TSAVO EAST NATIONAL PARK
Tsavo East National Park is one of the oldest and largest parks in Kenya at 13,747 square kilometers. Situated in a semi-arid area previously known as the Taru Desert it opened in April 1948, and is located near the town of Voi in the Taita-Taveta County of the former Coast Province. The park is divided into east and west sections by the A109 road and a railway. Named for the Tsavo River, which flows west to east through the national park, it borders the Chyulu Hills National Park, and the Mkomazi Game Reserve in Tanzania.
Inside Tsavo East National Park, the Athi and Tsavo rivers converge to form the Galana River. Most of the park consists of semi-arid grasslands and savanna. It is considered one of the world’s biodiversity strongholds, and its popularity is mostly due to the vast amounts of diverse wildlife that can be seen, including the famous ‘big five’ consisting of lion, black rhino, cape buffalo, elephant and leopard. The park is also home to a great variety of bird life such as the black kite, crowned crane, lovebird and the sacred ibis. Tsavo East National Park is generally flat, with dry plains across which the Galana River flows. Other features include the Yatta Plateau and Lugard Falls.
Tsavo West National Park is more mountainous and wetter, with swamps, Lake Jipe and the Mzima Springs. It is known for birdlife and for its large mammals. It is also home to a black rhino sanctuary.
Tsavo East National Park is one of the world’s largest game reserves, providing undeveloped wilderness homes to vast numbers of animals. Famous are the Tsavo lions, a population whose adult males often lack manes entirely. In total there are about 675 lions in the Amboseli-Tsavo ecosystem.
Some of the many mammals found in the park include, Aardwolf, Yellow baboon, Cape buffalo, Senegal bush-baby, Bushbuck, Caracal, African wildcat, Southeast African cheetah, African civet, Kirk’s dik-dik and African wild dog.
Tsavo East national park is visited all year around but the best time for game viewing is during dry seasons which starts from December to Mid- March and June to October when the park is dry. Birding is best enjoyed in wet season when the migratory birds have arrived in the park which starts from April to June and October to November.
One can get to Tsavo East national park by road while driving from Nairobi city using Mombasa road in order to access Mtito Andei Gate it take a distance of about 240kilometers.Then to reach Tsavo Gate it cover a distance of 290kilometer. Note that, road transport is extremely rewarding with beautiful scenery of landscape and the country sides.
The Mudanda Rock is a 1.6 km inselberg of stratified rock that acts as a water catchment that supplies a natural dam below. It offers an excellent vantage point for the hundreds of elephants and other wildlife that come to drink during the dry season.
The Yatta Plateau, the world’s longest lava flow, runs along the western boundary of the park above the Athi River. Its 290 km length was formed by lava from Ol Donyo Sabuk Mountain.
Lugard Falls, named after Frederick Lugard, is a series of white water rapids on the Galana River.
Aruba Dam was built in 1952 across the Voi River. The reservoir created by the dam attracts many animals and water birds.