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tsavo east national park

Tsavo East National Park

Tsavo East National Park: Background Info

Situated in Kenya's southeast, Tsavo is near the Tanzanian border and is close to the Kenyan coast. Tsavo East is one of the oldest, and is the largest national park in Kenya, and together with Tsavo West covers just over 20,000 square kilometres, or 4% of Kenya. Spanning 13,747 square kilometres of pristine wilderness, it is also one of the most extensive protected areas in Kenya and has more biodiversity than any other park globally, as it marks the meeting point between northern and southern wildlife.

The Tsavo East topography is flatter and drier. The vegetation is sparse, so wildlife spotting is generally easier than its more dramatic counterpart. The Yatta Plateau, approximately 290km (180 miles) long, is the world's longest lava flow (also the oldest fossilized lava flow on Earth) and is one of the park's major features. The park's salvation is the dense vegetation along its permanent and seasonal rivers. The Tsavo, Galana and Athi rivers are a vital part of the Tsavo ecosystem and are great spots to watch wildlife.

Tsavo East National Park: Destination Preview

tsavo east national park

Wildlife

Tsavo East National Park offers great wildlife viewing in pristine wilderness. All of the Big Five are here. Elephants are common, and their red dust coating makes them stand out against the arid environment. Of the big cats, lions are most easily spotted. Buffalo, zebra and plenty of Masai giraffes are some of the other animals you can expect to see.

Tsavo East has a good range of unusual antelope. This is one of the few places to see the fringe-eared oryx. The lesser kudu is very shy, but can sometimes be seen darting off into the bushes. The long-necked gerenuk can be found standing on its hind legs to reach the sparse foliage of trees and bushes. With some luck, you might spot the critically endangered Hunter's hartebeest (hirola).

Birdlife

Tsavo East National Park has an impressive checklist of more than 500 bird species. It has many dry-country specials that can be easy to spot, including the magnificent golden-breasted starling, golden pipit and vulturine guineafowl. The park is also the southernmost stronghold for the Somali ostrich. The park’s huge area is a significant wintering ground for migrant species from Europe. Migrant birds are present from November to April.

Tsavo East offers great bird watching at any time of year. A lot of unusual specials are resident, making it easier to spot them with regularity year-round. Migratory birds call the park home from November to April. Heavy rain is a possibility in November and April, which can disrupt bird-watching activities.

Tsavo East National Park: Location

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