What is it that makes Tsavo such a compelling and magical obsession for those of us who know it well and love it unreservedly. It is the big skies, the space that extends beyond each horizon - it is its denizens who live in this, their land from the largest land mammals on earth - the majestic elephants and those that are living legends with massive ivory, but also the contrasting seasons that transform the landscape over night in response to even a little rain. The dry seasons have their own beauty and magic, twisted trees devoid of foliage but with magic shapes, the towering red castles of clay inhabited by the termite workers of the world, the rocks studded with garnets and bejewelled with glittering quartz and the hushed voices of the natural world when one listens to the silence.
And when the rains approach the promise of change when the tortillas acacias miraculously burst with leaf some six weeks ahead of the rain. An then when the rain eventually falls the sudden burst of life, of activity, of haste to mate and breed another generation to replace the lost. Then every shade of green adorns the landscape with the backdrop for natures artistry of flowering shrubs, tiny decorative flowers amongst the different growing grasses, each beautiful, each perfect, each a different colour and shape.
Perhaps what makes Tsavo so special is the element of surprise and discovery. And like Finchattan,whenever we can get away we say "Tell them we'll be in Tsavo!"
By Dame Daphne Sheldrick