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Tsavo National Park is a huge wildeness area and one of the world’s largest game reserves, covering an area roughly the size of Wales. It is divided into Tsavo East and Tsavo West, and covers some 8,000 square miles in total. Located in south east Kenya, it is less visited than some of Kenya’s other national park areas and has a dramatic landscape, more mountainous in the west and with the Tsavo River running through it. It harbours an incredible variety of mammals and more than 500 species of birds. It diverse landscape ranges through highlands to riverine forests, lakes, grasslands and open plains.
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Tsavo-East is one of Kenya’s oldest established national parks: covering approximately 40 per cent of the total area of all Kenya’s wildlife parks. It is accredited as one of the world’s leading biodiversity strongholds, with bushy grassland and open plains alternate with semi-arid acacia scrub and woodlands. Green swathes cross the park where river banks give rise to lush vegetation. North of Galana is a true wilderness.
Tsavo-East is recommended for photographers with its fabulous light and unbelievable views, in particular the Mudanda Rock and the Yatta Plateau, the world’s largest lava flow. Lugards Falls on the Galana River are remarkable for the shaped water-worn rocks. About 500 bird species have been recorded in the area, including migratory birds of prey, while buzzards stop at Tsavo-East during their long flight south.
In Tsavo-West the landscape is mainly hilly bush country with the scenic Ngulia escarpment and riverine forest along the Tsavo River. At Mzima, fresh water springs gush from below ground and form a series of crystal clear pools inhabited by hippo and crocodile. A viewing observatory allows visitors to see the underwater life.
Most of the well known wildlife species are found within Tsavo and you are likely to see elephant, lion, buffalo, hippo, zebra, waterbuck, impala, hartebeest, lesser kudu, gerenuk, vervet monkey, baboon, jackal, crocodile and small mammals including mongoose, hyrax, dik dik and the nocturnal porcupine. Cheetah, leopard, rhino and the rare Hunter’s Hartebeest or Hirola are also present in Tsavo but harder to see. Tsavo is home to some of the largest elephant herds in Kenya and they often appear to be coloured red after having dust baths and blowing the vivid red dust through their trunks all over their bodies.
In 1900 the notorious "Man Eaters of Tsavo", man-eating lions preyed on railway workers building the great Uganda Railway from Mombasa to Kampala. The carriage from which they pulled a traveller is on display at the Nairobi Railway Museum. Tsavo West also has important historical connections as a major battleground in World War I where British and German troops battled for supremacy in East Africa.
The park offers tremendous views with diverse habitats ranging from mountains, river forests, plains, lakes and wooded grassland. Its plains border with Tanzania. Game includes: leopard, cheetah, buffalo, rhino, elephant, giraffe, zebra, lion, plains game, crocodile and small mammals including mongoose, hyrax, dik dik and the nocturnal porcupine
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