At nearly 22,000km², Tsavo is the largest national park in Kenya and one of the largest in the world. Indeed, its size has led to the park being split into two sections - Tsavo West and Tsavo East - for easier administration. It's a classic savannah park of rolling grasslands and open woodland, arid and dusty in the dry season; green and well-watered after the rains.
Much of Tsavo National Park is undeveloped and, despite a reputation for good game viewing, the park isn't a regular destination on the standard Kenya safari circuits. This means far fewer visitors than the more popular parks like the Masai Mara, making a Tsavo safari ideal for those who want a big game experience well away from the crowds. Tsavo National Park also combines well with the nearby Amboseli National Park, and with Mombasa less than 100 kms away, Tsavo is a great option for those planning a safari and beach combination holiday.
The northern part of Tsavo West is the most developed part of the park in terms of lodges and infrastructure. It's a region of spectacular scenery with a rolling, rocky landscape carpeted in long grass and dense scrub. The thick vegetation makes spotting animals more difficult than in some of the more open parks like the Masai Mara but the Big 5 can be found here along with a wide range of antelope species, hippos and a great bird list.
Across the highway from Tsavo West is Tsavo East. Famous for its large numbers of elephant and spectacular herds of up to 1 000 buffalo, Tsavo East is a flatter, drier and more open savannah environment than its western sibling which makes game viewing easier, especially around the permanent water sources. Less developed than Tsavo West and with a genuinely remote feel to it, Tsavo East offers a very wild safari experience.
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At a Glance
Under-visited and full of wildlife, Kenya's biggest park is not only ideal for a safari away from the crowds but Tsavo also combines well with a beach holiday on the nearby coast.