where you may watch the elephants at the watering hole. Dinner is served in the restaurant lounge area, from 7-9 pm. After dinner you can relax and enjoy the atmosphere of Tsavo by swapping stories of your day’s safari adventures around the camp fire or watch the animals by “night” from the observation tower. For vegetarian or special requirements please let us know in advance of your visit. There is only one thing more beautiful than a clear African Night sky - Sunset in the African Bush! The “Sun downer” is a must for all our guests at Satao Camp Kenya, if you want to experience this mystical and magical experience please let the camp manager know on arrival. You are taken away from the Satao Camp into the bush to “our” special sun downer spot. The fire is lit and delicious biting served and the champagne is poured. Sit back and relax, take in the atmosphere and listen to the animals in the wild. The unequalled knowledge guides have of Satao tented Camp Kenya gives the guests the best chance to see many of the various species of animals that inhabit this fantastic park. Our guides live in Tsavo and are more likely to know the whereabouts of the big five as well as the names and habits of the myriad of birds that live in Tsavo. Our safari vehicles are equipped with everything you need to have a perfect game drive while on a Tsavo safari including roof hatches that give you the best position to photograph the awesome scenery, as well as cold boxes for stocking a welcome cold drink during the heat of the day.

     

    A typical day at Satao Camp Africa starts with an early morning game drive; you are woken up at 6.00 am to coffee and tea in the restaurant. At 6:30 am you set off in search of the big cats – Lion, Leopard and Cheetah – or you’re other favorite flora and fauna, perhaps. Upon return to the Satao Camp Kenia at approximately 8:30 am, you will find a large buffet of Full English and Continental breakfasts waiting for you, along with a selection of fresh seasonal fruits. During the day you may relax in your tent or go up to the observation tower and study the animals who have wandered into the safari camp as you await lunch, another game drive follows at 3.30 pm till sunset, just when the animals are coming out, after the heat of the midday sun. Have a ‘bush shower’ in your tent and relax at the bar or watch the animals by night from the observation tower.the predators and elephants rarely come into camp, Gazelle, impala and bush buck are a common sight, especially in the evenings when they come in to graze on the sweet irrigated grass. Linked to the main areas by largely natural sand paths are Satao tented camp 20, large, thatch-shaded tents, which are ranged across the broad, wooded plain around the waterhole. Stretching in a northerly direction from Satao tented camp central area is one wing of six standard tents plus a larger suite tent (‘Director’s Suite’). These tents face west or north-west, into the sunset, but are furthest from the waterhole (about 150m away). In the other direction, nine standard tents range westwards, their verandas facing north or north-east past a large grove of tamarind trees and the lunch area. Beyond are four more suite tents – Tent 17, Sala (the closest to the waterhole, 100m), Neka and Kocha. The 15 twin, double or triple standard tents are well- designed, traditional green-canvas safari tents – airy, light and simply constructed. They’re mounted on raised stone-and-concrete platforms, constructed in crazy-paving style that mirrors the floors in the central areas, and each has a veranda with two canvas chairs and a low table. Inside, the tents are floored with soft rush matting and rugs, with a simple writing table and chair, a rustic shelf unit and a basic clothes cupboard. The beds are not fancy but are comfortable and attractively covered, with reading lights on each bedside table. Although there are no mosquito nets, the tents are in theory mosquito-proof and are also mosquito-sprayed during the turn-down service every evening. There’s also a floor fan, which can be positioned wherever you prefer. Zipped flaps at the back of each tent lead to a large bathroom of solid construction, with polished stone floors, wood and Hessian walls, and makuti-tile roofs. Cold water is plumbed in but the large reservoirs of the overhead safari showers are filled on demand (there’s a hand shower as well); there’s also a washbasin, small pivot mirror and flush toilet. Toiletries are provided in flasks and bottled drinking water is replenished every day. The five suite tents are similar to the standard tents but built on a grander scale and with extra furnishings.

