Tsavo National Park Parks and Reserves
Kenya's biggest, yet most underdeveloped national park, Tsavo is bisected by the main Nairobi-Mombasa highway. Wild, uncrowded and authentic, Tsavo is famous for its 'red elephants'. It's easily combined with Amboseli and coastal Kenya for an unforgettable safari experience.
* Tsavo National Park Highlights
- ∞Consists of two, unique national parks separated by the Nairobi-Mombasa Highway
- ∞West Tsavo is verdant and mountainous, home to Big 5 and shyer, forest-dwelling game
- ∞East Tsavo is vast, home to 'red elephants' with expansive plains and great game-viewing
- ∞Easy reach of Kenyan coast - 100 kms to Mombasa
- ∞Wild, untamed, uncrowded, one of the least developed of Kenya's national parks
- ∞Unique residents include fringe-eared oryx, klipspringer and Maasai giraffe
Tsavo National Park is one of the most undeveloped of Kenya’s many national parks. Although the game viewing is excellent here, it’s not a park included as standard on many safari itineraries. This all makes it even more exciting - as Tsavo provides the perfect safari destination if you’re looking for a unique, authentic experience - far away from the overcrowded, more popular parks like the Maasai Mara and Amboseli (which it’s not far from).
Tsavo is also not far from the coast (less than 100km) and it makes a great combo for that special ‘beach and bush’ getaway.
The Nairobi-Mombasa highway dissects Tsavo into two distinct portions: West Tsavo and East Tsavo – each of which offers a very different safari experience.
Unlike its eastern counterpart, Tsavo West National Park is much more wooded and hilly, with evidence of its volcanic history in dramatic black rock formations. Most of the development and lodges are in the northern sector. The scenery is spectacular with rocky landscapes, lush grass and dense vegetation. Be sure not to miss Mzima Springs, a natural spring-water pool with underwater viewing hides where you can watch hippo and their antics.
Game viewing is slightly more challenging here but the Big 5 are resident and a great variety of antelope can be seen. Some local animals to look out for include the fringe-eared oryx, klipspringer and Maasai giraffe. Birding here is also much better than in the east.
By far the biggest of Kenya’s national parks, Tsavo East covers more than 13,700km² (about nine times the size of the Maasai Mara). It has lovely scenery and its attractions include the Mudanda Rock and Yatta Plateau - the world's largest example of lava flow. The park is probably best known for its enormous herds of ‘red elephants’ that dust themselves with the red-oxide soil so typical of Tsavo. Other species to be on the look-out for are the endemic desert warthog, hirola (also known as Hunter's hartebeest) and Peter's Gazelle.
Apart from its teeming elephant population, another main attraction at Tsavo East is its sheer vastness. Even less developed than West Tsavo, the eastern sector feels far more remote and wild. Sometimes, it’s possible to go on game drives all day without encountering a single other vehicle.
Tsavo makes a great addition onto any Kenyan safari itinerary. Please let us help you create an unforgettable safari experience in this East African wonderland.
Before you go to Tsavo National Park Things you should know before you go!
Malaria is a consideration in Tsavo National Park
Learn more about malaria areas and malaria prevention with our resource article.
Malaria Areas & Prevention
Related LocationsAmboseli National Park
Probably second only to Maasai Mara in popularity, Amboseli is a fairly small park known for its vast elephant herds. They're often photographed with nearby Mount Kilimanjaro as a backdrop. Only 200 km from Nairobi, Amboseli combines well with a number of other game parks for an outstanding Kenyan safari experience.
More about Amboseli National Park