Discover the allure of Amboseli National Park, a crown jewel in Magical Kenya’s wildlife safari offerings for the year. Nestled beneath the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, Amboseli is renowned as the “Home of the African Elephant.” This iconic park, named after the Maasai word “salty dust,” beckons nature enthusiasts to explore its diverse landscapes, including the dried-up bed of Lake Amboseli, wetlands with sulphur springs, and expansive savannah and woodlands. Beyond the wildlife, visitors can immerse themselves in the authentic culture of the local Maasai community residing around the park.
Situated immediately north-west of Mount Kilimanjaro on the border with Tanzania, Amboseli National Park covers 392 square km, forming an integral part of the larger 3,000 square km Amboseli ecosystem. The park’s diverse habitats, including open plains, acacia woodland, rocky thorn bush country, swamps, and marshland, create an ideal setting for a myriad of wildlife. During the dry season, Amboseli becomes a hotspot for large concentrations of wildlife, drawing nature enthusiasts and making it a sought-after tourist destination.
Amboseli boasts a rich avian diversity, with over 400 bird species recorded, including globally threatened species such as the Madagascar Pond-Heron, Lesser Flamingo, Lesser Kestrel, and the coveted Shoebill. The park hosts forty-two of the ninety-four species of the Somali-Masai biome that occur in Kenya. To witness the park’s vibrant birdlife, the period during and just after the October-December rains is recommended, as local birds are joined by migrants from the Northern Hemisphere.
Amboseli National Park is a haven for over 80 different mammal species, ranging from the elusive spectacled elephant shrew to the majestic African elephant. With Mount Kilimanjaro as a stunning backdrop, visitors can encounter African lions, Cape buffalo, cheetahs, gazelles, spotted hyenas, jackals, wildebeests, common zebras, and olive baboons. The park’s unique features, such as Observation Hill and the swamp below, offer unparalleled opportunities for wildlife observation.
Access to Amboseli National Park is facilitated by well-connected roads. The main road from Nairobi via Namanga leads to Meshanani Gate, while an alternative route via Emali provides access through Remito Gate. For those arriving from Mombasa, the route through Tsavo West via Kimana (Olkelunyiet) Gate is recommended. Additionally, the park offers air access through an airstrip at Empusel gate and another for light aircraft at the Park Headquarters (Olekelunyiet).
Amboseli offers a diverse range of accommodations, catering to various budgets, tastes, and interests. From basic campsites where one can embrace the wild under canvas to well-appointed safari lodges and luxury tented camps, the choices abound. Notable options include Ol Tukai, Endonyo – Amboseli, Kibo Safari Camp, Amboseli Serena, Tortillis Camp, Sentrim Amboseli Lodge, and Kibo Villa – Amboseli.
The dry season, spanning from June to October, is widely regarded as the optimal time to witness the abundance of wildlife in Amboseli. With minimal rainfall, wildlife congregates around the park’s swamps, where Kilimanjaro’s underground water wells up year-round, providing a spectacular backdrop for unforgettable wildlife encounters.
Embark on a journey of discovery in Amboseli National Park, where the magic of Kenya’s wildlife safari holidays unfolds against the breathtaking backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro.