Tsavo West & East National Parks

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Tour type: Daily Tour
Duration: 1 day
Maximum number of people: 1
Location: Game Reserves
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Lodging & Camping in Tsavo East and West National Parks Lodging within Tsavo East National Reserve include the Voi Lodge with 100 beds and the Tsavo Safari Camp with 68 beds. Lodges and accommodation outside the Reserve include: the Crocodile Tented Camp, near the Sala Gate, with 26 beds; Ziwani Tented Camp with 32 beds; and the Tsavo Inn with 92 beds. There are many campsite options in this reserve. Voi Gate Tsavo East and West National Parks Public Campsites which are about 0.5 kms inside the park gate, are superb, but unfortunately some are somewhat rundown. Mukwaju Special Campsite is ideal for adventurers. It is 15 kms to the east of Aruba and has no facilities. Due to its isolated nature, it is best for reclusive campers. Other camping sites are Kimunyu campsite, Ndolo Campsite and Sala Gate camping site. Some other sites like Masalini and Crocodile Tented Campsites are not open to the public.
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Tsavo East and West National Parks – General Information
Tsavo National Park is divided into East and West National Parks. Only a small area of this vast nature reserve (larger by far than Tsavo West National Park) is open to the public although new areas for human intrusion are been added. The remaining part provides a remote animal wilderness. Within Tsavo East, one of the largest lava flows in the world, the Yatta Plateau, is to be found.

Tsavo West National Park, along with Tsavo East National Park, are two of Africa’s largest. Drought and poachers caused enormous devastation to the Parks’ population of rhinos and elephants but both species are now recovering. An arial count of elephants in this Tsavo revealed that their population stood at 7000 as at 1991, thus being the largest popuation in any Kenyan park. Today, poaching has all but ended. With the park’s great diversity of plants and animals coupled with its well maintained all weather roads,it has become a model national park. The superb signposting leads visitors from one natural wonder to the other. One of these marvels is Mzima Springs which is replenished with over 220 million litres of crystal-clear water everyday from the underground streams originating from the Chyulu Hills, 40-50kms away. Mzima acts as an attraction to many animals and especially elephants that love spending their time here soaking half emersed in the water.

Each year from late September to November, Ngulia has become the base of a unique phenomena. Attracted by the lights of Ngulia Lodge, thousand of migrant birds descend through the mist, which are prevalent at this time of year, only to be netted, ringed and then released.This phenomena has become one of the bird wonders of the world. Reports about ringed birds have been received from as far off places as Oman, Malawi, Iran and Germany. Besides the gigantic elephants, other animals such as lions, some undoubtedly direct descendants of the maneaters of Tsavo, can be seen roaming around in this national park.

Among the not so common animals to be found here are fringed-eared oryx, the gerenuk and the lesser kudu. The carnivores found here include serval, hyena, leopard, cheetah and caracal. The landscape is filled with giant baobab tree and which are reputed to live a thousand years. Kilaguni, which was the first lodge to be opened in any park in Kenya, stands at the centre of Tsavo West and was opened by the Duke of Gloucester in 1962. The lodge and its waterhole have an almost permanent population of animals. This feast of flora and fauna combines to make Tsavo of special interest.

Accessibility to Tsavo East and West National Parks
To access Tsavo West National Park, there are two main gates to Tsavo are Mtito Gate and Tsavo Gate about 230 and 280kms south east of nairobi on the main A109 Nairobi – Mombasa road. Chyulu Gate in the north west corner of the park is used by vehicles coming into Tsavo West from Amboseli National Park. 4WD and high clearance vehicles are required for this route and
Tsavo East and West National Parks
especially in wet weather. Other entries are at Ziwani Gate, Jipe Gate and Kasigau Gate. Buses from Nairobi to Mombasa pass near Mtito Andei Gate and Tsavo River Gate. Hitching to these gates is fairly easy,but since walking inside the park is not allowed, visitors without vehicles may have a very long wait here. Buses also run between Voi and and Taveta on the Tanzania border or even to Moshi in Tanzania through the park via Maktau and Mbuyuni Gates.

The main entrance gate into Tsavo East National Park is Voi Gate, about 320 kms south-east of Nairobi, about 5 kms north of Voi town on the A109 Nairobi – Mombasa road. Other gateeds on the main Nairobi – Mombasa road are at Manyani gate, 25kms north of Voi, and at Buchuma gate, 45 kms to the south-east. It is also possible to enter the park on the road from malindi via Sala Gate on the eastern boundary of the park. This route and that alongside river Galana between Manyani gate and Sala Gate, may be impassable during the rains. Its is better to use the less direct route via Aruba dam. Buses ran between Nairobi and Mombasa via Voi. Hitching along this road is fine though people travelling without cars may find access a little difficult at any one of the gates.

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