It is quite easy to distinguish the two parks, as Tsavo East is dryer, the soil is red and flat whereas Tsavo West is greener and mountainous. Tsavo park is divided into East and West by the A109 highway. Going there for safari is probably one of the highlights of my life. All throughout our 3-day tour, I had the soundtrack of Lion King in my head...awimbawe,awimbawe,awimbawe...
We did not see all of the big five but we saw enough. We saw elephants, lions, jackals, hartebeests, zebras, and giraffes to name a few. I was not able to take photos of all the animals we saw as I was not fast enough. Now, I have more respect for wildlife photographers. I realized that very few animals actually stop to pose for you. Before I could adjust my shutter speed, the animals are gone. I was always on auto as a result.
We booked our trip from Private Safaris in Switzerland. I do not regret booking from Switzerland (Kuoni) even if we realized upon arriving in Kenya that we paid maybe 5 times more than if we would have booked from Kenya. I can't complain because we had a good experience with them. The Private Safari staff were extremely professional. We were alone in the van during the safari, and our driver Thomas was great and really knowledgeable. We wouldn't have seen anything at all without his guidance. In contrast, we booked locally for a tour of Mombasa and we were quite disppointed about the whole thing. We will most likely book with Private Safaris again when we go to Serengeti next year. We are positive that with them, their guides are well trained to handle demanding tourists like us.
If you are on a limited budget, it is more than possible to book the safari when you arrive. It is much much much cheaper. Just be careful to find a good operator. If you are in Diani Beach, you can check out DM Tours and Safaris. We saw a lot of their vans in Tsavo. We also checked out their office and the staff seemed nice. We didn't actually went on tour with them, we just checked out the price for the next time.
This guy I think is an gazelle:
Next year we plan to go to Masai Mara for the great migration. This happens around July-September.
If you are thinking to go to Kenya for a Safari, I strongly suggest to do a combination of Masai Mara and Tsavo. I am really kicking myself for missing Masai Mara.