The Amboseli National Park lies at the bottom of the highest mountain in Africa, the mighty Mt. Kilimanjaro on the Kenyan side. A popular tourist destination, it’s actually one of the two premium parks in Kenya. Mt. Kilimanjaro gives a scenic and magical backdrop to Amboseli National Park. Most tourists will say that the mention of Amboseli conjures up an image of the snow-coated peaks of Kilimanjaro with a herd of elephants.
Two central swamps in Amboseli National Park serve as cooling pools and water drinking spots for the animals in the park. It’s common seeing elephants bathe in the mud or splashing water against each other using their trunks. Not to mention the hundreds of pink flamingoes that feed on the swamp’s edges creating a stunning pink spectacle.
The park is located Kajiado County at the heart of the Maasai community. It occupies 39,026 hectares and comprises of acacia woodlands, open plains, marshlands, swamps, thorn bushes, and rocky lands. Amboseli is home to the Big 5, among other wild animals like giraffes, wildebeests, and zebras.
Elephants; Jumbos are to Amboseli what penguins are to the arctic; their natural habitat! Of all the parks in Africa, Amboseli National Park is where you will find herds of more than a hundred elephants. It is estimated that the park is home to more than 1200 elephants. The elephants here are huge and their tusks are incredibly long, it’s quite a sight to behold. It is worth noting that Amboseli is home to one of the biggest tuskers in the continent – Big Craig.
Lions; an African safari is not complete if you haven't sighted the king of the jungle. There are around 100 lions across the Amboseli National Park. The chances of sighting them are very high, as lions tend to slumber off in the grasslands once they’ve eaten to their full. Besides, lions don't move their prey after a successful hunt; you can easily see a pride feeding on carcasses in the open. The best time to spot lions is in the late afternoon or early morning. This is because they like hunting when the weather is a bit cool. Forget about the hunting videos you’ve watched; seeing a live lion hunt and kills is a phenomenal experience; their hunting skills and brute force remind you just why they are the undisputed kings of the African Jungle.
Buffaloes; these beasts add to the splendor of Amboseli National Park. They move and graze in large herds and can easily be spotted cooling themselves at the water pools. Every herd has an alpha male that leads the group. Their body structure and especially the horns are their defense mechanisms. Buffaloes are infamous for their overly aggressive and ferocious nature; they always put a brave fight when faced by predators.
Leopards; Leopards are like roses; beautiful but with sharp thorns that prickle. They are masters of camouflage and tend to lead a solo life unless it’s the mating season or they’re raising young ones. You will be lucky to spot them lying idly on top of trees. If lions are the kings of the jungle, leopards are princes of the night; they use stealth, element of surprise, and brute force to subdue their prey. Leopard hunts are quick and precise. The low grasslands in Amboseli National Park offer a perfect environment to catch a glimpse of them hunting. They prefer to eat from the tree; it’s just insane how a leopard hoists huge prey up tall trees.
The Maasai community is among the few communities in Kenya that have retained their rich heritage and culture. Their culture is authentic, and you can always differentiate them from other communities. They dress mostly in sashes locally referred to as "Maasai Shukas," and their iconic beadworks.
Access and Charges;
The park is accessible by road or by air. By road from Nairobi, it's about 228km through Emali or Nairobi via Namanga through the Meshanani Gate. There is a single strip in Amboseli National Park at the Empusel gate, preferably for light aircraft.
The charges into Amboseli National Park are very affordable. For Kenya citizens, it's $8, and Non-Residents are charged $35 per person.
The rough terrain in Amboseli National Park gives you the best rough road experience you will ever have; a four-wheel drive will be your best companion in this adventure.
Amboseli National Park will give you a lifetime experience that you will relive with joy and fulfillment every day of your life.
Tourist Review of the Park
“Amboseli, a real Kenya, takes every breath away, like a live postcard. The first elephant I saw was Tim (2018), my heart stopped looking at the most beautiful animal on the planet for me - the African elephant. I promised myself I would live there one day.” - Alexsandra Sanja Grubin