Tsavo West National Park
Tsavo west national park is one of the most beautiful parks in Kenya thrilling on a land area of 9,065 square kilometers situated in the coastal province of Kenya along Nairobi Mombasa road and majorly famous for the existence of man eaters, Mzima springs, the shetani lava and probably the stunning magical sunset all making it a top destination to visit while on a Kenya safari. Tsavo west national park is managed by Kenya Wildlife Services which is a board responsible for protection and management of all protected areas in Kenya. The climatic conditions of the park ranges between 20o C and 300oC with an annual rainfall of 200mm and 700mm per annum without forgetting that the park has 2 rain seasons both long and short. Long rain seasons are seen in the months of March and April where shorter rain seasons are seen in November and December. The savanna vegetation of Tsavo west national park comprises of both savanna grassland and wood land which consists of ragged shrubs, open grassland, riverine vegetation, rocky ridges as well as acacia woodland among others. Tsavo west national park just like Tsavo east national park also obtained its name from River Tsavo that flows in the park close to Tanzania border before merging with river Athi to make river Galana. Tsavo west national park is divided from Tsavo East national park by a railway though they are all situated with in Tsavo Conservation Area together with other parks in the southern part of Kenya and North eastern part of Tanzania including Chyulu hills national park, Amboseli national park, Kitui national game reserve, and many other protected and unprotected area. The entire Tsavo conservation Area covers a land area of 42,000 square kilometers.
Tourist attractions in Tsavo west national park
Tsavo west national park thrills with several tourist attractions ranging from beautiful sceneries, wildlife, Mzima springs, Ngulia rhino sanctuary where rhinos are being protected, Tsavo River and many more that make it one of the most visited destinations in Tsavo Conservation Area.
Wildlife: Tsavo west national park harbors several wildlife species ranging from mammals which include; the big five game like black Rhinos in Ngulia Rhino sanctuary , elephants, Hippos, Lions, buffaloes, Giraffes, Hirola, zebras, cheetahs, kudus, Dik-dik, crocodiles, mongoose, Porcupines, impalas, Leopards, bush babies, hartebeests, Oryx, and many other mammals that are seen in the park. The park also is a home to over 600 species of birds including both migratory birds, endemic bird species, and near endemic species. Some of the bird species to look out for include; Eastern black headed oriole, Pied kingfisher, Verreaux’s eagle owl, Golden palm weaver, Northern brownbul, River warbler, parrot, Vulturine guinea fowl, Golden pipit, falcon, Martial eagle, Lesser kestrel, African fin foot, Bee eater, Black faced sand grouse, Marsh warbler, Narina trogon, Red-backed shrike, Shelley’s starling, Somali ostrich, Thrush nightingale, Fischer’s starling, Slender tailed nightjar.
Mzima springs: these 4 springs are yet beautiful attractions that attract plenty of wildlife species including elephants, buffaloes, hippos, crocodiles and many more. Mzima springs are situated close to Mtito Andei entrance gate and they get water from Chyulu hills that pass via the reservoirs in the volcanic rocks that are porous to enable both the river and rain water to penetrate through them to the springs that hence create a pool of water that attracts a large concentration of mammals and also act as fishing grounds.
Tsavo River: Tsavo River is the major attraction since it owns the name of the park. As stated above, Tsavo River flows from Tanzania border along the coast of Kenya towards eastern part of the park where it then combines with River Athi and a magnificent Galana river is formed that proceeds to flow through the park and outlets in the Indian Ocean. Tsavo River is a good spot for different wildlife species including mammals, birds as well as fish.
Other attractions include roaring rocks, caves and many more.
Tourist activities in Tsavo west national park
Game drives in Tsavo west national park: Tsavo west national park is one of the most outstanding destinations for thrilling game drive safaris in Kenya as well as in East Africa region. Taking an early morning game drive in plains of Tsavo West national park is one of the rewarding adventurous as you have a golden opportunity of spotting mammals that rise very early in the morning to graze as well as the nocturnal wildlife that is usually active in the night and runs to their hideouts during the day. This implies that during the morning game drive, most of the wildlife species are very actives as some rise while others head to their hiding places. The park also offers evening game drives and full day game drives all coming along with lots of unique encounters depending on the choice of travelers. Amongst the mammals to lookout for during game drive include Elephants, Hippos, Leopards, hyenas, buffaloes, antelopes, impalas, kudus, elands as well as several species of birds.
Birding in Tsavo west national park: Taking on a birding safari in Tsavo west national park is one of the unforgettable experience where a birder is rewards with a view of many bird species since the park harbors over 600 bird species. With the help of binoculars, look out for some bird species like Night jars, Warblers, Somali sparrow, starling birds, bee-eaters, king fisher and many more.
Rock climbing: This is one of the adventurous activity done in Tsavo West national park with lots of stunning encounters during the climb including mammals such as roaming elephants, birds like vultures and stunning views of River Tsavo. These rocks are the best in Kenya in that incase wind blows, you hear sounds of roars similar to that of lions thus most people refer to them as roaring rocks. These rocks also act as viewing grounds to the plains ahead which in turn create the best backgrounds for photography.
Other activities to enjoy while on a Kenya safari in Tsavo West national park include visiting the World War 1 battle field, boat cruise along Lake Jipe, visiting Ngulia rhino sanctuary where endangered black rhinos are being protected, community encounters with the local Masai people, fishing and visiting Lumo wildlife sanctuary among others.
When to Visit Tsavo west national park
Anytime of the year is best for exploring Tsavo west national park depending on what activity one intends to do. For instance, dry months are suitable for game viewing when the vegetation cover is minimal and easy for spotting mammals in the park. On the other hand, birding is best during rainy months of April, May and November though at any time one can do birding as well as game viewing all year round.
Accommodation in Tsavo west national park
Tsavo west national park has some of accommodation facilities where tourists can spend their nights while on a Kenya safari and these include both Campsites, hotels, camps, Bandas and lodges such as Lake Jipe campsite, Ngulia lodge, Kamboya campsite, Kamboyo guest house, Lake Jipe Cottages, Ngulia Safari Lodge, Severin Safari Camp, Simba Campsite, Chyulu Campsite, Rhino valley lodge, Voyager Safari Camp, Palm Tree Camp, Kitani Severin Safari Lodge, Kilaguni safari Serena lodge, Voyager Safari Camp, Severin safari camp, Sarova salt lick lodge, Taita hotel and many that cater for both budget, midrange and luxury travelers.