If you are dying to see African elephants in large numbers, then the Amboseli National Park is definitely ideal for you. Amboseli has an elephant population of 900, so you will definitely run into a sizeable elephant herd during a game drive. Not only that, you are most likely to get a close look. One more fabulous thing about the Amboseli is the awesome view of Mount Kilimanjaro. You don’t want to miss that.
Here is some information about Amboseli:
Fun Activities at Amboseli
Wow. Amboseli has a lot to offer. Obviously the game viewing opportunities are excellent. Not just for elephants, but for many other animal species as well. The opportunities for bird watching are also great. You will definitely enjoy taking photographs of everything just be sure to come with enough batteries and memory so you aren’t disappointed. The views are phenomenal, especially the views of Mt. Kilimanjaro. If you are a camper, you will definitely enjoy the camping sites. Of course if you don’t fancy camping there are great hotels and lodges.
Besides the elephants, visitors get to view the Big 5. One special feature of Amboseli is the Observation Hill, a point from which tourists can view the entire park. Below the observation hill is a swamp that hosts elephants, buffaloes, hippos and also birds like the pelican and the Egyptian goose.
Other species in Amboseli are Cheetahs, leopards, wild dogs, rhinos, buffalo, giraffe, lion, zebra, porcupine and 600 different species of birds. Talk about a bird watchers paradise.
Location of the Amboseli
The Amboseli is located 240km from Nairobi via Namangak, or 228 km via Emali. For tourists travelling in from Mombasa, access is through Tsavo West National Park. Some tourists fly in. here is an airstrip available for that. The Amboseli National park is much smaller than the Mara at 390 km2, and is located in Loitoktok which is in the Rift Valley Province, the largest province in Kenya.
Preparing for a Visit to Amboseli
Carry plenty of drinking water because you are bound to get thirsty in the sun. Pack a picnic to make your trip more comfortable and enjoyable. For campers, standard camping equipment is important. Binoculars will be very important in your game viewing and enjoying the landscape, pack a good quality camera – with more than one pairs of charged batteries as well as plenty of memory – to take pictures with. A wide brimmed hat is great for sun protection but even with this sunscreen is still very important. A pair of sunglasses would improve your level of comfort.
Safety at Amboseli National Park
Just like in any wilderness environment, bug spray is very important. Don’t get out of the car and never antagonize the animals – just observe them. Stick to the road tracks and always stop to let animals pass, they enjoy right of way. Should you happen to visit during the wet season, be prepared by having a good car that will not get stuck in the mud. Use a local driver who is familiar with the soil. Wear comfortable clothes because the weather is normally hot and dry.
When to visit the Amboseli
For bird watching purposes, the period between October and January is best because of the migratory birds that populate the place. These are red and yellow bishops, buffalo weavers, palm nut vultures, African skimmers and goshawks. This is by no means a complete list. As we have already mentioned, there are over 600 bird species in the Amboseli.
For game viewing, the best months are January and February. June and September are also excellent. April and May is not good because it is the rainy season. Between November and December there is also usually a little rain. In case of rain roads become impassable.
Where to Stay in the Amboseli
There are good safari lodges both inside and outside the Amboseli. Look up Oltukai Lodge, Amboseli Serena Lodge, Kimana Lodge, Amboseli Sopa Lodge and Tortilis Camp. Some of these are luxury accommodation while others are simpler. Go with whatever fits your tastes and your budget. Should you want to camp, remember to carry all your camping gear. The camping sites are Olgululu Public Campsite, Tortillis Tented Camp, Cottar’s Tented Camp, Chyulu Tented Camp, Abercrombie and Kent Tented Camp, Nairushari Special, Ker and Downy Tented Camp, KImbla Tented Camp, and others.