One of the world’s largest national park wildernesses
Boasting spectacular varied landscapes and abundant wildlife, Kenya's largest national park is divided into Tsavo East and Tsavo West. Explore Tsavo West's rugged terrain and perhaps visit the underwater viewing chamber at Mzima Springs, source of much of Mombasa's water supply and often frequented by hippos and crocodiles. Venture deep into the park and you may not encounter another vehicle all day. In contrast, Tsavo East's vast expanse of open savannah offers the opportunity to see impressive herds of elephants and spot magnificent lions. Easily combinable with a beach stay in Mombasa.
Tsavo holiday highlights
Tsavo National Park is located in the Coast province in southeast Kenya. Vast and varied, Tsavo is Kenya’s largest national park and one of the largest sanctuaries in the world – roughly the size of Wales. It is divided by the Mombasa to Nairobi road and railway, forming two national parks – Tsavo East and Tsavo West. Tsavo East is approx. three hours' drive from Mombasa, while Tsavo West is 50 minutes flight from Nairobi or Ukunda, or approx. four hours' drive from Nairobi.
The larger of the two, Tsavo East consists of open plains, acacia scrub and woodlands. The Galana River provides a scenic strip of lush greenery and attracts abundant wildlife year-round.
The landscape of Tsavo West is spectacularly varied, with semi-arid plains, open grasslands, dense woodlands, rocky outcrops and lava flows. One of the most popular sights here is Mzima Springs – a series of pools fed by underground streams. Hippo and crocodile inhabit the pools, and an underground viewing chamber allows for up-close viewing of colourful fish – and maybe a hippo, if you’re extremely lucky. Visit, or even climb, the remarkable Shetani Lava flow – a long black lava flow caused by volcanic eruptions almost 250 years ago.
Tsavo’s soil is rich and red in colour and this creates the illusion of magnificent red elephants – which are actually covered in dust from the soil. The park is also home to wildlife including rhino, buffalo, leopard, lion, waterbuck, lesser kudu, giraffe and gerenuk. Travel deep into the park for wildlife viewing away from the crowds.
Just outside of Tsavo lies the private conservancy of Taita Hills – a sanctuary providing safe habitat for over 50 species of mammal and 300 species of bird.