Amboseli national park is the famous former Masai Amboseli game reserve in Kenya, the park derives its name from a Masai word to mean “ salty dust” Amboseli is one of the best places to views herds of elephants in Africa, it’s set against the backdrop of Africans highest mountain Kilimanjaro. It’s in the rain shadow of the mountain making it hot and dry. Amboseli covers an area of about 392 kilometers squared,
Amboseli national park is encompassed by the Amboseli basin formed when flowing larva from an erupted volcano blocked the Pangani river, the park is semi arid characterized by thorny rocky bush, open Savannah vast plains, swamps and marshland.
Amboseli national park was established as a game reserve in 1948 and then gazetted as a game reserve in 1974, the first European the park was Joseph Thompson in 1883. The park is located 260 kilometers from Nairobi in Kajiado county of Kenya and less than 5 kilometers from Tanzania’s boarder North West of Kilimanjaro.
Activities at Amboseli national park
Amboseli is the second one most popular tourists destination in Kenya after Masai Mara it’s renowned for largest herds of elephants in Africa and over 900 elephants have been recorded here, Amboseli habituates other animals like, lions, impalas, cape buffaloes, hyenas, giraffes, wildebeests, zebras, cheetahs and many more there are various gaming tracks and each offers you unforgettable experience.
Amboseli national park is blessed with over 400 bird species, for bird enthusiasts you can expect a variety of migratory and residential birds such as, herons, pelicans, egrets, crowned crane, Hartlaubs bustard, white bellied go away bird, steel blue whydah, Rufous chatterer, Rufous bellied heron, Spike heeld lark, taveta golden Weaver, yellow necked spur fowls, kingfishers, hammer cops ,crakes, common redshank, Eurasian thick knee and many more. The best place for bird watching is at the signet delta and also provides excellent views of Kilimanjaro.
The Masai people who are nomadic pastoralists and live within the parks boundaries have very unique culture, tourists can visit the people and learn about their ways of live or even engage in cattle grazing there are also various local dancing groups who can entertain you in the evening but above all acquire a gift to take back home for remberance from the craft shops.
Visit Normatior hill
The observation hill provides you with unique opportunities to view the overall beauty of the park with breathtaking views of elephants roaming in the vast plains, swamps, and scenery. The hill is pyramid shaped.
Guided nature walks
Tourists can have high opportunities of watching small mammals and many bird species by taking guided nature walks around the swamp areas mostly and at the Normiatior hill.
The best time to visit Amboseli national park is in January and February and from June to September, during this time the roads are very passable and the vegetation is not thick providing very good views of wildlife.
Amboseli national park can be accessed by air through a scheduled flight from Nairobi to Amboseli or to Namanga and buffalo lodge the local aircrafts normally operate daily. There is also an airstrip at emousel gate.
For tourists using road transport, there are several gates by white h you can access the park depending on which route they use for travelling, the best route is from Mombasa via kimana gate through Tsavo national park.
Accommodation units variety some of the parks lodges include, Amboseli Serena lodge, Amboseli so lodge, ker and downy tented camp, kimbla campsite, leopard tented camp, Kent tented camp and kimana lodge among the rest.