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Tsavo West National Park

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Africa > East Africa > Kenya > Southern Rift Valley > Tsavo West National Park
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Tsavo West is in Kenya close to the city of Mombasa.

Understand[edit]

Tsavo West landscape
Tsavo River

History[edit]

Tsavo National Park was established on 1 April 1948 with an area of 21,812 km². It is the largest park in Kenya. In May 1948 Tsavo National Park was divided into East and West for administrative purposes. The two Parks are divided by Nairobi–Mombasa railway/road.

The Waliangulu and Kamba tribes used it as a hunting ground prior to gazettement. Dr. Krapf journeyed on foot through this area in 1848 crossing the Tsavo river on his way to Kitui – first European to see Mt. Kenya. Construction of the railway reached Tsavo river in 1898. During the construction of the bridge, lions (man-eaters of Tsavo) terrorized the workers, killing over 130 people before being killed by Col. Patterson. During the World War I (1914-1918) British forces built fortresses along the Tsavo River to counter threats from invading German forces from Tanganyika (present Tanzania) – whose intention was to blow up the Tsavo River Bridge that was vital to British communication. Captain Lugards, a European explorer, passed through the area on his way to Uganda and had a drop over at the Lugards falls area.

Landscape[edit]

Tsavo West is characterized by a hilly arid landscape. This park is dotted with volcanic cones; dramatic, black lava flows; and a number of rocky outcrops.

Flora and fauna[edit]

The park is famous for leopards, cheetahs, wild dogs, buffaloes, rhinos, elephants, giraffes, zebras, lions, crocodiles, mongooses, hyraxes, dik- diks, lesser kudus and nocturnal porcupines. Prolific bird life features 600 species.

Climate[edit]

The temperature is at 27-31°C during the day and 22-24°C during the night all year round. Humidity is high from December to April. Long rainy season: March to May. Short rainy season: October till December.

Get in[edit]

Map of Tsavo West National Park

Best times to visit: January, February, June, September. From March to May it‘s not a good time due to muddy roads. For birdwatchers, the migration time from October to January is best time.

Fees and permits[edit]

Entrance fee is US$60.

Get around[edit]

See[edit]

Do[edit]

Buy[edit]

Eat[edit]

Drink[edit]

In the lodges the prices for soft drinks are about Ksh 150ksh, beer Ksh 350, wine Ksh 400, water is free in most camps. Prices for drinks in the safari vehicles are about same level.

Sleep[edit]

Lodging[edit]

There are plenty of places to stay in park [1]. These range greatly and most of them have a water hole close to the property making game viewing easier.

  • Severin Safari Camp [2]
  • Kilaguni Serena Lodge [3]
  • Rhino Valley Lodge
  • Lions Bluff Lodge[4]: very nice 360 degrees round view from camp over the park, Located in Taita Hills, outside park

Camping[edit]

Backcountry[edit]

Stay safe[edit]

Go next[edit]

Tsavo East National Park

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