Tsavo East National Park
Tsavo East National Park is a vast and barely discovered open savannah national park in Kenya. Tsavo East National Park is one of the prime and most visited national parks in Kenya, bringing a number of tourists to visit on Kenya wildlife safari tours. Tsavo East National Park is one of the largest and oldest parks in Kenya covering about 13747 square kilometres of space, in a semi-arid area previously known as the Taru Desert. Established in 1948, Tsavo East National Park is famously known as the “Theatre of the wildlife” because of the high concentration of wildlife in the park, especially the large herds of red dusty elephants that usually spray and roll on the termite moulds in the park.
Tsavo East National Park was formerly part of the larger and wholesome Tsavo National Park Kenya until when it was divided into two by the A109 road and the Tsavo River cross the park, to create both Tsavo East National Park and Tsavo West National Park. Tsavo East National Park is managed by the Kenya Wildlife Services, and is the largest protected area in Kenya which travellers can visit all throughout the year for amazing game drives and wildlife safari tours in the park.
Tsavo East National Park is predominantly of semi-arid vegetation with open savannah grassland dotted with acacia trees and riverine forests especially along the various rivers in Tsavo East National Park. With this kind of vegetation cover and biodiversity, the abundance in animals and wildlife in Tsavo East National Park indeed comes naturally because they are attracted to the diverse vegetation in the park. the African big five including lions, elephants, rhinos, leopards and buffaloes among so many other animals in Tsavo East National Park can be spotted with various activities in the park.
Tsavo East National Park Location
Tsavo East National Park is located in the South western part of Nairobi along the Business Centre Mombasa. Tsavo East National Park is found in a semi-arid area formerly known as the Taru Desert, near the town of Voi in the Taita-Taveta County of the former Coast Province of Kenya. Tsavo East National Park is about 233km away from Nairobi city, taking about 7-8 hours of road drive.
How to get to Tsavo East National Park
Tsavo East National Park can be accessed by both road and air, as well as by railway. By road, Tsavo East National Park is about 7-8 hours from Nairobi city, and yet is also about 5-6 hours from the Mombasa region. Tsavo East National Park is easily accessed via the Sala gate on the western part of the park for those from Malindi, while the Mtito Andei gate is best used by those travellers using the direct route of Nairobi Mombasa road.
By air, travellers who would rather skip the long drives can opt to fly from Wilson Airport or even Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to any of the airstrips in Tsavo East National Park for example Mopeo airstrip, Satao airstrip, Voi airstrip among so many others that service the park.
Tsavo East National Park can also be accessed by railway, given the railway line actually cuts through the park. The railway departs Nairobi for Mombasa on a daily, making stops in the park to drop off and pick up some other travellers and if you do use it, your driver guide should be able to collect you from there and proceed for your much awaited Tsavo East National Park safari.
Attractions in Tsavo East National Park
There are a number of Tsavo East National Park attractions which travellers would see and enjoy while in the park, including but not limited to;
Wildlife in Tsavo East National Park can be found literally in every inch of the park. There are over 50 species of animals in Tsavo East National Park, including the famous African big five which most travellers on Africa safari tours do look out for. The various animals in Tsavo East National Park that travellers can encounter and meet in the park include lions, leopards, elephants which are usually dusty red, buffaloes, rhinos, cheetahs, zebras, hippos, wildebeest, wild dogs, giraffes, hyenas, fringe-eared Oryx, among so many others.
Lugard falls are named after the very first European explorer to step at the falls, Frederick Lugard. The Lugard falls are a great scenic sight and hiking them is worth a try though some levels of physical fitness is needed.
Birds in Tsavo East National Park are recorded at being over 500 bird species, including migratory and permanent bird species. Common sightings of birds on Tsavo East National Park include the Rosy-patched goshawk, black-headed lapwing, golden pipit, Somali bee-eater, Somali ostrich, and taita fiscal, among so many others.
The Yatta Plateau is one of the best tourist attraction in Tsavo East National Park which tourists can visit to complete your safari in the park. The Yatta Plateau starts from the western part of the park crossing to the East right above River Athi. The Yatta Plateau is estimated to be about 290km long.
The Mudanda rock is an inselberg found in the centre of Tsavo East National Park, with rock art which is believed to date back to the Stone Age period. Mudanda rock is also a water catchment area which supplies water the one of the dams in the park, which is a source of water to the various wildlife in Tsavo East National Park.
Tsavo East National Park Activities
There are a number of activities in Tsavo East National Park which travellers can do while on the Kenya wildlife safari in Tsavo East National Park. Below are some of the most done activities in Tsavo East National Park;
Game drives in Tsavo East National Park are a great way to explore the park and see a variety of wildlife species in the park. Game drives in Tsavo East National Park can be done the whole day, with the early morning and evening game drives being the most rewarding. It is Tsavo East National Park that you can even do night game drives, a rare opportunity while on Kenya wildlife safaris in any other parks in the country. Some of the animals and wildlife in Tsavo East National Park that you are sure to spot include the African big five including the maneless lions of Tsavo, as well as other animals like wildebeests, dik-dik, zebras, giraffes, red dust elephants, hyenas, rhinos, among so many others.
Birding in Tsavo East National Park has travellers going through the park in the quest of the various bird species in the park which are recorded to be well over 500 bird species. Birding safaris in Tsavo East National Park can be done all day all year with the best time being in the rainy season when the birds are nesting and breeding, and migratory birds do visit too. Use of an experienced bird guide, and carrying birding equipment like binoculars should give you greater opportunities to spot more bird species in the park.
Nature walks and hiking safaris
Nature walks and hiking safaris in Tsavo East National Park are a great way to explore the savannah park on foot, giving you an opportunity to see more of the park which you otherwise have missed while on game drives.
Best time to visit Tsavo East National Park
Tsavo East National Park can be visited all throughout the year, for amazing Kenya wildlife safaris. The best time however for game drives in Tsavo East National Park however is during the dry season when the grass is thinner allowing easy spotting of wild game, the rods are easier to use and the animals do gather in the few available waterholes to quench their thirst thereby giving travellers a chance to see more wildlife in Tsavo East National Park in one place. The best time to visit Tsavo East National Park for birding safaris however is during the wet season.