     

    The verandas benefit from the addition of comfy recliners, double beds are actual double beds rather than joined twins, and each suite has a minibar (with regular Satao bar prices) and two small armchairs. In addition, there is a solid wall with a door separating the bathroom from the main tent. The bathroom itself has two designer washbasins, a bathtub and further hanging and storage space. Hot water to the suite tents is solar heated. Electricity at Satao luxury camp is supplied by generator, and is on all night as well as over lunchtime. There are charging sockets in all the tents. For accurate directions to the camp from Mombasa: Arrival at Bachuma gate- Drive straight until you reach island 143, at this Point Maungu Plains are on your left, carry straight over the island heading for Ndara Plains/Aruba Lodge. When you reach Island 149 turn right and drive for 18 kilometers passing the airstrip on your right. You will then come to Island 144 go over the island and the Satao Camp is clearly marked in front of you. If you are coming from Nairobi: Arrival at Voi gate- Drive straight until you reach island 100 turn right heading for Aruba Dam you then come to island 104 go straight over heading for Aruba Lodge. At island 105 turn right heading for the Air Strip/Satao. You will come to a fork in the road take the left hand fork and carry o until you reach island 145. When you reach island 145 carry straight over and you will arrive at island 144 turn left into Satao Camp. The main activities at Satao Camp revolve around early-morning and late-afternoon game drives in well set-up 4WD vehicles. As Satao bush camp is the only tented safari camp in this part of Tsavo East, a vast expanse of the park covering more than 1,000km2 stretches between the camp and the Mombasa highway. In most of this area you can drive for miles without encountering another tour vehicle. Tsavo’s famous red elephants, colored by the iron oxide in the earth, are the most iconic of the park’s animals, there are several riverside viewpoints including Lugard’s Fall, and Crocodile Point (sometimes described as nature trails, but they’re basically just short footpaths), where you can get out and stretch your legs. In the 15 years or so since it was built, Satao Camp has matured into one of the most welcoming luxury safari camps in Kenya. The herds of impala, the bull giraffe that wanders around camp, frequent elephants and lions at the waterhole, and a riot of birdlife together create a magical impact on first-time visitors – and one which doesn’t disappoint experienced travelers. The Out of Africa Collection is a collection of exclusive hotel properties and safari operators that offer the most exquisite safari experiences throughout Kenya. Venture into the beautiful African savannah with touches of modern day comfort and luxury as this collection promises breathtaking game and nature experiences into the most pristine wildlife areas of Kenya. You can book individual locations or journey from property to property by air through our partner Severin Air Safaris. Whether you dream about going to Karen Blixen Camp in Masai Mara to see the world famous wildebeest migration or enjoy the astonishing Mara Savannah from high above with Skyship Balloon Safari travel to Tsavo Satao Camp to watch hundreds of elephants making themselves very comfortable at the waterhole next to the camp; journey through the unique landscape of Tsavo West National Park with endless grasslands, semi arid acacia scrubs and lava caves to finally relax at Severin Safari Camp with a soothing wellness treatment or go to the private wildlife conservancy area of Satao Elerai Camp in Amboseli with prime viewing of Mt. Kilimanjaro; the Out of Africa Collection promise breathtaking game and nature experiences into the most pristine wildlife areas of Kenya. Your journey from property to property can be taken care of by Severin Air Safari, a luxurious brand new Cessna 208B Grand Caravan Airplane with comfortable leather seats and headphones for guided scenic highlights. If passing though Nairobi at the beginning, end or even middle of a Kenya safari consider the unique Nairobi Tented Camp for a short stay in the forests of the Nairobi National Park. The Satao Camp beautiful landscape and proximity to the Mombasa coast make it a popular safari to Kenya destination. It is accredited as one of the world’s leading biodiversity strongholds, with endless bushy grassland and open plains alternate with semi-arid acacia scrub and woodlands, the Galana river banks give rise to lush vegetation. Satao Camp has its own weather airfield and 4x4 safari vehicles for game drives, making this an ideal location for fly in safaris. Game driving with Satao Camp's half-open safari vehicles assures guests a close interaction with the ecosystem while undertaking safaris in Tsavo East. Setao Camp genuinely combines a true wilderness national park experience with the proximity of a beach program.

     

    Satao Camp Tsavo Accommodation

     

