Wildlife & Animals – Tsavo East NP

Anthony Ham
Expert
By Anthony Ham

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of many Lonely Planet guidebooks, including the guide to Kenya.

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of the Lonely Planet guide to Kenya.

Anthony is the author of the Lonely Planet guide to Kenya.

Tsavo East offers great wildlife viewing in pristine wilderness. All of the Big Five are here. Elephants are common throughout the park, and their red dust coating makes them stand out against the arid environment. Of the big cats, lions are most easily spotted, but many of the males have particularly small manes. Buffalo, zebra and plenty of Masai giraffes are some of the other animals you can expect to see.

Abundant
Common
Occasional
Rare
None
ElephantAbundant
GiraffeCommon
HippoCommon
BuffaloOccasional
ZebraCommon
LionOccasional
HyenaOccasional
Wild DogRare to none

Wildlife Highlights

Tsavo East has a good range of unusual antelope. This is one of the few places to see the fringed-eared oryx. The lesser kudu is very shy, but can sometimes be seen darting off into the bushes. The long-necked gerenuk can be found standing on its hind-legs to reach the sparse foliage of trees and bushes in the arid environment. With some luck, you might spot the critically endangered hirola or Hunter's hartebeest.

Best Time for Wildlife Viewing

Tsavo East can be visited throughout the year, but the best time for wildlife viewing is from June to October – in the Dry season. During this season, the vegetation is thinner, and animals congregate around predictable sources of water.

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