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Tsavo West National Park/Kenya

Introducing Tsavo West National Park

At nearly 22, 000 sq km, Tsavo is the largest national park in Kenya and divided into Tsavo West National Park (9000 sq km) and Tsavo East National Park (11, 747 sq km). Its landscapes are some of the most dramatic in Kenya, the animals are that bit wilder and the parks receive comparatively few visitors.

Entry is US$27/10 per adult/child per day, vehicles cost KSh200 and camping is US$10 per adult; you have to pay separately for each park. Both use the smartcard system; you’ll need enough credit for your vehicle, entry fee and any camping charges for as long as you’re staying. Smartcards can be bought and recharged at the Voi Gate to Tsavo East or in Mombasa.

Campers in Tsavo West National Park can use the public camp sites (camp sites adult/child US$10/5) at Komboyo and Chyulu, or a choice of special camp sites (camp sites adult/child US$15/5).

Ngulia Safari Camp (Voi 043-30050; tsavoh@africaonline.co.ke; r KSh3500-6000) has new management and a complete renovation has turned this hillside camp into Tsavo’s best luxury bargain. Thatched tent-fronted stone cottages come with or without kitchen, and there’s a small bar-restaurant.

At Tsavo East, Ndololo Camp (043-30050; tsavoh@africaonline.co.ke; full board s/d/tr US$40/70/90) is a great-value tented camp with mosquito nets, and canvas toilet and shower cubicles. There’s a single KWS camp site (043-30049; tenp@africaonline.co.ke; camp sites adult/child US$10/5) with basic toilets, and a few special camp sites (adult/child US$15/5) that move from year to year.

Just 4km from Voi Gate, Voi Safari Lodge (Mombasa 041-471861; voilodge@kenya-safari.co.ke; s/d US$105/150; ) overlooks an incredible sweep of savannah, and has a rock-cut swimming pool and a natural waterhole.

Access to either part of Tsavo National Park is by private vehicle (preferably 4WD) or organised safari from Nairobi or Mombasa.