Amboseli National Park

Amboseli National Park

Amboseli National Park

Amboseli National Park is located in Kajiado county is called a home of African Elephants getting the name after the large herds of Elephants easily seen at the park any time. The park has an added advantage of its closeness to the African and world’s highest free-standing mountain that is Mt Kilimanjaro. The park’s name comes from the local Masaai word “Amboseli” which means salty dust. Amboseli national park is much famous with its large herds of Elephants that can be viewed at the closest range during your game drives at the park.

The Amboseli national park was formally known as the Maasai Amboseli Game reserve before it was re-named as Amboseli national park in 1974. Located in Southern Kenya near Tsavo East National Park and Tsavo West national parks. It also borders Mt Kilimanjaro National Park of Tanzania. The park is found about 240 kilometers away from Nairobi Kenya’s Capital city. Amboseli national park is the second most popular tourist destination in Kenya after Maasai Mara national reserve. It sits in 392 square kilometers, the park was established as a game reserve in 1906 before it graduated to national park status in 1974.

The park was first visited by Joseph Thompson when it was called danger zone nicknamed as Empusel by locals. It is after the visit of Joseph that the park was opened to the entire world, he discovered the large herds of animals found at the park. From that this place was declared as a game reserve in 1948 and in 1974 it was declared as a national park. It attained its listing in UNESCO as a Heritage site in 1991 under the management of Kenya Wildlife Service.

The documentary “Echo” an elephant that was the most researched in the world before it died in 2009. The oldest Elephant died at the age of 60 years, this Elephant caught a good number of people’s attention which gave them the motivation to come and see the elephant. The park has a wide range of wildlife like Buffalo, lions, hyenas, zebras, Giraffes, Impala, Wildebeest mention but a few.

When to go to Amboseli National Park

Amboseli national park can be visited any time of the year as the wildlife at the park are permanent residents that can be viewed throughout the year. Our safari experts always advise our guests who are planning to go to Amboseli national park so as to get the best African safari.

Amboseli National Park
Elephants in Amboseli National Park

However much the park hosts a lot of permanent residents but the most recommended months are the dry month especially the long dry season that starts from June to October. We can also enjoy during the short dry spell from December to February and it’s on the festive season. The game drives are excellent throughout due to short grass where animals are easily seen. While on the other note birders enjoy visiting Amboseli national park during the wet season of March to April and November.

How to get in Amboseli national park

Amboseli national park can be accessed by both road and flights, the park is located on the good tarmac road that leaves Nairobi to the park. By road, it takes one like 240 kilometers from Nairobi through Namaganda on Arusha Nairobi Road. One can also use an alternative road via Emali from the Kenya Capital Nairobi which is 228 kilometers along Nairobi Mombasa Road. While if one is starting his or her trip on the coastal area of Kenya one has to pass through Tsavo West national park via Kimana Gate.

By air, the park has one single airstrip in the Empusel gate but for only small aircraft. The park is also accessible through neighboring airstrips like Namanga airstrip or in Kilimanjaro Buffalo Lodge airstrip.

Attractions in Amboseli national park

Amboseli national park is a park gifted by nature with a wide range of attractions that makes the park lively. Its second famous national park after Masai Mara National Reserves not by accident but with more wildlife experience it gives to the guests. The park has 5 major habitats those are the open plains, rocky thorn bushes, Swamps, Acacia woodland, and Marshland. Below are the key attractions at the park.

Observation hill: This hill is called Normatior is a pyramid-shaped hill which is located in the center of the park. This is among the few corners at the park where one can enjoy their nature walks inside the park. Hiking to this hill gives one scenic aerial view of Amboseli national park. It takes a few hours to reach to the summit where you can view the swamps, animals, roads below you. 

Sinet Delta: This is the paradise section of the birders at Amboseli national park. Located at the Northern sector of the park, it is much famous with more bird species. In fact its excellent area for birding, the thicket vegetation attracts more birds as the area is balanced and mixed with Swampy vegetation that gives guests to view both water or swamp bird species as well as the savannah species. It also attracts more wildlife especially the giraffes who like feeding on Acacia tree species.

