Tsavo is a country of wild, red-soil landscapes where maneless lions hunt their prey and elephants are painted in colours of rust. The Nairobi to Mombasa train line now separates Kenya’s largest national park into two distinct sections: Tsavo East’s broad open grassland and Tsavo West’s volcanic terrain. The eastern section is likely the most accessible, with broad grasslands dotted with acacia trees providing uninterrupted views of waterbucks and buffalos, giraffes and big cats, as well as over 500 kinds of exotic birds.
Head west and you’ll discover open grasslands, woods and swamps, as well as the Shetani lava flow, which spreads like spilled black ink across the landscape. Visitors are drawn to Tsavo West for its sparkling Mzima Springs, a series of underground-fed pools where territorial hippos rule the roost and crocodiles glide silently beneath the surface. An underwater viewing chamber allows you to peer beneath these wildlife-rich pools, which are surrounded by trees where vervet monkeys pick fruit. At the nearby Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary, you can see around 80 precious black rhinos, who are guarded around the clock.
Tsavo East boasts broad grasslands with huge herds of plains game and elephants, and the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s Ithumba Elephant Reintegration Unit.
These areas are being negatively affected by poaching and low rainfall.
Key Impact Facts
- 95 species of mammals and 500 birds species, of which 12 are listed as critically endangered, endangered or vulnerable
- The best way to conserve species is through the protection of their critical habitats
IUCN Red List & Status
Decline of keystone species
How can you help?
- Stay in properties which support the 4Cs
- Get involved: visit and learn about different organisations ‘doing good’ in the area. The primary definition of ‘doing good’ involves habitat conservation and, where possible, rehabilitation.