WHY TRAVEL HERE?
This park is best known for the excellent views of Mt Kilimanjaro as well as the opportunity of good Black rhino and elephant sightings. Cynthia Moss has observed the elephants of the area for many years and much of what we know about the behaviour of the African Elephant has been learned from the Amboseli individuals. Gazetted as a National Park in 1974, Amboseli is home to the proud Maasai people who live in harmony with the wildlife and observing their contemporary culture is a highlight. Classic wildlife photos of Mount Kilimanjaro with giraffe or elephant on the plains beneath it are taken from Amboseli. Although a small park this is a photographer's paradise and a very popular Kenyan National Park.
Situated 240 kilometres south east of Nairobi the Amboseli National Park lies near the border with Tanzania and at the northwestern foot of the mighty Mount Kilimanjaro. Although Mt Kilimanjaro is actually within Tanzania, this 5,895-metregiant dominates the views within the park providing a spectacular backdrop to wildlife sightings within the park.
All of the Big Five can be seen here: lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino andleopard. Other species found here include: baboon, cheetah, gazelle, gerenuk, hippo, impala, Masai oryx, Vervet monkey, wildebeest and zebra.Observation Hill allows an overall view of the whole park especially the swamps and elephants. Over 425 species of birds have been recorded in the Park.
The climate is mainly hot and dry. Amboseli is in the rain shadow of Mt Kilimanjaro. The maximum average temperature of the warmest month is 33°C during the day, while that of the coldest is 27-28°C. An annual rainfall of 300mm per annum is distributed in two seasons: the long rains generally occur from early April to late May; the short rains are from mid-October to mid-December. Recurrent droughts typify the region which can often appear as a dust bowl.
Conditions are dry between June and early October, and between December and April. June to April are the best months to visit especially for game viewing.
Boasting a good infrastructure the park offers a wide range of activities including: bird watching, nature trails, game viewing, hiking, micro light flights over the park, and camel safaris. Lectures about the Maasai culture as well as visits to genuine Maasai homesteads are offered. Observation points and centres for information and education are also found within the park. A fine lookout on Observation Hill provides superb views of the whole park and beyond.
The park has a good tarmac airstrip at Empusel Gate and there are daily flights from Nairobi.
The main road into the Park is from Nairobi are via Namanga (240 km) on the Nairobi - Arusha Road, via Meshanani Gate. The road is tarmac upto Namanga but is badly corrugated and potholed in places from Namanga to Meshanani Gate (75km). The other road is via Emali (228 km) on the Nairobi - Mombasa Road. The road is tarmac up to Emali and murram from Emali to Remito Gate (64 km). Access from Mombasa is mainly through Tsavo West via Kimana(Olkelunyiet) Gate. The park has 5 gates and the viewing roads within the park give a good game viewing coverage of all areas. Park rules insist that you drive only on the roads provided, hence protecting the grasslands from further irreparable damage.