​Wildlife & Animals – Tsavo East NP

Anthony Ham
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 National Park offers great wildlife viewing in pristine wilderness. Four of the Big Five are here (no rhino). Elephants are common, and their red dust coating makes them stand out against the arid environment. Of the big cats, lions are most easily spotted, but cheetahs are also possible out on the plains. Buffalo, zebra and plenty of Masai giraffes are some of the other animals you can expect to see.


Wildlife Highlights

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

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 period, the vegetation is thinner and animals gather around predictable sources of water. The dry spell from January to February, between the short and long rains, is also a great time for wildlife viewing.

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