Tsavo East National Park
* Tsavo East area is 4,535miles² (11,747km²) rising between 500-4,000ft (152-1,219 metres) above sea level.
Tsavo East National Park is one of Kenya's oldest and largest National Parks at the eastern edge of the inland plateau. Here you find bushy grasslands and rocky open plains alternating with semi-arid acacia scrub and woodland, with the Galana River cutting a green swathe across the park.
The seasonal Voi and Tiva rivers are important to the northern and southern portions of the park, as there is little other surface water.
Mudanda Rock is a great spectacle of this park as this outcrop is a water catchment area which feeds a natural dam where hundreds of elephants come to drink and bathe during the dry season.
Views are exceptional and it is a good place to sit and watch game. Ancient volcanic activity is evident at the Yatta Plateau - a long flat-topped lava ridge on the western border of Tsavo East.
Tsavo East National Park is located 333 km from Nairobi and is one of the largest national parks in Kenya. It covers an area of about 11,747 square kilometers. The park contains some fantastic terrain, including rivers, lakes, tarns, glaciers and peaks with a wide variety of vegetation, including grasslands, acacia vegetation, open plains and savanna.
Tsavo East National Park is therefore recognized as one of the world's leading bio-diversity strongholds. The vegetation around Tsavo East National Park is savannah grassland with thorny bushes and some swampy marshland near Voi River. The landscape is unique because of the Yatta Plateau formed from the lava that oozed from Ol Doinyo Sabuk Mountain.
Tsavo East National Park is also one of Kenya's oldest national parks - it was opened in April 1948. Covering an area of about 40% of all land covered by Kenyan national parks, this park is a popular safari destination, especially due to easy accessibility from the coast. Spectacular views are yet another reason why droves of photographers frequent the park.
Droughts are much more common in Tsavo East than Tsavo West, and Aruba Dam built in 1952 has dried up completely at times although it covers an area of 85.4 hectares.
This wilderness, seemingly so hostile, is nevertheless inhabited by a wide range of plains' game including zebra, several species of antelope among them lesser kudu and hartebeest, warthog and ostrich as well as elephant herds which plunder their way through bush and scrub to the permanent waters of the Athi River.
Animals, Birds of Tsavo East
The main river that passes through Tsavo East National Park is the River Galana. A variety of animals can be seen: lions, leopard, cheetah, zebras, giraffes, serval, antelopes, kongoni, lesser kudu, oryx, klipspringer, impala, stripped hyena, ostriches, gazelles, buffalos, elephants and many more.
A variety of migratory and native birds are seen. The birds are viewed between late October and early January, and come from as far as Eastern and Western Europe. Commonly seen birds are African skimmers, goshawks, red and yellow bishops, palm nut vultures and the white-headed buffalo weavers.
Tsavo East National Park Tsavo Facts
Climate: Warm to hot and dry
Birds : Over 500 recorded species
Access from Nairobi : Road : 270kms
Attractions: Largest elephant herds in Kenya
Animals : Elephant, lions, antelope, hippos, giraffe
Area: 11,700 sq km Altitude: 200 to 1000 m [656 - 3280 ft]
Location : In Eastern and Coast Province, South East of Nairobi
Facilities : Few lodges and luxury tented camps and standard camp sites
Vegetation : Open savannah and light patches of bush, cactus like euphorbia trees
Tsavo East National Park Seasons
The weather in Tsavo is pleasant for most of the year.
There are two rainy seasons. The long rains are generally from March through to May and the weather is hot and humid. The short rains arrive in the warm months of October to December.
January to March is hot and dry and July to October is warm and dry.
Uniqueness of Tsavo East National Park
Some of the popular destinations within Tsavo East National Park include the Mudanda Rock and the Yatta Plateau, which is the world's largest lava flow. Luggard's Falls on the Galana River include shapely water-worn rocks.
Visitors can view a variety of animals at the park, including elephant, rhino, lion, leopard, crocodile, waterbuck, kudu, gerenuk, zebra and Aruba Hunter's hartebeest.
Visitors can try to observe the large herds of elephants after their dust baths - they glow red as they blow the red dust through the trunks. There are also about 500 species of birds, including the ostrich, and migratory birds like kestrels and buzzards
Camel safaris are unique feature of the Park.