Amboseli belongs in the elite of Kenya’s national parks, and it’s easy to see why. Its signature attraction is the sight of hundreds of big-tusked elephants set against the backdrop of Africa’s best views of Mt Kilimanjaro (5895m). Africa’s highest peak broods over the southern boundary of the park, and while cloud cover can render the mountain’s massive bulk invisible for much of the day, you’ll be rewarded with stunning vistas when the weather clears, usually at dawn or dusk.
Apart from guaranteed elephant sightings, you’ll also see wildebeest and zebras, and you’vea reasonable chance of spotting lions and hyenas. The park is also home to over 370 bird species.
And with chances to delve a little deeper into the world of wildlife conservation,
it all adds up to one of Kenya’s premier wildlife experiences.
“Home of the African Elephant”
Crowned by Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, the Amboseli National Parks is one of Kenya’s most popular parks. The name “Amboseli” comes from a Maasai word meaning “salty dust”, and it is one of the best places in Africa to view large herds of elephants up close. Nature lovers can explore five different habitats here ranging from the dried-up bed of Lake Amboseli, wetlands with sulphur springs, the savannah and woodlands. They can also visit the local Maasai community who live around the park and experience their authentic culture.
The park is famous for being the best place in the world to get close to free-ranging elephants. Other attractions of the park include opportunities to meet Maasai and visit a Maasai village. The park also has views of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest free-standing mountain in the world.
Amboseli was home to Echo, perhaps the most researched elephant in the world, and the subject of many books and documentaries, followed for almost four decades by American conservationist Dr. Cynthia Moss. Echo died in 2009 when she was about 60 years old.
The park was also a safe haven to an incredible bull elephant named Tim. This mighty leviathan quickly became one of the major attractions with his size and iconic tusks that reached the ground and was estimated to be around 50 years old at the time of his death from natural causes on February 5th 2020.
Amboseli National Park offers some of the best opportunities to see African wildlife because the vegetation is sparse due to the long, dry months. The protected area is home to African bush elephant, Cape buffalo, impala, lion, cheetah, spotted hyena, Masai giraffe, Grant’s zebra, and blue wildebeest. A host of large and small birds occur too.
The park has several rules to protect the wildlife: Never leave the vehicle, except at designated spots; do not harass the animals in any way; always keep to the tracks; no off-road driving; and always give the animals the right of way. The roads in Amboseli have a loose surface of volcanic soil that is dusty in the dry season and impassable in the wet season