Buffalo tsavo west

Tsavo West National Park overview 

Tsavo West National Park is one of the largest national parks in Kenya covering an area of 9065 sq km. Combined with Tsavo East national park, they together form one of the largest game park in the world. This is truly a wilderness outpost. It is located in the south eastern part of Kenya and distance from Nairobi is 267km. Tsavo was established in 1948 and divided into administrative units of Tsavo  West national Park and Tsavo East National park. The Tsavo West National Park is sometimes referred to as the land of the man eaters, because of lions that killed several workers constructing the railway that was passing through Tsavo during the time of British rule in late 19th century. A movie called the  Ghost and the darkness has been shot to re enact the events.

The park is semi arid and the landscape includes open plains, savannah bush, semi-desert scrub, acacia woodlands, numerous rocky ridges and outcrops and riverine vegetation. Other features are hilly environment, dotted volcanic cones and extinct black lava flow. Regarding the weather, Tsavo West National Park is normally hot and arid. Day temperature is around  29°C/84°F and at night, it averages 18°C/64°F. It has two period for rainfall which is long rains in March, April, May and short rains in October November and December.

Getting to Tsavo West National Park

It takes about 5 to 6 hrs to get to Tsavo West National Park by road. The park has five gates and they are Mtito Andei gate which is the main gate, Tsavo gate, Lake Jipe gate, Maktau South gate, Maktau North gate. Roads in the reserve are fairly good and can be traversed by 2 wheel drive vehicles although they can be a challenge in the wet season and 4 wheel drive vehicle will be do better. It is also possible to get the park by flight. 6 airstrips exist which can be used. They are Lake Jipe airstrip, Kamboya airstrip, Kasigau gate airstip, Kilaguni airstrip, finch Hatton airstrip and Maktau airstrip depending on your location in the park.

What to see in Tsavo National park/ Attractions

Birdlife is prolific with over 400 species. It is located along the busy avian migration which encourages bird ringers (tagging) to make an annual pilgrimage to the park. There are plenty of animals in Tsavo West national park. It is home to the big five and other types of animals which include, hippos, lions, cheetah, leopards, buffalos, masai giraffe, bush baby among many other varieties. There is a drive through rhino sanctuary which enhances the chances of sporting the very elusive black rhino.

Other attractions include the poachers lookout where you view the animals below and also see Mt Kilimanjaro on a clear day. Another main attraction is the Mzima Springs, where sparkling crystal-clear springs are home to hippo and crocodile that can be watched from an underground lookout.

Accommodation in Tsavo West National Park

Accommodation is plenty inside and outside the park and range from budget, Midrange to Luxury. Accommodations inside the park tend to cost slightly higher compared to the ones outside the park. The cost of accommodation goes up slightly during the peak season.

 Tsavo West National Park entrance fee

The fees have been reduced during this Corona pandemic period.

They are currently at


Adults  – US$ 30

Child  – US$ 20


Citizen Adults – Ksh. 500
Citizen Children – Ksh. 200


Adult – Ksh 500
Children – Ksh 200


Park rules/code of conduct

  • Respect the privacy of the wildlife, this is their habitat.
  • Beware of the animals, they are wild and can be unpredictable.
  • Don’t crowd the animals or make sudden noises or movements.
  • Don’t feed the animals, it upsets their diet and leads to human dependence.
  • Keep quiet, noise disturbs the wildlife and may antagonize your fellow visitors.
  • Stay in your vehicle at all times, except at designated picnic or walking areas.
  • Keep below the maximum speed limit (40 kph/25 mph).
  • Never drive off-road, this severely damages the habitat.
  • When viewing wildlife keep to a minimum distance of 20 meters and pull to the side of the road so as to allow others to pass.
  • Leave no litter and never leave fires unattended or discard burning objects.
  • Respect the cultural heritage of Kenya, never take pictures of the local people or their habitat without asking their permission, respect the cultural traditions of Kenya and always dress with decorum.
  •  visitors must vacate the Park between 6.00 p.m. – 6.00 a.m. unless they are staying overnight. Night game driving is not allowed.