    Satao Camp is as authentic as a safari camp, a retreat of cozy comfort and convenience, filled with the romance of wilderness in the famous Tsavo East National Park; Satao safari tented camp is a small camp with only 20 tents with its own patio over looking the savannah. The tents are exquisite; all are attractively furnished with locally made beds and unique African designs and have their own spacious private bathroom with running water. The 20 tents are made up of 16 family tents and 4 suites each constructed of sisal and boroti poles topped with a makuti roof, only the front of the tent is visible as each tent has its own patio with table and chairs. The shower however is in the true African style, whereby the camp staff brings hot water in the evening. The bathrooms are very spacious, slate floors with stunning wooden framework, the wash basins sunken into the structure, all fitted with flushing toilet. The suites have authentic antique writing desks and beautiful African bed and cushion covers. Comfort and the personal touch is what we provide you with in the bush to ensure your stay with us is one that you will never forget. All tents complete with own verandahs. We have 4 luxury suites for clients on honeymoon holidays or guests who feel for a little extra luxury, 6 family tents and 10 standard tents. 1 tent was carefully constructed to accommodate guests with physically challenges. The tents are all en-suite with unique African furniture, comfortable beds, electricity and a spacious bathroom with hand wash basins, flush toilets and bush style showers, All tents are carefully positioned and have a private verandah from which one can enjoy the scenery and the many elephants that comes to drink, wash and groom each other during the day and the night. The suites have authentic antique writing desks and beautiful African bed and cushion covers. Comfort and the personal touch is what we provide you with in the bush to ensure your stay with us is one that you will never forget. Satao tented Lodge offers excellent value for money with affordable rates (based on 2 sharing) for 2 night’s accommodation in a standard room. Rates include transfers from Mombasa to Satao and back, Tsavo East Park Fees, Full Board and Game Drives in 4X4 vehicles.

     

    Satao Camp Tsavo Meals

     

    This small and friendly camp lies on a traditional migration route, so it's not short of game. It's not short on comfort either; you would never believe you are in the African Bush. The chef’s ensure quality food at all times, for breakfast you may choose – continental – full English – pancakes – omelettes – fresh fruits in season, breakfast 6.00–9.00am is a buffet with an egg station and plenty of options, including home-made bread Lunch is served under a 200 Year old Tamarind tree where you may watch the elephants at the watering hole. Dinner is served in the restaurant lounge area, from 7.30–pm to 9.00pm, is a six-course buffet or plated service, incorporating soup, salad, main course, dessert, cheese and coffee – with a choice of three main dishes and always a vegetarian option. The standard hotel restaurant fare at dinner includes good vegetable soups and homemade hot rolls, shredded salad with dressing, and a choice of grilled chicken, beef goulash or onion pizza for main course, with roast potatoes, chips or rice, and vegetables, After dinner you can relax and enjoy the atmosphere of Tsavo by swapping stories of your days adventures around the camp fire or watch the animals by “night” from the observation tower.

     

    One can sip chilled drinks, served on your veranda at any time of the day or refresh yourself with an evening sundowner cocktail, delivered to your tent after a long game drive. During peak season, few camps in Tsavo if any, can offer the quality of elephant viewing that Satao safari camp Afrika offers, sitting on the veranda of your tent, watching large herds of elephants interacting only a short distance away is a truly memorable wildlife experience. Satao Camp is one of the few camps in Tsavo East National Park with open 4x4 vehicles and resident Kenya Professional Safari Guides who know and understand the whole ecosystem, making sure you have the best game viewing experience that Tsavo has to offer. For vegetarian or special requirements please let us know in advance of your visit. The food is wholesome and fresh, and it's great to sit under the 200-year-old tamarind tree and watch the elephants at the water hole. The chefs make the most of the fresh fruit and vegetables available locally to prepare delicious meals. Dine in the open plan restaurant with meals freshly cooked on charcoal fires, and home baked bread prepared in special safari oven, there’s a thatch viewing deck on stilts where you can sit and read, or just watch, wait, and see what walks up. There's an attractive dining area under thatch, but lunch is usually taken alfresco under the trees. Kids under 2 stay free, and those 2 to 12 pay 50% of the adult rate.

     

    Satao Camp Tsavo Safari Activities

     

    Enjoy game drives in the park where you can spot the big five as well as the myriad of birds that live in Tsavo. Sundowners can be enjoyed by staying out in the bush in front of a campfire with a dawa cocktail or a glass of champagne in your hand, while the sun slowly drops over the horizon of the Sagala Hills; this is truly an unforgettable and revealing safari experience. Listening to the sounds of the bush with a feeling of the old Africa is cleansing for the mind and the soul and an experience you will never forget. For those who are interested in birding, the Satao Camp oasis is a very favored habitat for a great variety of birds. Over 300 different species of birds have been identified. Birders and interested can walk around the premises of our camp and watch the many birds coming to nest or take a bath at the waterhole. Hornbills, barbits, starlings, guinea fowls, pearl spotted owls are very common to see. Satao is a family-friendly camp with a relaxed ambience, and is a recommended choice for families, though an enthusiasm for the wildlife and the bush location is always important. With impala, baboons and even giraffe right by the tents, it is great fun for kids. Kicking a ball around isn’t an option, however, as there is wildlife everywhere.

