The Silent Giants of Tsavo
Tsavo National Park in Kenya is probably on every wildlife enthusiast’s bucket list. Renowned for its stories of man-eating lions, and admired for its famous elephants covered in red dust and the Critically Endangered hirola, a trip to Tsavo imbues tranquility in the African wilderness with the prospect of observing big tuskers in their natural environment.
Spanning an area of 22,000km² – making it slightly bigger than South Africa’s Kruger – Tsavo is Kenya’s largest national park. And I had the good fortune to be guided in the park for nearly a week by Richard Moller, the Chief Executive Officer of The Tsavo Trust, and stay at Satao Camp in Tsavo East, which kindly subsidised some of the accommodation, meals and transfers.
The park’s nine big tuskers are among perhaps only 40 on the whole African continent today, as these so-called ‘hundred-pounders’ have been all but wiped out as a combined result of poaching, trophy hunting and large scale exploitation of ivory for consumer goods. So it was a dream of mine to try to locate a few of these remaining iconic giants, and capture them on camera for monitoring purposes and posterity.