Hippos in Mzima Springs, Tsavo West

Tsavo West National Park

Tsavo West National Park established in 1948, is located about 200 km south-east of Nairobi in southern Kenya and about 200km north of Mombasa. Separated only by the Mombasa/Nairobi road from Tsavo East, Tsavo West National Park is part of the entire Tsavo eco-system that includes Tsavo East and West National Parks and the Chyulu Hills.- a vast ecosystem where the relationship between wildlife and its environment has been allowed to take its own natural course. The park offers diverse habitats including mountains, rivers, forests, plains, lakes and wooded grassland.

 Tsavo West stretches from Mtito Andei, along the Mombasa-Nairobi road and south to the Tanzanian border and consists of mostly semi-arid plains that are broken up with granite rock outcrops (kopjies) and lava fields, but also includes open plains, Savannah bush, acacia woodlands, belts of riverine vegetation, palm thickets and on the Chyulu hills, mountain forest.

Chyulu Hills - Tsavo West National Park
Chyulu Hills seen from Tsavo West National Park

One of the main attractions in Tsavo West National Park are the Mzima Springs, located 48km from the Mtito Andei Gate and close to both Kilaguni Lodge and Kitanitented camp. The two large pools, connected by a rush of rapids are replenished with two hundred and twenty million liters of crystal-clear water every day, from the underground streams stemming from the lava the Chyulu Hills, 40-50 kilometers away. This fresh water at Mzima forms a haven to a huge variety of wildlife including hippoa and crocodiles, but is aslo an important source of drinking water for many animals including elephants, lion, gazelles, zebra and giraffe. A must is to look for Hippo underwater through the windows of the observation tank that has been sunk into the river, you can be sure to spot a few fish species including barbel.

Tsavo West National Park is excellent for visitors who enjoy walking, offering a number of nature trails and the opportunity to explore the Chaimu Volcanic Crater. Mzima Spring is a star attraction at Tsavo West National Park, it is a pool of natural spring water with underwater viewing hides for observing Hippos and fish.