With Mount Kilimanjaro as its backdrop, Amboseli National Park is a parade of extraordinaries. It is explosive with biota and reputed as a sanctuary for the big- tasked Elephants.
Siting only a stone throw to the Kenyan-Tanzanian border, Amboseli National Park is a parade of safari extraordinaries. Busting with bio-diversities and exclusive habitats, Amboseli is reputed as one of the best wild-viewing experiences in the world.
Amboseli comes from the Maasai word ‘Empusel’ which means “open plain with salty dust”. Despite its fame, Amboseli is a small park, measuring only 392 square km. It is positioned in southern Kenya, less than 5 kilometres from the ice-crowned Mount Kilimanjaro; Africa’s highest free-standing peak.
Nonetheless, don’t let the size fool you. With Kilimanjaro as its backdrop, dawn and sunsets are a spectacular vista here.
Due to its distinct biota, Amboseli National Park was declared a UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Reserve in 1991. Its habitats range from the savannah and woodlands to wetlands with sulphur spring. The park is encompassed within the dried up Pleistocene lake basin, created when volcanic lava erupting from Kilimanjaro blocked a significant course of Pangani River some hundred years ago. Yet, during the rainy season, the lake crops to life and the plains are turned to swamps. In the dry season, the grassy savannah turns to ‘salty dust’.
Safari Expeditions and Activities
For the nature lover, the Amboseli bio-diversity is truly gratifying. You will explore the mostly flat topography of lake Amboseli, only broken by extinct volcano vents; Nomatior, Limberishari, Lemomo, Ositeti and Kitirua. Its signature attraction is the guaranteed sighting of African bush tusked elephants. You also have a fair chance of sighting other animals including East African lions, cheetahs, leopards, blue wildebeest, Grant’s zebras, Cape buffaloes, Masai giraffes among others. All experienced in their natural habitats while dealing with their everyday hustles. In addition, Amboseli National Park has over 400 recorded birds’ species including kingfishers, hammerkops, pelicans and raptors. The sparse vegetation and mosaic landscapes make sure you are rewarded with unparalleled safari experiences.
Apart from wildlife, the park is strategically situated in close proximity to the Maasai community where you will experience the most authentic and interesting cultural heritages in Kenya. If you are explorative enough, you will enjoy sleeping in their traditional Inkajijik and wearing their elaborate bead works.
To protect the wildlife, the park maintains a set of rules on game drives. Always keep to the tracks; never get out of the vehicle unless on specifically designated spots; always give the animals’ right of way and do not harass them in any way.
Whether dancing with the bird and trumpets or chasing with the lions, the Amboseli enchantments will craze you with pleasure. Its Sparkles will truly be extraordinaire.
Climate: The Park has relatively dry and warm weather. The roads are covered by loose volcano soil that makes them dusty during the dry season and impassable in the rain season.
Attractions: – The Big Five, especially Large herds of elephants
- Observation Hill which gives you a spectacular view of the park especially the crystal swamps, elephants, buffaloes, Egyptian goose among others.
- Maasai indigenous culture and lifestyle.
Park Activities: Bird Watching, Camping, Game Drives, Photography, Scenic
- By Road: The Amboseli National Park can be accessed by road from Nairobi- Arusha road (240km), through Meshanani Gate. Other routes include Nairobi – Mombasa road (228km) through Email. If from Mombasa, you can go through Kimana (Olkelunyiet) Gate via Tsavo West National Park.
- By Air: the park has an Airstrip for light aircraft at Empusel gate. Planes can also land at Namanga Town or Kilimanjaro Buffalo lodge.
Accommodation: If you choose to say on the park, Amboseli National Park is lined up with self-catering cottages, campsites and five-star lodges that strive to make your safari unforgettable.