From the white sandy beaches and crystal warm waters of the Indian Ocean to the vast wilderness in Tsavo National Park, combining beach and bush holiday safaris is a treat you can’t afford to miss.
The tropical setting, laid back atmosphere from the beaches and equally entertaining beach resorts make your stay very memorable. And what’s more, if it is simply not enough to quench your appetite in Africa’s best beach destination, then Tsavo national parks are always there to spruce up your bush & beach Africa experience.
Tsavo East National Park
Popularly known as the theatre of the wild, Tsavo East National Park is by far the largest National Park in Kenya. The park is packed with all sorts of big games including vast herds of dust – red elephants, buffaloes, leopards, rhinos, lions, pods of hippo most of which can be found in plenty around the rivers and water holes.
To be specific, there is a man-made dam – the Aruba Dam that attracts animals and birds, especially during the dry months. Covering up to 13,747 km², Tsavo East is also home to over 500 recorded species the most prolific birdlife in Africa. The vast Tsavo National Park was divided into two during the colonial period when the railway was being constructed and two still remained as the biggest National Park in Kenya.
A game drive through the park after lunch will leave you filled to the brim with sights of lions, leopard, cheetah, zebras, giraffes, serval cats, antelopes, kongoni, lesser kudu, oryx, klipspringer, impala, striped hyena, ostriches, gazelles, buffalos, elephants, black rhinos, Hirola (Hunters Hartebeest). Guests will also get to view wildlife from a 1.6 km long Mudanda rock with a dam at the base. It is an excellent point to view animals drinking below.
Tsavo West National Park
Having been split from bigger Tsavo Park, Tsavo West takes the lesser space covering approximately 9000 square kilometers, though that is still very large as compared to other parks. However, visiting Tsavo West from Diani Beach gives you the opportunity to enjoy various activities and games.
With similar weather patterns to Tsavo East National Park, Tsavo West records day temperatures of between 20 – 30 °C. The long rains normally check-in between March and April while the short spell is between November and December.
The vegetation in Tsavo west is a mix of savannah grassland, scrubland with a swampy marsh around Voi river. It is also home to one of the world’s longest lava flows- 290 km long spectacular Yatta plateau.
Tsavo West attractions include the spectacular Mzima springs which led to the creation of a marvelous view spot for tourists. You can view the animals in the underground water passage from a glasshouse. The underwater view gives you an opportunity to see hippos and fish up close.
The Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary and Lake Jipe are other attraction sights with Lake Jipe being home to hundreds of bird species providing an exquisite sight. Other animals you can see at Tsavo West include leopards, cheetahs, rhino, elephant, giraffe, zebra, wild dogs buffalo, lion, plains game, crocodile, mongoose, hyrax, dik-dik, lesser kudu and porcupine.
The repertoire of activities also includes:
- Boat excursions at Lake Jipe
- Bird watching at Lake Jipe
- Annual bird ringing at Ngulia lodge.
- Hill and rock climbing at Chaimu and Ngulia Hills
- Visit the Shetani Caves.
If you travel by air you can land at either of these airstrips Kamboyo, Kilaguni, Tsavo Gate, Jipe, Kasigau, Finch Hattons, Ziwani, and Maktau all in good condition.
Both Tsavo East and West are fairly easily navigated with a good map as all tracks are clearly defined, and junctions are numbered. Bring all your own provisions into the park including water. You should be able to eat or drink at any of the lodges if you so desire. There is a shop at Voi Gate in the east selling (warm) beers, sodas, bread and some vegetables, and another shop in Tsavo West selling basic provisions.
IDEAL 2 DAYS ITINERARY FROM DIANI BEACH
DAY 1: Diani Beach to Tsavo East National Park
After an early breakfast at 6.00 is you will be picked from your Diani hotel and make the ferry crossing at Likoni.
With the help of your driver-guide, you will then proceed along the Nairobi – Mombasa highway on a scenic 2.5-hour drive along the smooth tarmac. The journey will be through 120 km of towns, villages, and wilderness along Mombasa-Nairobi Highway until you get to the southern entry Bachuma gate where we will stop for refreshments before embarking on a game drive. Begin the game drive en route to Aruba Dam.
Right before lunchtime, you will then get to your lodge where you will check-in, before digging into a delicious buffet lunch. You will then relax a bit in the afternoon until 4:00 pm as you wait for the second game drive across the African savannah where the animals come out to eat, hunt and play once the afternoon heat has subsided.
DAY 2: Tsavo West National Park
Wake up at 6.30 am for breakfast and head out for Tsavo West National Park.
Enter the Tsavo west and commence game viewing drives in search of Elephant, Cheetah, Lion, Zebra, Buffalo, ostriches and more. The Tsavo west has dramatic landscapes and is scenic due to its recent volcanic action. In the mid-afternoon, we visit the rhino sanctuary with more game viewing drives. We shall try our chances to spot the rhino which is an endangered species.
Drive back to your hotel arriving late in the evening.