Tsavo National Park covers an area of 20,807 sq km and is Kenya's largest wildlife stronghold. The park is bisected by the main Nairobi–Mombasa road and railway. The portion lying north of the road is known as Tsavo East and the portion to the south, Tsavo West.
Tsavo East is the larger of the two covering just over 12,000 sq km although much of the area north of the Galana River is closed to the public. The Southern section of the park is very accessible with a good network of dusty tracks. Certain sections around the Voi Gate can be pretty busy with traffic but the park is so vast that it is possible in other areas to drive several hours without seeing another vehicle.
The terrain is not as varied as in West Tsavo but switches between open plains, semi arid acacia scrub and woodlands. The most scenic section is along the Galana River which flows throughout the year and provides a corridor of lush greenery among a frequently harsh and arid landscape. At Lugard Falls the entire river disappears into a rocky grove so narrow that it is possible to stand astride the cleft with the Falls immediately below.
Tsavo is not a reserve to come and tick off large numbers of big game. Rather, it is about relaxing and enjoying the animals and birds in a true wilderness. Elephants in big herds are possibly the main attraction of the park with many converging on the rivers and waterholes to drink in the dry season. Many of these elephants are "red", and this unusual color is created by taking dust baths in the brick-red earth. Lions are not uncommon and it is also a good park to see lesser kudu as well as buffalo, common waterbuck, eland, gerenuk, fringe-eared oryx, impala and Maasai giraffe.
Over five hundred species of birds have been recorded including the saddle billed stork, martial eagle and the violet wood hoopoe.
Suggested itinerary featuring Tsavo East National Park
This sample itinerary will give you an idea of what is possible when you travel in Tsavo East National Park, and showcases routes we know work particularly well. Treat this as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.
Map of Tsavo East National Park
Places & hotels on the map
Places near Tsavo East National Park
- The Parks & Reserves of Southern Kenya 9 kilometers away
- The Chyulu Hills 110 kilometers away
- Tsavo West National Park 112 kilometers away
- Kenya's Coastline 148 kilometers away
- Watamu 150 kilometers away
- Mombasa 170 kilometers away
- The Tana Delta 173 kilometers away
- Amboseli National Park 184 kilometers away
- Diani Beach 192 kilometers away
- Funzi Island 210 kilometers away
- Lamu Archipelago 244 kilometers away
- Nairobi 277 kilometers away
- Shompole Magadi 303 kilometers away
- The Parks & Reserves of Northern Kenya 333 kilometers away
- Meru National Park 334 kilometers away
- Lake Naivasha 353 kilometers away
- Loita Hills 354 kilometers away
- Lewa Wilderness Conservancy 371 kilometers away
- Borana Ranch 378 kilometers away
- Ol Pejeta Conservancy 384 kilometers away
- Il Ngwesi Group Ranch 384 kilometers away
- Shaba National Reserve 402 kilometers away
- Lake Nakuru 405 kilometers away
- Lakes of the Great Rift Valley 405 kilometers away
- Samburu National Reserve 407 kilometers away
- Sosian Lodge 416 kilometers away
- Mara Naboisho Conservancy 416 kilometers away
- Ol Lentille Conservancy 416 kilometers away
- Loisaba Wilderness Conservancy 441 kilometers away
- Mara North Conservancy 443 kilometers away
- Masai Mara National Reserve 454 kilometers away
- Matthews Mountain Range 468 kilometers away
- Karisia Hills 483 kilometers away
- The Laikipia Plateau 483 kilometers away