Amboseli National Park is one of the top attractions in East Africa offering some of the best views for the majestic game viewing. The park is also among the most beautiful tourist destinations in Kenya with quite a number of elephants in the area. Watching a huge elephants against the backdrop of the of the park is one of the most popular images of Africa, and this is the best place to capture its beauty in your camera.
The name “Amboseli” is a Maasai word meaning “salty dust”, and it is one of the best places in Africa to view large herds of elephants up close. Nature lovers can explore five different habitats here stretching from the dried-up bed of Lake Amboseli, wetlands with sulphur springs, the Savannah and woodlands. They can also visit the local Maasai community who live around the park and experience their authentic culture.
Some call it Mboseli National Park an elitist, but there is nothing snooty about the second-best national park of Kenya. The national park is surely very popular and it loves all that attention, but there’s a reason behind its huge fan following. After all, where else would you get to see mammoth tuskers against a backdrop of the gorgeous Mount Kilimanjaro! The highest peak of Africa loves to stay hidden from your view for most of the day, but those who take the effort to wake up at dawn are usually rewarded with the clearest of views of the elusive mountain peak.it is located just 20 kilometers from southeast Nairobi.
Amboseli National Park is a compact national park that stretches over just 293 square kilometers and it stand at an altitude between 1189 to 1372 meters .The national park has beautiful grassy plains and scrubby vegetation all around. The park’s animal population isn’t as widespread as some national parks of Africa, but the small size and open areas ensure that game drives and nature walks are always a fun and very good experience. Mount is one of the biggest attractions of Amboseli National Park, but it doesn’t light out in terms of its flora or fauna either. Elephants are the biggest attraction here. It is common to find huge herds drinking water from surface springs. The big bulls of these herds also have some of the largest tusks in Africa.
The park is home to as many as 370 species of birds and you can expect certain findings of zebras, wildebeest and elephants. Other animals found in the park include the spotted hyena, lion, cheetah, giraffe, buffalo, warthog, impala, jackal, serval cat and the leopard.
Amboseli National Park is bordered by a number of farm areas where the Maasai people share their lands with the local wildlife. Wild animals tend to avoid these areas as cattle-grazing means that there is hardly enough grass to attract herbivores and the predators have far better options than confronting hundreds of villagers. However, this also means that you get to enjoy a pleasant cultural visit while in Amboseli National Park. Most local lodges offer village tours which allow tourists to explore the ancient Maasai culture and learn more about their customs and traditions.
Amboseli national park has great attraction with breathtaking views of Mt. Kilimanjaro, home to some of the largest tuskers on the planet, excellent elephant sightings, and Cultural interactions with the Maasai and other more attraction that are viewed while in the park.
Amboseli’s compact size makes it possible to see everything within a couple of days, and its nearness to the Mara allows it to find its way into most Kenyan tours. Tourists wanting to extend their stay can always add the following options into their itineraries.
Chyulu Hills National Park: Your visit to Chyulu Hills National park will offer you with the great Mt. Kilimanjaro as a backdrop excites you; wait till you visit the Chyulu National Park, home to ancient volcanic hills that present even better views of the mountain. The park is a small conservation area that is home to a number of antelope species, leopards, elephants and buffalo’s, and its biggest highlight is that it is avoided by most tourists visiting Kenya.
Maasai Mara National Reserve: The Mara really needs no introduction. As one of the top two national parks in East Africa, Maasai Mara is always exciting and always full of tourists.
When to visit Amboseli national park.
The best time to visit Amboseli National Park is between the months of July to October. The weather is warm and dry and this makes for comfortable game viewing. The months of April to June are best avoided as this coincides with the wet season, making things very difficult for travelers.
How to get there
- By Road: The main road into the park is from Nairobi via Namanga (240 km) on the Nairobi – Arusha Road, through Meshanani Gate. The other road is from Nairobi via Emali (228 km) on the Nairobi – Mombasa Road. Access from Mombasa is mainly through Tsavo West National Park via Kimana (Olkelunyiet) Gate.
- By Air: Airstrips: The Park has a single airstrip for light aircrafts at Empusel gate. Other airstrips exist at Kilimanjaro Buffalo Lodge and Namanga town.
Major Attractions in Amboseli national park.
- Mount Kilimanjaro
- The Big Five
- Large Herds of Elephants Swamp below observation hill hosts many elephants, buffaloes, hippos and a variety of water fowls like pelican, Egyptian goose
- Observation Hill which allows an overall view of the whole park especially the swamps and elephants,
- Contemporary Maasai culture and indigenous lifestyle
Activities include Game viewing.
Those visiting Amboseli National Park can choose from luxury game lodges as well as tented safari camps. There are a number of options to suit all budgets and tastes. Some of the top camps and lodges at the Amboseli National Park include
- Tortilis Camp
- Amboseli Campsite
- Porini Amboseli Camp
- Kilimanjaro guesthouse
- Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge
- Simba Cottages
- Chui cottages
- Oltukai lodge