     

    Satao Camp Tsavo Day trip to Lugard's Falls

     

    On request clients can book a full day game drive with picnic lunch to the Galana River and Lugard's fall. Running along the edge of the Yatta Plateau, the world's largest lava flow, the Galana river bisects Tsavo East National Park. Lugard's fall is remarkable as it is a series of rapids running between amazing different colored rock formations.

     

    Satao Camp Tsavo Safari Game Drives

     

    Satao Camp offers game drives in the famous Tsavo East National Park. Game drive trails give clients the opportunity to explore the more common areas around Voi River and Aruba Dam, or to break away and visit the infrequently visited areas near Satao Camp where experiences with lions are quite common. Our safari vehicles are equipped with everything you need for perfect game viewing including binoculars, bird & animal books and cold boxes stocking refreshing cold drinks for the heat of the day. Tsavo is Kenya's Largest National Park covering an area of over 20,000 square kilometers, ensuring you will never run out of new areas to explore. Satao Camp finds it is crucial to protect the wildlife, develop eco tourism sound practices and support the local communities in order for tourism to benefit the environment and the local people in a long term perspective. The Camp has been carefully constructed using only local materials that have a minimal impact on the environment. Solar panel is being utilized whenever possible. We separate our waste and all non-organic waste is being transported out of the park for proper disposal, to ensure a clean and safe environment in Tsavo East. We work very closely with the Kenya Wildlife Service to make sure our own driver guides as well as our visitors driving private cars stays on the stipulated park roads and abide the park regulations set by KWS. We have more than 12 years experience and achieved invaluable knowledge about the wildlife, their habits and their movements within the park. Our driver guides genuinely respects and protect the integrity of the wildlife and will ensure you that your game drive is always a very unique and special experience.

     

    Satao Camp Tsavo Sundowners

     

    Few places can offer the feeling of old Africa in quite the same way as Tsavo East. Sundowners at Satao Camp are an experience to be cherished. Early evening around a remote campfire looking onto the Sagala Hills as the sun slowly drops over the horizon behind an old Acacia tree cleanses the sole. A 'Dawa' cocktail or a glass of champagne, as you take in the noises of the African bush around you, is an experience to be treasured. Satao has FM radio, email in the office and adequate WiFi in the lounge. Each tent has a paging button, to guests can call for an escort or a drink. Satao has a first-aid box; ‘2 or 3 staff’ have received training and in theory get refresher training annually. Voi hospital is the closest major medical facility and can be reached in about 45 minutes in an emergency. Flying doctors from Nairobi or Malindi can land at Satao airstrip, just minutes from the camp. Unarmed askaris patrol the camp day and night. Armed KWS patrols periodically patrol the area near the camp and can always be called quickly. There’s a fire assembly point in the car park and all staff receive fire training twice a year. There are fire extinguishers all over the camp. The cashier has a safe box for safe keeping of valuables, but there are no safes in tents. There’s no formal foreign exchange service.

     

    Satao Camp Tsavo Bird watching safari

     

    Around Satao Camp over 300 species of birds have been spotted. With our waterhole and bird baths around the lodge guests can walk around the grounds noting various species of hornbills, barbets, starlings, spur fowls, guinea fowls, Oearl Spotted Owlets to name just a few. We have been organizing and guiding professional bird watching safaris to Tsavo for a number of years and we believe that we can professionally host your Tsavo watching safari. Like most of the long ago European explorers, used to believe; that "An education of a gentleman is to be completed with a Grand Tour to Africa" we believe that every international bird watcher should visit Tsavo at least once and do a 'Grand' bird watching tour of Tsavo. Our chief commitment down here is to offer you a wonderful and a most enjoyable bird watching safari, that will possibly take you to see the African Endemics; anything from the beautiful Turacos, Mighty Ostriches, Huge Ground Hornbills, and some impressive Guineafowls, Inquisitive Woodhoopes, the elegant Secretary Bird, the rare Shoebill, The Hammerkop, Mousebirds and a great collection of the African Barbets among other hundreds of impressive species.

     

    Daphne Sheldrick Orphanage in Voi

     

    Should clients request it in advance, we are able to arrange for visits to the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant stockade in Voi where the elephant orphans are kept during their rehabilitation back to the wild.

