Tsavo West National Park | Awesome Kenya African Safaris

Tsavo West National Park, Kenya Safaris, Africa

Tsavo West National Park is located in the Coast Province of Kenya. The Park is located on south eastern Kenya, 240 kilometers from Nairobi along the western side of Mombasa-Nairobi highway. Tsavo West National Park covers an area of 9,065 square kilometers and borders south the famous Serengeti Plains in Tanzania. Separated only by the Mombasa/Nairobi highway from Tsavo East, Tsavo West is part of the entire Tsavo eco-system. the exotic name of “Tsavo” is a name derived by the Maasai people meaning river but the Kamba people of Kenya refer to is as Tsavo meaning slaughter.

Highlights:

  • Great landmarks that have become iconic to Tsavo West including Shetani Lava Flow which is the largest of a whole series of lava flows in the park. It creates a wonderful time for any tourist to stretch out their legs as they enjoy the marvel of nature.
  • Mzima springs is another iconic feature within the park. The crystal-clear water of this chain of lakes is filtered through the volcanic rocks of the Chyulu Hills just to the north. Shaded by majestic fig and acacia trees, the lakes swarm with fish, large crocodiles and some big pods of hippos
  • Tourists are welcome to take hikes over the Chaimu Crater especially early in the morning as it gives great 360 degree views of the surroundings.  
  • Due to its diverse environment, it is home to a large array of birds inclusive of golden pipits, ostriches, golden-breasted starlings, hartlaub’s bustard, white-headed buffalo weavers, lilac-breasted rollers, raucous hornbills. Animals also call Tsavo West national park home such as elephants, zebras, buffalos, giraffes, impalas, oryx, warthogs to stalking carnivores – lions, cheetahs, hyenas, leopards, wild dogs.

This setting of animals, plants and birds bring life to your Kenyan safaris making your safaris exceptional. Compounded by the luxury accommodation offered within Tsavo West National Park, you are bound to have a wonderful time with nature in Kenya.

When to go to Tsavo West National Park, Kenya Safaris, Africa

Tsavo West National park has over time been defined as the “Land of Lava, springs and man-eaters”. Kenyan safaris to the home of great animals and spans of different vegetation creates a great ambience of nature. For those unique African safaris across Tsavo West National Park, you should plan to travel during the ultimate months of the year. Considering that Tsavo West National park is within the equatorial location; it is best to visit Tsavo West National park during the long dry season.

Quick Fingertip Facts

    • Best time to go on Kenyan safaris: January- March, June- August
    • High season: July- October, October- April- these months are the long dry making it easy to spot animals in the reduced vegetation and water sources.  
    • Low season: March- June- this is the long rainy season and there’re reduced number of visitors, reduced accommodation rates and other charges.
    • Best weather: June-August- the coolest months of the year
    • Worst weather to go on Kenyan safaris- March- June

    January- March:

    Pros:

    • Due to reduced vegetation and water sources, it is easy to locate animals
    • Days remain sunny with no prospects of rains

    Cons:

    • The heat of the day reduces the hours one can be out looking for animals.

    May- June:

    Pros:

    • With the increased rains, there is new vegetation making it pleasant to the eyes.
    • New animals are born into the wild which can be a sight to behold
    • Due to decreased number of visitors, there is reduced accommodation rates

    Cons:

    • The roads become inaccessible due to the rains
    • Increased vegetative cover and water sources make spotting the animals almost impossible.

    July- October:

    Pros:

    • With the green vegetative cover, it is easy to see the wildebeest migration

    Cons:

    • There is increase in the number of visitors, which translates to increased accommodation charges

    November- December:

    Pro:

    • Short rains bring relief to the dry land
    • There is reduced number of visitors and accommodation rates

     Cons:

    • Slightly dispersed animals
    • Increased local visitors due to the December holidays.

