Tsavo West National Park covers approximately
30 per cent of Kenya’s park area, and contains a diversity of habitats,
wildlife and a mountainous scenic landscape.
The park is a vast expanse
of savanna stretching from Mtito Andei, along the Mombasa-Nairobi road
and south to the Tanzanian border.
The north-eastern boundary along the
highway adjoins Tsavo East National Park, but Tsavo West has a more
varied topography and a more
diverse array of habitats than its neighbour.
The park’s habitats
include open plains alternating with savannah bush and semi desert
scrub, acacia woodlands; rocky ridges and outcrops and more extensive
ranges and isolated hills; belts of riverine vegetation; palm thickets and on the Chyulu
hills, mountain forest.
There are numerous rocky outcrops and ridges
and part of the park, towards the Chyulu Hills, is of recent volcanic
origin with lava
flows and ash cones including the Shetani lava flow, an example of a
In the far south-western corner on the Kenya Tanzania
border is Lake Jipe, part of which is in the park.
This very attractive
lake is fed by runoff from Mount Kilimanjaro and the North Pare
mountains. At Mzima Springs, in the North of the park, water that has
filtered underground from the Chyulu Hills gushes from below a lava
ridge into a series of clear pools.
Visitors have an opportunity to view animals under water through a
glass house, man eaters – caves where 2 lions were shot in Tsavo West
by Col. Patterson, railway bridge forms boundary.
Climatic conditions -
Temperature ranges from 20-30°C and rainfall between 200 and 700mm. Two
rain seasons: long rains in March and April and short rains – November
Major attractions -
Recent volcanoes, lava flows and caves with potential for geological
and cave exploration, and hiking. Mzima Springs and underwater hippo
and fish watching, Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary, Lake Jipe, Mount
Kilimanjaro, elephant, diverse bird and plant species.
Leopard, cheetah, wild dogs, buffalo, rhino, elephant, giraffe, zebra,
lion, plains game, crocodile, mongoose, hyrax, dik-dik, lesser kudu and
porcupine. Prolific birdlife features 600 recorded species
Roads: The main access routes are through Chyulu Gate from Amboseli and
Mtito Andei Gate from Nairobi (240 km) and Mombasa. Visitors from
Mombasa also use Tsavo Gate near Manyani. The park can also be reached
via the Taveta-Voi road through Maktau, Ziwani and Jipe gates. Air: Kamboyo, Kilaguni, Tsavo Gate, Jipe, Kasigau, Finch Hattons, Ziwani and Maktau airstrips are in good condition.
Lodges: Ngulia Lodge, Kilaguni Serena Lodge, Severin Safari Camp/Lodge, Finch Hattons. KWS self-catering accommodation: Kamboyo Guest House.
Best time to visit - All year round
Activities - Boat excursion at Lake Jipe; bird watching at Lake Jipe; annual bird
ringing at Ngulia lodge; hill and rock climbing at Chaimu and Ngulia
Hills; caving at Shetani Caves.