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Tsavo West National Park

Tsavo West National Park                                               
Tsavo West National Park covers 7,065 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 savannah stretching from Mtito Andei, along the Mombasa-Nairobi road and south to the Tanzanian border. The North Eastern boundary along the Highway 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 riverside 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 volcano.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 eries of clear pools.


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Tsavo West National Park                                            
"Land of Lava, Springs and Man-eaters"
The park is located on south eastern Kenya, 240 km from Nairobi along the western side of Mombasa-Nairobi highway. The savannah ecosystem comprises of open grasslands, scrublands, and Acacia woodlands, belts of riverine vegetation and rocky ridges.
Major wildlife attractions include elephant, rhino, Hippos, lions, cheetah, leopards, Buffalos, diverse plant and bird species including the threatened corncrake and near threatened Basra Reed Warbler.  
 
Access
-  Distance: 240 km from Nairobi, 250 km from Mombasa (Mtito Andei Gate).
-  By air There are 3 airstrips in the park.
-  Gates: Tsavo, Lake Jipe, Mtito Andei (Kamboyo HQ), Chyulu, Maktau and Ziwani.
-  Roads: The main access routes are through Chyulu Gate from Amboseli and Mtito Andei Gate from Nairobi.
-  Visitors from Mombasa also use Tsavo Gate near Manyani.
-  The Park can also be reached via Taveta –Voi road through Maktau, Ziwani and Jipe Gates.
The main access routes are through Chyulu Gate from Amboseli and Mtito Andei Gate from Nairobi (240 km) and Mombasa. Visitors from Mombasa also use Tsavo Gate near Manyani. The park can also be reached via Taveta-Voi road through Maktau, Ziwani and Jipe gates.
-  Airstrips: Kamboyo, Kilaguni, Tsavo Gate, Jipe, Kasigau,Finch Hottons, Ziwani, and Makatau airstrips are in good.

Park Gates
Chyulu, Mtito Andei, Tsavo, Jipe, Maktau Gate, Kasigau and Ziwani Gates.

Size and Location
-  9,065 Km 2.
-  South Eastern Kenya, Inland from Mombasa, and the altitude ranges between 200 - 1,000 m.

Climate
-  Temperature ranges from 20-30 °C and rainfall from 200 mm – 700 mm.
-  Two rain seasons: Long rains – March & April & short rains – Nov/ December.

Safari Card Required
Entry is by
Safari Card only. Safari Cards  may be loaded – but not obtained at Mtito Andei Gate.

Attractions
Recent Volcanoes, lava flows and caves with potential for geological and cave exploration and hiking. Mzima Springs & underwater hippo and fish watching. Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary, Lake Jipe, Mt. Kilimanjaro, elephant, rhino, diverse bird and plant species. And if lucky - Wild dogs.

Wildlife
Leopard, Cheetah, Wild dogs, Buffalo, Rhino, Elephant, Giraffe, Zebra, Lion, Plains Game, Crocodile, Mongoose, Hyrax, Dik- Dik, Lesser Kudu, and Nocturnal Porcupine. Prolific birdlife features 600 species.

Vegetation
Most of the northern sector is Acacia commiphora bush land with scattered trees such as baobabs - Adansonia digitata and Delonix elata. In the Ngulia area, a range of craggy hills reaches around 1800m and is heavily wooded. The southern sector consists of open grassy plains. The permanent tsavo river runs through the northern part of the park with a fringe of riverside Acacia elatior and Hyphaene compressa woodland. Lake Jipe is bordered by extensive beds to Typha and has large permanent swamps at its eastern and western ends. Mzima springs, is fringed by Raphia farinifera and Phoenix reclinata palms.

Activities
-  Game viewing.
-  Camping
-  Cave exploration.
-  Underwater Hippo and fish watching.
-  Caving at the Shetani caves.
-  Boat excursion at lake Jipe, 
-  Bird watching at lake Jipe,  Annual bird ringing at Ngulia lodge,  
-  Hill and rock climbing at Chaimu and Ngulia Hills.

Best time for a visit
All year round.

What to take with you
Drinking water, picnic items and camping equipment if you intend to stay overnight. Also useful are: binoculars, camera, hat, sunscreen, sunglasses and guidebooks.

Park Contacts
Phone:       +254-43-30049; +254-43-310011; +254-43-2080268
Fax:         +254-43-30043
Email:      
tsavowestnp@kws.go.ke
Postal Address:The Warden,Tsavo West National Park, PO Box 71, Mtito Andei, Kenya.

Accommodations