Where to stay at Tsavo West National Park, Kenya Safaris, Africa

For unforgettable Tsavo West safaris, you will need a place to rest your head and refresh. With the abundance of nature both flora and fauna, accommodation within Tsavo West national park embarks on giving the best eco-friendly accommodation there is. Based on past luxury accommodation, it is possible to choose a place of your liking based on tiers of comparative scale. For the highest luxury accommodation in your Kenyan safaris in Tsavo West National Park, Finch Hattons Camp is rated as one of the best and luxurious places based on colonial style of traditional safaris with all the modern amenities you need during your premium East African tour.

Those on tour in the Tsavo West National Park, and looking for balance between quality and cost, then either of Severin Safari Camp, Kilaguni Serena Safari Lodge and the private conservancy based Lions Bluff Lodge can be great options.

African safaris within these lodges, will leave you feeling one with nature as they are centered towards making viewing of animals relatively easy and fun.

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Why go to Tsavo West National Park, Kenya Safaris, Africa

Kenya is home to the beauty of nature, in the sky, water and on land. There is no place that captures this magnitude as Tsavo West national park. There are great attractions to keep you amazed at the wonders of the world including:

  • Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary– this 90 square-kilometer area surrounded by 1 meter high electric fence is home to highly endangered black rhinos. It is an amazing time to watch the nocturnal animals browse over the vegetation in the stillness of the night.
  • Ngulia Hills– Rising more than 600m above the valley floor and to a height of over 1800m above sea level, this jagged ridgeline ranks among the prettiest of all Tsavo landforms, providing as it does a backdrop to Rhino Valley. The hills can be climbed with permission from the warden, while the peaks are also a recognized flyway for migrating birds heading south from late September through to November.
  • Chaimu Crater & Roaring Rocks– These two natural features offer stunning views of the Chyulu Hills and birds of prey circling high above the plains. The Roaring Rockscan be climbed in about 15 minutes; the name comes from the wind whistling up the escarpment and the persistent drone of cicadas.
  • Poacher’s Lookout– A short distance northwest of Severin Safari Camp, this hilltop vantage point offers fine views out over the park, and especially fine views west to the plains of the Amboseli ecosystem and Mt Kilimanjaro.
  • Mzima Springs– Home to crocodiles and a wide variety of birdlife.
  • Shetani Lava Flows– About 4km west of the Chyulu gate of Tsavo West National Park, on the road to Amboseli, are the spectacular Shetani lava flows. ‘Shetani’ means ‘devil’ in Kiswahili: the flows were formed only a few hundred years ago and local peoples believed that it was the devil himself emerging from the earth. This vast expanse of folded black lava spreads for 50 sq km across the savannah near the Chyulu Hills, looking strangely as if Vesuvius dropped its comfort blanket here.
  • Shetani Caves– Close to (and geologically part of) the Shetani Lava Flows, Shetani Caves are a result of volcanic activity. You’ll need a torch (flashlight) if you want to explore, but watch your footing on the razor-sharp rocks and keep an eye out for the local fauna – we’ve heard rumours that the caves are sometimes inhabited by hyenas, who don’t take kindly to being disturbed. Some of the Tsavo West lodges charge US$50 per person for guided excursions out here.
  • Lake Jipe– This lake (pronounced ji-pay) lies at the extreme southwestern end of the park and is reached by a desperately dusty track from near Taveta. You can hire boats at the campsite to take you hippo and crocodile spotting on the lake (US$5). Huge herds of elephants come to the lake to drink, and it’s particularly good for wildlife near the end of the dry season. Conversely, large flocks of migratory birds stop here from February to May.

What to do at Tsavo West National Park, Kenya Safaris, Africa

You are spoilt for choice in terms of activities within Tsavo West National Park. The ideal Kenyan safaris constitutes of things to do as well as places to go. Tsavo West safaris usually includes an array of activities such as:

  • Game drives- offered in the morning and afternoon
  • Guided nature walks- professional guides will help locate animals as well as birds
  • Bird watching- there is a record of over 600 species of birds.
  • Hiking
  • Sundowners
  • Cave exploration
  • Nature photography