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A safari guide to Tsavo National Park

A safari guide to Tsavo National Park

Tsavo national park also known as Theater of the wild is one of the world’s oldest and largest game reserve found in Kenya at approximately 13,747km2 situated in a semi-arid area known as Taru desert near the town of voi in the Taita-Taveta County of the former coast province. The park was established in 1948 and later divided into Tsavo East National Park and Tsavo West National Park because of the railway and A109 road. This park was named after Tsavo River which flows from West to East in the park. Tsavo national park is bordered by Chyulu hills national park and Mkomazi game reserve which are found in Tanzania.

Despite the fact that Tsavo national park was split into Tsavo East National park and Tsavo West National park, Both Parts have Unique features as well as vast Wildlife and fortunately they are all excellent and worth visiting because it is one of the top destination in Africa that hosts all the members of the African big 5 consisting Lions, Leopards, Elephants, Black Rhinoceros and Cape Buffaloes and because of its big number of wildlife mainly the lions that killed several railway constructors, it was termed as a Man Eaters Park.


Tsavo East national park is a semi-arid area full of captivating land scape, grassland and savannah vegetation and it is generally flat with dry plains where Galana River flows from which attracts a vast number of diverse wildlife and it hosts over 500 different bird species. Tsavo East national park is famously known because of Tsavo lions, it is a home to larger mammals and vast herds of dust.


Tsavo West national park is more of a mountainous and wet area full of swamps, natural springs, rocky peaks, extinct volcanic craters and rolling plains. Tsavo west national park is known as the land of lava, springs, man eaters and It is also famously known as black Rhino sanctuary. It provides a magnificent scenery of the Mzima springs, bird life and varied wildlife due to its good road network. Tsavo West section offers the best rock climbing options however both sections are excellent and worth visiting and they can be organized alongside a beach holiday safari in Africa.

How to access Tsavo National park sections

Tourist can easily get access to Tsavo national park through different gates which act as points of entry and exit and these are also clearing points for tourist because this is where they pay the park fees. These gates have standard entry and exit time where by no one can enter or exit the park before or after the set time. This park can be accessed by both Road and Air transport.

Tsavo East national park can be accessed through four gates namely;

  • Manyani Gate

Manyani gate is situated in the South Western part of the park near Voi town which is a few minute drive. It is an advanced point of entry with a cashless form of payment to pay the park fees. Tourists using air transport can use Ikanga airstrip or Manyani airstrip and they enter into Tsavo east national park through Manyani gate.

  • Voi Gate

Voi gate is the main entry point of Tsavo East national park found in the Southern part of the park near Kenya Wildlife Service offices where only credit cards are used as a form of payment to pay the park fees. It can be accessed by air transport as well by using Ikanga airstrip.

  • Buchuma Gate

Buchuma gate is more of a security check point located in the south eastern part of Tsavo East national park. It can be accessed by road from Mombasa.

  • Sala Gate

Sala gate is located in the North Eastern part of the park and it’s a developed gate with tourist facilities like the washrooms, restaurants and lodges. This is one of the magnificent scenic gate because it is as well found in the southern part of Galana River. It can be accessed via Malindi road from Malindi town.

Tsavo West national park can be accessed through five gates namely;

  • Mtito Andei Gate

This is the Tsavo West national park main gate situated in the western part where the park head offices of Kenya wildlife services is located. This gate was named after a village of Mtito Andei. The gates is surrounded by a craft shop and cafeterias where tourists can buy gifts as well as refreshments. It can be easily accessed by both Railway and road transport.

  • Tsavo Gate

Tsavo gate is situated in the north eastern part of Tsavo West national park which a key gate just like Mtito Andei Gate preferred by tourist who come from Nairobi and it’s a developed gate with cashless form of paying park fees since credit cards are the only ones accepted. This is one of the most favorable entry point to Tsavo national park because it is located at the edge of Tsavo West national park and Tsavo East national park. It can be accessed by road via Nairobi and by Air via Tsavo Airstrip.

  • Maktau North Gate

This is one of the most popular gates of Tsavo West national park situated along the highway near Maktau in the South Eastern part of the park. It is just a few kilo-meter off the famous Voi-Taveta highway though this gate is not fully developed hence its challenging. If tourists prefer air transport means, they can use Maktau airstrip.

  • Maktau South Gate

Maktau South gate is a developed gate situated in the southern part of the park just opposite Maktau North gate. This gate hosts the Kenya wildlife service’s ranger out post as well as the Kenya wildlife service headquarters. The gate is located on the south eastern border of Maktau town.

  • Lake Jipe Gate

This is the uncommonly used gate found on the shores of Lake Jipe. This gate has a ranger post too and tourist facilities though it is used by tourist who fly in at Jipe airstrip.

Click here to see the attractions in Tsavo National Park

Click here to see the activities in Tsavo National Park

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