Also known as “Home of the African Elephant”, Amboseli National Park is about four- hour’s drive southeast of Nairobi. Amboseli is a scenic park in its own right, synonymous with two particular things – large herds of giant elephants and the glorious views of Mount Kilimanjaro. This National Park, formerly known as Maasai Amboseli Game Reserve is located in Kajiado South Constituency in Kajiado County, Kenya. The National Park spans 39,206 ha (392.06 km2), at the center of an ecosystem that spreads across the Kenya-Tanzania border.
The National Park offers one of the best wildlife-viewing experiences in the world with several wildlife species and 400 species of birds including water birds like pelicans, kingfishers, crakes, hamerkop, and 47 raptor species. Amboseli Safaris will grant you opportunities to watch the large herds of Elephants up close as they get so close to the Safari vehicle.
The park protects two of the five main swamps and includes a dried-up Pleistocene lake and semiarid vegetation. The swamps protect a variety of bird life, especially the water birds. The beautiful sceneries of this amazing safari park can be enjoyed from various sites, like the observation hill and the sinet delta. The backdrop of mountain Kilimanjaro will truly amaze you during your safari tour here.
Amboseli National Park is home to incredible numbers of wildlife species, famous for the largest Elephant population in Kenya. For any wildlife enthusiast a visit to Amboseli is a must since it is rewarding with excellent sightings all year round – shouldn’t miss your Kenya Safari tour. The diverse ecosystem in Amboseli comprises wetlands, savannah vegetation cover, water bodies, open plains, and woodlands. All the diverse ecosystems offer a refuge to the different wildlife species in the park.
There are about 80 different wildlife species in the park. Some of the most spotted during safaris here include; spotted hyena, zebra, buffalo, blue wildebeest, cheetah, elephant, giraffe, hippopotamus, Thomson’s gazelle, impala, lion, cape buffalo, and many more.
Game drive safaris in the park offer incredible sightseeing experiences as you will enjoy spotting most of these species while in your safari vehicle some just a few meters away. Wildlife safaris in Kenya’s Amboseli National Park can be conducted all year round. However, the best time to enjoy the game drives is during the dry season when there is less foliage and dry routes. During the dry season, June to October, animal viewing is exceptional as you will grab opportunities to see the large herds of animals crossing the sandy plains – they kick up a lot of dust, giving photographers the best pictures.
The Park is a great bird-watching destination, hosting over 418 different bird species. The birdlife in the park resides in various habitats like the wetlands, woodlands, and the savannah plains. The forest birds can also be spotted in the acacia vegetation.
The birding list in Amboseli National Park includes; African Jacana, Goliath heron, African swamp hen, Hartlab’s bustard, Rufous chatterer, Common redshank, Dickinson’s kestrel, Eurasian thick-knee, greater flamingo, lesser flamingo, long-toed lapwing, Pangani long claw, Rufous-bellied heroin, spike-heeled lark, steel-blue whydah, Taveta golden weaver, von der decken’s hornbill, Yellow-necked spurfowl, among others. Bird-watching tours to Amboseli National Park guarantee the sighting of these bird species.
Located in the northwestern region, Lake Amboseli is a temporary lake that occupies the largest portion of the Park. Lake Amboseli usually dries up during the dry season but in the wet season, the lake fills up. During the wet season, the lake at times floods.
The seasonality of the lake is attributed to the near Nyiri desert that stretches along the southern border of Kenya and Tanzania. The lake is a habitat for several wildlife species during the dry seasons, especially the elephants. The lake is also a great camping site for adventurous tourists during the dry season when it dries up.
You will absolutely love it! Amboseli National Park offers one of the clearest views of Africa’s highest Mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro. While in Amboseli, you can easily see the snowcapped Kilimanjaro peaks – a great scenic view for photography lovers.
A thrilling game-viewing adventure on game drive safaris in Amboseli National Park is another form of satisfaction. The availability of five distinct environments within the park that range from the wetlands/ swamps to Savanna and woodlands supports a large population of wildlife species, especially the large herds of elephants, cape buffaloes, lions, impalas, hyenas, zebras, wildebeests, cheetahs, giraffes among other unmentioned mammals that can be referred as surprises in your game drives. The climate also supports several scores of bird species with up to 400 different species registered here.
The best time to visit Amboseli National Park in Kenya is during the dry seasons. There are two dry seasons; June to October and January to March. During these months, the park experiences less rainfall, the vegetation is not too dense, and wildlife is easier to spot.
By Air: The easiest way to reach Amboseli is by flying from Nairobi’s Wilson Airport to the Amboseli airstrip, which is located within the park. Several domestic airlines offer flights to Amboseli, and the journey takes approximately 45 minutes.
By Road: You can drive from Nairobi to Amboseli National Park. The distance is around 240 kilometers (150 miles), and it takes roughly 4-5 hours depending on the road conditions. The most common route is to take the Mombasa Highway (A109) and then turn off towards Namanga on the Nairobi–Arusha Road (A104) until you reach Amboseli.
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