Tsavo East National Park

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Red dust elephants under a shade in the Tsavo East National Park

 Thousands of travelers every year travel from other continents to visit the Tsavo East National Park; it is the oldest park and the largest in Kenya, It covers approximately 13,747 square Kilometers, This national park was established in 1948. Tsavo National park has a sister park called Tsavo west National Park, the two parks were separated for easy management in 1948, the Mombasa – Nairobi highway also called Mombasa – Nairobi highly or  A109 Road (Kenya) separates the two National Parks. 

It is the only road that links the city of Mombasa and Nairobi city.

Mombasa – Nairobi highway

Why should you visit Tsavo East National Park?

 Tsavo national park is part of the Tsavo conservation area which covers Tsavo East National Park, Tsavo West National Park, and the Amboseli National Park. Tsavo East National park has a lot of wildlife; it is considered to be ten times bigger than the Masai Mara which is famous for migration safari.  You will see more wildlife in the Tsavo East National Park than in the Masai Mara and other national parks in Kenya.

Wildlife in Tsavo East National Park

If you have watched documentaries and seen the red elephants, or the maneless lions, probably the documentary was shot in this National Park.  If you are lucky you will see all the big five wildlife in this park.

What are the big five wildlife?

The big five wildlife are the most intelligent mammals in the world, they are found in Africa, In the Tsavo East National park. Tsavo East National park is not a zoo, mammals live in their natural ecosystems.

Red dust elephants

Red Dust elephant in the Tsavo East National Park

The largest mammals on earth live in the theatre of the wild ( Tsavo East National Park) the red dust elephants, these elephants are unique because they have adapted to live in a semi-arid area, Tsavo receives rainfall twice a year, sometimes it doesn’t rain for almost two years when this happens things become very hostile for mammals in the park but the wildlife here has fully adapted to these kinds of environment.

These elephants have adapted to this type of environment, they can eat grass, backs of trees, and fruits like the watermelons.  During a very hot day, you will see them at the water holes or the river banks looking for precious commodities. 

Elephants at the water hole

Tsavo East National park has a characteristic of very red soil, the elephants spread themselves with the red soil during the day, and this helps them in cooling the temperatures of their body, it also help in protecting the body from harmful insect. When you enter the get of Tsavo East National park you can see these big animals walking in the bushes, during the day you can find them at the waterholes around some of the lodges there.

Red dust drinking water at a water hole in Tsavo East National park

Lions

Pride of lions in Tsavo East National park

Lions are the biggest cats on earth today, the family of lions is called a pride, the pride of lions can have many lionesses, cubs, and a lion, sometimes mature lions form a coalition of two lions or more to protect their territories, the territory of a lioness is smaller compared to that of a lion. In Masai Mara there is a coalition of five lions, they are now called the five brothers.

Pride of lions

Sometimes the lionesses live without a lion, when the lionesses have hunted and killed prey they share with the rest of the pride, usually, lions are ranking animals and the strong ones will eat first.  There is no friendship when it is time to eat, if they don’t have enough meat, they will hunt again until all members have had their share.  Lions killed their prey by suffocating and sucking blood. Before they go hunting, the lion or the lioness will roar to bring other family members together.

A tourist looking for lions

Lions have a mane that grows around their neck, the mane is used to protect the male when they are fighting for territories.

In Tsavo East National Park we a kind of lions that don’t have the mane, they are called the mane-less lions.  People believe that they don’t have the mane because of the hush weather conditions of Tsavo, these kinds of mane-less lions are the kind of lions that killed a total of 135 railways construction workers in Tsavo West National Park they famous known as man-eaters of Tsavo.

Mane less lions

Leopards

Leopard

Leopards are not very friendly like the cheetahs, they are very hostile animals, they spend most of their time on trees and come down only to hunt or drink water.  They use the trees to look for their prey, once they have seen the prey; they come down stock and kill it. The powerful jaws and neck help them to kill drag the prey to the nearby tree. The claws help them to climb trees carrying their carcasses.  

Buffalos

Buffalo

Buffalos are wild animals that look like a domestic cow, however, don’t try to come close to them because they are very hostile animals and can gore you until you are dead. They are always in groups of about two hundred, they are good browsers. One lion can’t kill a full-grown buffalo. All buffalos are not very active during the day because they are short-sighted, they become very active during the night. During the day they can use smell to identify the predators that could be around them.

