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What to do in Tsavo
Wildlife Safari

Tsavo’s massive area and wide range of landscapes make this an ideal place for a varied wildlife safari. The sheer space and freedom of Tsavo lets you really explore and feel at one with this awesome wilderness. Exploring both parks means that your safari will take you through several very different habitats in a single day, encountering many different species.

The open plains are the best place to see the large herds of game. The region is well known for its herds of "Red Elephants", their skins stained by rich ochre dust.

The plains are also ideal for finding Lion, Eland, Impala, Kudu and possibly Rhinoceros. In the forested hills, large herds of Buffalo and Giraffe are often found. The forests of Tsavo are ideal for birding, with a fantastic range of species recorded including a variety of weavers, hornbills, sunbirds, rollers, and raptors.

Birders should definitely not miss the Mzima Springs, where the plentiful supply of fresh water has created a verdant oasis. the springs attract plenty of game, and there is an underwater observatory that gives the visitor a unique glimpse into an underwater world dominated by the presence of large pods of hippopotamus. The sight of these ungainly three tonne animals gliding gracefully through the crystal clear waters of Mzima is unforgettable.

Water sources are always a lure for game, and the Aruba Dam is a popular watering hole. Many of Tsavo’s camps and lodges are situated beside waterholes that attract a procession of wildlife from the surrounding plains.In many of these lodges, there is spectacular game viewing available from the balconies and restaurants.

The best time to see game is early morning and late afternoon. In the midday heat, most animals retreat to the cool of thick undergrowth and become invisible. Morning and afternoon game drives also allow you to witness the unforgettable African dawn and sunsets.

The most common means of Game viewing here is in customized vehicles, specially designed for photography.

In many parts of the Parks, guided walks are possible, and can be arranged through your safari operator, lodge or camp. This is a great way to get out and explore the park and experience the wilderness at ground level.

If you have a particular wildlife or birding interest, look for a Safari operator who can offer you specialized guiding and services to suit your needs.

Trekking (Foot Safari)

Some lodges and camps in both Parks organize game walks and hikes. The wide open plains of Tsavo are ideal for game viewing on foot. Expert guides lead these walks, giving guests a fascinating insight into the Tsavo region, and a personal introduction to the local wildlife.

A privately escorted foot safari is the best way to really experience the African bush at its best. Walking through the wilds let you explore the wild at its most pure and visceral. as you track big game, you become aware of every sight and sound, the smell of the earth and the touch of the wind. An expert tracker will teach you the signs to look for, tracks- the individual tracks and spoor, and show you how to use the wind to disguise your scent, and to move silently through thick cover and get up close and personal with the game.

When you are at close range your senses are heightened, and you become increasingly aware of the animal you are watching, how it moves and feeds, how it reacts to its environment. If the animal reacts to your presence, it can be a real adrenaline rush.

There are few experiences as exhilarating as a close encounter with an elephant, lion or buffalo. This is an experience that will make you feel more alive. You will, of course, want to stay alive so make sure that any foot safari is undertaken by a fully trained and responsible guide.

At Mzima Springs, two nature trails have been established, which are especially good for birders.

White Water Rafting

One of the wildest ways to explore Tsavo is by raft, on the waters of the Athi River. Three day rafting expeditions set out from the town of Kibwezi (a three hour drive from Nairobi). The river winds its way through Tsavo, and the 82 km rafting trip is the perfect combination of game viewing and white water adventure.

The river is rich in birdlife, and rafters will encounter plenty of crocodiles and hippo along the way. Scenic drifts along clear stretches of water are interspersed with excellent white water action, through Class II-IV rapids of up to 6km in length. Nights are spent camped out on sandbanks, sleeping under the stars by the warmth of a campfire.

For those looking for a real adventure, this is one of Tsavo's best safaris. High water season is May and December.

Bird Watching

This vast area is excellent Birding country, popular with specialist birding safaris. Notable species recorded include the rare Basra Reed Warbler, Friedmann’s Lark, Ostrich, Blue Quail, Violet Wood hoopoe, Martial and Crowned Eagle.

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