The Great Tsavo Parks of Kenya

They are some of the oldest and definitely the largest wildlife parks in Kenya. Tsavo East National Park and Tsavo West National Park will bring you up close to all kinds of natural surprises and wonders:

  • Lions without manes
  • Unexpected green oasis alive with hippos and crocodiles
  • Ancient and enormous lava flows
  • Bizarre baobab trees, looking like they’ve been planted upside down.

The big broad lands of these two storied national parks offer all the large and small wildlife you’d expect on an Africa safari tour – the big cats, elephants, rhinos, buffalo, zebra, and giraffe – but also all sorts of dramatic landscapes that will invite you into the enormous sweep of these storied parks.

Tsavo East – The Elephants

Ever seen red-dusted elephants? You will at this broad, sweeping park of endless horizons. The great pachyderms like to roll in the red oxide soil here, giving themselves a rosy makeover – a colorful exhibition for the park’s safari-goers.

Throughout Tsavo’s watering holes and rivers, there’s no lack of these great creatures quenching their thirst on these dusty plains. You’ll find them drinking and sometimes playfully spraying each other as part of their bathing ritual.

The Park’s Other Big Game

The Tsavo lions come with a reputation. The males are famous for their lack of a distinctive long mane. However, their ferocity is legendary – known to stalk railway workers long ago, they were feared as brutal maneaters… though that was over 100 years in the past.

As you travel through this lightly touristed park, you may also come upon leopard, Cape buffalo, giraffe, and along the rivers, waterbuck, hippos, and crocodiles.

Don’t Miss the Falls

The park offers lots of natural attractions as well. Lugard’s Falls, on the Galana River, is a natural rock formation that spits out a torrent of cascading waters into the rapids and pools below.

The Aruba Dam set astride the Voi River is a great spot to catch the wildlife bathing and drinking. Lions and other big cats are known to frequent its life-giving waters.

Sister Park – Tsavo West

A short drive away, you’ll discover the smaller, greener, and equally enchanting Tsavo West. Amongst its green rolling hills and volcanic formations, look for elephants, buffalos, lions, and leopards.

Smaller wildlife appears in the form of bushbaby, hartebeest, gerenuk, and impala which you may spot amongst the acacia bush. And the birdlife here is rich, with over 500 species coloring the land and skyscapes.

Here Be Rhinos

Not every park features the endangered and shy rhino, but you’ll find them at the Ngulia Rhino sanctuary at Tsavo West. At this 70 sq km (27 sq mi) special enclosure look for the over 80 rhinos thriving in protection from poachers, ensuring that their numbers will continue to increase after decades of decimation.

An Unexpected Oasis

Breaking up the savannah, fields, and hills of Tsavo West is an unexpected garden of lush growth and riverine life called Mzima Springs. Walking the palm-shrouded banks of the waterway, you’ll quickly spot exotic fish and birds.

The millions of gallons of water here attract the park’s thirsty wildlife such as elephants, gazelles, and zebras. Look a bit closer and you’ll discover hippos bathing in the clear waters and crocodiles lurking here as well.

So take your pick of these two parks or discover both during your safari. We offer dozens of safaris to Tsavo Land. For variety of landscapes, foliage, and especially wildlife, Tsavo East and West will fill up your sightlines and your soul with the bounty of Africa’s gifts.

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