Tsavo East National Park is one of the oldest and largest parks in Kenya, covering 13,747 square kilometres in size. The park is located in a semi-arid area previously known as the Taru Desert and borders the Chyulu Hills National Park, and the Mkomazi Game Reserve in Tanzania. Tsavo East National Park is generally flat, with dry plains across which the Galana River flows and most of it consists of semi-arid grasslands and savanna.
The park is most popular for its 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. The other park highlights include;
Mudanda rock which 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,
Yatta plataeu; which 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 Doinyo Sabuk Mountain,
Lugard falls, named after Frederick Lugard, is a series of white water rapids on the Galana River,
Aruba dam which was built in 1952 across the Voi River. The reservoir created by the dam attracts many animals and water birds,
and the park's magnificent wildife viewing and the prolific bird life which features 500 recorded species.
The park is also well known for its Red-coloured Elephants, which love to dust bath in the red coloured soil. The parks can be accessed through Manyani Gate, Voi Gate, Buchuma Gate and Sala Gate.
Tsavo East offers magnificent game viewing in pristine wilderness.The park is home to all the big five. The park is a stronghold for elephants, and you’ll commonly find them with a reddish appearance from the distinctive red soil of the area. Tsavo is also famous for its maneless lions. The most localized of the many dry country specials that can be found here is the fringe-eared oryx. Birdwatching in the park is also exceptional with over 500 bird species have been recorded in the area, including ostriches, kestrels, buzzards, starlings, weaver birds, kingfishers, hornbills, secretary birds and herons. Click here to read more about Kenya Safari Animals and Wildlife.
The climate in Tsavo East National Park is hot and dry throughout the year, with thtitudes where it gets progressively cooler as you head up the hills. Daytime temperatures in the park range from 80 F (27 C) to 90 F (32 C) depending on your month of travel. The months with the coolest daytime temperatures are June through August, and January to March have the warmest daytime temperatures. Night-time low temperatures range from 60 F (16 C) to 68 (20 C) dependent on the seasonal months.
The park can be visited any time of the year, but the most popular time for wildlife viewing is usually the dry season from June to October and January to February, as the wildlife is easier to spot, since they tend to congregate around the waterholes. During the peak of the short rains (November) and the long rains (April and May) conditions can be more challenging. The vegetation at these times is denser and animals spread out, which makes spotting them more difficult.
Tsavo East National Park has some of the most beautiful hotels and lodges, located both outside and inside the park to suit every budget. Most of them have a water hole close to the property making game viewing easier. Below is a simple list of some of the more outstanding accommodation.
Tent Exterior Ashnil Aruba Camp, Tsavo East.
Typical room interior at Voi Wildlife Lodge, Tsavo East.