Tsavo west national park

Tsavo west  national park 

The  park  is known as “ Land of Lava, Springs, Man-eaters and Magical Sunsets”. Its popularity is based on the man eating lions that killed hundreds of people during the construction of the Railway line and the highway during the colonial era.  Tsavo West national park is the second largest national park in Kenya covering an area of 9,065 square kilometers. Its separated from Tsavo East national by the A109 highway that connects Nairobi to Mombasa
Tsavo West is a more popular destination on account of its magnificent scenery, Mzima Springs, rich and varied wildlife, good road system, rhino reserve, rock climbing potential and guided walks along the Tsavo River..

Location  of Tsavo west National Park

Tsavo is located in the South Eastern part of Nairobi along the Nairobi Mombasa highway. Its found in 240 kilometers from Nairobi following the main Nairobi –Mombasa A109 highway. From Mombasa its only few hours driver covering a distance of 250 kilometers.

History  of Tsavo west National Park

Dating back to the Stone Ages, Tsavo West National Park once enjoyed a thriving economy through the trade of ivory, cowry shells, animal skins and most likely slaves. In 1898 the construction of the Uganda Railway line took place, an event that led to what may be one of Tsavo West’s most famous tales.

It is recorded that 28 men of African and Indian descent were stalked and killed by two maneless male lions, who were listed in history as the ‘Maneaters of Tsavo’. In 1963 the now called Kenya Wildlife Services took over management of the park, which remains one of Kenya’s most remarkable national parks to this day. 

When to go Tsavo west  National Park

  • The best time to visit Tsavo West is in the dry season from July to September and December to March. These months provide the best wildlife viewing opportunities as the grass is short and the animals are drawn to water sources, especially to the river banks and watering holes in front of lodges.

Best time to visit  Tsavo East National Park

  • Tsavo West is best visited in the dry months from June to October and January to February. Although the park can be visited any time of year, wildlife viewing during the height of the Wet season (November, April and May) is not recommended.

Attractions in Tsavo west National Park

  • Mzima Springs: The Mazima Springs is the sight of fifty million gallons of crystal water that originates from underground of the parched lava rocks. This is the great place of sightseeing not only in Kenya but entire Africa. It’s a miracle place as you see white crystal water coming from underground. This is one of the unmissable attractions in Tsavo West national park. This is where the park got its nick name “ Land of Lava, Springs, Man-eaters and Magical Sunsets”.
  • Mammals: The park is regarded as true wilderness of Africa, a land of Man-eaters the lions.  It’s a home of large herds of African big game like lions, leopards, black and white Rhinos, yellow baboons, giraffes, gazelles, hyenas, impala, jackals, foxes, wildebeest, cheetahs, Elephants, buffalo, African wild dogs and others. 
  • Birds: The park has a record of over 400 bird species including the rare birds in the country. Birding is enjoyed along the Ngulia hills, the park is also a bird migratory route. The bird ringers always come to the park around October and January each year.
  • Ngulia Sanctuary: This is a unique sanctuary where the rare and endangered black rhinos are found in Tsavo west national park. This sanctuary hosts the overwhelming growing population of black rhinos in Kenya.
  • Poachers lookout: The poacher’s lookout is a hill found at the centre of the park which gives you 360 degrees view of the park. It was named after its popular use by the poachers to view the wildlife at the park

Wildlife of Tsavo west  National Park


  • Leopard, Cheetah, Wild dogs, Buffalo, Rhino, Elephant, Giraffe, Zebra, Lion,Crocodile, Mongoose, Hyrax, Dik- dik, Lesser Kudu, and Nocturnal Porcupine. Prolific birdlife features 600 species.

Accommodation at  Tsavo west  National Park

KWS Self Catering

  • Kamboyo Guest House
  • Lake Jipe Cottages


  • Kamboyo Campsite
  • Chyulu Campsite
  • Lake Jipe
  • Simba Campsite
  • Royal Little
  • Kudu Campsite
  • Kenge Campsite
  • Palm Tree Campsite
  • Professional Campsite

Privately Owned Campsites & Lodges

  • Ngulia Safari Lodge
  • Kilaguni Safari Serena Lodge
  • Kitani Severin Safari Camp/Lodge
  • Finch Hatton’s Tented Lodge
  • Voyager Safari Camp

How to get Tsavo west   National Park

  • Distance: 240 km from Nairobi, 250km from Mombasa (Mtito Andei Gate)
  • By air: There are 3 airstrips in the park
  • Gates: Tsavo, Lake Jipe, Mtito Andei (Kamboyo HQ), Chyulu, Maktau and Ziwani.
  • Roads: The main access routes are through Chyulu Gate from Amboseli and Mtito Andei Gate from Nairobi
  • Visitors from Mombasa also use Tsavo Gate near Manyani.
  • The Park can also be reached via Taveta – Voi road through Maktau, Ziwani and Jipe Gates.
  • Airstrips: Kamboyo, Kilaguni, Tsavo Gate, Jipe, Kasigau,Finch Hottons, Ziwani, and Maktau airstrips are in good.


Activities to do   in  Tsavo west   National Park

Mammals or game viewing

  • Tsavo national park.  This is done using open roof safari vans or land cruisers that takes the guests closer to the animals. Game drives in Tsavo national park account for 90% of the total wildlife experience at the park. The game drives are done in three shifts those are: Morning game drives, Evening game drives and full day Game drive.

Birds watching 

  • Birding is one of the exhilarating safari activity that is enjoyed by many travelers while on their Tsavo Safari. The park is referred as little birding paradise that hosts over 500 bird species. Birding in Tsavo national park is not periodic though the best time of birding is there. You can do birding safaris across the year with knowledgeable birding guide.



  • Camping in Tsavo National Park can be done either at the community camping sites or private camping sites. These sites are located in good animal viewing areas and are protected by rangers. From your tent balcony, you can easily view animals at your comfort and the most exciting moments about camping are being awoken by the birds singing or the roar of the king of the jungle patrolling its territory.


Mzima Springs 

  • The Mzima Springs is a famous water hole for abundant wildlife including the large herds of elephants, buffalos, Zebras, Gazelles which gather here especially in the heat of the day to quench their thirst and get a cold bath. The spring is also home to a vast number of Nile crocodiles and hippos. The surrounding acacia trees harbour the frolic blue and vervet monkeys.
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