Tsavo West National Park
Tsavo West is in Kenya close to the city of Mombasa.
To see as many animals as possible, it needs a good guide and a little luck. In low season after the rainy season (May - June) the grass is high and the animals sometimes harder to see, except elephants and giraffes. On the other hand, nature has fresh colors and the safaris are cheaper. In the high season August - September the grass is short and animal sightings easier but also more expensive.
Tsavo National Park was established on 1 April 1948 with an area of 21,812 km². It is the largest park in Kenya. In May 1948 Tsavo National Park was divided into East and West for administrative purposes. The two Parks are divided by Nairobi–Mombasa railway/road.
The Waliangulu and Kamba tribes used it as a hunting ground prior to gazettement. Dr. Krapf journeyed on foot through this area in 1848 crossing the Tsavo river on his way to Kitui – first European to see Mt. Kenya. Construction of the railway reached Tsavo river in 1898. During the construction of the bridge, lions (man-eaters of Tsavo) terrorized the workers, killing over 130 people before being killed by Col. Patterson. During the World War I (1914-1918) British forces built fortresses along the Tsavo River to counter threats from invading German forces from Tanganyika (present Tanzania) – whose intention was to blow up the Tsavo River Bridge that was vital to British communication. Captain Lugards, a European explorer, passed through the area on his way to Uganda and had a drop over at the Lugards falls area.
Tsavo West is characterized by a hilly arid landscape. This park is dotted with volcanic cones; dramatic, black lava flows; and a number of rocky outcrops.
Flora and fauna
The park is famous for leopards, cheetahs, wild dogs, buffaloes, rhinos, elephants, giraffes, zebras, lions, crocodiles, mongooses, hyraxes, dik- diks, lesser kudus and nocturnal porcupines. Prolific bird life features 600 species.
The temperature is at 27-31°C during the day and 22-24°C during the night all year round. Humidity is high from December to April. Long rainy season: March to May. Short rainy season: October till December.
Best times to visit: January, February, June, September. From March to May it‘s not a good time due to muddy roads. For birdwatchers, the migration time from October to January is best time.
Fees and permits
Fee is US$60.
- Mzima Springs are a series of four natural springs
In the lodges the prices for soft drinks are about Ksh 250ksh, beer Ksh 400, wine Ksh 500, water is free in most camps. Prices for drinks in the safari vehicles are about same level.
There are plenty of places to stay in park . These range greatly and most of them have a water hole close to the property making game viewing easier.
- Severin Safari Camp [dead link]
- Kilaguni Serena Lodge [dead link]
- Rhino Valley Lodge
- Lions Bluff Lodge: very nice 360 degrees round view from camp over the park, Located in Taita Hills, outside park