Tsavo West National Park

“Full of wild beasts, such as rhinoceros, buffaloes and elephants” from a missionary’s diary written in 1848. Later in 1900 the notorious “Man Eaters of Tsavo”, man-eating lions preyed on linesmen building the great Uganda Railway in 1900. The carriage from which they pulled a traveller is on display at the Nairobi Railway Museum. Tsavo-West has important historic connections as a major battleground in World War I where British and German troops battled for supremacy.

Fact File

Altitude 500 – 6000ft.
Area 9,065 sq. kms.
Distance from Nairobi 240 kms
Opened: April 1948
Cave & Geological exploration: shetani lava flow & caves
Excellent birdwatching : Over 600 species
Game: Elephant, rhino sanctuary
Mzima springs – Underwater hippo watching
Excellent views of Mount Kilimanjaro

Exploring Tsavo West National Park

The park, located off the main Nairobi-Mombasa road is easily accessible. It offers tremendous views with diverse habitats ranging from mountains, river forests, plains, lakes and wooded grassland. It borders the southern Serengeti plains in Tanzania. Game include: leopard, cheetah, buffalo, rhino, elephant, giraffe, zebra, lion, plains game, crocodile and small mammals including mongoose, hyrax, dik dik and the nocturnal porcupine.

It is an excellent park for visitors who enjoy walking, offering a number of nature trails and the opportunity to explore the Chaimu volcanic crater. Guides are available.

Mzima Springs is a star attraction, a pool of natural spring water with underwater viewing hides for observing hippos.

Accommodation: there lodges inside the park (total 276 beds), four tented lodges (total 154 beds), three public campsites and one special campsite (advance booking required) and three self-help banda sites (total 72 beds).

Chyulu Hills National Park is an extension of Tsavo-West National Park. It was opened in January 1983 to protect its unique habitat and role as a vital water catchment area. The Chyulus are a volcanic mountain range with a mix of volcanic cones and barren lava flows, of which the most interesting is Shetani, meaning “Devil” in Kiswahili. Game include: buffalo, zebra, giraffe, oryx, lion, leopard and many bird and plant species. The park offers a number of activities: horse riding, hiking, camping, archaeological and geological safaris with caves to explore and fantastic views across the Amboseli and Tsavo plains. There is one small tented lodge with eight beds.