Tsavo National Park is the largest park in Kenya and was established on 1st April, 1948. Tsavo National Park was split into East and West for administrative purposes. The two Parks are divided by Nairobi–Mombasa railway and road.
The park has an interesting and diverse history including: the Waliangulu and Kamba tribes used the park as a hunting ground prior to gazettement; the first European to see Mount Kenya, Rev. Dr. L. Krapf, journeyed on foot through this area in 1848; during the construction of the railway bridge over the Tsavo River in 1898, lions (the famed maneaters of Tsavo) terrorised the workers, killing over 130 people before being killed by Col. J.H.Patterson.
During World War I, British forces built fortresses along Tsavo river to counter threats from invading German soldiers from Tanganyika (now Tanzania); the European explorer Captain Lugards a European explorer passed through the area on his way to Uganda. Tsavo East is an easily accessible and very popular Park as is indicated by the high number of tourists.
Some of the attractive scenic features include large herds of elephant and other wildlife and striking natural landscapes and structures.
Climatic conditions – Hot and dry
Major attractions – The park is a ‘catchment’ for visitors from coast resorts with large herds of elephants and other wildlife. Yatta plateau is about 290 km long and is one of the world’s longest lava flows. Lugards Falls on the Galana river – this is not a true falls but a series of rapids. Visitors can walk down to river to view rapids. Mudanda rock is a long rock outcrop that is about 1.6 km long. There is a dam at the base. Animals can be seen drinking. Visitors can walk along the rock and enjoy a cool breeze as well as view wildlife at the base.
Aruba Dam was built in 1952 across the Voi River. The dam attracts many animals and water birds can be seen at this dam. Tsavo/Athi rivers confluence – when the two rivers join they form the Galana river.
Wildlife: Elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion, leopard, crocodile, waterbuck, kudu, gerenuk, zebra and Hunter’s hartebeest. Birds: The prolific bird life features 500 recorded bird species
Access – Roads: Mtito Andei Gate is located 232 km South of Nairobi and 250 Km north of Mombasa on the main Nairobi- Mombasa Road. Air: There are several airstrips in the park
Accommodation – Lodge: Voi Safari Lodge. Tented Camps: Galdessa camp, Epiya Chapeyu Camp, Tsavo Safari Camp (Cottar’s), Satao Camp, Sobo, Patterson Safari Camp, Aruba, Tarhi, Ndololo Public Campsites: Kanderi, Visitors bring their own camping gear. Special Campsites (northern area): Wamata, Makalia, Ithuri; (southern area): Kanderi, Durusirikale, Mbuyu. KWS accommodation: Education centre hostels
Best time to visit – All year round
Activities – Game viewing; walking Safaris along the Galana; bird watching.