Tsavo west National park Kenya – “Land of Lava, springs, Man-Eaters & Magical Sunsets” From the sight of fifty million gallons of crystal clear water gushing out of from the under parched lava rock that is the Mzima Springs to the Shetani lava flows, Tsavo West is a beautiful, rugged wilderness. The savannah ecosystem comprises of open grasslands, scrublands, and Acacia woodlands, belts of riverine vegetation and rocky ridges including the Poacher’s Lookout where visitors can see the teeming herds in the plains below. Tsavo West offers some of the most magnificent game viewing in the world and attractions include elephant, rhino, Hippos, lions, cheetah, leopards, Buffalos, diverse plant and bird species including the threatened corncrake and near threatened Basra Reed Warbler.
The Tsavo West National Park Kenya is the largest wildlife stronghold. The Park comprises a diversity of habitats, open plains alternating with savannah bush and semi-desert scrub; acacia woodlands; rocky ridges and outcrops, and more extensive ranges and isolated hills; belts of riverine vegetation; palm thickets; and on the Chyulu Hills extension area, mountain forest. A section of Lake Jipe is included in the extreme south-west of the Park, an extremely rich bird locality where Pygmy Geese and Black Heron are common. The Park is watered by two permanent rivers, the Tsavo River which flows through Tsavo West national Park Kenya and the Athi River which crosses a corner of Tsavo East national park. The two unite above Lugard Falls to become the Galana River. The Voi River, to the south, is not permanent. Lava flows and cones, such as Shetani, near Kilaguni Lodge, is a perfect example of a recent volcano. This volcanic zone also contains the famous Mzima Springs. Hippopotamus and shoals of Barbel live in the springs and provide a dramatic spectacle The water is so clear that every action of these huge aquatic beasts under the water, and of their attendant piscine scavengers, may be watched from the lookouts or through the plate-glass windows of the submerged observation chamber.
One of the other great spectacles of Tsavo Park is Mudanda Rock between Voi and Manyani. This is a 112km-long outcrop which supplies a natural dam at it’s base. In the dry season, hundreds of elephants come to drink and bathe. From a safe vantage point just above the water visitors may have the luck to sit and watch the activities of great beasts below them. A similar elephant spectacle may also be observed at Aruba Dam. The Lugard Falls on the Galana River, 40km (25 miles) from Voi, are remarkable for the fantastic shapes of the water-worn rocks. The river disappears into a rocky gorge so narrow in one part that it is possible to stand astride the cleft with the Falls immediately below. Elephants in large herds are the number one attraction in Tsavo. For those who like to indulge in game watching without effort, what could be pleasanter than to recline in a comfortable chair on the veranda of Kilaguni Lodge, a cold drink at hand, and watch the elephants take their refreshment from the waterhole 90m (100yd) or so away.
Tsavo west is a home to over 400 bird species, One of the most conspicuous is the White-headed Buffalo Weaver, brownish-black and white with a startling vivid red rump when it flies Eastern black-headed oriole., Golden palm weaver, Pied kingfisher, magpie manikin, ortolan bunting, savi’s warbler, isabline shrike,Eurasian sparrow hawk, Levant sparrow hawk, Bat like spine tail.
Verraux’s eagle owl, vulturine guineafowl.
Tsavo is also a good place to see one of our most beautiful antelopes, the Lesser Kudu with spiral horns and white striped coat. Whilst you may come across these graceful animals almost anywhere, the dry bush along the Galana River is their favourite haunt. Other animals likely to be encountered are Buffalo, Common Waterbuck, Eland, Gerenuk, Fringe-eared Oryx, Impala and Masai Giraffe. Black Rhinoceros, once numerous, are now less frequently seen.
The park has 3 gates, Mtito Andei gate is 233km south of Nairobi and 250km north of Mombasa on the main Nairobi-Mombasa highway. From Mombasa there is a voi main gate 153km of Mombasa-Nairobi highway.
From Malindi take the western road (103) and enter in the park via Sala gate.
The park can be reached via Taveta road through Maktau, Ziwani, and jipe.
Mtito Andei gate which is 240km from Nairobi and 250km from Mombasa,
Visitors from Mombasa can also access the park through Tsavo gate near Manyani.
Tsavo East National Park has several Airstrips:
Vio, Aruba, Satao, Sala, Ithumba, Sangayaya, Mopeo ,Bachuma and Cattar.
Tsavo gate, Ziwani, Finch Hattons, Kamboyo, Kilaguni, Jipe and Kasigau.
-Ngulia safari lodge.
-Salt lick Lodge.
-Voyager ziwani tented camp.
The best time to visit Tsavo west national park is May to October is the best time to visit Tsavo East and West National Park Kenya. The wildlife is easier to spot – since they gather around the waterhole in the vast national park habitat.