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East & West National Park
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14.1 TSAVO EAST NATIONAL PARK
Tsavo East National Park covers an area of about 12,000 km2, 40%
of Kenya's parks' total area. This vast park lies in low semi arid
country at the eastern edge of the inland plateau, north of the
main Mombasa-Nairobi road and railway. Much of the park is level,
open country with scattered rocky ridges and outcrops. Due to its
size, the park is one of the world's wildlife and biodiversity strongholds.
The Yatta plateau, a long, flat topped lava ridge,
runs along the western boundary of the park. Beneath it flows the
Athi river which joins the Tsavo river, just above the Lugard falls,
to become the Galana river, a permanent river that cuts right across
the park. The seasonal Tiva and Voi rivers are important features
of the Northern and Southern sectors respectively. There are scattered
seasonal pools, swamps and dams, but relatively few sources of permanent
One of the great spectacles of the park is the Mudanda
rock between Voi and Manyani. This 1 1/2 km long outcrop is a water
catchment area which supplies a natural dam at its base. In the
dry season, hundreds of elephants come to drink and bathe here.
Large herds of elephants and other
wildlife. Popular legend of Tsavo
"The man-eaters of Tsavo". Yatta plateau - it is about
290 Km long and is one of the worlds longest lava flows. Lugards
Falls on the Galana river - This is not a true falls but a series
of rapids. Visitors can walk down to the river to view the rapids.
Mudanda rock - This is a long rock outcrop that is about 1.6Km long.
There is a dam at the base. Animals can be seen drinking.
Visitors can walk along the rock and enjoy a cool
breeze as well as view wildlife at the base. Aruba Dam - was built
in 1952 across the Voi river. The dam attracts many animals and
water birds can be seen at this dam. Tsavo/Athi rivers confluence
- when the two rivers join they form the Galana river.
Starlings, weaver birds, kingfishers, hornbills secretary bird and
other raptors, rollers, herons, and stocks.
14.2 TSAVO WEST NATIONAL PARK
The Tsavo West national park covers 9,000 km2, approximately
30% of Kenya's area under parks, and contains a diversity of habitats,
wildlife and a mountainous scenic landscape. The park is a vast
expanse of savanna stretching from the Athi river, North of the
Mombasa-Nairobi road and south to the Tanzanian border. The North
Eastern boundary along the Athi adjoins Tsavo East National Park,
but Tsavo West has a more varied topography and a more diverse array
of habitats than its neighbour.
The park's habitats include open plains alternating
with Savannah bush and semi desert scrub, acacia woodlands; rocky
ridges and outcrops and more extensive ranges and isolated hills;
belts of riverine vegetation; palm thickets and on the Chyulu hills,
mountain forest. There are numerous rocky outcrops and ridges and
part of the park, towards the Chyulu Hills, is of recent volcanic
origin with lava flows and ash cones including the Shetani lava
flow, an example of a recent volacano.
In the far south western corner on the Kenya Tanzania
border is Lake Jipe, part of which is in the park. This very attractive
lake is fed by runoff from Mt. Kilimanjaro and the North Pare mountains.
At Mzima Springs, in the North of the park, water that has filtered
underground from the Chyulu Hills gushes from below a lava ridge
into a series of clear pools.
Recent volcanoes, lava flows and caves with potential for geological
and cave exploration, and hiking. Mzima Springs & underwater
hippo watching, Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary, Lake Jipe, Mt. Kilimanjaro,
elephant and rhino.