Tsavo National Park

Tsavo is the largest game reserve in Kenya by a very long way; it is in fact one of the largest game sanctuaries in the world. In area it covers more than 20,000 sq km; to put this into perspective the 2 parts of the park (Tsavo East and Tsavo West) are larger than Israel and about the size of Wales.

The Tsavo soil is a very rich, red colour and this gives rise to the rather interesting (though somewhat confusing) sight of ‘pink elephants’ strolling across horizon! Among the rarer mammals that can be spotted here are Klippspringer. Usually these shy animals stay high up on rocky escarpments but in Tsavo they can be seen amongst the lava boulders in the rather lunar landscape in the Chyulu area.

The bird life is as varied as the landscape, from the conspicuous flocks of Golden-breasted Starlings around most of the park to the dull, skulking Evergreen Forest Warbler in the Chyulu hills. Tsavo is home to both species of Kenyan Ostrich with the Common Ostrich present in Tsavo West and the Somali Ostrich in Tsavo East. Hartlaub’s Bustard is found in both parts of the NP.

Tsavo lies on one of the main migration routes for northern hemisphere birds. Each year from September to November the Ngulia region becomes the base for a large-scale netting and ringing exercise. This provides important information on the migratory routes and the habits of many common northern species. This position on the migration route makes Tsavo a good place to spot some of the rarer migrant falcons, with Eleonora’s Falcon and the Sooty Falcon both being on the bird list for the region (they’re most commonly seen in October and November although they may also be seen from March to May).

Tsavo West, or at least the southern part of the park, is also fairly close to the Taita Hills. The Taitas are home to the Taita Thrush, an endangered species endemic to Kenya, and the Taita White-eye both of which are found only in that part of Kenya. Right down in the South-West corner of Tsavo on the border with Tanzania is Lake Jipe where some of Kenya’s less common water birds, such as the African Water Rail, Purple Swamphen and Lesser Jacana can be seen.
Other Birding desitinations:

Special Offer