TSAVO WEST

Tsavo West National Park covers an area of 9,065 square kilometres, slightly smaller and definitely different than the nearby Tsavo East.

Tsavo West offers one of the most suggestive and spectacular landscapes in Kenya. Panorama photographers will simply love it.

In the west of the park are four natural springs known as Mzima Springs, the most popular attraction of Tsavo. Their source is a natural tank under the Chyulu Hills to the north. The Chyulu range is made by cinders and volcanic lava rock, too porous to allow rivers to flow. Instead, rain water percolates through the rock and may spend 25 years underground before emerging 50 kilometres away at Mzima. The natural filtration process gives rise to Mzima’s famously clear stream, which flows through a series of pools and rapids. Two kilometres downstream from the springs, the stream is blocked by a solidified lava flow and disappears below the surface again.

Here, a resident population of hippos and Nile crocodiles live in the clear water, sustaining an entire food chain and small and reserved ecosystem.

Nearby, there are the spectacular Shetani lava flows. “Shetani” means “devil” in Kiswahili. The flows were formed only a few hundred years ago and local people believed that it was the devil himself emerging from the earth. This vast sheet of black lava spreads for 50 sq km across the savannah at the foot of the Chyulu Hills. It’s possible to follow the lava flows back to the ruined crater of Shetani.

You can also explore Shetani Caves with the help of a torch.

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