Amboseli national park – Kenya
Formerly referred to as Maasai Amboseli Game Reserve, Amboseli national park is a national park in the Republic of Kenya situated in the constituency of Kajiado South in Kajiado County. It sits on area of approximately 392.06 square kilometers with a core of 8,000 square kilometers of ecosystem spreading across along the Kenya-Tanzania border.
The inhabitants and local people are the Maasai though other people from different parts have also settled. Amboseli national park was first established as a game reserve in 1906 and later in 1974 was proclaimed as a national park. The park was mainly gazetted to protect the core of the unique ecosystem and it was later in 1991 declared a UNESCO site.
Amboseli national park is famous for boasting the high population of the free ranging elephants. Also, it provides spectacular views of Mount Kilimanjaro- the highest mountain in the African continent. The park still offers great opportunities to sight African wildlife including Cape buffalo, impala, cheetah, lion, spotted hyena, Maasai giraffe, Grant’s zebra, blue wildebeest and others. Amboseli national park is also a haven to more than 400 species of birds including water birds like kingfishers, crakes, pelicans, hamerkop and 47 raptor species. Other bird species include African swamp hen, common redshank, Dickinson’s kestrel, Eurasian thick knee, pangani long claw, Rufous chatterer, Taveta golden weaver and many others.
Besides the wildlife species, Amboseli national park also protects two of the main swamps including a dried up Pleistocene lake and semiarid vegetation.
Safari attractions at Amboseli national park
Amboseli national park is a home to a number of wildlife species. It is more famous for hosting a largest population of elephants thus referring it to a home of elephants. Wildlife in Amboseli national park can be seen in different areas including the dried up bed of Lake Amboseli, Sulphur spring wetlands, open plains and woodlands, and the savannah vegetation cover. Among the wildlife hosted include, spotted hyena, zebra, buffalo, hippos, impalas, lion, Cape buffalo, elephants, blue wildebeest and many others.
Occupying the largest portion of the park, Lake Amboseli is a temporary lake positioned in northwest region from the delta. The lake is usually dry especially in dry season but fills up and also floods during the wet season. Lake Amboseli national park is attributed to Nyiri desert that stretches along the southern border of Kenya to Tanzania. Since it is in a basin form, the lake acts as a habitant to different wildlife like elephants especially in the dry season.
Amboseli national park is among the best birder’s havens in the Republic of Kenya. The park hosts more than 400 species of birds and the park habits three kinds of birds. Among these include the water birds, grassland birds which are found in the savannah plains and then the forest birds which are found in acacia vegetation. Among these birds include; African swamp hen, Rufous chatterer, greater flamingo, long toed lapwing, pangani long claw, spike heeled lark, steel blue whydah and many more.
Views of Mountain Kilimanjaro
Clowned by Mount Kilimanjaro – the highest peak in the African continent, Amboseli national park is among the most scenic national parks in the Republic of Kenya. Fancy your eyes with the beautiful views of the snowcapped peaks of Kilimanjaro. Amboseli national park is among the best destinations for photographers.
Masai are the local people of Amboseli national park dominating its out skirts. During your visit to the park, encounter the amazing Masai cultural traditions which include dances, unique ways of dressing, traditional songs, their local meals and also their artifacts.
How to Get to Amboseli national park
Amboseli national park can be accessed by road using both private and public means of transport. Kenya has well maintained road routes from Nairobi to Amboseli national park. The park can be reached using five gates like Kulunyiet gate, Meshananai gate, Iremito gate, and airstrip gate. The park can be reached through Isinya route which is 240 kilometers and the route joins Nairobi-Arusha route passing through Namanga town. From Namanga town to Meshananai gate it takes a drive of 45 minutes.
When travelling to Amboseli national park using air transport, there are flight companies that offer daily chartered flights from Jomo Kenyatta international airport to Amboseli airport. Among the companies offering domestic chartered flights to Amboseli national park include; Air Kenyaflying from Nairobi, Safari link flying from Nairobi and Tsavo west, and Mombasa Air Safari flying from Mombasa, Masai mar, Malindi and Diani beach.