This is the park we all seem to know. Amboseli National Park is the park every nature documentary on television will tell about, every now and then. We have already traveled these paths, seen these landscapes and admired those animals so many times … But being there, being a part of it, is a deep emotion that has no equal! Try a safari at Amboseli and live as a real African in real Africa. This land used to be a Masaai territory. The British government had created a protected reserve in 1906 and a Wildlife Park in 1948. After the independence, president Kenyatta reduced the territory of the park and allowed Masaai people to keep living over there. Today, Masaai tribes are part of the beauty of this park.
About Amboseli National Park
Amboseli National Park covers over 390 sq km not far from Nairobi. The capital of Kenya is 240 km northeast of here. The most famous view of the Park is the one with Kilimanjaro on the background, since the territory includes both Kenya and Tanzania regions. You won’t find forests, here, but just bush, dry plains, savannahs and a few small woods in the wet most areas. Agriculture and cattle breeding, the basic economy of Masaai tribes, have changed the territory which has not so many rains anymore. But it is much easier to drive through and explore. If you want to visit Amboseli, avoid the rain period (November-December and March-to-May).
What to see at Amboseli
Amboseli is the famous “park of the migrations”. Here you can admire groups of elephants, antelopes, zebras and wildebeests as the go from one environment to another, crossing endless plains under the sun! Besides them, Amboseli is also home to impalas, cheetas, lions, hyenas, giraffes, hundreds species of wild birds. The legend – not so far from reality – says in Amboseli still lives Echo, a very old female elephant scientists started to observe and study in 1973. It is supposed to be dead, now, but many tourists and scholars are still looking for it, all around.
In case you are not so lucky to meet Echo, do not be sad. This still remains one of the many beautiful African stories to tell. You will have the chance to see and do much more, in Amboseli. You can go safari in the day, but also at night. You can do birdwatching. You can visit local villages and meet Masaai people, buy their handmade souvenirs and learn about their incredible culture. You can climb the Observatory Hill to admire the park from above. You can have a (guided) breakfast in the bush!
If you are interested in learning more about elephants, visit – by booking, first – the local Elephant Research Project. You will be introduced in the laboratories where great scientists study elephants and their behaviour. You will have to follow your guides’ advice all the time, and obey the doctors’ directives.
How to get there
To get to Amboseli National Park: you can land at Nairobi and then go there by car, or take a national flight to the closer airport of Tsavo West. You will need a car anyway, so the best idea is still to leave from Nairobi – on better roads! – and reach the Park on your own. The road from Nairobi gets to the town of Emali and from this place to Kimana Gate of Amboseli. You can also drive along Magadi Road to Arusha for 240 km and get to Meshanani Gate of Amboseli.
It takes less than 3-hour drive to arrive from Nairobi.