the tsavo west
' LAND OF LAVA SPRINGS & THE MAN-EATERS '
THE TSAVO WEST NATIONAL PARK
Approximately 30% of Kenya is under parks. Tsavo National Park was established on 1st April, 1948 with an area of 21,812 Km2. Its situated halfway between Nairobi and Mombasa – making it ideal for those wanting to include both safari and coast on their itinerary. It is the largest Park in Kenya. In May 1948, Tsavo National Park was divided into East and West for administrative purposes. The two Parks are divided by Nairobi–Mombasa road. Tsavo west is a model national park with a diversity of habitats, wildlife and mountainous scenic landscape covering 7065 km2. In the evening, Tsavo sunsets span the sky filling the horizon with incredible colour. The park’s habitat include open plains alternating with savannah bush, semi desert scrubs, acacia woodlands, rocky ridges, rocky outcrops, extensive ranges, isolated hills, belts of riverine vegetation, palm thickets and mountain forests on Chyulu hills. There are numerous rocky outcrops, ridges and part of the park towards the Chyulu hills is of recent volcanic origin with lava flows and ash cones (the Shetani lava flow an example of a recent volcano) To the north, the Mzima springs are found where water that has filtered underground from the Chyulu Hills gushes from below a lava ridge into a series of clear pools. Here, hippos and crocodiles bathe. The north eastern boundary along the highway adjoins Tsavo East National Park though Tsavo West has varied topography and a diverse array of habitat than its neighbor. In the far south western corner on the Kenya Tanzania border is Lake Jipe, part of which is in the park. This very attractive lake is fed by runoff from Mt. Kilimanjaro and the North Pare mountains.