Tsavo West National Park

Size: ca. 9,055 square kilometres
Founded: 1948
Distance from Nairobi: ca. 232 kilometres (Mtito Andei Gate), 325 kilometres (Voi Gate)
Distance from Mombasa: ca. 250 kilometres (Mtito Andei Gate), 175 kilometres (Voi Gate)

Highlights:

While being the smaller of the two Tsavo National Parks, Tsavo West is still amongst Kenya’s biggest parks. Here you will find large elephant herds, waterbucks, kudus, gerenuks, zebras and the rare Hunter’s hartebeest. The other members of the Big Five – lions, leopards, rhinos and buffalos – also call Tsavo West their home and with over 600 species of birds, this park is a bird paradise. The park is especially famous for its varied landscape, alternating between mountains, savannahs, dense thorn bushes and forests. Designated walking routes take you over impressive lava flows. The Mzima Springs, where various lakes come together, is also worth a visit to see the crocodiles and hippos lounging and lurking in the water.

Description:

The Tsavo West National Park is the smaller of the two Tsavo National Parks. However, at just over 9,050 square kilometres, it still accounts for 30% of the surface area of all Kenya National Parks. The landscape of Tsavo West National Park is also the most varied.

Volcanic activity has also left its mark in the form of craters and black lava rock and gives the northern part of the park a sort of moon-like lava landscape. The landscape of the Tsavo West National Park is further characterised by mountains with rocky cliffs reaching heights of 1864 meters and densely vegetated slopes. In the south, on the other hand, the landscape is dominated by gentle rolling hills and grass savannah.

However, Tsavo West National Park’s bodies of water are the real highlights of the landscape. During the dry season, you will find most of the animals congregating along the shores of the Tsavo River. The Mzima Springs is another unique feature of the park. In the middle of the dry landscape, a crystal-clear fresh water spring transforms the surrounding area into a green oasis. An underwater chamber with glass panes was built at this spring, so that visitors can observe how the numerous fish, crocodiles and hippos interact under water.

Even though the sometimes dense vegetation of Tsavo West National Park can make animal viewing a bit more difficult, you can find the Big Five here – lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos and buffaloes. Especially at the waterholes you will find many animals quenching their thirst. In addition to the many wild animals to be found here, Tsavo West National Park also impresses with its diverse and interesting landscape.

Due to its proximity to Mombasa, you can easily combine a safari in Tsavo West National Park with a relaxing beach holiday on the white sandy beaches of Kenya’s coast.