Tsavo West National Park
Tsavo west national park: Situated along Nairobi – Mombasa highway and covering an area of 9,065 km2 is Tsavo west national park also known as “Land of Lava, man-eaters, springs and the magical sunsets” situated in the Kenyan coastal province where its separated from Tsavo East National park by the railway. Both Tsavo East and Tsavo west joins together to make up one magnificent Tsavo national park that obtained its name from the river that flows through Tsavo east national park known as River Tsavo. Tsavo west national park borders with Tanzania in the south and connects to Lake Jipe. Tsavo west comprises of rich biodiversity of different fauna and flora species. The flora of the park is filled with savanna grasslands and woodland with acacia trees, and shrubs that harbor plenty of wildlife species without forgetting the rocky ridges and the famous Mzima springs and many more unique tourist attractions with in the park.
Tourist attractions in Tsavo West national park
Wildlife in Tsavo west
The wildlife species are the major tourist attractions in Tsavo West and they range from different species of mammals, bird species that are worth a see while on a Kenya safari to Tsavo West.
Mammals: Tsavo west national park has a huge population of mammals that are usually seen congesting the park during the game viewing safaris. Examples of mammals seen in Tsavo west include; Rhinos, elephants, buffaloes, lions, leopards, under water hippos, giraffes, bush babies, hartebeests, Cheetahs, Oryx, dik dik, kudus, baboons, hartebeests, giraffes, hyenas, mongoose, impalas etc.
Birds: Tsavo west national park is home to over 600 species of birds including the migratory birds, water birds, forest birds and many more with some of the birds seen including Flycatchers, reed warblers among others. The most common birding spots in the park include along Lake Jipe which is explored during the boat cruise, in the rivers areas, along the spring and within the hills inside the Tsavo west.
Apart from wildlife, Tsavo west national park has a lot of other unique tourist attractions which include;
Mzima springs: Mzima springs are one of the fascinating attractions seen in Tsavo west national park that forms large pools which attract several mammals to visit the pool in search of water. Mzima springs has a larger concentration of animals such as Hippos, crocodiles, elephants, buffaloes, gazelles, and a home to fish with in the pool. Mzima springs also act as the source of clean water from Chyulu hills to the people of Mombasa.
Roaring Rocks: these are adventurous rocks with in Tsavo west national park which when the wind blows, they make a roaring sound of a lion thus the name roaring rocks. A visit to these rocks offers a clear view of the land ahead.
Volcanic arena: the physical features in Tsavo west are a great reason for calling it a volcanic arena. Some of the volcanic features include; five sister’s hills which forms 5 identical conical hills with a scenic and stunning view. Other features found in volcanic arena include; shetani lava which is translated as the devil and Chaimu volcanic crater also known as the devil’s crater. All these features offer stunning view of the park.
Poachers look out: this is a secret place in the hill where the park rangers used to hide and fight against poachers in Tsavo west national park. A visit to this hill offers a clear view of the grazing Masai cattle.
Tourist activities in Tsavo west
Game drives in Tsavo west national park: Tsavo west is one of the best destinations for game drive safaris with in the savanna plains of the park where huge number of wildlife species are spotted going on with their normal and daily life. Engaging in an early morning game drive offers an opportunity to view the hunters and nocturnal mammals before returning to their hideouts such as leopards, hyenas. Morning game drive also is the best time to view grazing mammals including Elephants, Buffaloes, antelopes etc. these mammals are also sported during the afternoon game drive and evening game drive.
Birding in Tsavo west national park: with over 600 birds thrilling in Tsavo west, this makes it a true birders paradise and the best destination for bird lovers. Some of the birds found in this park include the sunbirds, Warblers, Night jars, kingfishers, sterling, bee-eaters among others. The best birding season is during the rainy months of November to April.
Boat cruise on Lake Jipe: This beautiful Lake is located along Kenya – Tanzania border whose water originates from River Tanzania and Kilimanjaro is the best destination for boat cruise safaris in Tsavo west. Taking a boat cruise on Lake Jipe enables tourists to view a lot of wildlife species including mammals, and is also a best destination for birders where birds such as Egrets, pygmy goose and many others are spotted while on a boat cruise or nature walk.
Visiting Rhino sanctuary: visiting Ngulia rhino sanctuary which is covering an area of 62km2 is such a fascinating and adventurous thing that opens closed doors to the endangered Black rhinos in their natural habitats with in a sanctuary.
Other tourist activities done in Tsavo west include Visiting Mzima springs, community tours, Camping safaris, Nature walks, visiting Lumo wildlife sanctuary, Visiting the world war 1 battle fields, Exploration of caves, Rock climbing among others.
By road, Tourists from Nairobi can access Tsavo west through Mtito Andei gate, Lake Jipe gate which is used by tourists that take a route via Taveta voi and Man eater gate while Chyulu gate is used by tourists connecting from Amboseli national park to Tsavo west. This implies that there are different gates that all lead to Tsavo west by road depending on where tourists are coming from.
By air, getting to Tsavo west by air requires travelers to take a chatter flight to any of the air fields inside or near the park and some of these airfields include; Kamboyo air strip, Jipe airstrip, Mattau air strip, Tsavo gate air strip, Finch Hattons air strip, and Kilaguni airstrip.
Tsavo west has plenty of accommodation facilities where tourists can reside while on a Kenya safari in Tsavo West and these accommodations range between budget, mid-range, and luxury. Some of these accommodations include; Kamboyo Guest House & Campsite, Lake Jipe Cottages, Simba Campsite, Palm Tree Camp, Severin Safari Camp, Kilaguni Safari Serena Lodge, Ngulia Safari Lodge, Kitani Severin Safari Lodge & camp, Voyager Safari Camp, Chyulu Campsite Voyager Safari Camp, Lake Jipe Bandas, hunter’s lodge, among others.