Tsavo East National Park
The Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Park are staples of many safaris in Kenya. They cover an area of over 21,000 square kilometres. The protected area was divided into two parks, separated by the road and railway connecting Mombasa and Nairobi.
The Tsavo East National Park is the largest national park in Kenya and with an area of 11,747 square kilometres it makes up 40% of the total area of Kenya’s national parks. The park is known for its large “red” elephant herds. The animals get their red colouring from the striking red earth in the area, which they rub as dust or mud on their thick skin. This iron oxide-rich laterite soil protects the elephants from intense sun exposure, parasites and contributes to their general skin care.
The vegetation consists out of flat grasslands and acacia trees, some of which create dense dry forests. In the north, the park turns into a semi-desert, creating a beautiful contrast to the gallery forests found on the banks of the Galana River, Tiva River and Voi River to the south. Particularly in the dry season, these rivers and numerous waterholes attract many wild animals from the region. Here you will have the chance to observe several animals at one location.
A visit to Tsavo National Park is worthwhile any time of the year. Not only will you find Kenya’s largest elephant herds here, but also the Big Five. Apart from rhinos, buffaloes, lions and leopards, there are also cheetahs. In the rivers, crocodiles and hippos lurk, while 600 bird species, many of which are waterfowls, decorate the trees, grasslands and sky above.
Due to its proximity to Mombasa, you can easily combine a safari in the Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Park with a relaxing beach holiday on Kenya’s coast.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The Experience. Tsavo East is Kenya’s oldest national park. It is home to the largest Elephant herds in the country, as well as large prides of Lions. The region was made famous due to the Maneaters of Tsavo, two Lions that killed around 130 people during the construction of the railway line in 1898.
Tsavo East is slightly larger and less accessed, it is a better option than the western side for game viewing. Tsavo west has the best rock climbing options. However, both offer great scenery with very good game viewing and birding experiences.
Actually, they are really the same colour as every other elephant in the world, but they just appear red due to constantly dust-bathing with the Park’s fine red volcanic soil. Over 10,000 of them inhabit the Park, so the chances of seeing one are hopefully pretty high.
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Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Park are staples of many safaris in Kenya