Tsavo West National Park

Photo by Heather M. Edwards on Unsplash

The largest park in Kenya measures over 21,000 km². In 1948 it was divided into Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks along the railway line from Nairobi and Mombasa.

Location and arrival at Tsavo West Park

The 7065 km² western part of Tsavo borders on Tanzania to the south and Tsavo East Park to the north. To the east are the small private preserves of Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary and Lumo Community Wildlife Sanctuary.

The arrival is often by car via the Nairobi – Mombasa Highway. Several gates form the entrance to the park, the most common being Mtito Andei Gate and Tsavo Gate. Those arriving from Amboseli National Park enter Tsavo West via Chyulu Gate or Ziwani Gate. Tsavo West National Park is relatively close to the beaches of Mombasa, although it still takes 3 to 4 hours to get there.

Tsavo West is also easily accessible by plane and road. Scheduled flights are available from Mombasa Airport or Nairobi Wilson Airport. To the north-west are the Finch Hattons and Kilaguni airstrips.

Flora and fauna in the Tsavo West Park

The landscape is more varied compared to Tsavo East. The western part is hilly to mountainous and has denser vegetation than the eastern part. Characteristic are volcanic landscapes with solidified lava, forests and savannas. While the dense bush makes it difficult to spot wildlife, elephant, buffalo, zebra, impala and gazelle are often spotted. Basically, all representatives of the Big Five can be found in Tsavo West Park.

Sights in Tsavo West Park

The main attractions are the Mzima Springs, a freshwater oasis and spring in Tsavo West. Scientists speak of a geological phenomenon. The spring is fed underground by the waters of Mount Kilimanjaro and the Chyulu Mountains. More than 200 million liters gush into the spring pools of Mzima every day. Rangers accompany visitors along the hiking trail. The hike through the biotope takes about an hour, and you can watch hippos and crocodiles in addition to numerous bird species. An underwater station is used to view the many species of fish.

A few kilometers from Chyulu Gate is the Shetani Lava Flow, a solidified lava flow around 200 years old. The picture is reminiscent of a lunar landscape.

The Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary is a 62 km² fenced area for the protection of black rhinos. Due to the size, however, there is no guarantee that you will see a rhino.

The weather and best travel time to travel to Tsavo West National Park

Any time of the year is a good time to visit Tsavo West National Park. The safari tourists can expect warm temperatures and little rainfall. Two rainy seasons interrupt the stable weather. From mid-April to mid-June, the great rainy season occurs, with heavy and heavy rain often occurring. Statistically speaking, the small rainy season takes place in November.

Camps and Lodges Tsavo West  National Park

Accommodation in Tsavo West ranges from simple to luxurious lodges. One can opt for hotel-style lodges or exclusive tented camps like Finch Hattons. The Severin Safari Camp, the Kilaguni Serena Lodge and the Voyager Safari Camp are in the middle-price segment and offer good value for money.