When asked ‘What is your favourite wildlife reserve in Kenya?’, most people will tell you the ‘Masai Mara’. However, my favoured park happens to be a very different one, Amboseli. I find this park to be the perfect mixture of scenery and wildlife, and I have had some great times whilst on safari here.
Amboseli was first given the title of being a National Park in 1974, however it was originally established in 1906. The native people of the land here are the Masai, the park also received its name from their language, with ‘Empusel’ translating to ‘salty, dusty place’, which pretty much sums up the terrain of the park. The reserve is of medium size compared to others of its kind, measuring just over 390 square Kilometres.
The scenery in this area is highlighted by one great natural monument, Mount Kilimanjaro. This Mountain stretches further than 19,300 ft high and its snow capped peaks can be seen in great detail on a clear day.
I have found early morning game drives the best time to get a flawless view of Mount Kilimanjaro, and highly recommend this to anyone visiting the park, not to mention you will also get the chance to see the nocturnal animals making their way to their homes, and the diurnal wildlife awakening to start their day.
… Moving on from the scenery and on to the wildlife!
Amboseli is one of those few National Parks that seem to have it all when it comes to varieties of wildlife. The possibilities of spotting a cheetah or African hunting dog become a reality in this park, but you have to keep your eyes peeled, as these animals can be hard to spot in the camouflage of the bush. There are also a couple of giraffe species that reside within the park, the Masai giraffe and the rarer Reticulated giraffe.
Many people who visit the park are eager to tick off the famous ‘Big Five’ from their wildlife spotting list, and on the right day this is more than possible. I remember our guide spotting a family of lions on my last visit to Amboseli, nobody else saw them until they emerged from the long grass and into view – remember what I said about keeping your eyes peeled!
A useful tip is to look for the outline shape of an animal in the distant bush, this can usually help to pin point the location of any potential hidden animals. Amboseli is known for huge sightings of herds of elephant, this is due to the park having a large population of around 1,600 elephants.
On one of my trips to Amboseli, I recall sitting outside on the patio area of the Serena Safari Lodge having a drink, when all of a sudden I saw lurking shapes passing my eyes around 20 feet in the distance. After a quick rub of my eyes, I realized it was a family of hyena! This was an unbelievable, heart-stopping moment which I will never forget!
If you are interested in taking a Tanzania or Kenya safari around some of Africa’s greatest National Parks, such as Amboseli, then get in touch with private safari experts, Ziara Safaris. Ziara can put together personal itineraries to ensure that your African adventure holiday is tailor suited to you, and ensuring you have the time of your life whilst on vacation!