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Tsavo West National Park, Kenya

Separated from the Tsavo East National Park by a railway and Nairobi-Mombasa Highway, Tsavo West National Park has developed its own ecosystem and biodiversity.

 

A few archeological sites were found along the Galana river, that shed some light on the life during the Early and Middle Stone Age. It is hard to imagine that these on plains that you are crossing now on a safari jeep, thousands of years ago by our ancestors developed trade with neighboring tribes, hunted and domesticated wild animals, along the riverbanks, in rock shelters and cave dwellings. Swahili merchants from the coastal areas traded ivory and other goods with the population of Tsavo in the 7th century AD and in exchange brought a variety of seashells and decorative beads.

 

In the 19th century, colonists started building a railroad from Mombasa to the inland territories of East Africa, and despite many attempts of the local people to hijack these efforts the line was finally completed and secured.

 

Tsavo West can boast one of the biggest population of elephants, and on clear days one can see the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro in the distance. Eagles, falcons and vultures float above your head, looking for small mammals to prey on, and a mass of wild cats roam the savannah, along with many zebras, gazelles, wildebeests, black rhinos and maasai giraffes. But what Tsavo West is most famous for, is its organized rock climbing and trekking trails. The climbs vary from beginner level to quite strenuous, but the views over the savannah are superb. The route called Ivory Tower, on Elephant Rocks, is one of the most marvelous and hardest bush climbs in the country, but special permission is required and precautions must be taken. The climb starts early in the morning to avoid the heat of the day.

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