     

    Severin Air Safaris

     

    Severin Air Safaris has announced daily flights to a 2500-acre resort in the Kenyan coast. The Severin Air Safari courier, which is a product of The Out of Africa Collection, will have daily afternoon flights operating from Nairobi’s Wilson Airport to Vipingo Ridge, a gated residential estate in Mombasa which houses a private airstrip, a country club, a golf club, a beach, a game conservancy, a woodland area and several nature trails.

     

    Tsavo National Park Information

     

    Amongst safaris to Kenya destinations, Tsavo National Park is at its own class; Tsavo National Park dies halfway between the Mombassa plus Malindi coast and Nairobi and was gazette in 1948. The Tsavo National Park is famous around the world, thanks to its infamous ferocious man-eating lions. That aside, it remains Kenya’s largest wildlife stronghold covering a vast arid region of 20,807Km2 (8,034 sq miles) almost 3.5% of Kenya. It’s a home to the largest population of elephants in Kenya, currently sustaining the lives of 6,176 elephants. The portion lying north and East of the road is designated Tsavo East National Park and that to the South as Tsavo West National Park. Both combined holds over 450 bird species and over 60 animal species have been recorded in the vast ecosystem with vegetation ranging from semi-desert towards the North to coastal Vegetation towards the South. Nothing gives you the real magic of a Tsavo Safari, Grants gazelle, Impalas, Thompson gazelles, hartebeests, Klipspringers, dikdiks, duikers and elands are numerous and distributed to every corner of the park. It also holds Mzima springs located in an oasis of shade in a hot desert of ochre. Mzima springs are a spectacular view: rushing waters surrounded by lush vegetation and trees, with spray thrown up into the air and catching the sun to make rainbows. Its crystal-clear water bubbles up from a mass of volcanic boulders from the Chyulu hills which creates a very efficient filter. The water is so clear that one can see at the bottom of the pond a good spot to include on a Kenya Vacation, while at the park, don’t fail to visit the caves where the lions (man-eaters) dragged their ill fated victims, during the building of Kenya Uganda Railway.

     

    Tsavo National Park, a vast wilderness comprising Tsavo-East and Tsavo-West, is one of the biggest wildlife parks in the world covering an area of 20,700 sq kms (8,000 sq miles), the size of Wales or Israel. The park offers tremendous views with diverse habitats ranging from mountains, river forests, plains, lakes and wooded grassland. Its south-western plains border Tanzania's Mkomazi Reserve. Tsavo-East is one of Kenya's oldest established national parks: covering approximately 40 per cent of the total area of all Kenya's wildlife parks. It is accredited as one of the world's leading biodiversity strongholds, with bushy grassland and open plains alternate with semi-arid acacia scrub and woodlands. Green swathes cross the park where river banks give rise to lush vegetation. North of Galana is a true wilderness. Tsavo-East is recommended for photographers with its fabulous light and unbelievable views, in particular the Mudanda Rock and the Yatta Plateau, the world's largest lava flow. Lugards Falls on the Galana River are remarkable for the shaped water-worn rocks. About 500 bird species have been recorded in the area, including migratory birds of prey, while buzzards stop at Tsavo-East during their long flight south. In Tsavo-West the landscape is mainly hilly bush country with the scenic Ngulia escarpment and riverine forest along the Tsavo River. At Mzima, fresh water springs gush from below ground and form a series of crystal clear pools inhabited by hippo and crocodile.

     

    A viewing observatory allows visitors to see the underwater life. Most of the well known wildlife species are found within Tsavo and you are likely to see elephant, lion, buffalo, hippo, zebra, waterbuck, impala, hartebeest, lesser kudu, gerenuk, vervet monkey, baboon, jackal, crocodile and small mammals including mongoose, hyrax, dik dik and the nocturnal porcupine. Cheetah, leopard, rhino and the rare Hunter's Hartebeest or Hirola are also present in Tsavo but harder to see. Tsavo is home to some of the largest elephant herds in Kenya and they often appear to be coloured red after having dust baths and blowing the vivid red dust through their trunks all over their bodies. In 1900 the notorious "Man Eaters of Tsavo", man-eating lions preyed on railway workers building the great Uganda Railway from Mombasa to Kampala. The carriage from which they pulled a traveller is on display at the Nairobi Railway Museum. Tsavo West also has important historical connections as a major battleground in World War I where British and German troops battled for supremacy in East Africa. The park offers tremendous views with diverse habitats ranging from mountains, river forests, plains, lakes and wooded grassland. Its plains border with Tanzania. Game includes: leopard, cheetah, buffalo, rhino, elephant, giraffe, zebra, lion, plains game, crocodile and small mammals including mongoose, hyrax, dik dik and the nocturnal porcupine. Chyulu Hills National Park is an extension of Tsavo West National Park. It was opened in January 1983 to protect its unique habitat and role as a vital water catchment area. The Chyulus are a volcanic mountain range with a mix of volcanic cones and barren lava flows, of which the most interesting is Shetani, meaning "Devil" in Kiswahili. Game include: buffalo, zebra, giraffe, oryx, lion, leopard and many bird and plant species.

