Amboseli National Park
Amboseli National Park is one of Kenya’s popular parks found in southern Kenya lying in the north-western part of Mount Kilimanjaro, on the border with Tanzania. Covering an area of 392 square km, and the Amboseli ecosystem. Gazetted as a national park in 1974 to protect the core of this unique ecosystem, it was recognized as the UNESCO site in 1991.
The name Amboseli is derived from a Masai word meaning “salty dust”. The park temperatures range from 20-300 C and rainfall from 200mm-700mm. 2 rain seasons in march-April and Nov-Dec. The western section is dominated by Lake Amboseli, which is dry outside the rainy season. The park has five types of vegetation; open plains, acacia woodland, rocky thorn bush country, swamps, and marshland.
ATTRACTIONS IN AMBOSELI NATIONAL PARK.
Amboseli National Park is Kenya’s second popular park next to Masai Mara, it has a big number of attractions which pull tourists to put it on their bucket list. Some of the attractions are listed below;
Amboseli has over 80 different mammals to be found ranging from the small (and rarely seen) spectacled elephant shrew to the huge African elephant. 0ne of the best places in Africa to view large herds of elephants. Tourists who visit Amboseli never miss out on seeing this biggest land mammal and will go home without elephant pictures. Other wildlife includes Masai giraffes, wildebeests, grant’s zebras, lions, impalas, spotted hyenas, cape buffalos, cheetahs, and about 400 bird species. All these can be seen during game drives and nature walks.
The highest free-standing mountain in the world gives up-close views of immense across the border in Tanzania and allows an overall view of the whole park especially the vegetation and the wildlife. Hiking the mountain is one of those activities which are undertaken by the tourists.
The unique Maasai culture and indigenous lifestyle attract visitors who are mostly interested in cultural tourism. They can also visit the local Masai community who live around the park and experience their authentic culture.
ACTIVITIES THAT ARE DONE AT AMBOSELI NATIONAL PARK.
Some of the activities tourists at this endowed park engage in include;
The landscape of the park offers excellent scenic views of wildlife during the game drive. It is also home to the Big Five. The animals can easily be spotted in the savannah plains and the swamps. While at Amboseli you will get the perfect feeling of a safari adventure surrounded by nature which rewards you with a lot of wildlife. Watching the sunrise and sunset in unusual shades of color change over the horizons.
The popular cultural tribe around the park is the Masai. They have a unique lifestyle and are only found in semi-arid and desert regions of Kenya. It has a rich culture and interesting history, they are known for being cattle keepers and dependent on their cattle products such as milk and blood. Tourists who pay a visit to their local villages are welcomed with cultural dances and they experience their ways of life.
Amboseli National Park is a birders’ haven with over 400 species of birds including water birds like pelicans, kingfishers, crakes, hammerkop and 47 raptor species. Rewarding birders with their favorite birds
Mt. Kilimanjaro provides the perfect background drop for nature photography. With a standard camera and strong backup storage, you will be assured of capturing excellent nature photos and carry those moments with you.
HOW TO ACCESS THE PARK
By Road: The main road into the park is from Nairobi via Namanga (240 km) on the Nairobi-Arusha Road, via Meshanani Gate. The road is tarmacked up to Namanga but is murram from Namanga to Meshanani Gate (75km).
The other road is via Emali (228 km) on the Nairobi- Mombasa Road. The road is tarmacked up to Emali and murram from Emali to Remito Gate (64 km) Access from Mombasa is mainly through Tsavo West via Kimana (Olkelunyiet) Gate.
By Air: The Park has an airstrip at the Empusel gate. There is also an airstrip for light aircraft at the Park Headquarters (Olekelunyiet). Other airstrips exist at Kilimanjaro Buffalo Lodge and Namanga town.
Accommodation in Amboseli National Park
Amboseli has a range of accommodation ranging from Luxury-Midrange –Budget.
Amboseli Serena Lodge
Tortilis Tented Lodge
Satao Elerai Camp
Kilimanjaro Guest House
Privately Owned Lodges