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For other uses, see Tsavo (disambiguation).

Tsavo is a region of Kenya located at the crossing of the Uganda Railway over the Tsavo River, close to where it meets the Athi River. It is derived from a Maasai word sabuk (pronounced tsavok) which means river. The Maasai called the Tsavo river Engare sabuk meaning a big river. Until the British put an end to the slave trade in the 19th century, Tsavo was continually crossed by caravans of Arab slavers and their captives. Many of the victims dropped dead by the wayside and were eaten by lions. In this manner, some lions of Tsavo acquired a taste for human flesh.[1] This might have contributed to the attacks by the two infamous Tsavo maneaters.

Two national parks, Tsavo East National Park and Tsavo West National Park are nearby.


Typical flora of the region includes:

Typical fauna of the region includes:

Native human inhabitants:

  • The Waata, a bow-hunting people.

In popular culture[edit]

The place achieved fame in The Man-eaters of Tsavo, a book about the "Tsavo maneaters", a pair of lions who attacked workers building the railroad bridge, an episode also depicted in the 1996 film The Ghost and the Darkness.

In the video game Halo 3 for the Xbox 360, the entire Earth-bound part of the game is set in this region. As such, one of the levels is entitled "Tsavo Highway" and encompasses the final stages of the evacuation of Crow's Nest and the preface for the attack on Voi.

American fingerstyle guitarist Billy McLaughlin named a song after the region, found on the album The Archery Of Guitar.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The World Without Us by Alan Weisman, 2007. ISBN 9780312347291

http://www.tsavonationalpark.co.ke/ Coordinates: 02°58′00″S 38°28′00″E / 2.96667°S 38.46667°E / -2.96667; 38.46667