Tsavo National Park : Tsavo is a vast wilderness area in the southwest of Kenya that has been split into Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks. Tsavo is Kenya’s largest park overall and one of the largest game sanctuaries in the world at 22,000 km2 (13,671 miles). It is especially well known for its sizable elephant population and breathtaking vistas. One of Kenya’s less crowded game reserves, Tsavo is ideal for anyone seeking a pure Kenya Safari wildlife encounter.
Tsavo is made up of Tsavo East National Park and Tsavo West National Park, two distinct parks. It is situated between Nairobi City and Mombasa in the Coast Province of Kenya. Due to the railway running from Mombasa to the interior of Kenya, the park was divided into two.
Compared to Tsavo East National Park, Tsavo West National Park is steeper and has a wider variety of landscapes. This makes it the ideal destination for brave travelers who want to partake in more strenuous activities like hiking and rock climbing, particularly on the most famous rock face, Kichwa Tembo, as well as other rock faces including Mastodon, Ivory Tower, and the Great Tsavo Chimney.
Tsavo West National Park is home to the African Big 5 (lions, hippos, buffalos, elephants, and rhinos), as well as giraffes, kudus, and buffalos, just like other of the most well-known parks in Kenya.
Tsavo West National Park offers a wonderful abundance of birds for bird-watching visitors with over 400 different species of birds. Ostriches, Golden Pipits, White-headed Buffalo Weavers, and Golden-breasted Starlings are a few of the bird spices to be seen in this park. Again, The Yatta Plateau, the largest lava flow in the world at about 300 km long, further contributed to the fame of Tsavo National Park.
Features/Attractions of Tsavo East, The relatively flat and slightly larger Tsavo East contains dry plains where the Galana River flows. The Yatta Plateau and Lugard Falls are other features/ attractions in Tsavo East National Park.
Features/Attractions of Tsavo West, Compared to its counterpart, Tsavo West National Park is more mountainous and wetter, featuring marshes, Lake Jipe, and the Mzima Springs. It is well-known for its birdlife and huge mammals, including the Masai lion, black rhino, Cape buffalo, elephant, and leopard. Other smaller creatures that can be seen in the park are the Maasai giraffe, lesser kudu, hartebeest, and bush baby.
GETTING TO TSAVO NATIONAL PARK
Tsavo East is located in southeast Kenya, 250 km (155 mi) from Mombasa and 325 km (201 mi) from Nairobi. Depending on your plan, you can drive from Nairobi, Mombasa, or another city to the reserve. Tsavo East does not have any regularly scheduled flights, but there are a number of airstrips that can accommodate chartered flights.
After landing to Kenya’s main airport (Jomo Kenyatta International Airport) the park is accessed through a variety of gates provide access to the parks. Through the Manyani Gate, Voi Gate, Buchuma Gate, and Sala Gate, one can enter Tsavo East National Park.
Access to Tsavo West is available through the Mtito Gate, Man Eaters Gate, Chyulu Gate, and another gate close to Maktau.
CLIMATE AND WEATHER IN TSAVO NATIONAL PARK
Tsavo experiences hot, dry weather all year long, with the exception of its upper elevations, where temperatures drop off as you climb the hills. The transition period between the so-called “short rains” at the end of the year and those of the subsequent “long rains” during the wet season is exceptionally hot. There is some heat respite during the dry season (June to September).
Tsavo East’s climate can be described as hot and arid. Temperatures typically range from 20 °C (68 °F) at night to 31 °C (88 °F) during the day. During the long and short rains, respectively, the peak months for rainfall are April and November. Short, heavy showers are the norm when it rains.
From June to September is the dry season.
- The coolest months are those of the dry season. Days are bright and sunny, and it rarely rains.
- The days are often sunny in June and July. The typical midday temperature is around 84°F (30°C).
- October and November: Although it can get much hotter, the average September temperature is 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit).
From October to May is the wet season.
- A dry stretch in January and February separates the “short rains” from the “long rains.” The worst months for roads are April and May.
- November, December, and October- Typically, October marks the start of the rainy season. One of the wettest months of the year is November. Even though it rarely rains all day, afternoon storms are to be expected. The typical temperature is 32°C (90°F) during the day.
- There is a gap in January and February between the short and long rains. It is hard to anticipate how long this dry spell will last. With higher maxima, the average afternoon temperature in February is 33°C (91°F), making it consistently the hottest month.
- April, May, and March- Late March is often when the heavy rains start. Rarely does it rain all day, but brief afternoon showers are to be anticipated. The wettest month is April. In the afternoon, the temperature is around 32°C (90°F).
THE BEST TIME TO VISIT TSAVO NATIONAL PARK
The dry season (June to October), when the sky is hazy from dust, doesn’t make the park seem its finest, but this is the ideal time for animal watching. Because the grass is significantly shorter than it is during the wet season (November to May), as your vehicle approaches, the wildlife cannot easily vanish into the bush.
