Home of the African Elephant
Crowned by Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, the Amboseli National Parks is one of Kenya’s most popular parks. The name “Amboseli” comes from a Maasai word meaning “salty dust”, and it is one of the best places in Africa to view large herds of elephants up close. Nature lovers can explore five different habitats here ranging from the dried-up bed of Lake Amboseli, wetlands with sulphur springs, the savannah and woodlands. They can also visit the local Maasai community who live around the park and experience their authentic culture.
How to get there
- By Road: The main road into the park is from Nairobi via Namanga (240 km) on the Nairobi – Arusha Road, through Meshanani Gate. The other road is from Nairobi via Emali (228 km) on the Nairobi – Mombasa Road. Access from Mombasa is mainly through Tsavo West National Park via Kimana (Olkelunyiet) Gate.
- By Air: Airstrips: The park has a single airstrip for light aircrafts at Empusel gate. Other airstrips exist at Kilimanjaro Buffalo Lodge and Namanga town
Amboseli offers great wildlife viewing, and four of the Big Five are present. Rhinos are absent, but big herds of elephants reliably move to and from the marshy swamps in the center of the park. Buffalo, wildebeest, Burchell’s zebra and gazelle are all very common. Lions are the easiest to spot of the big cats, but sightings are hit-and-miss.
The park encloses an interesting variety of habitats including dusty plains and marshy swamps, but it is the backdrop of snow-capped Kilimanjaro towering above the Amboseli plains that attracts most visitors to this scenic park.
Weather & Climate
In Amboseli, the average daytime temperature sits around a hot 28°C/82°F, while at night, the average doesn’t go much lower than a warm 15°C/59°F. Temperatures peak towards the end of the Wet season (October to May), with the April heat particularly fierce. Things cool down a little in the Dry season (June to September), after the downpours of the ‘long rains’, and before the lighter showers of the ‘short rains’.