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Amboseli National Park

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.

Amboseli National Park covers 392km² (151miles²) and has a mixed topography of plains, acacia woodland, rocky thorn bush, swamps and marshes. This diversity, along with a long dry season, ensures excellent viewing of the large concentrations of African animals living in this natural habitat.With its awesome view of Mount Kilimanjaro (Africa’s highest mountain at 5,895m), Amboseli National Park offers a unique and breathtaking backdrop for viewing Africa’s animals. It also has a dry Pleistocene lake basin that houses a temporary lake, Lake Amboseli, after the rains.Amboseli offers some of the best opportunities to see African animals because its vegetation is sparse due to the long dry months. Amboseli National Park is home to wild animals, which include the African elephant, buffalo, impala, lion, cheetah, hyena, giraffes, zebra, wildebeest among other African animals. There is also a host of Kenya birds, both large and small, to see if you keep your eyes open and stop at every sighting.When you arrive at the park, the warden will give you several common sense rules: do not get out of your vehicle, except at designated spots; do not harass the animals in any way; keep to the tracks; no off-road driving; and remember that the animals always have the right of way. The roads in Amboseli have a loose surface of volcanic soil that is dusty in the dry season and impassable in the wet season.

Destination Map

What to see and do

Amboseli National Park is known for its large herd of over 900 free-ranging elephants. This is the best national park to visit to see these wonderful and huge creatures just right at the shadows of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest freestanding mountain in the world. Visit Observation Hill, which overlooks the park, swamps and, of course, the herds of free-roaming elephants. Meet the Maasai people and learn about the Maasai culture and their indigenous lifestyle. Bird watching is best between October and January if you want to see Kenya’s migratory birds, including African skimmers, red and yellow bishops, goshawks, buffalo weavers and palm nut vultures, to name a few.

Best time to visit

January and February are good months to visit Amboseli, as well as June through September. Avoid April and May, which are the rainy season. There may also be some rain from November to December, which may make the roads in Amboseli impassable.Temperatures year round are 27-31°C (81-88°F) in the day and 22-24°C (72-75°F) at night. For Kenya birdwatchers, the best months to see migratory birds are October to January. The best times for viewing are early and late in the day, as animals tend to sleep in the hot midday sun.