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Amboseli National Park – Kenya

Have you ever seen a photo of an elephant wandering across the savanna with a huge snow-clad mountain in the background? It is hugely popular on the front of travel magazines about Africa and the place to see this surreal scene for real is Amboseli NP.

This is one national park you should not miss when planning your trip to Africa with Tripindigo as it is one of the best places in Africa to see wildlife as the vegetation is sparse due to the dry climate.

Main attractions

The name Amboseli comes from a Masai word meaning ‘salty dust’. The national park is situated close to the Tanzanian border and Mt Kilimanjaro is the imposing backdrop to the south.

The reasons Amboseli NP is so incredibly popular are:

  • Amazing views of Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain
  • The best place in Africa to get close to the majestic elephant
  • Chance of seeing elephants forage in wetlands, with only their backs sticking out
  • Abundant wildlife due to the ever-present water coming down from Kilimanjaro
  • Visit a Maasai village in the area around Amboseli and learn more about this fascinating culture

 

Views of Kilimanjaro from Amboseli NP

Mt Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain, is most often visible in the morning. Make sure you don’t miss the early morning game drive for a chance to capture the quintessential African photo of an elephant walking on the grasslands with Mt Kilimanjaro in the background. This photo can only be taken in Amboseli NP!

Get close to the many elephants of Amboseli NP

Amboseli NP is the place where you are pretty much guaranteed to see elephants, as much of the water that comes down the highest mountain in Africa (Kilimanjaro), resurfaces in Amboseli, attracting herds of elephants, and a lot of other animals, year-round.

Elephants eating in the wetlands of Amboseli

All the water coming down from Kilimanjaro creates huge wetland areas in Amboseli NP. One of the most impressive things to see are just the backs of the enormous elephants sticking out as they slowly walk through these wetlands whilst eating to their heart’s content from the food all around them.

Lots of animals to see on your game drive in Amboseli NP

Sightings of other wildlife, especially other water loving animals like the waterbuck, the hippo, and the Bohor reedbuck as well as many birds and water birds are also very impressive in Amboseli NP, but don’t expect the same number of animals you see in the Masai Mara as this is a much smaller national park. The smaller size park does mean you can see most of it in 2-3 days.

Cultural visits to a Maasai village

Many Masai live in the Amboseli area and most of the lodges offer a cultural visit to a village as an optional extra, this is a great way to learn more about the local culture.

How to get there

Fly to Amboseli NP

The fastest way to get to Amboseli NP is to fly to the designated airstrip inside the national park. Your accommodation will arrange to pick you up from the airstrip and your game viewing will start straight away as you drive to your lodge or camp, although you might have already been lucky enough to spot wildlife from the plane when coming into landing on the grassy airstrip.

Drive to Amboseli NP

It is also possible to drive to Amboseli NP. It takes approximately 3-4 hours to drive from Nairobi to the Meshanani gate, depending on how much traffic is on the road when driving out of Nairobi. Keep an eye out for wildlife on your way to the national park as there are no fences around Amboseli and animals can be spotted on pretty much the entire drive from Nairobi, but especially once you leave the tarmac.

Book your cheap flight to Amboseli with Tripindigo and watch the elephants stride majestically in front of the Kilimanjaro backdrop.

Best time to visit

Kenya has a dry season from June to October, a wet season called ‘short rains’ in November and December, another dry spell in January and February, followed by the ‘long rains’ in March, April, and May. The southern hemisphere winter means June, July, and August are the coolest months, with temperatures averaging 27°C / 80°F.

High season

As with most areas in Kenya, it is best to visit Amboseli in the dry period from June to October. But also the short rain months of November and December are excellent for visiting Amboseli. As Amboseli gets its water supply directly from Kilimanjaro, there is never a shortage of water. This guarantees you will see elephants as they come here especially during the dry season.

If you are able to avoid the busy season like the school holidays around the European summer months of July and August and the Christmas break, you will find a quieter Amboseli and still have excellent wildlife viewing. The months June, September, October, November, first half of December, January, and February are all excellent times to avoid the crowds.

Low season

Most people avoid the rainy season in Amboseli NP from March till May. April is the wettest month.

Best bird watching time in Amboseli

There are always lots of birds in Amboseli, but if you want to add even more species you should visit from October to April. During this period Amboseli is visited by many migratory birds.

DID YOU KNOW?

  • You can enjoy a picnic and excellent views from Observation Hill.
  • Amboseli NP has four distinct landscapes, from the dried-up lake Amboseli, the savannah, woodlands areas, and the spring-fed wetlands, each offering their own unique range of animals.
  • Amboseli NP is the second most popular park in Kenya after the Masai Mara.

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