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. Tsavo National Park is easily combined with Amboseli and coastal Kenya for an unforgettable bush and beach safari experience.
- Consists of two, unique national parks separated by the Nairobi-Mombasa Highway
- West Tsavo is verdant and mountainous, home to the Big 5 and shy forest-dwelling game
- East Tsavo is vast, home to red elephants with expansive plains and great game viewing
- Easy reach of the Kenyan coast, 100 km 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
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 considered a standard stop on many safari itineraries. This all makes Tsavo even more exciting.
Tsavo provides the perfect safari destination if you're looking for a unique, authentic experience far from the overcrowded, more popular parks like the Masai Mara and Amboseli which is close. And because Tsavo is less than 100 km from Kenya's coast, it makes a great combo for that special bush and beach getaway.
The Nairobi-Mombasa highway dissects Tsavo into two distinct portions. West Tsavo and East Tsavo offer 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. Don't skip a visit to 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 13,700 km², making it nine times larger than the Masai 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 lookout 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 Tsavo West, the eastern sector feels far more remote and wild. Sometimes, it's possible to go on game drives all day without encountering another vehicle. Tsavo National Park makes a great addition to any Kenyan safari itinerary.
You may also want to look at
Our 7 Day Classic Kenyan Conservancy Safari combines two of the most popular travel regions in Kenya — Laikipia and the Masai Mara. The Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Laikipia, central Kenya, offers 365 km² of quality game viewing. Spend three nights at Kicheche Laikipia, situated at an active waterhole with frequent visits by elephant, black rhino, plains game and a wealth of birdlife. Then fly down the Rift Valley to an exclusive conservancy near the Maasai Mara National Park. Only a few vehicles are permitted here. Enjoy unhindered views of spectacular wildlife in some of the most breathtaking African scenery.
Our 7 Day Kenyan Adventure Safari Tour introduces you to the wilder side of Kenya on an affordable budget. Explore Laikipia Plateau's sweeping plains on foot, where the last of Kenya's African wild dogs have found refuge. Discover why the Masai Mara's lush grasslands, acacia woodlands, rolling savannahs and abundance of wildlife make it one of Africa's most iconic safari destinations. In season, witness one of the world's natural wonders, the Great Migration, where one and a half million wildebeest, zebra and antelope leave the Serengeti for the Masai Mara.
Finch Hattons Camp in Tsavo West is named for Denys Finch Hatton, one of the early British explorers, conservationists and safari pioneers. This luxury bush camp is found on a 35-acre concession in the southern corner of Tsavo National Park. The camp overlooks three spring-fed pools that attract some of the many game in the area, from herds of buffalo and elephant, to pods of hippo, lion and leopard.