TOURIST ACTIVITIES AND ATTRACTIONS: THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN TSAVO NATIONAL PARK
Visitors can take part in a variety of sights and activities at Tsavo National Park. These attractions include the park’s flora, fauna, and other naturally occurring features. The following are the tourist activities/ things to do in Tsavo East National Park:
Tsavo East National Park provides a genuinely exceptional and fantastic birding experience with its more than 500 bird species. The Vulturine Guinea fowl, Levant Sparrow, Savi’s Warbler, Bat-like Spine tail, Yellow-throated Sandgrouse, Golden-breasted Starling, and Golden Pipit are just a few of the easily noticed dry-country species that fall into this category. The area is also a southern migration hub for European and Somali ostriches. Other species include the Eastern Chanting Goshawk, Red-winged Lark, Rosy-patched Bush-shrike, and Black-headed Lapwing.
There are both public and private camping areas in Tsavo National Park where you can go camping. These locations are guarded by armed park rangers and are in prime locations for observing wildlife. The most thrilling parts of camping are being awakened by the sound of birds singing or the roar of the king of the jungle patrolling its area. You may easily see animals from the balcony of your tent.
Despite being less popular, Tsavo National Park is home to a variety of wildlife. Because of this, it is one of the safest places to visit, especially for people who dislike crowds. Its enormous crimson wallowing elephants, often known as red elephants, are what give it its name.
The wide variety of species makes game viewing in Tsavo National Park such a pleasant experience. The Big Five are very noteworthy, particularly the red-dusty elephants, lions, Cape buffalos, leopards, and rhinos. Tracks that typically lead to the water holes where these animals congregate are typically followed during these game drives. You might also run into giraffes, impalas, zebras, cheetahs, and Dik -Dik, among other creatures.
A Visit to Mudanda Rock
This enormous 1.5 km long granite outcrop hangs over a natural dam near to the Manyani dam and draws herds of elephants and other species to drink water, especially during the dry season. The inselberg supplies the natural dam beneath it with water by serving as a catchment area. The outcrop offers breathtaking views over the park as well as a vantage point for the diverse species that freely roam it.
A visit to Yatta Plateau
One of the oldest lava flows in the world, this ancient lava flow is 300 km long and is situated to the north of the Galana River. Visitors can take in the revitalizing beauty and learn about the creation of the area.
A visit to Aruba Dam
The dam, which was constructed in 1952 and serves as a water reservoir, attracts a variety of wildlife species. This presents an additional chance for guests to encounter these animals while taking part in other park activities. Here, it’s common to see buffalo, elephants, and dik-dik, among other creatures.
Things to do in Tsavo West National Park
All of the African Big Five (the lion, buffalo, elephant, rhino, and hippo), as well as large herds of red-dust elephants, enormous Nile crocodiles, and other smaller mammal species like the dik-dik, bush baby, and klipspringer, are supported by the park and provide one of the most breathtaking wildlife viewings in Tsavo West National Park.
A rock climb
Some of the best rock climbing excursions in Kenya while on Kenya Safaris Tours can be found at Tsavo West National Park. The famed 300-meter Kichwa Tembo rock, which attracted the first adventure and, later, the second expedition to scale the magnificent Tsavo Chimney, is the most difficult rock climb. The Ngulia Hills, Mastodon, and Ivory Tower are other places for trekking and rock climbing. These vantage spots provide you with a bird’s-eye view of the park’s flocks of birds as well as massive herds of elephants roaming the open plains. Rock climbing often takes place early in the day, before the sun becomes very hot, and climbers are guided by armed rangers for protection from dangerous animals.
Volcanic activity resulted in the formation of the Shetani caverns, which are situated close to the Shetani lava flows. These caverns can be visited by anybody who wants to understand more about their history. There is a good chance that visitors to the caves will see hyenas and other small creatures. When exploring and visiting these caves you’re advised to have a torch for lighting with you because it gets dark inside.
Tsavo West National Park is regarded as one of the top locations for birding because it has over 400 different species of birds. Due to its strategic location along one of the busiest bird migration routes in the world, bird enthusiasts visit Ngulia Hills every year between the months of October and January to see a variety of birds, including the River Warbler, Marsh Warbler, Red-baked Shrike, Verreaux’s Eagle Owl, Vulturine Guinea fowl, and Golden-palm Weaver, among others.
A Visit to Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary
About 70 of the park’s critically endangered black rhinos are protected within this 90-square-kilometer sanctuary at the base of the Ngulia Hills by a one-meter high electrified fence. Because they are mostly nocturnal and browsers, suggesting that they typically feed at night and like to stay under heavy undergrowth, the best time to see these naturally shy ancient creatures is at night.
A Visit to Mzima Springs
Large herds of elephants, buffalo, zebras, and gazelles congregate at the Mzima Springs, a well-known watering spot for a variety of wildlife, to satisfy their thirst and take a refreshing dip in the water. Additionally, there are numerous hippos and Nile crocodiles living in the spring. The playful blue and vervet monkeys can be found in the acacia trees nearby.
Conclusion, There are several captivating tourist sites in Tsavo National Park that may be seen when on a safari. Consider Focus East Africa Tours to be able to provide you with the most extraordinary safari experience, not just in Kenya but also in Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Congo.