Tsavo West and Tsavo East National Parks forms one of the largest National parks in the world and covers a massive 4% of Kenya’s total land area. Tsavo West Mtito Andei Gate is 233 km South of Nairobi and 250 km North of Mombasa on the main Nairobi- Mombasa Road. Distance Nairobi-Mtito Andei: 233 km - Mtito Andei-Voi: 96 km - Voi-Mombasa: 153 km. From Malindi, take the western road (C103) and enter in the park via Sala gate
Tsavo East, Tsavo West & Chyulu Hills
Tsavo West National Park and Chyulu Hills cover an enormous tract of land in southern western side off Nairobi-Mombasa Highway and its the road that splits these two from Tsavo East National Park neatly cutting Tsavo into two. The geology, landscape and vegetation of the two parks largely differ. Tsavo West is more wooded while the eastern side is a largely plain with shrub and savanna. The Yatta Plateau is found on the Eastern side.
Tsavo West National Park
Tsavo West offers tremendous views and diverse habitats ranging from mountains, river forests, plains, lakes and wooded grassland. It is especially attractive at the end of the rains when the countryside turns green.
Mzima Springs is pool of natural spring water that attracts a lot of game and there is even an underwater hippo-viewing hide. Tsavo West is known for its 'Roaring Rocks', which if climbed gives views usually only seen by the eagles and buzzards that whirl around these cliffs.
Chyulu Hills National Park
The Chyulu Hills are a volcanic mountain range pitted with volcanic cones and barren lava flows. Surface water is rare, but nevertheless it is an important water catchment area for Mombasa and was gazetted in 1983 to protect this water source. Weird cylindrical tunnels were formed shortly after volcanic eruption and created the longest lava tube in the world.
Tsavo East and Tsavo West Parks are popular for short visits due to their proximity to the Mombasa coast, but the Chyulu Hills is neglected on most tourist itineraries. None of these parks get crowded.
Animals, Birds of Tsavo & Chyulu
The enormous size of these parks with many remote corners, makes them important for their bio diversity. Wildlife congregates around waterhole's particularly in the dry season. Game includes buffalo, zebra, giraffe, oryx, lion and leopard.
More than 50 different kinds of mammals graze, browse, hunt and scavenge in the grasslands and bush country of the Tsavo West. Zebras are always seen slaking their thirst near Tsavo West's luxurious game lodges. Among the more unusual of the animals are the gerenuk, a long necked antelope that browses on the higher, sweeter leaves of the acacia thorns.
Carnivores are also abundant in the park. Tsavo West is known for its 'Roaring Rocks', which if climbed gives views usually only seen by the eagles and buzzards that whirl around these cliffs.There is a quite a variety of wildlife and birdlife in the park. Over 600 species of birds have been recorded.
Moreover, game viewing is fairly easy. Animals include the leopard, cheetah, buffalo, rhino, elephant, giraffe, zebra, lion, crocodile, mongoose, hyrax, dik dik and porcupine
Some 500 species of birds have been recorded in the Tsavo West area, including many migratory birds on their flight south
The weather in Tsavo is pleasant for most of the year.
There are two rainy seasons. The long rains are generally from March through to May and the weather is hot and humid. The short rains arrive in the warm months of October to December.
January to March is hot and dry and July to October is warm and dry.
* Chyulu Hills Area is 741 Square Kilometers Altitude: 1,500 - 2,160 meters above sea level
* Tsavo West area is 3,500miles² (9,065km²) rising between 5000-6,000ft (152-183 metres) above sea level
Highlights of Tsavo & Chyulu
There are some interesting geographical features in Tsavo, including the Lugard Falls (this is actually a misnomer as the 'falls' are in fact a series of rapids on the Galana River), and the Mzima Springs (the source of much of Mombasa's fresh water).
At Mzima you can walk down to a large pool, a favorite hang out for hippos and crocodiles. There is an underwater viewing chamber where you can observe thousands of primordial looking fish. Sadly, you are not going to spot crocodiles or hippos in the chamber.
Breathtaking views from the Chyulu hills,cave exploration,one camp site next to park headquarters