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.

Highlights
  • 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 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

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 it 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 Maasai Mara and Amboseli which is close.

Tsavo is also not far from the coast. Less than 100 km from Kenya's cost and 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.

Tsavo West

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.

Tsavo 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 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 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 onto any Kenyan safari itinerary.

Finch Hattons Camp
Finch Hattons Luxury Tented Camp - Tsavo West - Tsavo National Park - Kenya

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.

Coastal Kenya
Indian Ocean Kissing Shore of Diani Beach in Kenya

East Africa's Kenya is a favourite "beach and bush" destination - with arguably the best safari destinations and the most perfect tropical beaches. The accommodation - whether bush or beach - ranges from rustic and adventurous to family-friendly, romantic honeymoon hideaways to lavish, exclusive luxury. Whether you want to simply relax after a safari or explore and experience the coastal attractions and water activities, Coastal Kenya has a place just for you.

Nairobi
Africa Travel Nairobi Giraffe Looks at Capital City Skyline from Nairobi National Park

Nairobi is usually your gateway into Kenya. While most safari visitors spend one night in the city on their way to or from their wildlife experience, Nairobi has great lodges and unique boutique hotels. The city is bursting with life with informal Maasai Markets lining the streets selling handmade arts and crafts to local tailors who can finish a beautifully made, bargain-friendly safari suit in 24 hours. Nairobi National Park with its dense concentration of black rhino is no more than 7 km from Nairobi's city centre.

Aruba Dam, Tsavo East National Park

Aruba Dam attracts heavy concentrations of wildlife and is home to one of the park's lion prides.

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Finch Hattons Luxury Tented Camp - Tsavo West - Tsavo National Park - Kenya
Finch Hattons Camp

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.

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