Tsavo West is a sister park to Tsavo East National Park. It is located in the south eastern part of the country. These two neighboring parks are separated by the Mombasa/Nairobi road. It is a nice spot to enjoy walking safaris and it shouldn’t miss on your bucket list for Kenya.
When combined, these two protected areas form the biggest park (total area is 22000 square kilometers) in Kenya and one of the biggest wildlife habitats in the world.
Tsavo west is known for its variation of nature, swamps, huge rocky landscapes and diverse wildlife. Views of various wild animals are inspirational while on game drives. Both day and night game drives are offered in the park, so it’s a no worry for those after nocturnal species. Drivers are as well allowed to off track in order to get very close to the animals.
Adding to the 600 species of birds, Tsavo west National Park is home to a plethora of wild animals such as leopards, cheetahs, buffalos, rhinos, zebras, giraffes, antelopes, warthogs, lions to name but a few.
Another captivating spot in the Park is the Nhulia rhino sanctuary. Located at the base of the Ngulia hills, this protected area is supported by Rhino ARK program, an initiative that protects the rhinoceros from extinction.
How to get there
The main access routes to Tsavo West National Park from Nairobi include Man Easters gate, Mtito Andei, Chyulu and Ziwani. The distance from Nairobi up to Tsavo west is 240km. If not that, you can use the route from Mombasa via Taveta – Voi road through Maktau, Jipe and Ziwani gates. This distance is about 250km.
Other than road means, you can get to Tsavo west by plane and there are daily chartered flights to the Park. All these flights land at Kilaguni and Finch Hattons airstrips.
Attractions in the Park.
Tsavo West is home to variety of Wildlife species and these include hippopotamus, Cape buffalo, elephant, leopard, Zebra, kudu, nocturnal porcupine, Dik-dik, cheetah, wild dogs, lion and eastern black rhinoceros. Other smaller animals like bush babies, hartebeests, lesser kudu and Masai giraffe can be spotted in the Park.
These underground streams flowing from the nearby Chyulu hills defines themselves with crystal clear waters. Its name comes from a Swahili word that means life. These springs create the most welcoming scene in the country.
Tsavo West is composed of multiple volcanic features that make the park look like a remarkable volcanic arena. Some of these features that tempt travelers are Shetani lava. This picturesque spot is found near Chyulu hills, it’s 1.6km wide, 8km long and 5m deep.
After seeing fire eruption and flowing on the ground, the locals believed like this is a devil emerging from the earth. This is the main reason why they named it shetani, a Swahili word meaning devil. Other interesting features are Chaimu volcanic crater and five sister’s hills.
This incredible area was named after the buzz of cicadas that inhabit them and winds that hits the bare rocks thus producing a roaring sound. It is now used as one of the best viewing points in the Park. From this locale you can enjoy magnificent views over the Rhino valley.
This shallow lake is found on the border of Kenya and Tanzania. It is watered by Tanzania and Kilimanjaro River. The lake is home to a number of aquatic species including the water birds like black egrets, black coucal and pygmy goose.
What to do in Tsavo West.
If you are after Tsavo West’s Wildlife, don’t miss a game drive. This activity is offered in a 4x4 vehicle with pop up roof. You can do a morning, afternoon, evening or night game drive and this offers grand chances to see many wild animals in the Wilderness.
A full day game drive awards you more time with the animals and the night game drive is the only option to spot the nocturnal species in the Park. Some of the animals you should expect during game drives are leopards, civets, genet cats, bush babies, lions, antelopes and more.
Tsavo West is recorded with over 600 species of birds and it’s a must for bird watching excursions. Some of the common species are Common Greenshank, Crab Plover, White-fronted Plover, Grey Plover, Sooty Gull, Greater Crested Tern, Sokoke Scops Owl, African Barred Owlet, Sombre Nightjar, Donaldson-Smith’s Nightjar, river warbler, red-backed shrike, thrush nightingale, marsh warbler, and the common whitethroat, Tsavo Sunbird, Nubian Nightjar, Slender-tailed Nightjar, Fiery-necked Nightjar, Striped Pipit, Malindi Pipit, Sokoke Pipit, Mangrove Kingfisher, Brown-hooded Kingfisher, Brown-headed Parrot, Somali Sparrow and Northern Carmine Bee-eater. Excursions are carried out on Lake Epije and in the swamps.
Visit the Ngulia Sanctuary.
For those after the black Rhinoceros, the Ngulia Sanctuary is for you. This place is home to the endangered black rhino that are kept from extinction.
Visit the Lumo Community Wildlife Sanctuary
This Sanctuary is approximately 220km from Mombasa. It is located near Mwatate in Taita-Taveta County in the former coast province. Formed by the Lualenyi, Mramba Communal grazing area and Oza group ranch, this protected area is owned by a community that covers an area of 48000 acres.
This area is home to plenty of wildlife species such as water bucks, Thomson’s gazelle, lesser kudu, dik-dik, Cape buffalo, hartebeests, impala, leopards, Masai giraffes and Zebras.
Community & Cultural Tours
Other than Wildlife, Tsavo West is also famous for cultural tours. Explore the unique Maasai lands, enjoy their rich culture with a visit to their communities.
This tour is ideal for anyone who fancy an insight into the history, lifestyle and traditions of the Maasai people. You will taste the local dishes and as well enjoy their local dances.