Home of the Elephants
Amboseli National Park
Amboseli National Park, with its amazing views of Mount Kilimanjaro offers a breathtaking backdrop for viewing Africa’s animals. It also has a dry Pleistocene lake basin that houses a temporary lake, Lake Amboseli, after the rains. Its magnificent situation at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro, combined with its excellent opportunities to view Kenya’s wildlife.
Amboseli National Park is located in Loitoktok District in the Rift Valley Province of Kenya and is the second most popular National Park in Kenya after Maasai Mara National Park 260km. The park is famous for being the best place in Africa to get close to free-ranging elephants among other wildlife species, the Maasai people and also offers spectacular views of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest free-standing mountain in the world.
Amboseli is renowned for its large herds of free-ranging African elephants boasting over 900 African elephants, huge herds of wildebeests and many other animals including giraffes, African lions, monkeys, zebras, hyenas buffalo, impala, cheetah and antelope and over 400 species of birds have been recorded here, amongst them pelican, flamingo, ostrich and over 47 species of raptor.
Amboseli National Park has an endless underground water supply filtered through thousands of feet of volcanic rock from Kilimanjaro’s ice cap, which funnel into two clear water springs in the heart of the park and covers 392km² with a mixed topography of plains, acacia woodland, rocky thorn bush, swamps and marshes alongside the dry season offers excellent viewing of the large concentrations of African animals living in this natural habitat.
Attractions in Amboseli National Park
Amboseli National Park has an amazing variety of wildlife in large numbers, while a Game drive you view wild animals in their natural state. With birds perched within the reach of predators, or gazelles grazing near big cats with predators and prey live harmoniously together.
- Herds of Elephants: Amboseli National Park is known for its large herd of over 900 free-ranging elephants. When you visit Observation Hill overlooking the park, you will enjoy views of the swamps and the large herds of free roaming elephants.
- Meet the Maasai people and learn about the Maasai culture and their indigenous lifestyle.
- Bird watching: Kenya is home for many birds and migratory birds including African skimmers, red and yellow bishops, goshawks, buffalo weavers and palm nut vultures.
Accommodation in Amboseli National Park
There are a variety of safari lodges in and around the park and they range from luxurious to midrange to budget according to the client’s preference and they include:
- Oltukai Lodge: An upmarket lodge where you watch the herds of elephants with the backdrop of Africa’s highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro.
- Amboseli Serena Lodge: This is a luxurious establishment surrounded by the vast and beautiful landscape of Amboseli National Park with full immersion into life in the untamed bush. Guests enjoy a balance of sophistication, comfort and harmony with nature, relishing the unique pleasure of their very own private corner of Kenya.
- Amboseli Sopa Lodge: A luxurious lodge set in 200 acres of private land nestled in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro where you enjoy views of wildlife still abound in this wilderness 20 minutes away from the park.
- Kimana Lodge: A budget lodge set at the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro overlooking the natural spring frequented by birds and wild animals including nightly visits by a family of leopards to the baiting tree, hyena, buffalo.
- Tortilis Camp: Is a luxurious eco-lodge located in Amboseli National Park and is an excellent place to see wild African elephants
Climate and best time to Visit Amboseli National Park
The climate in the Amboseli National Park is hot and dry as the park is in the rain shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro, as it lies on the northwest side with average temperatures varing only slightly throughout the year. The minimum average daily temperature is 27°C and the maximum is 33°C. Drought is typical in this area, and evaporation is high. A total annual rainfall of just 300mm is expected during April and May, and again during November and December.
How to get to Amboseli National Park
Amboseli National Park can be reached by:
- The road from Nairobi to Namanga is 240km on a tarmac road, but becomes rough with potholes from Namanga to the Meshanani Gate.
- The park can also be accessed from Mombasa is generally best through Tsavo West National Park via Kimana Gate.
A chartered light aircraft may land at the airstrip at Empusel Gate. Other airstrips exist at Namanga and Kilimanjaro Buffalo Lodge where you can also book a scheduled flight departing from Nairobi to Amboseli.
Located: Bwamba County, Bundibugyo District, in western Uganda
Best Time to Go:
Jan to February and June to September
June to September (Peak time for Uganda)
Size: 220 km² (85 sq mi)
Altitude: 670 to 760 m (2,200 to 2,490 ft)