Tsavo East National Park
Tsavo East National Park is the oldest and one of largest national parks in Kenya, Tsavo East national park is part of the great Tsavo national park together with Tsavo West national park and these two national parks are separated by a railway line and Nairobi – Mombasa Highway. The national park was established in 1948 covering an area of approximately 13,747 square kilometers, the landscape of the park is crossed by the Tsavo River and the park gets its name from this river.
The national park comprises of a flat landscape featuring savannah hills, semi-arid grasslands, dry plains, thorny bushes, swamp marshes and numerous physical features such as Lugard falls, Mudanda rock, Mzima springs, Lake Jipe, Yatta plateau the longest lava flow and rugged volcanic cones.
The national park boosts a rich biodiversity with diversity of wildlife such as A comprehensive list of the animal types found in Tsavo East includes aardwolf, yellow baboon, bat, Cape buffalo, Senegal bushbaby, bushbuck, caracal, African wildcat, southeast African cheetah, African civet, Kirk’s dik-dik, African wild dog, African dormouse, blue duiker, bush duiker, Harvey’s red duiker, common eland, African bush elephant, bat-eared fox, northern greater galago, Grant’s gazelle, rusty-spotted genet, common genet, gerenuk, giraffe, African savanna hare, springhare, Coke’s hartebeest, Hunter’s hartebeest, East African hedgehog, spotted hyena, striped hyena, yellow-spotted rock hyrax, southern tree hyrax, impala, black-backed jackal, side-striped jackal, klipspringer, lesser kudu, leopard, lion, banded mongoose, dwarf mongoose, Egyptian mongoose, marsh mongoose, slender mongoose, white-tailed mongoose, vervet monkey, Sykes’ monkey, fringe-eared Oryx, clawless otter, ground pangolin, crested porcupine, cane rat, giant rat, naked mole rat, honey badger, bohor reedbuck, black rhinoceros, serval, elephant shrew, bush squirrel, East African red squirrel, striped ground squirrel, unstriped ground squirrel, suni, common warthog, ellipsen waterbuck, plains zebra, Grevy’s zebra among others.
The national park is an important birding area and a great destination for Kenya birding safaris, the park boosts over 500 bird species and these include Ostrich, Great White Pelican, Common Squacco, Goliath & Grey Herons, Hadada, Sacred & Glossy Ibises, African Spoonbill, Lesser Flamingo, Red-billed Teal, Secretary Bird, African White-backed & Lappet-faced Vultures, Bateleur, Black-chested Snake Eagle & Brown Snake Eagle, Tawny Eagle, African Hawk Eagle, African Fish Eagle, Pigmy Falcon, African Harrier Hawk, Gabar & Eastern Pale Chanting Goshawks, Crested Francolin, Buff-crested, Hartlaub’s & Kori Bustards, African Jacana, Collared Prantincole, Long-toed & Kittlitz Plovers, Black-winged Stilt, Curlew & Marsh Sandpipers, Black-faced Sandgrouse, Namaqua, Ring-necked, Laughing & African Mourning Doves, Donaldson-Smith Nightjar, Speckled, Blue-napped & White-headed Mousebirds, Green Wood-hoopoe, Southern Ground, Von der Decken’s, Yellow-billed, African Grey & Red-billed Hornbills, Fawn-collared, Rufous-naped & Singing Bush Larks, Rufous Chatterer, Little Rush Warbler, Yellow-bellied Eremomela, Banded Parisoma, Desert Cisticola, Grey-backed, Taita Fiscals, Fischer’s & Wattled Starlings, Grey-capped Social-Weaver among others.
Safari activities to do in Tsavo East national park
The national park is a great wildlife destination to visit in Kenya offering many thrilling and adventurous Kenya safari activities and these include
Tsavo East is one of the most amazing Kenya wildlife destinations you should visit while on a Kenya safari, the park is the largest protected area in Kenya featuring flat landscape dominated by savannah grass which are perfect habitants for a variety of wildlife species. Tsavo East national park is famously known for wild cats most especially lions often referred to as “Man eaters”, animals to be seen while exploring Tsavo East national park include lions, elephants, cape buffalo, eland, African Hare, blue duikers, red duiker, bush duiker, cheetahs, striped hyena, coke’s hartebeests, fringe-eared Oryx, slender mongoose, waterbucks, lesser kudu, Egyptian mongoose, lesser kudu dwarf, giraffes, African wild cat, African elephants, spotted hyenas among others.
