Elephant in the wild

Amboseli National Park

Amboseli lies immediately North West of Mt. Kilimanjaro, on the border with Tanzania. Amboseli was established as a reserve in 1968 and gazetted as a National Park in 1974. The Park covers 392 km2, and forms part of the much larger 3,000 Km2 Amboseli ecosystem. Large concentrations of wildlife occur here in the dry season, making Amboseli a popular tourist destination. It is surrounded by 6 communally owned group ranches.

The National Park embodies 5 main wildlife habitats (open plains, acacia woodland, rocky thorn bush country, swamps and marshland) and covers part of a pleistocene lake basin, now dry. Within this basin is a temporary lake, Lake Amboseli, that floods during years of heavy rainfall. Amboseli is famous for its big game and its great scenic beauty – the landscape is dominated by Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Location:
On the border with Tanzania, Kajiado District, South Kenya; Covers 392km2

Climate:
The climate is mainly hot and dry. Amboseli is in the rain shadow of Mt. Kilimanjaro. The maximum average temperature of the warmest month is 33°C during the day, while that of the coldest is 27-28°C. An annual rainfall of 300mm per annum is distributed in two seasons: April/May and November/December. Recurrent droughts and potential evaporation of 2200mm per annum typifies the region (KWS, 1991).

HOW TO GET THERE

Roads:
The main road into the Park is from Nairobi are via Namanga (240 km) on the Nairobi – Arusha Road, via Meshanani Gate. The road is tarmac upto Namanga but is badly corrugated and potholed in places from Namanga to Meshanani Gate (75km). The other road and via Emali (228 km) on the Nairobi – Mombasa Road. The road is tarmac up to Emali and murram from Emali to Remito Gate (64 km) Access from Mombasa is mainly through Tsavo West via Kimana (Olkelunyiet) Gate.

Airstrips:
The park has a single airstrip for light aircraft at Empusel gate. Other airstrips exist at Kilimanjaro Buffalo lodge and Namanga town.

Park Roads:
Viewing roads network covers the park adequately. Many of the park viewing roads are not usable during the rains and because of the loose ashy nature of volcanic soil, the roads become very dusty during the dry season.

Park Gates:
The park has five gates, Kelunyiet, lremito, Ilmeshanan; Kitirua and Airstrip.

MAJOR ATTRACTIONS
Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mt. Meru, Observation Hill which allows an overall view of the whole park especially the swamps and elephants,
Contemporary Maasai culture and indigenous lifestyle

FACILITIES
Lodges:
Oltukai Lodge; Amboseli Serena Lodge; Kimana Lodge; Tortilis Tented Lodge.

Campsites:
Nairushari Special; Olgulului Public Campsite; Abercrombie & Kent Tented Camp; Ker & Downy Tented Camp; Chyulu Tented Camp; Kimbla Campsite; Cottar’s Tented Camp; Leopard Tented Camp; Tortilis Tented Camp.

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