• Tsavo East National Park
  • Tsavo East National Park
  • Tsavo East National Park
  • Tsavo East National Park

Tsavo East National Park is one of the biggest national parks in Kenya sitting in an area of 13,747 square kilometers. It’s the less visited but among the oldest national parks in Kenya which was established in 1948.

Tsavo East National Park is located in the Southern part of Kenya near the coastal part of the country and also bordering Tanzania. It is famously known as “Theater of the wildlife” due to the high concentration of wildlife especially the red dusty Elephants that spray and roll on the Termite molds at the park.

Tsavo East National Park

The park was all called Tsavo national park before the main road crossed the park in the middle to create Tsavo East national park and Tsavo West national park. Before the park was sub-divided it covered 22,000 square kilometers.

The park is managed by Kenya Wildlife Service, it was named after the Tsavo River that transects the park in the middle together with the A109 road. It is one of the few national parks in Kenya where night game drives are done inside the park.

This gives an extra mile on safari experience to the guests who will enjoy seeing nocturnal animals especially the leopards.

Tsavo East national park history is bad when the Man-eating lions intruded the park during the construction of the railway line that passed through the park. This was around the 1800s where lions attacked workers and killed many hence delaying the progress on the construction work.

It is during this time that the famous film entitled “The Ghost and the Darkness” The park has two main rivers which is draining the river which includes Athi River and Tsavo River. These two rivers are the source of water for the wildlife found at the park.

This makes the animal viewing very easy especially during the dry season when the wildlife is concentrated along with the water bodies. At a certain point, the two rivers converge together to form the larger river called Galana River.

The park is dominated by semi-arid vegetation with open savannah grassland dotted with Acacia trees and some riverine forests along the rivers. Tsavo national park has old biodiversity that attracts diversified wildlife at the park.

It’s a home of all the members of African Big 5 those include: Buffalo, Black Rhinos, Lions, Leopards, and Elephants. The park also has more grazers like zebras, giraffes, wildebeest and many more. Tsavo national park also has a good number of birds.

Tsavo East National Park

Location of Tsavo East National Park

The park is located in the Southwest part of Nairobi along the busy Business center Mombasa. It is found near the Voi town in Taita-Taveta County which was the former province of the coastal province. It is found 233 kilometers away from the capital city Nairobi. It takes between 7 to 8 hours’ drive. On the other hand, it takes 5 to 6 hours’ drive if one is on the coastal province around the Mombasa region.

Tsavo East national park is easily accessible through the Sala Gate on the Western part of the park from Malindi. One can use a direct route that is along Nairobi Mombasa road which enters directly through Mtito Andei Gates.

On the other side if one is already in the coastal part of Kenya that is Mombasa it is also simple for one to access the park at any point.

For the guests who may not tolerate the long drives in African roads than their daily flights that operate from Wilson airport or Jomo Kenyatta international airport to the park.

There are some airstrips at Tsavo national park which are serviced daily with chattered flights that operate domestically. The most used airstrips are Mopeo airstrip, Satao Airstrip, Bachuma airstrip, Voi airstrip and many more.

Tsavo East national park is the only park in East Africa that can be accessed by railway transport that cuts the park in the middle.

The daily departing railway which leaves Nairobi to the coast of Mombasa can drop you at the station inside the park. Then your driver-guide or accommodation driver will pick you up from the station.

Attractions in Tsavo National Park

Tsavo East national park is gifted with a wide range of attractions that guests enjoy while on their safari to this scenic park. The large size of the park has contributed to its diversified ecosystem that inhabits more games.

One can spend more than two days while exploring Tsavo East national park if one has to get its best experience. Below is a list of attractions found in Tsavo East National Park.

Mudanda Rock

These are the inselbergs that are found in the center of Tsavo East national park with great rock art which is dated back in the Old Stone Age error. The rocks are also the water catchment areas that supply the water to one of the dams that is found under the rocks.

Tsavo East National Park

The dams are the main source of water to the wildlife around the park. People go close to the Mudanda rocks for the great animal views.


Tsavo East national park is much famous with the dusty red Elephants that roam mostly around the park. With over 50 species of animals, the park is rich with animals with all the African big five (Lions, leopards, rhinos, buffalo, and Elephants) present.

The wildlife is very common and easily seen throughout the year though the best time is during the dry season when the grass is short and the water catchment areas easily targeted.

Other animals found in the park include Cheetah, zebras, hippos, wildebeest, giraffes, wild dog, hyenas and many others.

Lugard Falls

It is named after the first European explorer to step at the falls that is Frederick Lugard. The falls is a historical site good for sightseeing too. Not very hard to hike but need some level of physical fitness to fully hike to the top.


Tsavo East national park has over 500 bird species with both migratory birds and permanent bird species. The sea birds come to the park for breeding purposes before they go back.

The most sited birds in the long list include Eastern chanting goshawk, vulturine Guinea fowl, black-headed lapwing, Red-winged lark, Rosy-patched bush shrike, Red-bellied parrot, Martial eagle, Golden pipit, Somali bee-eater, Somali ostrich, Taita falcon, Taita fiscal, rufous chatterer and many more.

Yatta plateau

Visiting Tsavo East national park without reaching the longest lava flow in the world makes your safari incomplete. This is the greatest attraction in Tsavo East national park, the plateau starts from Western part of the park crossing to the East above river Athi.

It is estimated to be 290 kilometers long as its lava starts from Mount Oldoinyo Sabuk.

The Aruba Dam

This is one of the oldest dams around the area which was built in 1952 in river Voi. This dam attracts more aquatic animals as well as the other animals which come to the dam to quench their thirst.

Activities in Tsavo East National Park


Tsavo East national park is one of the few park that hosts almost half of the bird species of Kenya. The park hosts over 500 bird species with rare and migratory birds that come only for breeding.

Birding can be done but patiently with longer days if one wants his or her list to be successful. One should also have great birding guides that are familiar with the park and habitats of the birds for a great success rate.

The best time for birding is during the rainy season when the birds are nesting and breeding. The bird species include Eastern chanting goshawk, vulturine Guinea fowl, black-headed lapwing, Red-winged lark, Rosy-patched bush shrike and Red-bellied parrot,

Others include Martial eagle, Golden pipit, Somali bee-eater, Somali ostrich, Taita falcon, Taita fiscal, rufous chatterer, Somali Bunting, Nightjar, extra.

Nature walks and hiking

The guided nature walks are available in Tsavo East national park to different destinations within the park, like Lugard falls, Aruba dam, Mudanda Rocks and many others.

You explore the park on foot is a great experience that you will never forget. See more animals in their natural habitats as you walk around the park.

Game viewing/ Game drives

Tsavo East national park is among the few parks in Africa where night game drives are permitted. The game drives using 4×4 safari cars is much experiential as you get closer to the wildlife to take more pictures and videos as they are on their natural habitat.

Tsavo East National Park

The park has all the African big five and several other animal species that can be viewed. The key animals include Lions, leopards, black rhinos, elephants, hyenas, cheetahs, zebras, wildebeest, oribi, Dik-dik, Topi, Kudu, impala, gazelles, baboons, and many more animals.

Cape Buffaloes in Tsavo East National Park

When you need to mix up African wildlife experience and coast white beaches then Tsavo East will be the right destination to choose. It’s located near the coastal province with easy accessibility from the coast.