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Kenya Travel Guide
Tsavo East National Park - Kenya Safaris

The combined area of Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks makes Tsavo one of the world's largest game sanctuaries, larger than Wales in Great Britain or Jamaica in the Caribbean. Lying about halfway between Nairobi and Mombasa it covers 20,812 square kilometers. Tsavo East is larger and more arid than Tsavo West and is less frequented.

The vegetation around Tsavo East National Park is savannah grassland with thorny bushes and some swampy marshland near Voi River. The landscape is unique because of the Yatta Plateau formed from the lava that oozed from Ol Doinyo Sabuk Mountain.

Only a small area of Tsavo East National Park's vast nature reserve, larger by far than Tsavo West, is open to the public although new areas for human intrusion are now being added. The remainder provides a remote animal wilderness.

The main river that passes through this park is the River Galana. A variety of animals can be seen: lions, leopard, cheetah, zebras, giraffes, serval, antelopes, kongoni, lesser kudu, oryx, klipspringer, impala, stripped hyena, ostriches, gazelles, buffalos, elephants and many more.

A variety of migratory and native birds are seen. The birds are viewed between late October and early January, and come from as far as Eastern and Western Europe. Commonly seen birds are African skimmers, goshawks, red and yellow bishops, palm nut vultures and the white-headed buffalo weavers.

There are many interesting aspects in the open areas of
Tsavo East not least the spine of the Yatta Plateau, one of the world's longest lava flows. An additional attraction is the Athi River flanked by stately doum palms which, near the Manyani gate forms the Lugard Falls, a long stretch of rippling white water cataracts and a favorite haunt for sunbathing crocodiles.

Lugard Falls gush through a small fissure, narrow enough for the foolhardy to leap across, before dropping to Crocodile Point below, where the river changes its name to the Galana.

Droughts are much more common in Tsavo East than
Tsavo West, and Aruba Dam built in 1952 has dried up completely at times although it covers an area of 85.4 hectares. This wilderness, seemingly so hostile, is nevertheless inhabited by a wide range of plains' game including zebra, several species of antelope among them lesser kudu and hartebeest, warthog and ostrich as well a elephant herds which plunder their way through bush and scrub to the permanent waters of the Athi River.

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