Tsavo West National Park is located on the coast of Kenya along the Indian ocean just a few kilometres away from the coastal life. The park is cut away from the Tsavo East national park by the highway road that crosses and divides the park into two. The other is the Railway lines that runs from Nairobi to Mombasa. The park is made up of the adjoining ranches and the game protected areas that form the Tsavo Conservation Area. The Tsavo West national park is a famous tourist destination due to its scenic beauty of the Mzima Springs. The park is rich in wildlife, rhino reserve, good road network, rocky kopjes and the Tsavo River.
The park is also known as “the land of lava, springs, Magical sunsets and Man-eaters”. It is a home of 50 million gallons of clear crystal water that gushes out from underground of parched lava rock. The Mzima Springs are the popular attractions in the park. The Tsavo West national park has shetani lava flows alongside beautiful rugged wilderness. The vegetation is mostly covered by open Savannah grassland dotted with Acacia woodlands, scrublands, riverine vegetation and rocky ridges.
The Tsavo West national park is one of the largest national parks in Kenya covering a total area of 9065 square kilometres. The land covers the different variety of landscapes ranging from swamp, rocky peaks and the natural springs. The open grassland rolls at the park with doted sharp outcrops dusted by great green scenery. With search a large size, the park is one of the best game viewing destinations in Kenya offering all the African big 5. The park with its counterpart Tsavo East National Park was established in 1948 and its governed by the Kenya Wildlife Services.
Historically the park is considered to the centre of the old stage age period where more recordings have been found that evidence that man kid settled at the park over 6000 years ago. The archaeological sites are found around the Galana River which was a great source of water for the long-ago people. The inhabitants were fishermen and hunters who had some small number of domestic animals. They occupied the source of the water by leaving around the shores of the river which provided them with water for both domestic uses and for their animals.
Tsavo West national park has a legendary history of the man-eating lions dating back in the 19th century when the Uganda Kenya railway was constructed. The park was also hit by poaching in the 1980s that dramatically affected the number of wildlife at the protected area. Despite those challenges, the park remains one of the best parks in Kenya. It only needs patience while doing long day game drives in order to see all the big game. The tall grass which are evergreen makes it more scenic but also hiding ground for most animals especially the big cats and shy Rhinos.
How to get to Tsavo West National Park
The park can be reached by both road and air (flights). Its only 240 kilometres away from the capital city Nairobi and 250 kilometres away from Mombasa to Mtito gate. One takes Nairobi Mombasa high way which is good sooth tarmac road that passes in the middle of the two parks.
By flight, one can get his or her flight from Jomo Kenyatta international airport from Wilson airport or connect from other national park domestic airstrips. The park has three airstrips which include Kamboyo airstrip, Tsavo gate airstrip, Kilaguni airstrip and Ziwani airstrip.
All visitors that start their trip to Tsavo West national park from Mombasa enter to the park through Tsavo Gate near Manyani. The other alternative gate for those guests that enter the park through Amboseli National Park go through Chyulu gate and from Nairobi one enters to the park through Mtito Andei gate. The park can also be reached via Taveta-Voi road that passes through Ziwani, Jipe and Maktau gate.
Attractions at Tsavo West National Park
There are quite a good number of attractions at the park. Many may wonder what is in Tsavo West national park that can be seen by the guest. You’re in the right place reading the right article we highlight all the key attractions and activities that can be done and enjoyed at the park. Below are the highlights:
- The Mzima Springs: This is the most highlighted attraction in Tsavo West national park. The spring produces over 50 gallons of clear crystal water originating from under parched lava rocks.Its scenic and beautiful place to have a view of this gushing water coming from the underground the rock.
- Vibrant Volcanic Arena: The park has the longest volcanic lava not only in Kenya but Africa at large. The Shetani lava was formed over 200 years ago was believed by locals to be the work of the devil. It is very unique and gives a resting place for lions at most of the morning times as they come for sunbathing.
- Ngulia Sanctuary: These are among the few areas in Kenya where there is rampant growth of Black rhinos. The Sanctuary is a home of the black rhinos that almost came in to extinct after the 1960s poaching.
- Wildlife: The Tsavo West national park is a home of all the African big 5 those are lions, rhinos, elephants, Leopards and buffalo. Other game includes giraffes, zebras, crocodiles, hippos, monkey, wild dogs, oryx and many more. Not forgetting the incredible number of bird species at the park. Most tourists love to explore the wildlife in Tsavo by engaging in the Tsavo West Kenya Wildlife Tours.
- Lake Jipe: A home of aquatic life especially the birds, the lake lies stride Tanzania and Kenya border. It’s a birding section of the Tsavo West national park
Activities in Tsavo West national park
- Animal Viewing: Tsavo West national park offers the best magnificent animal viewing not only in Kenya but entire Africa. The park is less crowded and that makes animals roam freely at the park with no interferences. Though the vegetation cover is thick especially during the rainy season, this does not greatly affect the viewing of the animals at the park. It only requires some degree of patience to have more chances to view more game. There are high chances of viewing all the African big 5 as the vegetation gives an added advantage for the leopards to be easily seen. Other animals at the park include different species of Antelopes, hippos, dick-dick, giraffes, warthogs and others.
- Birding/ bird watching: Birders love Activities in Tsavo West national park when on their Kenya Wildlife Tours due to its silent nature and provides the high potential to view more bird species in a day compare to Masai Mara National Park, Amboseli and other overcrowded parks. The park inhabits over 600 bird species with more dry-country specials like Pied kingfisher, vulturine Guinea fowl, golden palm weaver, eastern black-headed oriole mention but a few. Birding Safari Tours in Kenya are so obvious and easy in Tsavo West National Park.
- Visiting Mzima Springs: These are the replenished with over 50 million gallons of clear crystal waters. Its located in the Northern part of Tsavo West national park where the water from Chyulu hills run beneath the lava ridges forming natural watering holes that guests go and view. The springs are spectaculars and more scenic that makes it unique and attractive.
- Rock Climbing: Guests also come for rock climbing at the park. This gives you an aerial view of the national park. Its great views seeing large animals like elephants beneath you as you are high on the rock. The rocks are 300 meters high with different rocks like Elephant Rock, Great Tsavo Chimney rock, Kichwa Tembo and others. The climbing arrangements are arranged by the Mountain Club of Kenya.
- Visiting Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary: Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary is a home of rare black rhinos, the sanctuary sits in 90 square kilometres land. It is fenced by an electric fence to provide high-security measures against poaches and conflicts between humans and wild animals.
Tsavo west together with Tsavo East combined together cover 4% of the Kenya total protected land area. It’s one of the largest national park not only in Kenya but the entire world, home of the African big 5 with a good number of Rare Black Rhinos.
Make your adventure memorable by visiting Tsavo West national park with great wildlife viewing opportunities that you can engage in on your Kenya Wildlife tours.