     

    Tsavo West National Park

     

    Tsavo West National Park offers tremendous views with diverse habitats ranging from mountains, river forest, lakes and wooded grassland. It has a vast expanse of savanna stretching along the Mombasa-Nairobi road and south to the Tanzanian border. The north eastern boundary along the highway adjoins Tsavo East National Park, but Tsavo West has a more varied topography and a more diverse array of habitats than its neighbor: open plains alternating with Savannah bush and semi desert scrub, acacia woodlands; rocky ridges and outcrops and more extensive ranges and isolated hills; belts of riverine vegetation; palm thickets and on the Chyulu hills, mountain forest. There are numerous rocky outcrops and ridges and part of the park, towards the Chyulu Hills, is of recent volcanic origin with lava flows and ash cones including the Shetani lava flow. At Mzima Springs, in the North of the park, water that has filtered underground from the Chyulu Hills gushes from below a lava ridge into a series of clear pools. With its underwater viewing points for observing resident hippos Mzima Springs is a star attraction and well worth a visit on your Kenya safari. In the far south western corner of the park is Lake Jipe, part of which is in the park. This very attractive lake is fed by runoff from Mt. Kilimanjaro. The park’s diverse habitats give rise to prolific birdlife, with 600 recorded species, and a good variety of wildlife: leopard, giraffe, zebra, lion, reedbuck, bushbuck, gazelle and other plains game, crocodile and small mammals; including mongoose, hyrax, dik dik and the nocturnal porcupine. However, both Tsavo East and West are renowned for their large elephant herds.

     

    Tsavo East National Park

     

    Tsavo east national park is a famous destination for tourists especially because of its closeness to the coastal regions. The park lies at an altitude of 500-4,000 Ft and as one of Kenya's oldest (1948) and largest National Parks; it has been accredited as one of the worlds leading bio-diversity areas. It has great views with bushy grasslands and open plains alternating with savannah and semi-arid acacia scrub and woodlands. Green swathes cross the Park where the river banks give rise to lush vegetation. North of Galana is a true wilderness. A number of leading tour guides offer private safaris throughout this area. I has 16 airstrips and covers an area of 11,747 Sq.Kms. Those interested in nature photography will find a haven in Tsavo East with its fabulous light and unbelievable views, in particular the Mudanda Rock and in Yatta Plateau, the world's largest lava flow. Luggard's Falls on the Galana River are remarkable for the shaped water-worn rocks. Game on display among the plains games are elephants, rhinos, lions, leopards, crocodiles, waterbuck, kudus, gerenuks, zebra and Aruba Hunter's Hartebeest. Large herds of 'Red elephants' are found here where like to wallow in the muddy pools or blowing the red earth on themselves giving them a glowing reddish look. The Tsavo west national park neighbors Tsavo east national park and only divided by the main Nairobi Mombasa highway. It is also famous as a stop-over for migrating birds like the Kestrels and buzzards. About 500 bird species are recorded including the migratory species on their long flights south.

     

    Getting There

     

    By Air -- Tsavo is close to both the 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 West; Safarilink has daily flights departing the capital at 7:30am, Note that the return flight takes 70 to 80 minutes. Mombasa Air Safari flies from the coast to the private airstrip at Finch Hattons in Tsavo West. There are no scheduled flights to Tsavo East, but 6 airstrips in the southern part of the park and 13 in the northern part are available for charter flights -- your ground operator will make arrangements for you to be dropped at the one nearest your lodge or camp, and land transfers will be organized, too.

     

    By Road -- Thanks to the Mombasa-Nairobi highway and its proximity to the coast, many people visiting Tsavo do so as a sidebar to seaside holidays. 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 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 ground operator 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.

     

    Park Fees - Entry to either park is $50 per day for adults and $25 for children ages 3 to 18; if you want to see both 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 and load for you in advance of your arrival; don't arrive without a prepaid card, as this will mean making a time-consuming detour to park headquarters to pick up a new card.

     

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