Hilora

Hilora is one of the endangered species found in Kenya, they are mostly found in the Tsavo East National Park. They love to live in swampy areas, the reason that could have lead to their population decrease could be poaching, another reason is that they love to live near swampy water where predators like lions, leopards, and cheetahs come to drink water.

Attractions in Tsavo East National Park

Have you been to the world’s largest lava flow? The largest lava flow in the world is called the Yatta Plateau, it is found here in Kenya, covers over about three hundred Kilometers(300KM), from the ground it rises to about one hundred meters (100m), it starts from Oldoyo Sabuk around Nairobi. If you are new to this place you could be asking yourself what activities you can do in this Park.

The activities that you can do in this park are walking safari, nature walk birding, and game drive.

This national parks has key points that you should not miss to visit when you get to the national park. They include Mudanda Rock Aruba Dam Crocodile point Hippo Point

Mudanda rock

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Mudanda rock in Tsavo East

This wilderness park does not receive a lot of water sometimes, but that’s to the Almighty God during the creation God has a plan for the wildlife, the park has two dams one is natural and the other is man-made.Mudanda rock; is the natural water catchment area in the park, it stores water during the rainy season, a lot of wildlife comes here during the dry season to quench their thirst. The meaning of Mudanda in the local Taita language is dry meat. It is an attraction point where you will see a lot of wildlife during the dry season when they come to drink water. It is a destination choice for many who love to see wildlife and many game drives almost end here. Groups elephant plus other thousands of wildlife in the Tsavo east need water each day, an elephant alone can take about 210 liters per day, so water is highly needed in the national park.

Aruba Dam
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Aruba dam is a man made dam, that attracts birds and wildlife.

In 1952 Aruba Dam was constructed with an aim of preserving water for wildlife, the dam receives its water from the seasonal Voi river. In Aruba dam you can see a lot of wildlife, you can do fishing activities the closest lodge here is the Aruba Lodge. Even though most of the park is dry, there are two major water points in River Galana, these water points keep crocodiles and hippopotamus.

Crocodile point
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Crocodile point in Tsavo East

There are other two major points in the park you should not miss seeing them, one of the points is the Crocodile point. Crocodiles are reptiles that look like lizards, they can swim very well in water, mostly they come out of the water for sunbathing, these animals have a tongue that cant role, one surprising thing about crocodiles they can replace each of their teeth 50 times in their lifespan, they can live up to 70 years they can lay up to 70 eggs, which incubate after about 80 days, the mother will protect her eggs during the incubation period, the female will not eat much just like an indigenous chicken will do when is incubating, Crocodile point is a death point why? Because a crocodile will hide in the water waiting for an innocent animal coming to quench its thirst, and suddenly it will jump catch the prey to the water, drowning it and killing it mercilessly, making the water turning red. Surprisingly though they have no fins and large they are very good swimmers and powerless when they are on land because they are very heavy.

Hippo point
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A hippo returning to water

The second most crucial point is Hippo point or the hippopotamuses point, They are very dangerous mammals that can live in water and on land, in a twenty-four-hour, they spend about sixteen hours underwater and eight hours out of water under the sun, they can stay in water five minutes underwater without taking breathing, they also mate and give birth underwater, they are also very territorial mammals that is why they also cause mammals to die during the Masai Mara migration safari. If they can bite a crocodile, believe me, the crocodile will be in two pieces in a second, they can open their mouth wide almost to anaconda. The hippo or hippopotamuses’ teeth sharpen themselves, the teeth can grow to one and a half feet.

Even though this national park is in a wilderness area, there is a place within the park where you can have fun, a natural recreational place, this is place is the Lugards fall .

Mudanda Rock

Perhaps you might wonder what is the meaning of Mudanda. Mudanda in the Taita language means processed dry meat. Hunters used to salt the meat and let it dry under the sun on the rock surface. That is how it got its name. The rock is used as a water catchment area (dam), it stores water during the rainy season, when the dry season comes many wildlife gather at this natural water catchment area to quench their thirst.

If you are looking for adventures, wildlife safaris or any other business and you are looking for a company that will take you to that place, we are here to talk you there. Talk to us today.

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