The twin national parks of Tsavo East and West together form one of Africa's largest wilderness reserves. Taken as a whole, Tsavo contains 10 million acres of pure wilderness, incorporating savanna, ranges and hills, acacia and montane forest, and an extensive river system in an area larger than the island of Jamaica.
The vast plains of Tsavo are crossed by the main Nairobi-Mombasa railroad. This historic railway was, in 1899, the scene of one of Africa's greatest adventure stories. Two large lions actively preyed on the railway workers as they built a bridge over the Tsavo River, claiming more than 120 victims. As they evaded hunters for month after month, for well over a year, the legend of the "Maneaters of Tsavo" was born.
The sheer scale of Tsavo gives the visitor a chance to really get away from it all and to explore the wild in total solitude. On safari, the visitor will typically see large herds of elephants, their hides turned a luminous red from the dust. Not far behind will be the lions, the buffaloes, the elands, the giraffes, the impalas, the gazelles, the antelopes, the kudus and even the rhinos. Tsavo is also a birdwatcher's paradise, with its numerous species of weavers, hornbills, sunbirds, rollers, and raptors.
One of Tsavo's most interesting geographical features is the Lugard Falls, where whitewater rages through a series of spectacular rock formations. The volcanic Mzima Springs, which produce 50 million gallons of fresh water daily, should not be missed. The waters are alive with hippos and waterfowl. A unique underwater observatory has been constructed, yielding incredible views of this crystal clear underwater world, where massive hippos glide silently through swirling shoals of barbel. The springs have created a sprawling wetland paradise of giant raphia palms, an oasis alive with water birds.
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