Looking for a different kind of a safari experience? Then Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks are just what you are looking for. Located 240kms from Nairobi, these two parks form the largest national park in Kenya and offer an incredible and different safari experience. In and near the park are awesome activities that absolutely everyone is bound to enjoy. They include:
Walking with elephants in Kibwezi Forest
We all know the about the elephant orphanage in Karen, yes? It is run by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust that was started by Dame Daphne Sheldrick in remembrance of her husband who was the first warden of Tsavo National Park. Here, they look after elephants that have been orphaned as a result of poaching or injuries from falling in wells and so on. Eventually, these elephants are re-introduced back to the wild in the Tsavo. However it is difficult for some of the injured elephants to adopt to the wild conditions of the parks, so they are relocated to the Trust’s Umani Springs orphanage in Kibwezi Forest where water and food is plentiful.
I walked with elephants! I can actually say I walked with elephants! Such a thrilling and memorable experience!! The elephants are young and are very gentle. They listen to their keepers when told to step back when the keepers see you’re scared. Kids would get a huge kick out of this!! To visit, call DWST to organise with the keepers or stay at the Umani Springs Lodge situated at the orphanage.
World War One Veteran Site
Tsavo West National Park and Voi were the epicenter of the East Africa battle between the British and the German during World War 1. The battle which began in August 1914 left a number of remnants in the Taveta area including graves where mostly British soldiers were buried. Learn all about this fascinating history with visits to these sites.
Elephants. Lots of elephants. Tsavo East National Park is famous for its red elephants; red as a result of the red soil found in the park. The elephants spray the soil on their backs to protect their skin against the hot Tsavo sun and pesty parasites. The parks are not just about elephants though. Masai giraffes, zebra, elands, buffaloes, hippos, crocodiles and lots of birds can also be seen.
Shetani Lava Flow
Littered all over the area around the Chyulu Gate of Tsavo West National Park, are the incredible Shetani Lava Flows. The black rocks are a result of volcanic activity from the Chyulu Hills that took place hundreds of years ago. The locals formulated all sorts of superstitions about the lava, terming it ‘shetani’ the devil in Swahili. I found the rocks really hot but perhaps it’s because we visited the site at mid-day when the sun is at its hottest.
One can also explore the Shetani caves, also the result of volcanic activity, however you need to be careful because the caves house wildlife that may not be too welcoming!
Other things you should do:
- Visit the Mzima Springs which are natural springs that flow from the Chyulu Hills and home to hippos and crocodiles.
- See the Lugard Falls, a series of water rapids on the Galana River.
- Check out wildlife from a vantage position on Mudanda Rock which has a water source nearby that nourishes wildlife all year round.
Looking for a place to stay in the Tsavos? Check them out here.