Amboseli National Park
Amboseli National Park is one of Kenya’s most popular parks located in Southern Kenya for about 240 km (150 m) from Nairobi, situated along the border of Kenya and Tanzania in Kajiado South Constituency in Kajiado County. The park boasts for its high number of herds of elephants rotating around its lands making it the best place in Africa to view these creatures, Elephants are spotted almost everywhere in the park, it covers an area of 392 sq km (151 sq mi.
Amboseli National park derives its name Amboseli from a Maasai word “Empusel” meaning “salty dust place”, the land in the southern sector of the park rises sharply to the Kilimanjaro Mountain of Tanzania, this park also provides scenic views of the Mountain Kilimanjaro the highest snow-capped peak in Africa with 19600 feet, However on the east-west part of the park the landscape dots wetlands, this park is home to two of the 5 great wetlands of the country, and a dried-up Pleistocene and also magnificent views of the Chyulu range and lava forests which stretches up to Tsavo West National Park. The North sector of the park give views of a series of hills like Lemipoti, Losoito, Lemomo, IIng’arunyonyi that move up to the Kenyan Highlands. Amboseli national park was declared a UNESCO- Mab Biosphere Reserve in 1991, this park is managed by Kenya Wildlife Service, Olkejuado County Council and the Maasai Community. the park is covered with savannah vegetation that leads to its dryness because its on the lee ward side of Mount Kilimanjaro and saline soils which don’t support agriculture and also the elephants have left the park with almost no trees at all.
The nearest city to the park is Nairobi and the Maasai are the people that dominate the neighborhood of the area though other people of the country have been attracted to the area because of the growing tourism and agriculture sector in the area. This park is a haven to various African Wildlife like African bush elephants, cape buffaloes, Impalas, lions, cheetahs, spotted hyenas, Zebras, Maasai giraffes, blue wildebeest and various different bird species.
History of Amboseli National Park
Amboseli was first set a side as the southern reserve for the Maasai, and later in 1948 returned as a game reserve to local control and in 1974 it was gazetted as a National Park in Kenya in order to protect it as the core of this unique eco-system, then in 1991 it was declared a UNESCO world Heritage site and Biosphere Reserve. In 2005 the park was declared by the president and passed on from Kenya Wildlife services to Olikejuado county council and Masai tribe as away of letting the locals benefit from the park and take park in the administering and operation of the park. The park was home to an elephant called Tim, it was a large and huge creature which quickly became one of the major attractions in the park, it died at an age of approximately 50 years of age the cause is alleged to be a natural disaster, the park also nested the famous Echo which was the most researched elephant in the whole wide world and was also the subject of many books and documentaries.
Attractions in Amboseli national park
Wildlife / animals in Amboseli national park
The park has a high number of herds of elephants over 1800 rooming around the park, this park is the best destination for elephant lovers and researchers, the park is also home to other wildlife species like Cape buffaloes, Impala, Maasai giraffes, Gerenuks, lesser Kudus, Giant’s zebra, gazelles, wildebeests that move to the area in the dry season in search for pasture and water, , carnivores are also in the park including lions, leopards, cheetah, spotted hyenas, jackal and civet to mention but a few.
Amboseli national park birds
Amboseli is a great sanctuary for birders too host their birding safari in the country, the park nests over 500 recorded bird species which like migratory, forest species, Aquatic bird species which include Flamingos, pelicans, crowned cranes, egrets, herons, yellow-necked spur bird, common redshank, Von der Dicken’s hornbill, Rufous chatterer, long-toed lapwing, Rufous-bellied heron, Spike-heeled lark, Taveta golden weaver.
Amboseli National Park has a number of water bodies where the animals hydrate from, you will stand chances to view the wild animals as they come to the lakes to drink water and a variety of aquatic bird species, the park has temporary lake which only full in the wet season and dry off in the dry season like lake Kioko, Conch lake, Lake Amboseli, Lake Simel.
