Tsavo West National ParkVAST VISTAS AND VOLCANIC VIEWS
The immense Tsavo West stretches from the northeastern Athi River to the southwestern Tanzanian border. With rocky outcrops in its northern parts, most of the park is a vast tangled bush savannah, laced with volcanic ridges and lava beds.
With sweeping hills reaching 1,800 metres high, the Ngulia range offers dramatic vistas, while the Chyulu hills, adjacent to Tsavo West, feed the remarkable Mzima Springs where thousands of gallons of crystal-clear freshwater gashes into palm-fringed pools, filled with hippos and crocodiles.
Ancient and recent volcanic activity is evident within and around the park. Visit Shetani or Devi’s Lava Flow formed a few hundred years ago when a fiery molten fury spewed from the earth! Or climb to Chaimu Crater -in a mere 10 minutes.
And stop by the eerie ‘Roaring Rocks’, named after the buzz of the cicadas that inhabit them and the howl of the wind as it rushes past the sheer face of the scarp.
From the park’s many panoramic vantage points, absorb the vast vistas as you monitor the movement of the wildlife herds below. The finest is Poacher’s Lookout, a roofed hut high on a hill with views to eternity.
The world’s most magnificent game viewing awaits you! Vast herds of dust-red elephant, fat pods of hippo, giant crocodile, teaming herds of savannah dwellers plus a fantasia of birds and magical flora flourish here. The Ngulio Rhino Sanctuary protects Tsavo’s growing population of endangered black rhino, successfully inching their way back from the brink of extinction caused by rampant poaching in the 1960’s. Beautiful Lake Jipe, straddling the Kenya/Tanzania border, offers memorable experiences of abundant aquatic and bird life viewing –from a hired boat!
MZIMA SPRINGS MAGIC
The lush, hippo-inhabited pools of Mzima Springs are a verdant cooling oasis. An underwater hippo-viewing chamber, two nature trails and some scenic picnic spots provide a refreshing and rewarding adventure. And a romantic spot too!
Kenya’s largest national park supports ALL of the ‘Big Five’! Home to the country’s largest elephant population, your exciting safari is sure to include buffalo, lion, leopard and rhino too. Plus, at Mzima Springs, abundant Nile crocodile and hippo. Herds of giraffe, gerenuk, oryx, zebra and impala range through bush and plains, as do hartebeests, lesser kudu, eland, waterbuck, Steinbuck, Kirk’s dik dik and klipspringer. Don’t miss yellow baboons and vervet monkey as they cavort noisily around acacia trees.
Prolific bird life-featuring over 600 recorded species –are a true highlight. Birds of the semi-arid zone, such as Somali ostrich and golden pipit, slip by the more conspicuous white-headed buffalo weaver with its vivid coral rump displayed in flight, or the brilliantly plumaged golden-breasted starling. Raucous hornbill, with their lilting flight, are also prevalent in the park as are hole-nesting birds, such as orange-bellied parrot , and D’Arnand’s barbet that favour the thick-trunked baobab trees.
Roaring Rocks is an excellent spot for raptors: eagles cruise by at eye level and Bateleur comb the rocky scarp for unsuspecting prey. The Ngulia area, due in part to its geography, forms a focus for innumerable Eurasian and Palaearctic migrating birds. A palaearctic migratory bird-banding (bird-ringing) project is at Ngulia Lodge
Ranging from woodland to semi-desert, Tsavo West covers a diverse array of habitats. For the most part, the area is hot and dry, with acacia-commiphora scrub broken by short grassy plains flecked with thorn trees.
Wild flowers appear with the rains and the ground can be quickly carpeted with delicate thunbergia, ipomoea and barleria. Watch for the blazing fire-ball lily and the delonix, a sparsely branched tree with exquisite white blooms, pollinated by nocturnal bats. Rivers are fringed with acacia as magnificent baobabs rise leafless above the shimmering heat.
AROUND AND ABOUT TSAVO WEST
Nearby excursions can include visits to the massive expanses of sister park Tsavo East, the verdant Taita Hills or volcanic remnants of the Chyulu Hills. Within easy reach is world-renowned Amboseli National Park, remembered daily by the glorious background views of majestic Mt Kilimanjaro.
HOW TO GET THERE
By road: Mtito Andei gate is 240 km south of Nairobi and 249 km north of Mombasa on the main Nairobi-Mombasa highway.
Roads The roads are well graded and efficiently maintained.
Gates Chyulu, Mtito Andei (Kamboyo HQ), Tsavo, Jipe, Ziwani and Maktau.
By air Airstrips are at Kilaguni, Finch Hatton’s and Lake Jipe. Please contact the Warden for information