Amboseli National Park features as Kenya’s second most famous wildlife protected area after the Maasai Mara wildlife reserve. This remarkable wildlife conservation area is reachable within 260 kilometers from Nairobi just at the border with Tanzania. This also makes Amboseli national park one of the nearest protected areas to Namanga town. The park is strategically located at the stunning foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro and it offers visitors the best sight to its spectacular wildlife species making it one of the frequently visited safari destinations in the magical Kenya. Amboseli national park is credited with huge numbers of African elephants which count about 900 individuals as well as several wildebeests and many more. Other wildlife species that are worthy sighting while on safari to this protected area include the African lions, monkeys, zebras, hyenas, antelopes, buffaloes, cheetah, giraffes, hippos, waterbucks, civets, wildcats, jackals, impalas, yellow and olive baboons and black face vervet monkeys. With this diversity, Amboseli National Park exceptionally ranks among the very few stunning safari destinations that are worth including in the bucket list. Game viewing features as the one of the leading experiences in the park and it is always conducted in the morning and afternoon. The game drives are carried out while on safari vehicles with open roofs and sides that offers that ideal space any visitor may wish to have to catch a glimpse of its diverse wildlife species. This is done with a well trained tour guide. Visitors can also embark on the most rewarding nature walks to explore more on the park’s tree species, insects, reptiles, birds, wildlife and flowers.
For bird enthusiasts, Amboseli National Park refuges more than 425 distinct bird species 47 of which are raptors. Visitors who are interested in bird watching, the park is best visited between October and January as this allows you to sight most of Kenya’s migratory bird species like African skimmers, red and yellow bishops, goshawks, buffalo weavers and palm nut vulture and many more. Other bird species to sight include the beautiful sunbird, pelicans, kingfishers, crakes, Hammerkops, secretary bird, superb starlings and grey crowned cranes.
Besides, visitors can also engage in hot air balloon rides in the park which rewards travelers with the most stunning sunrise views of Mount Kilimanjaro, an aerial view of the authentic Maasai villages and many elephants as they roam across the park’s plains.
Amboseli National Park became a national reserve around 1968 and it was designated as a national park around 1974. This spectacular conservation area stretches up to 392 square kilometers and this makes up part of the 3000 square kilometer Amboseli ecosystem. It comes with 5 varied wildlife habitats which include the open plains, acacia woodland, rocky thorn bush, marshes and swamps. This tremendous diversity that comes together with the dry spell rewards visitors with remarkable views of its huge African wildlife species while in the natural set up. Amboseli National Park features dry Pleistocene Lake basin which refuges a temporary Lake-Lake Amboseli that appears after it has rained.
Visitors on safari to this park also have a chance to view or hike through Mount Kilimanjaro which features one of the highest peaks in the world, visit observation hill that which allows you to view the park. The observation hill comes in a pyramid shaped volcanic hill and it stands as the only site in the whole protected area where visitors can engage in walking tours. The hill is an out crop volcano and lies on gentle slopes of the park and allows visitors to catch a glimpse of its spectacular swamps and several elephants as they roam in the national park. You can also supplement your experiences in the park with Maasai people and explore their cultures, traditions and lifestyles.
The climate in Amboseli National Park
Amboseli area is hot and dry. The park lies at the rain shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro in the Northwestern part. The average temperatures differ slightly all year round with minimum average daily temperatures of 27 degrees Celsius and the maximum of 33 degrees Celsius. The park receives an annual rainfall amount of around 300mm between April and May, November and December. The park can be best visited between January and February, from June to September. Usually, it is easier for visitors to navigate through the remotest routes to the park unlike those who travel around April and May which is a wet season.
Getting to Amboseli National Park
Amboseli National Park is situated 365 kilometers southeast of Nairobi and it is reachable both by road and by air. By road, you will need a 4 by 4 safari car/open topped minibus, safari van with guide or public means. You can take the Nairobi-Namanga route which is about 249 kilometers but expect some potholes around Namanga to the Meshanani gate. Namanga is a border town between Kenya and Tanzania and visitors spend around one hour while driving to reach to Meshanani gate but this will depend on the kind of vehicle that you will be using. You can also reach the park from Mombasa via Tsavo west national park, then to Kimana (Olkelunyiet) gate. Driving along this road rewards visitors with ultimate beauty of the surrounding areas via Emali town to Mombasa. The notable park gates include Kitrua, Kelunyiet, iremito llmeshanan and airstrips. Travelers should note that most of the roads connecting up to this protected area have mainly loose surfaces and this means that they can be dusty and bumpy.
By air, you will spend nearly 30 minutes or more to reach the park. There is a chartered light aircraft that flies from big towns especially Nairobi and Mombasa and they land in the airstrips around Empusel gate. The other airfields/airstrips are found around Namanga and Kilimanjaro buffalo Lodge. Visitors can also book for scheduled flights that leave from Nairobi to Amboseli. Whereas this is the quickest means of reaching to the park, visitors are also bound to miss the stunning scenic views of the countryside of Kenya.
Accommodation in Amboseli National Park
Amboseli National Park has many lodges that offer visitors that excellent accommodation and comfort that he or she deserves while on safari in Africa. Each accommodation facility comes with its own prices and they range from budget to luxury and this means that visitors have a wide range of options to choose from. The notable safari lodges for you to spend a night in Amboseli National Park include Amboseli Serena Lodge, Kimana Lodge, Tortilis Camp, Oltukai Lodge and Amboseli Sopa Lodge. You can also go camping but all visitors who are interested in camping experiences are encouraged to come along with their own camping items. The best campsites in Amboseli National Park are Abercrombie tented camp, Kent tented camp, Ker and Downy tented camp, Chyulu tented camp Kimbla campsite, cottar’s tented camp, leopard tented camp, Kibo Safari Camp, Tortilis tented camp which comes with about 18 tented rooms, nairushari special, Olgulului public campsite, Tawi lodge which features 12 chalets and it works hand in hand with the African wildlife foundation in ensuring progress and safety of the wildlife species in the park and many more.
In conclusion, Amboseli National Park is remarkably one of the most popular safari destinations especially with its big game and the breathtaking scenic beauty. There is a lot more in offer for you to catch a glimpse in this park while on safari in Africa. Consider visiting this conservation a must in your travel plan and you won’t regret in life!