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Tsavo East and West National Parks.
Background Information -Tsavo East National Park covers an area of about 12,000 km2, 40% of Kenya's parks' total area.
This vast park lies in low semi arid country at the eastern edge of the inland plateau, north of the main Mombasa-Nairobi road and railway. Much of the park is level, open country with scattered rocky ridges and outcrops. Due to its size, the park is one of the world's wildlife and biodiversity strongholds.

The Yatta plateau, a long, flat topped lava ridge, runs along the western boundary of the park. Beneath it flows the Athi river which joins the Tsavo river, just above the Lugard falls, to become the Galana river, a permanent river that cuts right across the park. The seasonal Tiva and Voi rivers are important features of the Northern and Southern sectors respectively. There are scattered seasonal pools, swamps and dams, but relatively few sources of permanent water.
One of the great spectacles of the park is the Mudanda rock between Voi and Manyani. This 1 1/2 km long outcrop is a water catchment area which supplies a natural dam at its base. In the dry season, hundreds of elephants come to drink and bathe here.
    
Location:
Southeast Kenya, inland from Mombasa; Taita District of Coast Province.

Climate:
The weather in Tsavo is pleasant most of the year. There are two rain seasons. The long rains generally come in March - May and the short rains from October - December.

MAJOR ATTRACTIONS
Large herds of elephants and other wildlife.
Popular legend of Tsavo "The man-eaters of Tsavo".
Yatta plateau - it is about 290 Km long and is one of the worlds longest lava flows.
Lugards Falls on the Galana river - This is not a true falls but a series of rapids. Visitors can walk down to the river to view the rapids.
Mudanda rock - This is a long rock outcrop that is about 1.6Km long. There is a dam at the base. Animals can be seen drinking. Visitors can walk along the rock and enjoy a cool breeze as well as view wildlife at the base.
Aruba Dam - was built in 1952 across the Voi river. The dam attracts many animals and water birds can be seen at this dam.
Tsavo/Athi rivers confluence - when the two rivers join they form the Galana river.

FACILITIES
Lodges:
Voi Safari Lodge.
Tented Camps:
Sala; Westerveld; Galdessa Camp; Epiya Chapeyu; Tsavo Safari; Mukwanju.

ACTIVITIES
Game viewing; Walking Safaris along the Galana; Bird watching.
WILDLIFE
Reptiles:
Crocodile, Python, Gecko, Lizard, Puff Adder.
Insects:
Grasshopper, Butterfly, Beetle, Bee.

Major Animals:
Aardwolf; Ant Bear; Baboon, yellow; Bats (several); Buffalo; BushBaby; Bushbuck; Caracal; Cat, African Wild; Cheetah; Civet, African; Dik-dik, Kirk's; Dog, Hunting; Dormouse, African; Duiker, Blue; Duiker, Bush; Duiker, Red; Eland; Elephant, African; Fox, Bat-eared; Galago, Greater; Gazelle, Grant's; Genet, Large-spotted; Genet, Small-spotted; Gerenuk; Giraffe, Masai; Hare, African; Hare, Spring; Hartebeest, Coke's; Hartebeest, Hunter's; Hedgehog, East African; Hyaena, Spotted; Hyaena, Striped; Hyrax, Rock; Hyrax, Tree; Impala; Jackal, Black-backed; Jackal, Side-striped; Klipspringer; Kudu, Lesser; Leopard; Lion; Mongoose, Banded; Mongoose, Dwarf; Mongoose, Large Grey; Mongoose, Marsh; Mongoose, Slender; Mongoose, White-tailed; Monkey, Black faced Vervet; Monkey, Sykes; Oryx, Fringe-eared; Otter, Clawless; Pangolin, Lesser Ground; Porcupine, Crested; Rat, Cane; Rat, Giant; Rat, Naked Mole; Ratel; Reedbuck, Bohor; Rhinoceros, Black; Serval; Shrew, Spectacled Elephant; Squirrel, Bush; Squirrel, East African Red; Squirrel, Striped Ground; Squirrel, Unstriped Ground; Steinbok; Suni; Warthog; Waterbuck, Common; Zebra, Common; Zebra, Grevy's.     
    
Major Birds:
Starlings, weaver birds, kingfishers, hornbills secretary bird and other raptors, rollers, herons, and stocks.

COMMON VEGETATION
Though the vegetation can generally be categorised as bushed grassland, the park has open plains alternating with savanna bush and semi-arid acacia scrub and woodlands. There are also belts of riverine vegetation. The vegetation is generally denser in the west where rainfall is around 450mm per year than in the drier east, which may receive only around 250mm.
Along the rivers is a narrow fringe of woodland and thicket dominated by Acacia elatior, the Doum palm - Hyphaene compressa and the shrub, Suaeda monoica. The northern part of the park is predominantly more or less dense Acacia commiphora woodland. South of the Galana, the park has been opened out over the years by fire and elephants to form open bushed grassland. Common shrubs here include species of Premna, bauhinia and sericocomopsis and scattered trees such as Delonix elata and Melia volkensii. The Yatta plateau has a cover of dense bushland with strands of Baobab - Adansonia digitata.     



