Get to Know Tsavo East and West National Park
Dry plains, lava fields and natural springs attract a variety of wildlife, but Tsavo is best known for its man-eating lions of long ago
Tsavo East and West are fairly close to Mombasa and the coast, which has made this wildlife area a popular place to go in search of elephant, hippo, buffalo, zebra and giraffe – up to 500 different species.
Tsavo East is drier than Tsavo West and the main area explored on safari is along the Galana River. Elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion, leopard, hippo, crocodile, waterbuck, lesser kudu and gerenuk are all present but the East is famous for its endemic and almost extinct hirola. These are also called Hunter’s antelope or ‘four-eyed’ antelope because of the prominent glands below the eyes. There are believed to be no more than a few hundred individuals left in the extreme northeast of Tsavo East.
Tsavo West lies on the western side of the Mombasa-Nairobi highway that splits the two wildlife areas. You may find lion, cheetah and wild dog here, and the bird life is prolific. The West is a little less busy because it’s a further from Mombasa and also because you’d need to drive further to get to the Chyulu Hills and the parts where you can begin to see Mount Kilimanjaro in the west.