Tsavo National Parks
With 20,700 square kilometers, this park, divided by the Mombasa-Nairobi highway into two blocks - East and West, is one of the world’s largest wildlife sanctuaries. While considerable portions of the park have been opened and developed for tourism, a great tract to the north is still inaccessible and closed to ordinary tourist traffic. Tsavo is an interesting mixture of extensive plains, steep rocky hills rising abruptly, a few river valleys with their fringes of tall green acacia and palm trees. Altitudes range from 300 meters in the Eastern section to 1,800 meters in the highest peaks of the Ngulia Hills.
The Mzima springs is an interesting feature in Tsavo west. It’s crystal clear fresh waters are a sanctuary to crocodiles, hippo and fish. There is an underground glass observatory where visitors get up-close to the hippos with out the dangers of an encounter. It is fed by numerous rivers, some underground, which flow out of the lava from different directions, forming an oasis in the middle of this otherwise dry scrubby landscape. Practically most of Kenya’s wildlife is represented in the two blocks of Tsavo, but the dominant one is elephant. Over 20,000 of these giants roam the area, which also happens to be a black rhino stronghold. The park is famous for its lions, descendants of the dreaded Man eaters during the construction of the Mombasa-Kampala railway at the end of the last century. There is network of over 800kms of game viewing roads. Bird life is legion in the park and new species are often discovered. Sunbirds, hornbills, parrot, weavers, starlings, bustards and birds of prey are present in great numbers among the many species.
The park has 3 gates, Mtito Andei gate is 233km south of Nairobi and 250km north of Mombasa on the main Nairobi-Mombasa highway. From Mombasa there is a voi main gate 153km of Mombasa-Nairobi highway. From Malindi take the western road (103) and enter in the park via Sala gate.
Tsavo East National Park has several Airstrips:
Vio, Aruba, Satao, Sala, Ithumba, Sangayaya, Mopeo ,Bachuma and Cattar.
The park can be reached via Taveta road through Maktau, Ziwani, and jipe. Mtito Andei gate which is 240km from Nairobi and 250km from Mombasa. Visitors from Mombasa can also access the park through Tsavo gate near Manyani.
There few Airstrips:
Tsavo gate, Ziwani, Finch Hattons, Kamboyo, Kilaguni, Jipe and Kasigau.
Tsavo West National Park offers a variety of wildlife and birdlife. More than 600 species of birds have been recorded. Animals to be spotted include the leopard, cheetah, buffalo, rhino, elephant, giraffe, zebra, duiker, waterbuck, lion, crocodile, mongoose, warthog, hyrax, dik dik and porcupine.
Another attraction is the Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary at the base of Ngulia Hills. The sanctuary is part of the Rhino Ark Programme, which protects Tsavo West's precious population of black rhinos.
The Shetani flow, a black lava flow of 8km long, 1.6km wide and 5m deep, is the remains of volcanic eruptions. There is a cave located near the centre of the outflow, which is only a few metres long, but the exit is not accessible as it is too narrow. In the far south western corner of the park is Lake Jipe, which is fed by runoff from Mount Kilimanjaro and the northern Pare mountains. It is a wonderful attraction to visit.