Wildlife & Animals – Tsavo West 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.

Wildlife densities in Tsavo West aren’t that great, but everything is there. There are many elephants, and they are often covered in red dust, giving them an eerie appearance. The park is also known for its maneless lions and big herds of buffalo. Despite poaching in recent years, black rhinos have been on the comeback in Tsavo since the late ’80s when they were close to being locally extinct. The drive-through rhino sanctuary increases your chances of spotting one.

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

Wildlife Highlights

The park is one of the best places to see the skittish lesser kudu. The rocky terrain is also a good habitat to look for klipspringers, often found in pairs. Antelope that thrive in arid conditions can also be found here, including the very localized fringe-eared oryx and gerenuk.

Best Time for Wildlife Viewing

The best wildlife viewing in Tsavo West NP is in the Dry season (June to October), although the park is worth a visit any time of the year. During the Dry season, the vegetation is minimal, and animals tend to hang around the few available water sources.

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