Tsavo East National park is the oldest and biggest national park in Kenya. The park covers 13,747 square kilometers found in the Southern part of Kenya. The park was established in 1948 in April, its located near the town of Voi in Taita-Taveta county which was former Coast province. Nicknamed as “theatre of the wild” is the home of red dusty Elephants that roll and spray themselves with the termite molds.
The Tsavo national park was established in 1948 before it was divided into two that is Tsavo East and Tsavo East national park for easy administration. Before the division was done Tsavo national park covered a total land area of 22,000 square kilometers. The park is divided by the road and the railway line that runs in the middle of the two parks.
Tsavo East National park was named after the Tsavo River which runs from West to East of the park. Tsavo East National park is very unique in that it’s the only park in Kenya that allows Night game drives inside the park. The park borders the Chulu hills national park and Mkomazi game reserves of Tanzania. The park is characterized by the endless stretch of the savannah grassland that covers most of the wilderness at the park
The park is being watered by two rivers those are Athi river and Tsavo River which at a later stage join together to form the Galana River. The vegetation of the park is characterized by the Semi-arid grassland. The park is one of the world’s stronghold biodiversity.
The Tsavo East National park is located in the Southwest of Kenya between the Kenya capital city Nairobi and Mombasa the busy business town. It’s also close to the great beaches of the Kenyan Coast.
Getting to Tsavo East National park
It’s very easy to access the park in both directions that are from Mombasa that is the coast or from Nairobi. The park Mtito Andei gates is around 233 kilometers South of Nairobi along the Nairobi Mombasa road. One can also access the park from Malindi taking the Western road entering through Sala Gate. Alternatively, Tsavo East National park can be accessed through daily flights to different airstrips at the park which include the following: Voi airstrip, Satao airstrip, Sala airstrip, Mopeo airstrip, Bachuma airstrip, Cottars and many more.
Attractions in Tsavo East National park
The Tsavo East National park lies along the Yatta Plateau one of the longest lava flow in the entire world. Gifted by nature, the park has much to offer to the guests with a lot of attractions at the park. Below are the prominent attractions at the Tsavo East National park
Wildlife: The park is famous with its large herds of Red duty Elephants, all the African big 5 are present at the park those are Lions, leopards, Rhinos, Buffalo and Elephants. Other animals include giraffes, hyenas, gazelles, zebras and many more. The park has a good number of bird species like a Black kite, lovebirds, crowned cranes, sacred ibis and many more.
Mudanda Rock: This inselberg is found at the center of the park that is stratified with great old stage rock art. It’s also a water catchment area that supplies the natural dam below the rock where hundreds of animals and other wildlife come and quench their thirst.
Yatta Plateau: This is the key attraction at Tsavo East National park, being the longest lava flow in the world. The Yatta Plateau runs from the Western side of the boundary above river Athi to the East. Its 290 kilometers long formed by lava from Mount Ol doinyo Sabuk.
Lugard falls: This is named after the European explorer Frederick Lugard who was the first to discover the waterfalls. Many guests go hear for both leisure and historical purposes.
Aruba Dam: This is constructed in 1952 across River Voi, this dam is a home of wildlife both aquatic and land animals.
Activities Tsavo East National park
With the great attractions found at Tsavo East National park, there are many activities guests come to do and experience at this park. Below are the key activities are done at Tsavo East National park:
Game viewing: This is the key activity done at all the national parks of Africa, every guest who plans to come to Africa thinks of Africa big 5 (Lions, leopards, Buffalo, Elephants, and Rhinos). The park is well endowed by the wildlife besides the big 5 there are other animals that can be viewed during your full-day or half-day game drives. It is more unique that its only Tsavo East National park where night game drives are done. The night game drives give one to view different nocturnal animals like bush babies, lions, Hyenas and many more.
Nature walks: Visiting the Lugard falls and the Karibu Dam and other guided walks which are led by the game rangers.
Birding: Tsavo East National park is gifted with over 500 bird species at the park. Birders always flock down to the park where both Montane and savannah birds.
Tsavo East National park remains the largest park in Kenya even after subdividing it into West Tsavo and East Tsavo national parks.