A herd of red dust-covered elephants walking through a savannah under a stormy sky.

About Tsavo East National Park

Tsavo East National Park is located in southeastern Kenya and a little northwest of the sister Tsavo West National Park. The national park encompasses an area of 5,308 square miles (13,747 sq km).

The Tsavo River flows easterly through the park and serves as the park’s namesake.  Along with Tsavo West National Park, Tsavo East borders Chyulu Hills National Park.

The national park is comprised of grasslands savanna and riverbeds created by the Tsavo and Athi Rivers which combine into the Galana River.  Collectively, they make one of the richest biodiverse areas of Africa with abundant wildlife.

The Big 5 (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and buffalo) are all accounted for.  There are approximately 675 lions across the surrounding ecosystem.  Predator species include lion, caracal, African wildcat, cheetah, bat-eared fox, hyena, jackal, leopard, mongoose, and lion.

Other wildlife species include aardwolf, baboon, buffalo, bushbuck, dik-dik, duiker, eland, elephant, gazelle, genet, giraffe, hartebeest, hyrax, impala, klipspringer, kudu, oryx, porcupine, warthog, waterbuck, zebra, and many smaller species.

Birdwatchers also have plenty to be excited for with over 500 species of birds found within Tsavo National Park.  Ostrichs are the largest however they are accompanied by kingfishers, hornbills, herons, starlings, weavers, buzzards, and kestrels, among others.

Wildlife is not the only draw into Tsavo East.  Visitors can also look forward to seeing Lugard Falls which a collection of rapids is cascading over some rough terrain.  Additionally, there is the Yatta Plateau which delivers the longest lava flow in the world.

Mudanda Rock is a scenic lookout that provides great views of elephants and other animals that come to drink water during the dry season.

Photo Gallery



The lookout from Mudanda Rock is certainly a highlight for wildlife viewing.  However, without question, the abundant and diverse wildlife is the highlight of the national park.  Tsavo East provides opportunities to see the Big Five which include the lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhino.

This is one of the true wildlife havens and provides visitors with a rich biodiversity experience.  Wildlife is abundant and ready to enrich your Kenya experience.

Tsavo East National Park Trails

Tsavo East is a wilderness area rich in diverse and abundant wildlife.  There are no trails for hiking in the national park.  However, there are guided walking safaris that allow you to intimately explore the wilds of the park on foot.

The primary purpose of the walking safaris is to introduce and educate visitors about the flora and fauna of Tsavo. However, your walking safari is also an opportunity to keep your eyes open for wildlife while breathing the pristine fresh air and gazing across the astounding landscapes.

Your guided walking safari may take you on foot across Yatta Plateau which is the world’s longest lava flow as well as along jagged volcanic cones.  You may meander along the Chyulu Hills to the clear waters of Mzima Springs.

Park Protection

Tsavo East National Park was established as one of the early national parks in Kenya to protect the diverse ecosystem of the Taru Desert, and the rich wilderness of the Tsavo River that flows through the heart of the park.  Combined with the semi-arid grasslands, these protected lands are recognized as one most important biodiversity areas of the country.

There is a committed effort to protect all species, however the park is home to the endangered black rhino.  Together with its neighboring Tsavo West National Park, it is a black rhino sanctuary.