Up-Close-and-Personal with Large Mammals in Kenya

Kenya is situated in Eastern Africa, to the west of the Indian Ocean. It borders Tanzania in the south, Uganda in the west, South Sudan in the north-west, Ethiopia in the east and Somalia in the north-east. Lying on the Equator makes it extremely hot with little change in the weather. Crocodile fossils, discovered in the region, hint that beasts inhabited the country as early as 200 million years ago. Homo habilis appeared in the region in about 2.5 million years ago and was the earliest humanoids. More than 44 million humans live in the 581309 square kilometres area of this largely agrarian nation. Industry is the second biggest contributor to its economy making it the most developed country in East Africa. Grain processing, beer production and sugarcane crushing are some significant food industries. Other industries are cement, oil refining, assembling of vehicles from parts, household goods and farm equipment. Apart from them, tourism is also helping the economy to grow and is contributing to it immensely. Most visitors take a Kenya tour to enjoy safaris in its national parks like Amboseli, Kora, Tsavo East and Nairobi.

 

Tsavo East National Park: Geography and Attractions

 

Tsavo National Park

Tsavo National Park

With an area of about 13747 square kilometres, the Tsavo National Park is the largest protected wildlife hotspot in the country. The main entrance gate in Mtitio Andei is located about 233 km from Nairobi. Most of the region is a vast stretch of grassland, known in Africa as Savannah, through which, rivers Athi and Tsavo merge and form the Galana River. The park is also of archaeological significance as many artefacts from the early, middle and late Stone Age have been discovered from the floodplain of the river Galana.

Munduanda Rock

Munduanda Rock

Its rich diversity of animals has made it quite a popular tourist destination. Visitors can consider trekking to the top of Munduanda Rock, which is an isolated hill. The pond below it quenches the thirst of animals and it becomes a good place to view the surroundings and the wildlife. Tourists, who are roaming around, can also undertake a journey to the Yatta Plateau. It is a 290 km long land form, formed by continuously flowing lava.

The Aruba Dam, built across the Voi River and the Lugard Falls can also be explored, while people are visiting this park.

Vegetation and Wildlife

Many large mammals roam in the unhindered and naturally grassy lands. About 675 individual African lions are the biggest attractions here and safaris are the best way to see them in their natural surroundings. Mammals, larger than the king of the forest, include buffaloes, elephants, rhinoceros, giraffes and hippopotamus. Another big cat, which is found here in considerable numbers, is the leopard. Cheetah, the fastest mammal in the world and sometimes considered as a big cat also roams these lands. Among the relatively smaller ones inhabiting the region are various species of primates, rats, mongooses, antelopes, hyenas, foxes, zebras, jackals and rats. More than 500 species of birds also live here or migrate during various seasons.

agama lizards

agama lizards

The monitor, gecko and agama lizards, chameleons and crocodiles make up the reptiles, inhabiting the area. Besides the animals and birds, there are things worth seeing in this protected territory. It can be accessed via road from Nairobi and flights landing on an airstrip in and around the territory.

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