Game drives in Tsavo East are more rewarding in the morning hours or late hours of the day, in the morning the animals more active as they are just waking and in the evening the predators are so active hunting.
The national park is one of the best Kenya birding safari destination boosting over 500 bird species, because of the flat topography, bird watching in Tsavo East is excellent as birds are seen perched on short trees, shrubs and along water bodies such as River Galana. Birds spotted in Tsavo East national park include African finfoot, Black-faced sandgrouse, Fischer’s starling, Golden pipit, Golden-breasted starling, Lesser kestrel, Martial eagle, Northern brownbul, Pangani longclaw, Red-bellied parrot, Rufous chatterer, Shelley’s starling, Slender-tailed nightjar, Somali bee-eater, Somali bunting, Somali ostrich, Taita falcon, Taita fiscal, Vulturine guineafowl among others.
Kenya birding safaris in Tsavo national park are best done in the period of November to April when migrant bird species from Europe and Northern region of Africa are present, in this period you get to spot both migrant and resident bird species.
Nature walking safaris
Nature walking safaris are incredible and unforgettable Kenya safari activity you are to enjoy taking part of while in Tsavo East, the park is naturally gifted with flora, fauna and scenic features dominating rolling savannah plains such as Sabuk Mountain, Mudanda rock, Mzima springs, the impressive Yatta plateau the largest lava flow in the world among others.
Nature walking safaris in the national park offer incredible wildlife experience, this safari is done on foot and the visitors are led by armed ranger guides for the purpose of protection from animal attacks. On this Kenya safari tourists get to enjoy the beautiful nature, marvel about the incredible features in the park such as Yatta plateau, rugged volcanic comes, visit the Mzima springs and spotting many animals such as lions, elephants, buffaloes and many birds.
Visiting the Lugard falls
Lugard falls are a spectacular feature in Tsavo East national park situated about 60 kilometers from Voi town on Galana River, Lugard Falls are named after Sir/Captain Fredrick Lugard a British colonialist who once visited the falls. Visiting Lugard falls offers an opportunity to explore the narrow deep gorges and watch the river as it plunges into the Galena River which is the second largest river in Kenya.
Lugard falls flows through a small slopping gorge to River Galana and on the visit you will be impressed with the rocky landscape around the waterfalls with is worth a memorable picture.
Accommodation at Tsavo East national park
The national park comprises on a variety of beautifully appointed accommodation facilities offering accommodation and other related services and facilities, accommodation facilities in Tsavo East national park are categorized as luxury, midrange and budget and they include
- Voi safari lodge
- Voi wildlife lodge
- Epiya Chapeya Bigi tented camp
- Satao camp among others
How to get to Tsavo East national park
Tsavo East national park is about 233 kilometers from Nairobi and it is accessed using 3 main gates that are Voi main gate, Sala gate and Mtito Andei gate. The is accessed using 3 types of transport that are air, railway and road,
By road transport, Tsavo East national park is situated in a distance of 153 kilometers from Mombasa and 233 kilometers from Nairobi, from Mombasa the park is accessed using the Mombasa-Nairobi highway to Voi Main gate. From Nairobi the park is accessed using Nairobi – Mombasa highway to Mtito Andei gate.
By air means of transport, Tsavo East national park is accessed using scheduled domestic flights and chartered flights from various major cities of Kenya such as Nairobi, Malindi, and Mombasa among others. Tsavo East national park is served by 6 airstrips situated in the south region of the park and 13 airstrips in the north region of the park, these airstrips include Voi, Aruba, Satao, Sala, Ithumba, Sangayaya, Mopeo, Bachuma and Cattar airstrips.
By Railway, Tsavo East national park is used using a railway line connecting from Nairobi to Mombasa and traversing through the park.