The other half of the erstwhile undivided Tsavo National Park, Tsavo East national park is one of the largest and oldest national parks in Kenya. Straddling an area of 11,747 Km Sq. and set at an altitude that rises from 150 – 1,200 meters above sea level; Tsavo East NP is one of the world's important biodiversity hotspots. A tad bigger in size than Tsavo West, the park's topography is an interesting mix of flat arid plains covered in dry vegetation of thorny bushes and some swampy marshlands near the palm fringed Galana River. Adding vividity to the canvass is the turquoise waters of the Galana water and the 300 kilomtere long lava flow of the Yatta Plateau with the later being an irresistible draw for assorted migratory birds. The Mudanda rocks to the east keep the large herds of Kenyan elephants interested while the Luggards Falls is where the crocodiles thrive. Once infamous for its man-eating lions, the park today is known for the "Big Five" - buffalo, dust red African elephants, lions, rhinos and leopards besides the pods of hippo, waterbucks, lesser Kudu, gerenuk giraffes, gazelles, hartebeests, mongoose, black faced vervet monkeys, Sykes's monkeys, crested porcupines, and zebras and nearly 500 species of birds which hold the promise of some fascinating game drive experiences. They arid conditions of the park and its proximity to beaches and tourist attractions of Mombasa and Malindi make the park ideal for one-day safari. The park also offers opportunities for overnight camping.
Tsavo west can be visited any time of year, but the dry months from June to October and January to February, are the best for game viewing as the dry conditions ensure the wildlife is out and about foraging for food and water. The sunny conditions also keep the threats of malaria low. During the wet season (November, April and May) the rain forces the animals to disperse and the lush vegetation of the park makes it hard to spot them. The roads deteriorate which also don’t help matters. But the scenery is beautiful alround and the migratory birds are in full flight.
Besides the breathtaking and diverse landscapes that throw up scenic vistas set to the backdrop of emerald hills , natural springs, rocky outcrops and lava cones palm fringes rivers, the park is coveted for Africa's Big 5, including the dust red African elephants, fat pods of hippo, giant crocodiles,yellow baboons and vervet monkeys teeming herds of savannah dwellers plus an incredible array of birds and magical flora flourish here.
From Amboseli (52km), head for the Chyulu Gate. From Nairobi (272km), enter using the Mtito Andei Gate. From Mombasa (188km), use either the Tsavo Gate near Manyani or the Mtito Andei Gate. There are also entrances at Maktau, Ziwani, and Jipe, depending upon where you want to be within the national park.
There are several good airstrips for chartered aircraft at Chyulu, Mtito Andei, Tsavo, Jipe, Maktau, Kasigau and Ziwani gates. There are daily scheduled flights to Tsavo West from Nairobi. You can also hire chartered flights .