Tsavo East National Park – Kenya Travel Guide

Tsavo National Park is huge (map). Over 11,747 square kilometers of bushy grasslands, open plains, and semi-arid acacia scrub make up Kenya’s oldest and largest Game Park. Tsavo is credited with one of the world’s leading biodiversity strongholds. From red brown rivers surrounded by green grass and doum palms, to the endless plains, covered in red dust, with perhaps a single surviving acacia tree, the scenery is constantly changing.

Tsavo’s stunning views over the plains of Africa include the largest lava flow in the world, the Yatta Plateau, Mudanda Rock – which resembles a smaller version of Ayers Rock – and the incredible Lugard Falls.

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, gazelles, zebra and kudu to watch. Not to mention over 500 species of birds!

Ever seen a pink 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 it’s past, Tsavo became known worldwide in the late 1890s due to the man-eating lions which held up building of the railway line from Mombasa to Nairobi for several months. 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 present, their descendants are. It is not unusual to see large prides of up to 16 lion lazing under a shady bush.

Tsavo receives very little rain, and the brilliant sunshine and fantastic scenery make it perfect for those interested in photography.

With half the park area banned to vehicles, Tsavo still enjoys true wilderness. Walking or camel safaris are the only way to penetrate this area.

The proximity of the Indian Ocean makes Tsavo a popular destination for many safari travelers, who wish to rest and relax either before or after their safari. Easily accessible, Tsavo offers the choice of a quick introductory safari, as well as the space to allow a detailed exploration of the wonders of Kenya’s wildlife over several days.

Best Times to Visit
September/October or January – March (Dry season)
Rainy season: April-May, November
Day: 28-33°C, 82-91°F
Night: 17-20°C, 63-68°F
Altitude: 500-4,000 feet


If you want more information about this area you can email the author or check out our Africa Insiders page.

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