Tsavo East epitomises the unpredictability and magic of an African safari. You can drive for 20 minutes and see nothing. But explore behind some thorn bushes and a whole menagerie of life is hiding, with a hartebeest herd getting chased by a lion pride as an elephant silently looks on. If you have little patience, we think this is one of the best parks in East Africa.
An exclusive safari experience waits for you.
Set off on a game drive across the wilderness and you'll go hours without seeing another vehicle. Dust-red elephants grace the journey, thousands of them rumbling across Kenya's largest national park. They appear in droves, their great tusks dominating waterholes and red trails. Rhinos appear from nowhere, juxtaposed with an iconic baobab tree. Wind along the seasonal Voi River and expert guides point out the hiding places of the big cats, providing that special experience of spotting a cheetah or leopard lurking in the brittle grass. The short-maned Tsavo lions are another indelible highlight, especially when spotted chasing the finely-striped Grevy's zebra.
Where should you explore?
Tsavo East is flat and sandy, stretching for thousands of square miles in eastern Kenya. Most safaris are focused in the southern part of the park, around the Voi River. This area is the focus of day trips for people staying on Kenya's coast. We've consistently found the park to be at its best in the cooler morning and late-afternoon hours, with wildlife on the move and the other vehicles conspicuous in their absence. To see Tsavo East at these times you'll need to spend the night here.
Exhilarating, exciting, and enticing.
The southern section is for thrilling encounters and the natural place to come on a one-night two-day safari. The vast north is for adventurous explorers and it feels like you have a dramatic big-five landscape completely to yourself. It's bumpy, dusty, and quite brilliant. Take a picnic and get ready for the untrammelled spectacle of wild Africa. You'll come back tired so savour the luxury of one of the sublime camps we recommend.
Large stretches of Tsavo can be empty so a little patience is essential. But when you suddenly come across an intimate encounter it's a private experience. And the wildlife congregations create the most dramatic of safari memories.