Boasting some of Kenya’s largest elephants, Tsavo East National Park is a true wilderness, with much of its 5,300 square mile area north of the Galana River permanently closed to the public.
However, areas open to safari goers, such as its southernmost section, have a great network of roads providing ample opportunity to encounter these giants, often wearing a dusting of red earth as sunscreen.
Although it’s true to say that its wildlife is more sparsely populated than other national parks in Kenya, visiting Tsavo East National Park is rarely a letdown. Lions are fairly commonly seen, hinting at the wealth of prey species which call Tsavo East their home. They include everything from rare Masai giraffe to buffalo, lesser kudu, and waterbuck. Rhino also inhabit the park.
Blending the semi-arid scrubland of the Taro Desert with open grasslands and more intimate wooded spaces, Tsavo East is probably at its best around its year-round waterways. These attract all manner of species beyond its elephants to freshwater in an otherwise harsh environment, helping to ensure sightings. Elsewhere, the Yatta Plateau forms a 180-mile long area thought to be the longest lava flow in the world.
In addition, Tsavo East is one of the best destinations for birders in all of Kenya. Experts have recorded more than 500 individual species of bird within the national park, from water lovers like the saddle billed stork to raptors including the martial eagle.