Tsavo National Park, A Great Place to View Animals and Birds of Kenya
Tsavo National park is it one or two parks, I might sound weird to those who knew the place before the world SGR became a new vocabulary in the Kenyan news and times. Yes indeed the Tsavo has been I divided into two ever since 1948, east and west sections by the A109 road and a railway and is located near the town of Voi in the Taita-Taveta County of the former Coast Province. The park is was named from Tsavo as Tsavo River, which flows west to east through the national park.
It is good to note that the park has a long history all the way back to 1898, long before Tsavo National Park was created, a pair of maneless male lions terrorized the area. They reputedly killed 135 railway workers who were building the Kenya-Uganda railway. These man-eating lions dragged men from their tents, despite the thorn fences (bomas) built to keep them out. The maneless lions evaded traps and ambushes and were.
Tsavo remained the homeland for Orma pastoralists and Watha hunter-gatherers until 1948, when it was gazetted a national park. At that time, the Orma with their livestock were driven off and the aboriginal population of the Watha people was forcefully relocated to Voi and Mtito Andei as well as other locations within the nearby Taita Hills. Following Kenyan independence in 1963, hunting was banned in the park and management of Tsavo was turned over to the authority that eventually became the Kenya Wildlife Service. Tsavo currently attracts photo-tourists from all over the world interested in experiencing the vastness of the wilderness and incredible terrain. After almost a century since the completion of the first railway, Kenya has again opened up the Tsavo to the world after the completion of the first SGR phrase 1 running from the port of Mombasa to Syokimau.
Tsavo East National Park is 333km south-east of Nairobi, and 173km north-west of Mombasa. Its relative closeness to the beaches and tourist attractions around Malindi and Mombasa make it an ideal one-day wildlife safari destination for those who do not want to stay overnight. The park runs over a natural area of flat, dry plains, with thorny bushes and swampy marshland near the river. It is teeming with diverse Kenyan animals including large families of giraffes, gazelles, hartebeests and zebras, as well as the “Big Five” must-see animals – buffalo, African elephants, lions, rhinos and leopards
The sight of dust-red elephant wallowing, rolling and spraying each other with the midnight blue waters of palm-shaded Galana River is one of the most evocative images in Africa. This, along with the 300 kilomtere long Yatta Plateau, the longest lava flow in the world, make for an adventure unlike any other in the Tsavo East. The park forms the largest protected area in Kenya and is home to most of the larger mammals, vast herds of dust –red elephant, Rhino, buffalo, lion, leopard, pods of hippo, crocodile, waterbucks, lesser Kudu, gerenuk and the prolific bird life features 500 recorded species
Rock-climbing is hugely popular in the Tsavo National Park thanks to Mudanda Rock in the east, and the sharp cliffs of Kitchwa Tembo in the west. Resting climbers will find themselves eye-to-eye with soaring birds of prey, and on a clear day, you’ll be treated to magnificent views of snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro. The clear waters of Mzima Springs attract crowds of hippos, crocodiles, and vervet monkeys, while the park at large is teeming with all manner of wildlife—including the illustrious Big 5.
Despite the divisions of the national park into two, both parks offer abundant opportunities and different vantage points from which to observe the African landscape. High point to enjoy the Kenya’s beauty either through the wide windows pane of SGR’s Madaraka Express or from the vantage point on a tour jeep you can set off on a game drive across the seemingly empty wilderness and return to camp three hours later without having seen a single other vehicle. There are very few camps and lodges here and, relatively speaking, almost none, with the majority of them close to Voi in the west, near the Mombasa highway. You often have the park to yourself, watching the wildlife under a huge sky: no matter what you’re looking at, Tsavo East always feels like a big spectacle.