Tsavo East National Park resulted from the division of Kenya’s largest Park in 1948 into East and West for administrative purposes – the Tsavo National Park with an area of 21,812 km2.The resultant two parks are divided by the Nairobi – Mombasa railway or road. Tsavo East National Park is famous for Man Easters lions that attacked and almost brought to a halt; the construction of Kenya-Uganda Railway. It is also home to Lugards falls, Yatta Plateau, Large herds of elephants Rhinos, Hirola (Hunters Hartebeest) and other wildlife.
Listed here below are some of the park’s key scenic attractions: –
- Yatta plateau – It is about 290Km long and is one of the world’s 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 where animals can be seen drinking and visitors can walk along the rock to enjoy a cool breeze as well as view wildlife at the base.
- Aruba Dam – was built in 1952 across the Voi river and it attracts many animals as well as water birds.
- Tsavo/Athi rivers confluence – where the two rivers join to form the Galana river.
- Large herds of elephants Rhinos, Hirola (Hunters Hartebeest) and other wildlife.
Besides the scenic attractions, here below are historical facts and details of the park:-
- Captain Lugards – was an explorer from Europe who passed through the area on his way to Uganda and had a drop over at the Lugards Falls area.
- During the World War I (1914-1918), British forces built fortresses along Tsavo river to counter threats from invading German forces from Tanganyika (present Tanzania) – whose intention was to blow up the Tsavo river bridge that was vital to British Communication.
- The Waliangulu and Kamba tribes used it as a hunting ground prior to gazettement.
- Dr. Krapf journeyed on foot through this area in 1848 crossing the Tsavo River on his way to Kitui – where he went on to be recorded as the first European to see Mt. Kenya.
Construction of the railway reached Tsavo river in 1898. During the construction of the bridge Lions (Man eaters of Tsavo) terrorized the workers, killing over 130 people before being killed by Col. Patterson. The weather in Tsavo is pleasant virtually throughout the year. There are two rain seasons. The long rains generally come in March – May and the short rains from October – December.