Amboseli National Park known by its slogan name “the home of the African Elephant” is crowned by the African highest Mountain. The park is one of Kenya’s most popular parks with a high concentration of wildlife, especially Elephants. Amboseli national park was named after the Maasai local world Amboseli which means “salty dust”. The park is very dusty, especially during the dry season.
Amboseli national park which was formerly called Maasai Amboseli Game Reserve is located in the Southern part of Kenya in Kajiado County. It is about 240 kilometers from the Kenya capital city Nairobi. It’s the second popular park in Kenya after the great Maasai Mara National Reserve. The park covers a total land area of 39,209 hectares which is an equivalent to 392 square kilometers. The Amboseli national park was established in 1906 as a national game reserve until 1974 when the park attained its park status and renamed as Amboseli national park.
It is historically known that Joseph Thompson was the 1st European to travel to the by then the feared Maasai region called Empusel which means a salty dusty place by local language. It is after his visit that he was amazed by large herds of wildlife in the region with a clear close view of the Kilimanjaro mountain that the land was set aside as a game reserve. In 1948 the reserve was taken by the locals for proper management till 1974 when it was declared national game park. In 1991 the Amboseli national park was declared UNESCO heritage site and managed by Kenya Wildlife Service.
Amboseli National Park is the only best place in Kenya and second in Africa after Tarangire national park where you can view large heard of free-range Elephants are every close range. The park has a wide range of attractions that include the view of Mt Kilimanjaro the highest free-standing mountain the world.
The park is also well known for the documentary of the most researched Elephant in the Word that was called the “Echo” which died in 2009 at the age of 60 years. Other permanent residents at the park are Cape Buffalo, lions, cheetah, Hyena, Giraffe, Zebras, wildebeest, Impala, warthogs, Gazelles and many more. Amboseli national park is a home of over 300 bird species that makes it one of the birding paradise in Africa.
Weather and climate of Amboseli National Park
The park has favorable weather conditions even if the drought season some times can prolong but the park receives a good amount of rainfall during the rainy season. The weather is characterized by two rainy seasons with the first rainy season recording heavy length rains that start from late March to May. The second short rainy season starts from late October to November. The dry season starts from June to September but this does not affect the wildlife at the park due to several water streams that flow from Kilimanjaro passing through the middle of the park that provides water to the animals.
The vegetation of Amboseli national park
The park has an interesting vegetation cover that varies from the Northern part to the Southern part as one approaches Mt Kilimanjaro. The Northern is characterized by the short grass that turns dusty during the dry season and the center has Marshy swamps.
Best Time to visit Amboseli National Park
The Amboseli national park can be accessed throughout the year though the most recommended time is dry months. The game drives are best done at this time of the year (June to September) and the animals are easily spotted in short grass. They also collect around the water steam areas.
Accessing Amboseli National Park
Amboseli national park can be accessed through road from the Kenya city Nairobi or from the coastal side. If one does not want to go for a long bumpy road drive then he/she can use flight direct from Jomo Kenyatta international airport or Wilson airport and from many of the domestic airstrips across Kenya national parks.
“Amboseli national park remains one of the best parks not only in Kenya but Africa and it gives vibrant wildlife experience to the guests.”