IUCN Category II - National Park

The landscape of Tsavo West

The Tsavo West National Park is a national park in Kenya, East Africa. It has an area of ​​9065 km ², which is about 30% of the total area of ​​all parks in Kenya. His savannah extending from the Tanzanian border in the south, the road between Mombasa and Nairobi and Athi River in the north. This river and the road ( A 109 ) form the common boundary to the Tsavo East National Park. In the southern part of private lands are located between two parks, among others in the Taita Hills and Sagala Hills as well as in the area desTsavo Kasigau Wildlife Corridors. On April 1, 1948, the Tsavo National Park was established with a total area of ​​21,812 km ². In May 1949 was carried out for administrative reasons, the division into East and West.

The landscape of Tsavo West is very diverse and significantly more hilly, mountainous and wetter than that of the larger Tsavo East. From the plane protrude numerous volcanic cones. In the northern part of the park Acacia - Commiphora savannas dominated with scattered trees (eg baobabs ). Individual rocks and rocky ridges dominate the landscape. In the densely wooded area Ngulia some rocky hills reach an altitude of about 1,800 m. In a so-called "Rhino sanctuary" some of the last black rhinos in the region to be cherished in a fenced area under the protection of the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS ). At the foot of the Chyulu Hills Shetani the lava field, which was created about 200 years ago and is still largely free of vegetation is located. The black lava cleans melt water from Mount Kilimanjaro, which emerges in the source " Mzima Springs ". It consists of two spring pool from which daily flow 250 million liters of crystal clear water and where many hippos and crocodiles live. A shelter allows the observation of these animals and countless fish under water. Since 1966, a water pipe supplies large parts of Mombasa with this spring water.

The southern sector consists of open grass savannah. The permanent water-bearing Tsavo is accompanied by gallery forests. In the southwest corner of the park is the Jipe Lake, through which runs the border with Tanzania. It is fed by melt water from the Kilimanjaro - melt water from rivers and from the Pare Mountains. In the park its shore is composed of dense reed beds.

The wildlife of Tsavo West is very diverse, because of the dense vegetation, the animals are often difficult to identify. In addition to the "Big Five" (elephant, rhino, leopard, African buffalo, lion ) live here several other mammalian species. The avifauna is very diverse and includes many endangered species. As man-eaters of Tsavo two lions were known to the threatened construction workers during the railway construction in 1898. Recent studies show that the lion should have fallen victim to a total of about 35 railway workers; not up to 135 as reports from the time alleged. This story was published in 1907 by the hunter John Henry Patterson as a book and filmed in 1996 under the title The Ghost and the Darkness with Michael Douglas.