Tsavo East National Park – All You Need to Know

To begin with, the word Tsavo is derived from the Maasai word Sabuk which means “River”

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Tsavo East National Park is one of the most spectacular natural attractions in Kenya! Located in the Southern part of the country, Tsavo East National Park is the largest protected Park in Kenya. It covers an area of over 13,747 square kilometers and it spreads over 4 counties (Kitui, Tana River, Makueni and Taita Taveta)

As you enter the park, you will be greeted by stunning landscapes of open savannahs, rolling hills, and dramatic rock formations. Tsavo East National Park is home to a diverse array of wildlife, including Elephants, Lions, Leopards, Cheetahs, Hyenas, Zebras, Giraffes, and many other species.

One of the most remarkable features of Tsavo National Park is the Galana River, which flows through the park and provides water to the animals that call it home.

In addition to its stunning natural beauty, Tsavo National Park also has a rich cultural heritage. The park is home to the Taita people, who have lived in the area for centuries and have a deep connection to the land and its wildlife.

Whether you’re a nature lover, a wildlife enthusiast, or simply looking for a place to escape the daily stress and noise pollution in town, Tsavo East National Park is an incredible destination that will leave you awe-inspired and rejuvenated.

Tsavo East National Park

The History of Tsavo East National Park

Tsavo East National Park has a rich and interesting history that spans over a century. The Park was established in 1948 although the area had been a game reserve since 1943. However, the history of the area goes back much further than that.

The region that is now Tsavo East National Park was once part of a vast territory that was inhabited by the Maasai people. The Maasai are a semi-nomadic people who have lived in the region for centuries, and they have a rich cultural heritage that is still visible in the area today.

In the late 19th century, the area became the site of one of the most infamous events in the history of colonial Africa – the “man-eaters of Tsavo” incident. In 1898, a pair of man-eating lions terrorized the workers who were building the Kenya-Uganda Railway, killing and maiming dozens of people. The lions were eventually killed by the British Engineer Colonel John Henry Patterson. The Briton later wrote a book about his experiences titled “The Man-Eaters of Tsavo.”

After Kenya gained independence in 1963, the government of Kenya took over the management of Tsavo East National Park. Over the years, the Park has faced a number of challenges, including poaching, habitat destruction, and conflicts with local communities. However, through the efforts of conservation organizations and the Government of Kenya, the Park has been able to overcome these challenges and remains a vital part of Kenya’s natural heritage.

Today, Tsavo East National Park is the largest Park in Kenya. Also, it is one of the most important protected areas in Kenya, covering an area of over 13,747 square kilometers. It is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including Red Elephants, Lions, Leopards, Cheetahs, Zebras, Giraffes, and more. The Park is also a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors from all over the world who come to experience the natural beauty and wildlife of Kenya.


