A Land of Lava, Lions & Rhinos

Lions? Leopards? And Chimps

Come to Tsavo West National Park to see the best of Africa’s wildlife amidst a striking landscape of rocky peaks, volcanic forms, and lush, green watering holes. You’ll find plenty of elephants, buffaloes, lions, leopards, and endangered rhinos in the acacia accented hills of the park.

This is a place where the drama of the landforms competes with the parade of wildlife for your attention. Look for giraffes nibbling at the treetops while nearby bushbaby, hartebeest, gerenuk, and impala peak out from the bush.

The birdlife here is unending and your safari senses will tingle with the park’s over 500 species like African skimmers, yellow bishops, ostriches, starlings, weavers, kingfishers, and herons. Don’t forget to climb to Tsavo’s many vantage points for startling views, like snow-capped Mt. Kilimanjaro in the distance.

Sanctuary for Rhinos

The grand, majestic, but shy rhino is an endangered species – usually elusive to spot but not so much at Tsavo West, where they find refuge at the park’s Ngulia Sanctuary. In this 70 sq km (27 sq mi) enclosure, over 80 rhinos roam protected, their population increasing since the mass poaching of the 1960s. This is one of the view places in Kenya that rewards visitors with sightings.

Mzima Springs

Breaking up the ochres and browns of the robust landscape is the lush, verdant palette of Mzima Springs, an oasis drawing in the park’s thirsty wildlife and supporting much of its own – hippos, Nile crocodile, fish, and migratory birds.

The millions of gallons of crystalline water and palm-fringed shores draw in elephants, gazelles, zebras, and giraffes to its banks. Take a hike along the nature trails here and check out the unique underwater hippo viewing pool.

Volcanic Ridges & Lava Beds

Ever see a lava flow 8 km (5 mi) long and 1.6 km (1 mi) wide? When the Shetani flow erupted from the earth some 500 years ago, the locals believed it was the devil emerging from beneath.

Tsavo is home to many volcanic artifacts. Check out the Chaimu Crater – the “Devil’s Crater” in the local Kamba tribal language. This recent volcano is bedecked with black lava rock. Also, visit Kichwa Tembo or the Ivory Tower for local climbing and more vistas of the park.


Open bush

Dense bush

Riverine Forest


Don’t Miss…

The Roaring Rocks – Yet another spot to climb and watch the wildlife and the nearby birds, like eagles swooping in at eye level.

Mzima Springs – A cool lush sight for the eyes after miles of brush and dry savannah. Over 200 million gallons of freshwater course through these springs daily, sustaining every type of animal, fish, and birdlife.

A Multitude of Birds – Hundreds of species have been spotted in Tsavo West. You’ll find kingfishers, hornbills, ostriches, and herons in the park’s greener spaces. But also keep an eye out for migratory species like goshawks and skimmers, plus vultures gather in the nearby trees.

Volcanoes & Lava Flows – The immense Shetani lava flow is one of the largest in Africa but only a few hundred years old. Bursting from the earth, the red fiery lava was believed to be the devil emerging from below. Now you can easily walk these same fields and admire this volcanic artifact.

Community Projects

These reserve-based projects help the livelihoods of the nearby rural communities.

  • Education for local students, including computer skills training
  • Healthcare – providing medical supplies to the local health centers and mobile clinic
  • Energy – providing hundreds of local families with energy-efficient stoves – reducing the need for firewood.

Ol Pejeta Eco-Facts

  • Sanctuaries to protect endangered chimpanzees, oryx, hartebeest, Grevy’s zebra, and bat-eared fox
  • Home to the world’s last remaining northern white rhinos
  • The largest black rhino sanctuary in East Africa – the rhino population has increased by over 100 in the last 25 years.

Survey: Tsavo West National Park

One of the largest of Kenya’s parks, Tsavo West occupies 9,065 sq km (3,500 sq mi).

Location: Set in southeast Kenya, the park lies between Nairobi and the coastal city of Mombasa. It’s close enough to the beaches for a quick safari getaway.

Best time to visit: To see the wildlife, the dry season (June – September) will give you more opportunities as the bush is less dense and one can predictably spot animals drawn to the waterholes and springs.

However, to see the park at its greenest and to enjoy the best birdwatching, you should safari during the wet season from October to May.

Operating hours: 6:00 am to 6:00 pm.

Getting there:  You can Book a tour with Africa Kenya Safaris. And you’ll go in style – a specially outfitted 4 x 4 safari Jeep.

By air: The park offers a number of nearby airstrips at Chyulu, Mtito Andei, Tsavo, Jipe, and Ziwani

By rail – Hop aboard the Madaraka Express, Kenya’s newest luxury train. We can make all the arrangements.

This is Tsavo West

Elephants, lions, rhinos, hippos, and crocodiles – the park offers so many opportunities to spot every sort of African animal, bird, and aquatic life. Climb a volcanic cone, take a nature walk at Mzima Springs or just game drive over the vast savannah. Tsavo West is filled with special sights and lasting memories.

Join us at Tsavo West National Park

Africa Kenya Safaris offers several safaris to Tsavo West and its sister park, Tsavo East. Just contact us to get your safari started.

Here are some of our Tsavo tours:

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