Tsavo East National Park

Tsavo East National Park, Kenya’s oldest and largest national park, is a shelter for the country’s northern and southern animals. It is halfway between Nairobi and Mombasa and is great for anyone looking to combine a safari with a beach vacation.


Tsavo is located in southeast Kenya, close to the Tanzanian border and the Kenyan coast. Tsavo, named after the river that runs through the parks, is divided into two national parks, Tsavo East and Tsavo West, and is separated by the Mombasa-Nairobi highway.

Tsavo East is Kenya’s oldest and largest national park, covering little more than 20,000 square kilometers, or 4% of the country.

It spans 13,747 square kilometers of unspoiled wilderness and is one of Kenya’s most comprehensively protected regions, with greater biodiversity than any other park worldwide, as it serves as a meeting point for northern and southern wildlife. It is nine times the size of the Maasai Mara and is famous for its maneless lions, large herds of red dust-covered elephants, and cheetahs.

The topography is flatter and drier than in Tsavo West National Park. Because the vegetation is minimal, spotting wildlife is generally easier than in its more spectacular counterpart. One of the park’s prominent attractions is the Yatta Plateau, which is around 290 km (180 miles) long and is the world’s longest lava flow (and the oldest fossilized lava flow on Earth).

The lush greenery along the park’s permanent and seasonal rivers is its saving grace. The Tsavo, Galana, and Athi rivers are essential components of the Tsavo ecosystem and excellent places to observe animals.


Tsavo East National Park is conveniently located midway between Nairobi and Kenya’s coastal resorts. This implies that Tsavo is ideal for combining a Kenyan safari with a beach vacation.

Diani Beach, located about 30 kilometers south of Mombasa and about a four-hour journey from Tsavo East, is a gorgeous tropical paradise that has been named Africa’s top beach destination for five years in a row.

 Tsavo is also sometimes combined with Amboseli National Park, which contrasts with Tsavo’s semi-arid environments by consisting of marshes, woods, and wide grasslands. Amboseli National Park is located in southern Kenya, in the shadow of Mt. Kilimanjaro, and is near Tsavo. It is around a six-hour trip from Tsavo, with opportunities for game viewing along the way, and four hours from Nairobi if you start in Amboseli.


Game Drives: Several species live in the park, including The Big Five: lions, leopards, rhinoceroses, elephants, and Cape buffalo. The majority of this species lives in the park’s rivers, where crocodiles lurk in the murky depths, ready to pounce on anyone bold enough to approach the shoreline.

Game drives are best done early in the morning or late in the evening before it becomes too hot, and they frequently include a picnic lunch stop at Luggard Falls, a sequence of white rapids on the Galana River, and the Yatta Plateau.

Tsavo East National Park
Tsavo East National Park

Bush Breakfasts, Picnics, and Sundowners: You are not limited to the dining room at Tsavo East. Set up breakfast with a view of the Yatta Plateau, or take a break from game driving with a picnic under a tamarind tree. Freshly prepared food and drinks are kept cold in the safari vehicle’s cool box, ready for when you are hungry.

Afterwards, with an ice-cold drink in hand, watch the coral sun set behind the hills from a magnificent rocky cliff. They are known as sundowners in Africa.

Bird Watching: Tsavo East is home to almost 500 different bird species. Many dry-country specialties are easily visible, such as the spectacular Golden-breasted Starling, Golden Pipit, and Vulturine Guinea Fowl.

 The park is also the southernmost bastion for Somali ostriches and an important wintering area for migrant species from Europe. From November to April, migratory birds are present.


Galdessa Camp, which overlooks the Yatta Plateau and is nestled in an unspoiled part of Tsavo East National Park, is a magnificent and intimate eco-lodge.

 Galdessa Camp sleeps 10 people in 5 raised tents, each overlooking the Galana River and offering a private shaded deck from which to observe the hippos, crocodiles, and other wildlife drawn to its doum palm-lined banks.

 In addition to Galdessa Camp, the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust operates four more luxury eco-lodges in Tsavo, the proceeds of which are used to save orphaned elephants. Galdessa Small, Umani Springs, Ithumba Camp, and Ithumba Private are among them.

 The lodges, like Galdessa, are intimate and isolated, with some being totally self-catered. A private chef is supplied, however, and will supply you with a food and beverage list to bring with you.

Satao Camp, located in the middle of the park and overlooking a watering well, is popular with both people and wildlife.  This mid-priced lodge has 20 en-suite safari tents with individual verandas that are all nicely designed in an “out of Africa” style, evocative of the earliest explorers.

 Ashnil Aruba is one of Tsavo East’s largest and most established camps. Situated on the banks of the Aruba Dam, which attracts a variety of species in search of a drink. Ashnil Aruba has a total of 20 luxury suites, including eight with interconnecting rooms, four triples, six gorgeous tented accommodations, and two adapted for visitors with special needs. All rooms are en-suite and feature a private balcony with a view of the dam. Slate or polished concrete floors keep the rooms cool.


Tsavo East is best visited during the dry season, which runs from July to September and December to March. These months are ideal for wildlife viewing since the grass is short and animals are drawn to water sources, particularly river banks.

 It is generally recommended to avoid the long rainy season from March to May and the short rainy season from October to November. Due to muddy roads, access becomes more difficult, animal viewing becomes more difficult, and planned excursions may be hampered by excessive rains during these months.


Tsavo East is located in southeast Kenya, 325 kilometers (201 miles) from Nairobi and 250 kilometers (155 miles) from Mombasa, and takes approximately five hours to reach.  The main entry points are Amboseli’s Chyulu Gate and Nairobi’s Mtito Andei Gate. Tsavo Gate, near Manyani, will be used by visitors from Mombasa.

 Tsavo East has no scheduled flights, but there are several airstrips accessible for chartered flights. The drive time from Lake Nakuru National Park is approximately 5-7 hours, depending on road conditions and traffic. If traveling from Nairobi, many people stop here for a picnic lunch and a short game drive.