by Chris Walker Bush
September 1, 2015

About Amboseli National Park

Chances are you've seen a photo taken in Amboseli National Park before. If you've seen a picture with African wildlife against the backdrop of Mt. Kilimanjaro, you're looking at a picture of Amboseli. Despite "Kili" being located in Tanzania and Amboseli being proudly Kenyan, the park offers the best views of Africa's highest mountain.

Second only to the Masai Mara in terms of popularity, Amboseli is a photographer's dream and offers great year-round game viewing.

The park is home to four of the Big Five, with only the rhinoceros absent.

Amboseli National Park Fact File

  • Location: 240kms southeast of Nairobi.
  • To Do: Game drives, Kilimanjaro viewing, Masai cultural visits, and Elephant Research Camp.
  • Known For: Unparalleled Kilimanjaro views.

Best Time to Visit

With the roads in Amboseli National Park not being of great quality, it is advised to avoid the park during the long rainy season (April-May). The short rainy season in November-December can be a bad time for the roads as well.

The rest of the year, the park offers up great game-viewing conditions, particularly during the long dry season from June to September.

Bird-watchers should visit between October and January, when migratory birds call the park home.

Park Highlights

Observation Hill

One of the few places in Amboseli National Park where it is safe to get out of your car and stretch your legs, this pyramid shaped hill offers a stunning view of the surrounding plains and swamps, as well as Mount Kilimanjaro in the distance.

While wildlife do not frequent the area, the view Observation Hill affords of the surrounding landscape makes it worth a visit.

Elephant Research Camp

Amboseli's elephant population is one of the most intensely scrutinised and studied in the world, thanks largely to the hard work of Cynthia Moss. The research camp she established has since been taken over by the Amboseli Trust for Elephants.

While it is not possible to simply drop by and pay the camp a visit, one hour tours and lectures can be pre-arranged by those interested in learning more about the work being done at the camp.

Kilimanjaro Views

Despite Kilimanjaro residing in Tanzania and there being closer parks to the mountain, Amboseli remains the best place in the world (aside from atop Kilimanjaro) to take in the Roof of Africa's majesty.

On a clear day, the mountain provides a startling backdrop to the great herds of elephants that roam Amboseli's plains.

Bird Watching

Amboseli is a popular destination with bird watchers, and the park is home to more than 400 species of bird including rarer species such as the Madagascar Pond Heron, the Lesser Flamingo, the Lesser Kestrel, and the Shoebill.

During the October to January migration season, local numbers are bolstered by migratory birds.

Masai Cultural Visits

A number of Masai communities exist on the fringes of the park, and it is possible to arrange visits to these villages in order to gain a better understanding of Africa's most famous tribal people.

This entry was posted in Tours, Kenya, Kenya Attractions.
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