Amboseli National Game Reserve Kenya
Amboseli National Park, Kenya’s second most popular park after Maasai Mara National Reserve is located in Loitokitok District, Rift Valley Province of Kenya. Established in 1974, this majestic landscape covers an expansive area of 392 square kilometers and was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1991 on account of its unique ecological systems.
Amboseli has glorious views of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest free-standing mountain in the world.
Spectacular activities in Amboseli National Park include;
Amboseli offers some of the best opportunities to see African wildlife because of the sparse vegetation due to the dry long months. The protected area is home to a variety of animal species and an excellent place to see the big 5 as well as other lesser-known and rarer species.
Some of these animals include African bush elephants, leopard, ostriches, impalas, zebras, flamingos, troops of baboons, cape buffalos, Maasai giraffe, wildebeest, and spectacular views of the snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro (the highest free-standing mountain in the world) in the background is a bonus to enhance your game drive experience.
The park is a birders haven with over 420 permanent and migratory species. The swamps within the park harbor water birds including crowned cranes, pelicans, herons, egrets, and flamingos. Common endemic species include the Taveta Golden Weaver bird. The land/ground birds include the fish eagle, secretary bird, vultures, ostriches, and francolin.
The park also invites you to dig deep into the Maasai culture. This is made possible through visits to these local communities that stay on the boundaries of this protected area. Interacting with these natives brings a clear understanding of their traditional way of life from their way of dressing, construction, food, and animals. This is an experience worthwhile.
An observation hill in the park allows you to have a panoramic view of the beautiful landscapes across the reserve. Visible from the top of this hill is the backdrop of the snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro as well as Lake Amboseli in the middle of the park. Amboseli also encloses a spectacular variety of habitats including the dusty plains and marshy swamps.
Best time to visit Amboseli National Park
Amboseli National Park can be visited any time of the year. However, for the best wildlife viewing experience, the best time to visit the Park is during the drier seasons in the months of January and February and between June and October when a large number of animals gather at the water holes especially in the morning as well as at sunset.
Visiting the park during the rainy season also offers some advantages. The rainy season which begins in the month of April goes till mid-June and it is during this time that the rains transform the landscapes of the park making them look greener. This season also presents newborn wildlife and the presence of the migratory birdlife giving birders an awesome experience. However, the heavy rains in this season make the roads slippery and quite challenging to navigate.
How to get to Amboseli National Park
All routes from Nairobi to Amboseli National Park are in good condition and can lead to all the five gates of the park which are the Airstrip gate, Meshanani gate, Iremito gate, Kulunyiet gate, and Kimana gate. Travel through the Nairobi-Arusha road via Namanga which will give access to the park through the Meshanani gate. This drive can take about 45 minutes or more depending on the floor of traffic. An alternate route through Mombasa to Tsavo West National Park will lead you to the Kimana gate. The distance from Tsavo East or Tsavo West to the park is about 460km, driving for about 8 hours.
There are numerous flight companies offering daily chartered flights from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to Amboseli Airport. These include Safarilink flying from Nairobi and Tsavo West, Air Kenya from Nairobi, and Mombasa Air Safari flying from Mombasa, Maasai Mara, Malindi, and Diani Beach.
Where to stay Amboseli National
Amboseli boasts a variety of accommodation options for visitors who want to sleep in and around the park. These options are for all classes of travel depending on your budget. These include;
- Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge
- AA Lodge Amboseli
- Amboseli Eco Camp
- Kimana Amboseli Cultural Camping
- Tukai Lodge Amboseli
- Kibo Safari Lodge
- Satao Elerai
- Ol Tukai Lodge Amboseli
- Kilima Safari Camp