Roads: the park Mtito Andei Gates is 233 km South of Nairobi and 250 km North of Mombasa on the main Nairobi- Mombasa Road. Distance Nairobi-Mtito Andei: 233 km – Mtito Andei-Voi: 96 km – Voi-Mombasa: 153 km. From Malindi, take the western road (C103) and enter in the park via Sala gate.
Airstrips: Voi, Aruba, Satao, Sala, Ithumba, Sangayaya, Mopeo, Bachuma, Cottars,
Although a few Early Stone Age and Middle Stone Age archaeological sites are recorded from ground surface finds in Tsavo, there is much evidence for thriving Late Stone Age economy from 6,000 to 1,300 years ago. Research has shown that Late Stone Age archaeological sites are found close to the Galana River in high numbers. The inhabitants of these sites hunted wild animals, fished and kept domesticated animals. Because of the sparse availability of water away from the Galana River, human settlement in Tsavo focused on the riparian areas and in rock shelters as one moves west.
Swahili merchants traded with the inhabitants of Tsavo for ivory, catskins, and probably slaves as early as 700 AD (and probably earlier). There is no evidence for direct Swahili “colonization” of Tsavo. Instead, trade was probably accomplished by moving goods to and from the Swahili Coast via extended kin-networks. Trade goods such as cowry shells and beads have been recovered from archaeological sites dating to the early Swahili period.
19th century British and German explorers document people we now refer to as Orma and Watha during their travels through the “nyika” (“bush” or “hinterland”) and generally viewed them as hostile toward their interests. Beginning in the late 19th/early 20th century, the British began a concerted effort to colonise the interior of Kenya and built a railway through Tsavo in 1898. Two “man-eating lions” terrorised the construction crews led by Lt. Col Patterson who eventually shot the pair not before they had killed one hundred and thirty five Indians and local workers. The railway was eventually completed through to Kisumu on Lake Victoria.
Tsavo remained the homeland for Orma pastoralists and Watha hunter-gatherers until 1948, when it was gazetted a national park. At that time, the Orma with their livestock were driven off and the aboriginal population of the Watha people was forcefully relocated to Voi and Mtito Andei as well as other locations within the nearby Taita Hills. Following Kenyan independence in 1963, hunting was banned in the park and management of Tsavo was turned over to the authority that eventually became the Kenya Wildlife Service. Tsavo currently attracts photo-tourists from all over the world interested in experiencing the vastness of the wilderness and incredible terrain.
Viewpoint from the top of Mudanda Rock
The Mudanda Rock is a 1.6 km inselberg of stratified rock that acts as a water catchment that supplies a natural dam below. It offers an excellent vantage point for the hundreds of elephants and other wildlife that come to drink during the dry season.
The Yatta Plateau, the world’s longest lava flow, runs along the western boundary of the park above the Athi River. Its 290 km length was formed by lava from Ol Doinyo Sabuk Mountain.
Aruba Dam was built in 1952 across the Voi River. The reservoir created by the dam attracts many animals and water birds.
Tsavo East National Park is one of the world’s largest game reserves, providing undeveloped wilderness homes to vast numbers of animals. Famous are the Tsavo lions, a population whose adult males often lack manes entirely. In total there are about 675 lions in the Amboseli-Tsavo ecosystem.
Between 2001 and 2006 more than 100 lions have been killed in the Amboseli-Tsavo ecosystem. Most of them have been speared by young men. The poachers usually do not face serious consequences. In contrast, the game scouts who arrested offenders have been punished by the community.
^ Wright, David (2005) Environment, Chronology and Resource Exploitation of the Pastoral Neolithic in Tsavo, Kenya. PhD Dissertation. Department of Anthropology, University of Illinois at Chicago.
^ Wright, David K. (1 April 2007). “Tethered mobility and riparian resource exploitation among Neolithic hunters and herders in the Galana River basin, Kenyan coastal lowlands”. Environmental Archaeology. 12 (1): 25–47. doi:10.1179/174963107×172732. ISSN1461-4103. S2CID140626061.
^ Wright, David (2005). New perspectives on early regional interaction networks in East Africa: A view from Tsavo National Park, Kenya. African Archaeological Review 22(3): DOI: 10.1007/s10437-005-8041-7
^ Jump up to:ab Frank, L., Maclennan, S., Hazzah, L., Hill, T., & Bonham, R. (2006). Lion Killing in the Amboseli-Tsavo Ecosystem, 2001–2006, and its Implications for Kenya’s Lion Population.PDF Living with Lions, Nairobi, Kenya, 9.
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