Tsavo West National Park
Tsavo West national park covers 9000 km2, approximately 30% of Kenya's area under parks, and contains a diversity of habitats, wildlife and a mountainous scenic landscape. The park is a vast expanse of savanna stretching from the Athi river, North of the Mombasa-Nairobi road and south to the Tanzanian border. The North Eastern boundary along the Athi adjoins Tsavo East National Park, but Tsavo West has a more varied topography and a more diverse array of habitats than its neighbour.

The park's habitats include open plains alternating with Savannah bush and semi desert scrub, acacia woodlands; rocky ridges and outcrops and more extensive ranges and isolated hills; belts of riverine vegetation; palm thickets and on the Chyulu hills, mountain forest. There are numerous rocky outcrops and ridges and part of the park, towards the Chyulu Hills, is of recent volcanic origin with lava flows and ash cones including the Shetani lava flow, an example of a recent volacano.
In the far south western corner on the Kenya Tanzania border is Lake Jipe, part of which is in the park. This very attractive lake is fed by runoff from Mt. Kilimanjaro and the North Pare mountains.
At Mzima Springs, in the North of the park, water that has filtered underground from the Chyulu Hills gushes from below a lava ridge into a series of clear pools.

Location:
South Eastern Kenya, inland from Mombasa, and the altitude ranges between 200 - 100m.

Climate:
Temperature ranges from 20 - 30o C and rainfall from 200mm - 700mm. Two ran seasons: Long rains - March/April & Short rains- Nov/December.

MAJOR ATTRACTIONS
Recent volcanoes, lava flows and caves with potential for geological and cave exploration, and hiking. Mzima Springs & underwater hippo watching, Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary, Lake Jipe, Mt. Kilimanjaro, elephant and rhino.

FACILITIES
Lodges:
Lake Jipe Safari Lodge; Ngulia Lodge; Kilaguni Lodge; Bobby's Camp.

WILDLIFE
Reptiles:
Python, Cobra, Tortoise, Lizard.
Major Animals:
Aardwolf; Ant Bear; Baboon, yellow; Bats (several); Buffalo; BushBaby; Bushbuck; Caracal; Cat, African Wild; Cheetah; Civet, African; Dik-dik, Kirk's; Dog, Hunting; Dormouse, African; Duiker, Blue; Duiker, Bush; Duiker, Red; Eland; Elephant, African; Fox, Bat-eared; Galago, Greater; Gazelle, Grant's; Genet, Large-spotted; Genet, Small-spotted; Gerenuk; Giraffe, Masai; Hare, African; Hare, Spring; Hartebeest, Coke's; Hartebeest, Hunter's; Hedgehog, East African; Hyaena, Spotted; Hyaena, Striped; Hyrax, Rock; Hyrax, Tree; Impala; Jackal, Black-backed; Jackal,Side-striped; Klipspringer; Kudu, Lesser; Leopard; Lion; Mongoose, Banded; Mongoose, Dwarf; Mongoose, Large Grey;     
Mongoose, Marsh; Mongoose, Slender; Mongoose, White-tailed; Monkey, Black faced Vervet; Monkey, Sykes; Oryx, Fringe-eared; Otter, Clawless; Pangolin, Lesser Ground; Porcupine, Crested; Rat, Cane; Rat, Giant; Rat, Naked Mole; Ratel; Reedbuck, Bohor; Rhinoceros, Black; Serval; Shrew, Spectacled Elephant; Squirrel, Bush; Squirrel, East African Red; Squirrel, Striped Ground; Squirrel, Unstriped Ground; Steinbok; Suni; Warthog; Waterbuck, Common; Zebra, Common; Zebra, Grevy's.
Major Birds:
Starlings, weaver birds, kingfishers, hornbills secretary bird and other raptors, rollers, herons, and stocks.

COMMON VEGETATION
Most of the northern sector is Acacia commiphora bushland with scattered trees such as baobabs - Adansonia digitata and Delonix elata. In the Ngulia area, a range of craggy hills reaches around 1800m and is heavily wooded. The southern sector consists of open grassy plains. The permanent tsavo river runs through the northern part of the park with a fringe of riverine Acacia elatior and Hyphaene compressa woodland. Lake Jipe is bordered by extensive beds to Typha and has large permanent swamps at its eastern and western ends. Mzima springs, is fringed by Raphia farinifera and Phoenix reclinata palms.

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