Amboseli Lake: Small salty lake is a home of large herds of Elephants and other animals who come to link the salty water. During the dry season, the lake acts as a source of water for animals at the park.

Mount Kilimanjaro: Enjoying a clear view of the African highest mountain is a key attraction at Amboseli. One gets a close-range view of the mountain especially in the morning hours or when one hikes to the Observation hill which allows you to enjoy more scenic views. 

Birds: With over 500 bird species which are majority are permanent residents at the park and few are migratory birds which come only for breeding before they go back. The most seen birds are Secretary bird, Lovebirds, Sacred Ibis, African Jacana, Rufous Chatterer, Kori Bustard, Grey Crowned Crane, Dickinson’s Kestrel, Flamingo, African Swamphen, Steel-blue whydah, Weaver, Lapwing, Hornbill, Different kind of Herons, Pangani longclaw, Ostrich, Hamerkop mention but a few.

Mammals: Amboseli national park has over 80 mammal species that include the four of the African big five to the rare small Elephant Shrew. The animals at the park are permanent residents which allows rewarding game drives to be done throughout the year in Amboseli. The big cats are all seen those are the lions, leopards, and cheetahs. Other animals include zebras, giraffes, Elephants, Hyenas, wildebeest and many more.

Amboseli National Park
Amboseli National Park Hippos

Activities in Amboseli National Park

Amboseli national park is one of the best wildlife viewing park not only in Kenya but Africa and the entire world. With a big game easily viewed, its unfortunate that the Rhinos have become extinct while other four of the African big five are present.  The most common animals are lions, leopards, elephants, cheetahs, impala, giraffe, gazelle, zebras, wildebeest, buffalo, hippos, crocodiles, hyena among others.

Below are the activities at Amboseli

Game viewing/game drives: Its everyone’s dream to come to Africa and view African big five especially the big cats in their natural habitats. Amboseli is one of the few parks in Africa where all the game drives are allowed including night game drive. Explore the national park on 4×4 open roof safari land cruiser as we go as close as possible to the animals. Morning game drives are more rewarding when the animals are very active looking for the first unlucky warm being caught by the bird. Sun risers when the lions and other cats are on a hunt and the grazers getting early to look for the water dues especially during the dry season.

Evening game drives are also great when the animals finalize their day surviving for the fittest amidst the wild. Night game drives are done from 7 pm after your dinner to look for nocturnal animals. It is only in Amboseli national park where night game drives are allowed inside the park.

Walking safaris: Enjoying the path of African wilderness with the escort of well-trained equipped rangers walking on foot. Go close to animals while on foot and this is excellent if you put on the local Maasai fits sandals made up of car tires. 

The nature walks where extremely good in the evening as one is relaxing under the fresh air of African wilderness.  You can live-action as the cats do the hunt, tossing Hyenas look directly to your eyes, enjoying the African Elephants funning itself with the large ears. Other animals include giraffes, Antelope, buffalo, and others. 

Scenic view: Enjoy the clear views of Mt Kilimanjaro at the close range. You will also enjoy the aerial view of the park when one hikes Observation hill. See the five habitats at the park that is a home of different animal species.

Birding: With over 500 bird species, Amboseli national park is one of the key birding destinations not only in Kenya but Africa at large. The birders enjoy great colorful bird species with all sizes especially the open savannah species and water birds like flamingos. Birding in Amboseli national park can be done throughout the year though the best time is during their nestling time around March to April or November. The park hosts a great number of migratory birds that come across Africa and some European countries.

Amboseli National Park
Birding in Aboseli National Park

Amboseli national park gives you great African wilderness experience that is ones in a lifetime. Discover the best secrets of Africa through your trip to Amboseli, one can do a mixture of coastal experience with wildlife experience through visiting Amboseli and coastal beaches along the Indian ocean.

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