This is an amazing pyramid shaped hill with rewarding views of the entire park on hiking to its top, you will also have great views of Mount Kilimanjaro. This is the only place in the park where visitors are allowed to move out of their game drive vehicle, you can carry a pair of binoculars to stimulate your views and have them very clear.
Swamps and Marshes
Marches are found in the middle of the park, they get their waters from the spring water that melt from the snow of Mount Kilimanjaro. The animals in the park quench their thirst from the waters of the swamps and the Marshes namely OI Tukai, Ologinya/ OI O Kenya, Ngong Narok Narok, Engone Naibor to mention but a few.
The park gives clear views of Mountain Kilimanjaro located in Tanzania and it has the highest snowcapped peak, the clear view of the mountain from Amboseli National Park attracts a number of tourists.
Elephant Research Camp
The park is a great research Centre for World’s elephant projects, on your visit you will join the researchers and they will answer and explain any questions and give you facts about the species. This research center was introduced to the world by Doctor Moss in his books he wrote about Amboseli Elephants and Elephant memories.
Amboseli national park activities
Amboseli National Park as very many wildlife that call the Park home, game drives in the Amboseli national park safari are done any time of the day but the best time to view wildlife is in the morning and evening because animals came out their hiding to grab them selves some thing to eat, During Amboseli national park day trip wildlife can be spotted as it find its way to the different water bodies to have a drink of water, Animals to view include spotted hyenas, bush babies, serval cats, buffaloes, baboons, zebras, elephants, lions, jackals to mention but a few.
A guided nature walk in the park is a very rewarding activity, it gives a big chance to encounter with wildlife on foot like the elephants, zebras, giraffes, impalas, buffaloes etc. various bird species will also be sighted on, the park is rewarded naturally with stunning vegetation, swamps, and mammal species, the walk is mainly conducted at observation hill. This activity is very amazing it will give you the adventure of discovering the hidden treasure of the park on foot.
Amboseli national park birds
The birds in the park can be found in places like swamp areas, grasslands, the wood land of acacia. Bird species that are in the park include Greater flamingo, Lesser flamingo, Long-toed lap claw, Rufous chatterer, Spike-heeled heron, Tavete golden weaver, Vonder Dicken’s hornbills, Dickinson’s kestrel, common redshank a among others. This activity can be done with other activities like nature walk, game drives etc.
Bush Breakfast and Dinner
This activity is best for travelers who seek to relax in the wild, you will have breakfast in the wild and also dinner in the wild, it very interesting and worth giving a try.
Amboseli National Park is surrounded by the famous tribe of the Maasai people though even other tribes of people have been attracted to the area because of its growing tourism, Culture encounter can be done after lunch, you will stand high chances to learn about the unique culture of these people, their life style, day to day activities and also get to know how they survive in the area. You will get first hand of their history through storytelling, local songs among others. You can join them prepare their local foods and have a taste if at all you’re interested, this activity is very rewarding words can’t define the feeling you get.
The Hot Air Balloon Safari
Adventure the park from the sky, you will have an aerial view of the park as you fly over in the air balloon over Amboseli National Park, you will have a great rewarding view of the wildlife in the park, vegetation, water bodies among other. This activity if done in the morning.
Amboseli national park accommodation
Amboseli national park lodges , The be park has a number of accommodation facilities ranging from luxury, mid-range and luxury such as Amboseli Sopa lodge, Kibo villa, kilima safari camp, Amboseli Serena safari lodge, Amboseli Oltukkai lodge, Tawi lodge and so many others.
Best time to visit Amboseli national park
Amboseli National Park welcomes visitor all the time and it is open all year round, the best time to visit the park is in the dry season when it is less likely to rain, best time for game drive and hiking the observation hill roads are accessible in the months of June-October to February. For visitor interested in bird watching it is best done in the wet season between the months of April-June and November to December.