Attractions in Tsavo West National Park : Tsavo national park is the largest National park in Kenya, which is divided into two Tsavo East and Tsavo west national park which is 267 kilometres from Nairobi to the Taita-Taveta county along the Kenyan coast. The park covers an area of 7,065 square kilometres. The park is managed by kenya wildlife service. Tsavo West is a known safari destination in Kenya because of its magnificent game viewing in the world. It is home to the famous Big five animals( Lions, leopards, Elephants, Rhinoceros and Buffaloes) Other popular animals found in Tsavo West National Park Hartebeest, Kudus, giraffes, Hippopotamus, impala, Bushbuck, Genet, Oryx, Zebras, Warthogs, Hyraxes, gazelles, Dik-Dik, Duikers, Elands, Baboons, spotted hyenas, Caracals, Klipspringer antelope, Aardvark, Aardwolf, porcupine among others.
This is one of the best tourist destinations in Kenya. Tsavo National park is also the most visited safari tour destination in Kenya because of its abundance of wildlife and easy accessibility, well maintained road network and airstrips inside the National park. The park combined East and West lies across several Eastern and Coastal counties of Taita-Taveta county, Tana River County, Kitui County, and Makueni County. Some of the attractions of Tsavo West National Park include;
Mzima Springs is one of the wildlife attractions in the Tsavo west National park, it is home to a good number of Hippos and Crocodiles. The hippos submerge themselves in the waters during the day to escape the hot sun and graze in the savannah around the pool during the night. Fruiting trees around the Mzima Springs such as Date ,Waterberry’s and Fig trees offer source of food to Vervet monkeys and other birds in the park.
Mzima Springs are a source of four natural Springs located in the west side of the Tsavo National park approximately 48 kilometres from Mtito Andei. The source of the spring is believed to be a natural reservoir under Chyulu Hills to the North Chyulu Hills contain volcanic lava rocks which are too hard for water to flow through, it is believed that the rain water can flow through the rocks for about 25 years under the rocks below flowing for 50 kilometres and emerge at Mzima Springs. This natural filtration gives rise to the clear Mzima spring which flows through a series of pools and rapids. Two kilometres downstream the spring is solidified by lava flows and the spring disappear below the surface and resurfaces again.
Shetani lava flow
Shetani is the Swahili word which means the Devil. Historically the locals spotted fire flowing on the surface of the land and they believed that it is the devil himself emerging from the ground.
It is locate 4 kilometres to the west of Tsavo West National Park and on the road to Amboseli are the spectacular Shetani lava flows. The Shetani flows are believed to have been formed about 500 years ago. The black Shetani lava stretches 8 kilometres wide and 1.6 kilometres width and 6 Metres deep is a result of volcanic eruptions.
The last eruption around this place happened at about 200 years ago. The Shetani lava can be accessed too through the Amboseli – Tsavo Road. There are also some of the fascinating features formed as a results of the volcanic activities such as Caves which are believed that be inhabited with predators such as Hyenas.
Taita Hills Wildlife sanctuary
This is a privately owned sanctuary in Taita-Taveta county adjacent to the Tsavo West National Park and LUMO conservancy. It hosts a good variety of wildlife adding to the already rich wildlife in Tsavo National park. This contribute largely to the revenue collected by the county government through Tourism.
Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary host cape buffaloes, Lions, Leopards, African Bush Elephants, Dik-Dik, Kudus, impalas, cheetahs, giraffes, Zebras, Giraffes, Hyena, Hartebeest, Thomson’s gazelle among other animals including a variety of birdlife.
Taita Hills Wildlife sanctuary was established in 1971 by the Hilton International. It is located in Taita Taveta county and approximately 220 kilometres from Mombasa and 368 kilometres south of Nairobi. The sanctuary covers 28,000 acres ( 110km²)
LUMO Community Wildlife Conservancy is a community owned Conservancy near Mwatate in Taita Taveta county. LUMO conservancy is found in the Tsavo Conservation Area and it is home to the famous Man- eaters of Tsavo. It also acts as a transit corridor of wildlife between the Tsavo Conservation Area in Kenya to the Mkomazi Game Reserve in Tanzania.
LUMO Community Wildlife Conservancy was established in 2001 and was formalised in 2009 through the signing of a Trust Deed between the primary land holdings of Lualenyi, Mramba and Oza. The Taita community has for along time had a good coexistence with wildlife ensuring its protection and conservation.
The three community ranches have contributed to the wildlife and tourism their lands as follows: Lualenyi ranch contributed 28,000 acres, Mramba ranch contributed 10,000 acres and Oza ranch contributed 10,000 acres forming 48,000 acres LUMO Community Wildlife Conservancy. The Conservancy has a variety of wildlife such as Elephants, Lions, Leopards, Cheetah, Buffaloes, Elands, Hyena, Hartebeest, Wild dogs, and wildebeest among other wildlife species.
Roaring rocks of Tsavo West National Park
The Roaring rocks are situated near the Ngulia Rhino sanctuary, which is a sanctuary for the black rhinos. From the Roaring rocks, one can get the panoramic views of the Tsavo West National Park. It is also from this rocks that the lions are easily seen or spotted. It got its name Roaring rocks from the lions ,which like to roar from these rocks.
It is also believed that the Roaring rocks got its name from the strong winds that hit the rock ,rebounding back with a Roaring sound. This rocky hills offer the best view points in Tsavo West National Park. It is from this view point that you’ll have a proper view of Tsavo West National Park beautiful landscape and If you’re lucky on a clear sky a view of Mt Kilimanjaro the tallest mountain in Africa. On top of the Roaring rocks there is a table, a shade and seats offering a relatively awesome picnic point while having a wonderful relaxing time and game viewing.
It is also referred to as the Devils crater in Kamba community, the indigenous community around the Tsavo Conservation Area. The Chaimu crater is a tall raising hill covered by the bright black colour of the lava stones. Climbing this hill is accessible as there’s a path leading to the top of the hill. However climbing the hills is not always easy as it may sometimes proof difficult and slippery.
Five sister Hills
One of the eye catching sceneries of the Tsavo West National Park are the identical Five hills. They are coned shaped and resembling one another giving it a stunning scenery. The hills are close to one another and so identical that it looks like a reflection of the other, this adds up to the beautiful landscape of Tsavo West National Park.
The park has magnificent game viewing with thick vegetation cover it need a bit of patience compared to other open field parks like the Maasai Mara . Tsavo West National Park is home to the famous Big five animals( Lions, leopards, Elephants, Rhinoceros and Buffaloes) Other popular animals found in Tsavo West National Park Hartebeest, Kudus, giraffes, Hippopotamus, impala, Bushbuck, Genet, Oryx, Zebras, Warthogs, Hyraxes, gazelles, Dik-Dik, Duikers, Elands, Baboons, spotted hyenas, Caracals, Klipspringer antelope, Aardvark, Aardwolf, porcupine among others.