Tsavo West National Park "Last of the Great Tuskers"

Tsavo West National Park: Overview

Covering about 7,065km of rugged land, Tsavo West National Park is one of Kenya's largest and most visited parks. It is located 240km from Nairobi off Nairobi-Mombasa Highway. Just like Tsavo East, this park is popular for the enormous herds of red elephants who find the park an ideal habitat. More famously, the "man eaters of Tsavo" tale is one that everyone wants to know its origin. The park was quite infamous for poaching activities in the 1980s but that is now history.

Wildlife and Birds in Tsavo West National Park

Tsavo West National Park is a habitat for nature at its best. The park is home to many animals including red elephants, lions, buffalos, rhinos, cheetah, hartebeest, hippos among many African species. The topography at Tsavo West is scenic and extremely variant. The tranquility of Lake Jipe, swamps and riverine vegetation, stunning natural springs, rocky peaks, rolling plains, savannah forests and extinct volcano cones characterize the dramatic scene at Tsavo West. Due to its size, animals are not as crowded as Masai Mara or Amboseli but the varied topography makes wildlife watching a lifetime experience. With more than 500 recorded bird species, a visit to Tsavo West is tremendously rewarding.

Tourist Attractions in Tsavo West National Park

Walking safaris and a visit to Chaimu volcanic crater
The hardened magma at the Shetani flow
An underground viewpoint for a better glimpse of hippos
Magical Sunsets
Spectacular and dramatic Mzima Springs
Exclusive birdwatching and wildlife viewing

Weather and Climate in Tsavo West National Park

Situated a few degrees to the south of equator and 200m-1000m above the sea level, temperatures at Tsavo West are considerably constant throughout the year. Day temperatures are 27C-31C while night temperatures are lower and range from 22C-24C. Climate and weather in Tsavo West are therefore more defined by rainfall patterns in the area.

Best Time To Visit Tsavo West National Park

Like most parks around the world, the best time to visit Tsavo West is during the dry seasons of January-February and June-September. The long dry season of June to September is better as it coincides with the dry seasons of some of the best wildlife viewing destinations in the region. A combined trip is therefore an option and that is more rewarding.

How to travel or access Tsavo West National Park

You can access Tsavo West either by road or by air. It is 188km from Mombasa and 272kn from Nairobi, distances both of which you can drive your way to the park through the Mtito Andei Gate or Tsavo Gate. There are no scheduled aircrafts to Tsavo, but you can charter an aircraft for more convenience. Chyulu Airstrip, Mtito Andei Airstrip, Tsavo Airstrip, Jipe Airstrip, Maktau Airstrip, Kasigau Airstrip and Ziwani Airstrip serve

Accommodations: Lodges, Hotels and Camps in and around Tsavo West National Park

Tsavo West is a nice place to visit during your vacation. You will enjoy the scenery, wildlife viewing, birdwatching and lodging/camping. Kilaguni Safari Lodge, Kitani Safari Lodge, Severin Safari Camp, Amboseli Eco Lodge, Babylon Lodge, Teule Guest House, Finch Hattons, Sarova Taita Hills Game Lodge, Lion Bluff Lodge, Ngulia Safari Lodge and Sarova Salt Lick Safari Lodge area amazing options

Malaria, Vaccinations and Safety while staying in Tsavo West National Park

Kenya is relatively a safe place for tourists, both from crime and diseases. However, it is impossible to ignore the malaria threat. Ensure you are non antimalarials before you get into Kenya.

Summary of Tsavo West National Park.

Altitude: 229m - 2,438m feet above sea level.

Area: 9,065 square kilometers.

Airstrips: There are 3 airstrips in the park

Opened: June 1948

Activities: Game viewing, Camping, Cave exploration, Underwater Hippo and fish watching, Caving at the Shetani caves.

Tsavo National Park is the Kenya’s largest national park – and one of the largest wildlife sanctuaries in the world. Among the first to be established in Kenya, in 1948 and is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Kenya. The park is located on south eastern Kenya, 240km from Nairobi along the western side of Mombasa-Nairobi highway. The savannah ecosystem comprises of open grasslands, scrublands, and Acacia woodlands, belts of riverine vegetation and rocky ridges.

Major wildlife attractions include elephant, rhino, Hippos, lions, cheetah, leopards, Buffalos, diverse plant and bird species including the threatened corncrake and near threatened Basra Reed Warbler.

In-spite of its arid countryside and savannah vegetation, about 60 species of mammals and 400 different species of birds are found here. Tsavo National Park is particularly famous of its dramatic scenery and its “red elephants”, which owe their colour to the dust prevalent in this area. Also present are lions and cheetahs, antelopes (oryx, kudus, Grant’s gazelles and Thomsons gazelles), Burch ell’s Zebras, Masai giraffes, baboons and vervet monkeys. Of birds, the most impressive is the Masai Ostrich. Where there is water, such as Mzima Springs, crocodiles and hippos can also be seen.<br /> <br /> The park's habitats include 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. In the far south western corner on the Kenya Tanzania border is Lake Jipe, part of which is in the park. This very attractive lake is fed by runoff from Mt. Kilimanjaro and the North Pare mountains. 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.

Major Attractions: Recent volcanoes, lava flows and caves with potential for geological and cave exploration, and hiking. Mzima Springs &amp; underwater hippo watching, Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary, Lake Jipe, Mt. Kilimanjaro, elephant, rhino, diverse bird and plant species. And if lucky - Wild dogs.

Lodges: Ngulia Lodge; Kilaguni Serena Lodge; Severin Safari Camp/Lodge; Finch Hattons.

Visitor Activities: Boat excursion at lake Jipe; Bird watching at lake Jipe; Annual bird ringing at Ngulia lodge; Hill and rock climbing at Chaimu and Ngulia Hills.

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