Amboseli National Park, also known as “the home of the African Elephant,” is surmounted by the highest mountain in Africa. The park is one of the most popular parks in Kenya due to its abundance of wildlife, particularly elephants. Amboseli national park derives its name from the Maasai word Amboseli, which means “salty dust.” The park is extremely arid during the dry season.
Amboseli national park, formerly known as Maasai Amboseli Game Reserve, is located in Kajiado County in southern Kenya. It is approximately 240 kilometers to Nairobi, the metropolis of Kenya. It is Kenya’s second most renowned park, after the Maasai Mara National Reserve. The park encompasses 39,209 hectares of land, which is equivalent to 392 square kilometers. The the park was established in 1906 as a national game reserve and did not obtain park status until 1974, when it was renamed Amboseli national park.
Joseph Thompson is known to have been the first European to visit the feared Maasai region of Empusel, which means “salty, dusty place” in the local language. The land was designated a game reserve after his visit, during which he was awestruck by the vast populations of wildlife in the region and the close-up view of Mount Kilimanjaro. The locals assumed administration of the reserve in 1948 until 1974, when it was declared a national game park. The Amboseli national park was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991 and is administered by the Kenya Wildlife Service.
Amboseli National Park is the only site in Kenya and the second best in Africa, after Tarangire National Park, where you can see large herds of free-ranging elephants up close. The park features numerous attractions, including a view of Mount Kilimanjaro, the world’s tallest free-standing mountain.
The park is also well-known for the documentary of “Echo,” the most studied elephant in the world, who passed away in 2009 at the age of 60. Numerous other permanent park inhabitants include Cape Buffalo, lions, cheetahs, hyenas, giraffes, zebras, wildebeest, impala, warthogs, and gazelles. Amboseli national park is home to over 300 avian species, making it one of Africa’s premier birding destinations.
Climate and weather
Even though the drought season can sometimes last for an extended period, the park receives an adequate quantity of precipitation during the rainy season. The climate is characterized by two rainy seasons, with the first rainy season beginning in late March and lasting through May. The second brief wet season begins in late October or November. The dry season runs from June to September, but this has no effect on the park’s wildlife because Kilimanjaro’s water streams meander through the middle of the park, providing water for the animals.
As one approaches Mount Kilimanjaro, the park’s vegetation changes from the north to the south. The northern region is characterized by short grass that becomes dusty during the dry season, while the central region is comprised of marshy wetlands.
Activities to do in Amboseli National Park
Amboseli national park is one of the finest safari destinations in Africa to experience unrivaled safari activities. The park is renowned for its broad variety of mammalian species, including a large population of elephants. A true wildlife destination on the African continent, Amboseli national park is situated in the Kajiando district of Kenya’s province and shares a southern border with Tanzania. Amboseli derives from the Maasai word for open plains, and the park is managed by the Kenya Wildlife service. The park is encircled by nomadic Maasai and encompasses an area of approximately 392 square kilometers. Notably, the park has been a reserve since 1948, a national park since 1974, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1991. Visit Amboseli, the finest location for photographing the majesty of the landscape dominated by Mount Kilimanjaro, and its renowned big game encounters.
Below are the activities done in Amboseli national park as follows;
Amboseli national park is a habitat for wild animals, especially elephants, which inhabit the park’s open plains, acacia woodland, rocky thorn thicket, and marshland. The ideal time to see wild animals is from 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the morning, and from 2:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the afternoon.During the day, a large number of animals congregate on watering holes to quench their thirst. Among the animals that can be observed are spotted hynes, which can be seen returning to their dens in the early hours of the morning, and bush baby and serval cat, which can be easily spotted during a night game drive. On a game excursion in the park, you can observe African elephants traversing the open plains alongside a solitary acacia tree.
Guided Nature walk
The park is naturally endowed with beautiful vegetation, wetlands, and mammal species that you can encounter on a nature walk. In Amboseli national park, guided nature walks can be conducted around the park and on the observation slopes. The guided nature walk is the best way to explore the hidden treasures of the park because it is done on foot. You will also have the opportunity to view wild animals up close, including elephants, zebras, giraffes, impalas, and buffaloes, among others, while listening to the sweet melodies of birds singing and enjoying a rewarding view of Kilimanjaro in the background.
Amboseli national park is an excellent location for birdwatching because it is home to more than 400 species of birds, which can be spotted along wetlands, grasslands, and acacia woodlands. Greater flamingos, Lesser flamingos, Long-toed lap claws, Rufous chatterers, Spike-heeled herons, Tavete golden weavers, vonder Dicken’s horn bills, Dickinson’s kestrels, Common redshanks, African swamp hens, pangani long claws, and Hartlaub’s bustards, among others, can be observed here. The finest months for birding in Amboseli national park are May through June and October through December. You must bring binoculars in order to observe distant bird species with clarity.
On your visit to Amboseli national park, you can spend the afternoon with the Maasai people, a local community that surrounds the park. And learn about their unique way of life, such as their exhilarating traditional dances, in which you can join them and depart with a once-in-a-lifetime experience, unique clothing, and you can also take part in the reforestation by planting seeds with them.
Hot air balloon safari
This is a rewarding activity conducted very early in the morning, as you are able to fly the heavens of the park and view herds of elephants, buffaloes, plains, birds of the air, and more.
On your safari to Amboseli national park, you can enjoy the night sky outside your lodge over a campfire while watching Maasai dancers perform traditional dances and sipping drinks in the midst of the wilderness.
On a trip to Amboseli national park, tourists can see the snow-capped Kilimanjaro as well as the crater, which is one of the world’s most magnificent landmarks, along with the statue of liberty and victory falls.
Where to stay
On a safari to Amboseli national park, you can stay in lodges ranging from moderate to luxury, including Amboseli sopa lodge, Amboseli Kimana lodge, Kibo villa, Tortilis Camp, Kilima Safari Camp, Amboseli Oltukkai Lodge, Amboseli Serena, Kilima Safari Camp, and Tawi lodge, among others.
By Road: The Park is readily accessible from Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, via Namanga Road and Meshanini Gate, which takes 240 kilometers and four hours of driving time. The distance from Nairobi to Emali tarmac via the Mombasa road is 228 kilometers and takes 3 hours to travel.
By Air: Domestic flights that fly to Amboseli national park are known as charter flights or scheduled flights, which depart from Nairobi Wilson Airport and Moi Airport Mombasa and take only 30 minutes to arrive at an Amboseli airstrip.
Best Time to visit Amboseli National Park
The Amboseli national park is accessible throughout the year, though the drier months are recommended. The best period for game drives is between June and September, when the grass is short and animals are readily spotted. Additionally, they congregate near water steam regions.
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