The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Fostering Map click
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found and the plight of elephants in that area.
Mapea Gap, Tsavo East National Park
The Tsavo National Park area, encompassing an area of 8,000 square miles (the size of Michigan State or the country Wales) is the main stronghold for Kenya's elephant population which in Tsavo now numbers over 11,000 - the largest single population left in the entire country. Although wild animals are distributed throughout other parts of the country, the Tsavo National Parks are the only large area where they are accorded protection and with its varied topography and differing habitats; it harbours a greater biodiversity of wildlife than any other Park in the world, since it is here that the Northern and Southern races of fauna just happen to occur. David Sheldrick was the founder warden of Tsavo East National Park in the early 1950s.
The Park is divided into east and west sections by the Nairobi - Mombasa highway and the railway line which serves the same two destinations, the latter famously built in 1898 and renowned by the notorious ‘man-eaters of Tsavo’ lions who attacked and killed over 135 Indian workers. Named after the Tsavo River, which flows west to east through the national park, the Park borders the Chyulu Hills National Park, and the Mkomazi Game Reserve in Tanzania. It was our very own David Sheldrick who formed Tsavo East National Park, mapping it out on foot, and who was the first warden. The Park can be accessed by three main gates, from Voi through the Manyani gate, from Mombasa through the Bachuma gate or from Malindi through the Sala gate. Inside the park the Athi and Tsavo rivers converge to form the Galana River. Most of the park consists of semi-arid grasslands and savanna. It is considered one of the world's biodiversity strongholds, and its popularity is mostly due to the vast amounts of diverse wildlife that can be seen, including the famous 'big five' consisting of Masai lion, black rhino, cape buffalo, elephant and leopard. The park is also home to a great variety of bird life such as the black kite, crowned crane, lovebird and the sacred ibis. The slightly larger Tsavo East is generally flat, with dry plains across which the Galana River flows as well as other features including the Yatta Plateau and Lugard Falls.
The Yatta Plateau is a flat volcanic plateau which runs alongside the Galana River. It is one of the longest lava flows in the world and streches from Thika, near Nairobi, to the Tsavo Park boundary near Lali, some 320km away. The plateau is only about 2km across, but it is thickly covered with bush, which supports a tremendous amount of game. There are only a few gaps in this massive wall and these passes are well-used by elephant who want access to the river; the Mapea Gap is one where numerous elephant paths meet.