'Our Great National Parks': Incredible Wildlife Of Kenya's Tsavo National Park

Travel to Africa conjures up tantalizing images of vast, rolling plains, carpeted with tall grass, acacia trees, and thorny shrubs —where man lives peaceful with nature in its most pristine. And Kenya, the best safari destination, serves a wonderful cornucopia of these and much more. Voted the number 1 travel destination in Africa through the World Travel Awards in both 2022 and 2022, the country boasts many panoramic palm-fringed beaches both on the south coast and north coast, many world-class national parks focused on the setting of a stunningly diverse landscape, and an impressive wildlife population you’ll find anywhere else on the planet.

Among the very best national parks are Maasai Mara Game Reserve —the theater of the spectacular wildebeest migration, and Tsavo National Park, one of only 5 on earth featured in Netflix's docuseries —Our Great National Parks—narrated by President Barack Obama. This short article enables you to in around the incredible wildlife at Tsavo National Park.

How Kenya’s Tsavo National Park Became So Popular

At the turn from the 1800s, the British Government was setting up a railway line for connecting the east African coast to Lake Victoria—as an access route to Uganda. Explained Winston Churchill as the “Pearl of Africa,” the British saw more potential in Uganda than in Kenya. It had been discovered that Uganda was the origin of the Nile which economically sustained Egypt. In the 19th-century geopolitics, control of Egypt was crucial. Whoever controlled Egypt would control the Suez Canal, a critical sea portal between your West and also the East. Kenya, Uganda’s eastern neighbor, appeared dull and drab, with swathes of an uninteresting bush. An enormous workforce, largely from India, was quickly assembled for that railway construction work. However, once the workers reached the vast, rolling plains around Tsavo, they would face one of their most formidable challenges yet. The man-eating lions of Tsavo threatened to derail the work or stop it altogether.

Workers would go to sleep but wind up devoured by the Tsavo man-eaters. Until of course, John Henry Patterson, an Irish member of the British Army, pulled the trigger on the world-famous beasts to dramatically end that brief but painful period. Instantly, it became global news. The man-eaters of Tsavo had so captured the worldwide public imagination that their dead bodies fetched a then decent sum of $5,000 from the Chicago Field Museum of Natural History—where they now give visitors a death stare. The name Tsavo has since evoked images of wildlife, roaming wildly—on a wild African terrain. That fame is not very far from reality.

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The Wildlife At Tsavo National Park

While lions granted Tsavo its global fame, elephants now outnumber lions in what is Kenya’s largest national park and the oldest—after Nairobi National Park. Tsavo was established in 1948 on the sprawling 8,036 square miles dotted by baobab trees, acacias, and fading vegetation—that quickly springs alive on a whiff of a raindrop. For each three elephants in Kenya, two are in Tsavo—in numbers that total a remarkable 12, 000. 10% of Africa’s great tuskers, known for their amazingly big and long tusks, roam the thorny savanna from the Tsavo plains framed by beautiful, rippling hills. Travelers should take a look at Dida, just this type of tusker—and something of just 30 still remaining on earth. Whichever way one examines it, Tsavo is among the finest spots worldwide to determine the largest land animals on the planet. And at Tsavo, they come in their attractively unique red, due to continuously rolling around the vivid red dirt from the park.

But that’s not to say that lions are few or difficult to spot. Actually, from the big cats, lions would be the easiest to see. Like the Tsavo elephants that are unique due to their red color, Tsavo lions also stick out due to their maneless necks. Or, if the manes are present, they are usually a little bit shorter and thinner. And leopards, which are known to be notoriously elusive and one the hardest to spot, are more easily seen at Tsavo. One perfect location for this memorable encounter is within Ngulia Valley—in Tsavo West.

  • The Best spot To Stay In To See Leopards At Tsavo: Ngulia Safari Lodge, 260 kilometers from Nairobi through the Mtito Andei Gate or 250 kilometers from Mombasa through the Tsavo River Gate.

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80% of eastern black rhinos reside in Kenya and Tsavo is a fine spot to see these amazing animals. If a person is up with this adventure, Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary, just 12.4 kilometers from Ngulia Safari Lodge, hosts about 80 black rhinos. There are also many buffaloes, the evocative image of black fighting power. There are cheetahs, warthogs, zebra, giraffes, gazelles, gerenuks, wildebeests, elands, hippos, crocodiles, waterbucks, kudus—and the beautiful fringe-eared oryx—found only in southern Kenya and Tanzania, in addition to several species of birds.

And because of its other stunning attractions, Tsavo National Park ought to be on everyone’s departure date.

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