21 Amazing Facts About Tsavo East National Park

  1. Tsavo East National Park is one of the oldest National Parks in Kenya. It was established in 1948.
  2. Tsavo East National Park is the largest National Park in Kenya. It covers an area of 13,747 square kilometers.
  3. The Park is named after the Tsavo River, which flows through Tsavo West National Park.
  4. Tsavo East National Park is home to a diverse array of wildlife, including over 500 recorded species of birds and over 100 species of mammals.
  5. Tsavo East National Park is famous for its large population of Elephants, which can be seen in herds of up to 100 individuals.
  6. Tsavo East National Park is also home to several species of big cats, including lions, leopards, and cheetahs. As of 2006, there were more than 675 lions in the park lions.
  7. Tsavo East National Park is the only park with red elephants in the entire World. The elephants are red in color because they constantly like to bath with the red volcanic soil in the Park.
  8. Tsavo East National Park is one of the few places in Kenya where you can see the endangered Grevy’s zebra. A total of 22 Grevy Zebras were introduced into the Tsavo East National Park ecosystem in 1964.
  9. The Park is also home to several species of unusual antelopes including the fringed-eared oryx and the long-necked Gurunek. Other species of Antelopes available at the park include Impalas, Waterbucks, and dik-diks.
  10. Tsavo East National Park is a bird-watching paradise, with species such as the Gray Crowned Crown, Common Ostrich, Secretary bird, Ring-necked dove, Bustard, Guinea fowls, Egyptian Goose and martial eagle.
  11. The National Park is home to the Lugard Falls, a series of rapids on the Galana River that are named after Frederick Lugard, a British explorer.
  12. The Yatta Plateau, located in the park, is the world’s longest lava flow, stretching over 290 kilometers.
  13. Tsavo East National Park is home to the Aruba Dam, a man-made reservoir that provides water to the park’s wildlife. The dam covers an area of 58 hectares and is fed by Voi River.
  14. The Park is located in a semi-arid region, with an average annual rainfall of only 1037mm and an average of 25 degrees Celsius daily . The climate in this area is generally hot and dry.
  15. Tsavo East National Park has several accommodation options, including lodges, campsites, and bandas. The most famous accomodations places are Salt Lick Lodge, Severin Safari Camp and Ashnil Aruba Lodge – 4 Star.
  16. The Park is easily accessible from Nairobi, with a travel time of approximately 4-5 hours by road. The distance between Nairobi to Tsavo East National Park is 320 kilometers.
  17. The Park is home to several conservation projects, including the Tsavo Trust, which works to protect and conserve the park’s wildlife and ensure they have a future
  18. Tsavo National Park offers a variety of activities, including game drives, bird-watching, and guided walks.
  19. Tsavo East National Park has a rich cultural heritage, with several tribes, including the Kamba, Giriama, and Taita, living in and around the park.
  20. The Park is open year-round, but the best time to visit is during the dry season from June to October when the animals assemble in drinking points such as the Aruba Dam frequently.
  21. Tsavo East National Park is an incredible destination that offers visitors an opportunity to experience the natural beauty and wildlife of Kenya in a truly unforgettable manner.

Tsavo East National Park

Best Time to Visit Tsavo East National Park

The best time to visit Tsavo East National Park is during the dry season, which runs from late June to October, and from late December to March. During this time, the weather is dry and sunny, making it easier to spot wildlife as they congregate around water sources. The vegetation is also less dense, which makes it easier to see wildlife.

The months of November and early December are also a good time to visit the park, as the short rains have just ended, and the park is lush and green, with lots of newborn animals.

The rainy season, which runs from April to May and from November to early December, can be a challenging time to visit the park, as the roads can be muddy and impassable, and wildlife tends to disperse throughout the park. However, for birdwatchers, this is the best time to visit, as the park is full of migratory birds.

It’s also worth noting that during the peak tourist season, which runs from June to September and from December to January, the park can get crowded, and accommodation can be scarce. So, it’s advisable to book early if you plan to visit during these times.

Click here to find Tsavo East’s Entry Fee/Entrance Fee

Tsavo East National Park

Tsavo East National Park Activities

  1. Game drives: One of the most popular activities in the park is taking a game drive to see the wildlife. The park is home to a wide variety of animals, including elephants, lions, leopards, cheetahs, zebras, and more.
  2. Bird-watching: Tsavo East National Park is a paradise for bird-watchers, with over 500 species of birds recorded in the park.
  3. Walking safaris: Guided walks in the park are a great way to get up close and personal with the wildlife and to learn more about the park’s ecosystems.
  4. Cultural visits: The park is home to several communities, including the Kamba, Taita, and Giriama tribes, and you can visit their villages to learn more about their way of life and cultural practices.
  5. Rock climbing: The park has several rock formations that are ideal for rock climbing, including the Kasigau and Mawezi peaks.
  6. Fishing: The park is home to several rivers and dams, including the Galana River and the Aruba Dam, where you can fish for catfish, tilapia, and other species.
  7. Photography: With its stunning landscapes and abundant wildlife, Tsavo East National Park is a photographer’s dream.
  8. Camping: The park has several campsites where you can pitch a tent and spend the night under the stars, listening to the sounds of the African bush.
  9. Night drives: For a unique and thrilling experience, you can take a night drive in the park to see the nocturnal wildlife, including Hyenas, Hippos, Leopards, Porcupines and Genet Cats.

