The land of river Tsavo became a National Park in 1948. It was already such a large territory (today it is the largest Park in Kenya!) that it had to be divided into two smaller regions, now called Tsavo East and Tsavo West. The two parts of the Park have as a border the national road connecting Nairobi with Mombasa, the Uganda Railway crossing Kenya to the nation from which it takes the name. And of course river Tsavo itself. The only human settlement of the eastern part is the town of Voi. The southern border of the Park is the line that divides it from the national border with Tanzania and the tanzanian park of Mkomazi.
Territory of the Tsavo East
Tsavo East National Park consists of a wide plain, made of savannahs mainly. Over 21.812 sq km of incredible surface you will also see the lavic plateau of Yatta (290 km) formed by the eruptions of the now extinct volcano Ol Donyo Sabuk. The vegetation consists of bush, grasslands – especially along the rivers Tsavo, Athi and magnificent river Galana – and very few groups of trees in the middle of the plateau.
The climate is warm and mainly dry, but you better avoid the few rainy months because here they can cause floods. So you better book your safari on February-April period or between June and October. In any case, ask your tour operator before you decide so you will have better information.
Attractions at Tsavo East National Park
Attractions at Tsavo East are animals and lava! Here is one of the best places in Africa to admire wild animals, which are present in a large variety of species. You will certainly meet the great predators – lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas – and the majestic elephants crossing the landscapes. Buffalos are also present, so are the wildebeests as they run from one habitat to another.
You will certainly enjoy the view of water animals like hippopotamus, crocodile, bamboo rats, ostriches, kingfishers, herons. Then your safari will take you very close to groups of zebras, giraffes, impalas, antelopes, gazelles, rhinoceros. It is not rare to spot also baboons, jackals, mongooses and wildcats. Do not miss the chance of exploring this incredible park. Tsavo West can be the greenest, the most beautiful as for landscapes, but the most interesting animals of Africa are here, in the East.
Another charming thing to see at Tsavo East is the Yatta Plateau. This is maybe the longest and largest lava flow in the world, spreading over 290 km. Of course it is impossible to explore it thoroughly, but you can easily book safaris that will take you to the most interesting parts of it.
More to see
Not many people know that Tsavo East is also famous for archaeologic excavations. Most part of these sites have brought to light remains of the so called Late Stone Age (6000 to 1300 years ago). Objects, fossil food and fossil bones have been found along the shores of river Galana, witnessing the presence of humans who were both shepherds and traders.
Also, you can admire in this part of Tsavo park: Mt. Mudanda, a high stratified rock overlooking a river where elephants love to wash and drink in groups; Lugarda Falls, water rapids on river Galana; the Aruba Dam built in 1952 across river Voi, near the town of the same name.
Information about Tsavo East
Tourists are allowed to stay at camps and lodges both in Voi town or inside the Park. The entrance ticket to Tsavo East is 30 US Dollars (20 for children). You can reach the main gates of Tsavo East by airplane – landing at Voi airstrips, or at Aruba, Satao, Sala, Ithumba, Sangayaya and other smaller ones. Tsavo East is about 250 km away both from Nairobi and Mombasa, and you get there via Nairobi-Mombasa Road, Nairobi-Mtito-Voi Road or C103 Road from Malindi.