Kenya’s Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) isn’t just affordable, it’s also a fun way to see some of the country’s best scenic spots. Think of the SGR as your very own mini-safari. If you want to know how to book your seat check out our article here. Once you’re booked and ready, here’s a little preview of the scenic spots you’ll pass on your trip.
- The Uganda Railway
Construction of the Uganda Railway was initiated by the British state-owned railway company on December 11, 1895. Its ultimate purpose was to link Uganda with the port of Mombasa. To this day 1,060 kilometers of the rail run through Kenya. The railway runs parallel to Kenya’s modern SGR. It can bee seen throughout different parts of your route through the window.
In 1898, the British began construction of a bridge over the Tsavo River. Railroad worker camps were plagued by two mane-less male lions who were said to drag workers from their tents at night and devour them. The attacks were so bad construction was halted until the two lions were finally found and killed.
- Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Park
Lucky for you, the SGR runs straight through both sections of Kenya’s famous Tsavo national park. The park is divided into the East and West section.
Tsavo East National Park is located near the town of Voi and spans 13,747 square kilometers. It’s topography is a flat, dry savannah that is hospitable to the ‘big five’ ( lion, black rhino, cape buffalo, elephant and leopard) as well as the black kite, crowned crane, lovebird and the sacred ibis. It’s main water feature is the Galana River.
Tsavo West National Park lies within the former coast province of Kenya and covers an area of 9,065 square kilometers. It’s location makes it wetter than the Eastern portion lending it to a number of swamps, Lake Jipe and Mizma Springs. The Western park’s wildlife includes eastern black rhinoceros, hippopotamus, Cape buffalo, elephant, leopard and lions. Smaller animals include bushbaby, hartebeest, lesser kudu and Masai giraffe.
- Chyulu Hills National Park
Named an official park in 1983, the Chyulu Hills National Park forms a 100 kilometer long volcanic field. It is officially part of the Tsavo conservation area which includes the Tsavo West National park, Tsavo East National park and the Kibwezi forest. The hills are home to a wide range of nature and wildlife including rhinos, elephants, giraffes and leopards. If you’ve seen the hills before it was probably in “Out of Africa”, a 1985 American drama produced by Sydney Pollack, starring Meryl Streep.