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Why You Should Visit Tsavo East National Park

There are several compelling reasons why you should visit Tsavo East National Park. Here are some of them:

  1. Incredible wildlife: Tsavo East National Park is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including the iconic “red” elephants, lions, leopards, cheetahs, zebras, giraffes, buffaloes, and more. The park’s abundant wildlife is a major draw for visitors from around the world.
  2. Beautiful landscapes: The park’s landscape is stunning, with rolling hills, open savannahs, and beautiful riverine forests. The park is also home to the Yatta Plateau, the world’s longest lava flow, and the Lugard Falls, a series of rapids on the Galana River.
  3. Diverse birdlife: Tsavo East National Park is a bird-watching paradise, with over 500 species of birds recorded in the park. Some of the most notable species include the ostrich, secretary bird, martial eagle, and numerous species of waterbirds.
  4. Cultural experiences: The park is home to several communities, including the Kamba, Taita, and Giriama tribes, and you can visit their villages to learn more about their way of life and cultural practices.
  5. Adventure activities: The Park offers a range of adventure activities, including walking safaris, rock climbing, hot-air balloon safaris, and night drives, to name a few.
  6. Accessibility: Tsavo East National Park is easily accessible from Nairobi, with a travel time of approximately 4-5 hours by road. The Park is also close to other popular attractions, such as the Mombasa coast. The distance from Mombasa to Tsavo East is 207 Kilometers and the approximate by road is 3 hours and 30 minutes.
  7. Conservation efforts: The Park is home to several conservation projects, including the Tsavo Trust which works to protect and conserve the park’s wildlife. By visiting the park, you can contribute to these conservation efforts and help protect the park’s natural heritage.

Tsavo East National Park

Tsavo East National Park Hotels and Lodges

Tsavo East National Park has several accommodation options, ranging from lodges to campsites, that cater to different budgets and preferences. Here are some of the popular hotels and lodges in the park:

  1. Ashnil Aruba Lodge – This is a beautiful lodge located on the banks of the Aruba Dam, which attracts a lot of wildlife. The lodge has 52 rooms, a restaurant, a swimming pool, and a spa.
  2. Voi Safari Lodge – This lodge is perched on a hill overlooking the Tsavo East plains, providing spectacular views of the park. It has 52 rooms, a restaurant, a swimming pool, and a conference room.
  3. Sentrim Tsavo East Camp – This is a tented camp located near the Voi River, with 25 tents that provide comfortable accommodation. The camp has a restaurant, a bar, and a swimming pool.
  4. Galdessa Camp – This is a luxury tented camp located on the banks of the Galana River, offering stunning views of the river and the surrounding landscape. The camp has 12 spacious tents, a restaurant, and a swimming pool.
  5. Lion Hill Safari Lodge – This lodge is located on a hill overlooking the park, with 10 cottages and 10 tents that provide comfortable accommodation. The lodge has a restaurant, a bar, and a swimming pool.
  6. Manyatta Camp – This is a basic campsite located in the heart of the park, with tents and bandas that provide simple but comfortable accommodation. The campsite has basic facilities, including toilets and showers.

These are just a few of the many accommodation options available in Tsavo East National Park. Visitors can choose from a range of options depending on their budget, preferences, and the type of experience they want to have in the park.

In summary, visiting Tsavo East National Park is a great opportunity to experience the Natural beauty, Wildlife, and Cultural heritage of Kenya in a truly unforgettable way!

Check Out:

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  2. Animals in Tsavo East National Park

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