This is a place of wide dry plains, where the horizons stretch into the furthest distance and become one with the sky. Amboseli is renowned for its elephant populations and large herds, including some impressively tusked bulls, are drawn to a series of large, lush swamplands.
But the most impressive giant of all is Mt Kilimanjaro. Africa’s largest mountain lies just over the border in Tanzania, but the most impressive views of its snow-capped peak are to be found in Amboseli. The early light of dawn turns the mountain a dark hue of purple and its snows into an ethereal pink.
The sight of Kilimanjaro high above herds of elephants crossing the plains of Amboseli is a timeless African image. This area is home to many Maasai communities, centered around the Amboseli National Park. The park is 400 sq km, with its southern boundary along the Tanzanian border. The park is home to more than just Elephants, and herds of wildebeest, zebra, and impala graze on the open plains. There are areas of acacia forest that make for good birding and are home to many small mammals. Cheetahs are also often sighted here.
The park is centered around a large hill, with fantastic views of the surrounding plains, often crossed by a whirlwind that sends winding columns of dust into the sky.
This open country is a good walking territory, and many camps and lodges organize game walks or trips to spend time in local Maasai villages.
Amboseli is a 4-hour drive from Nairobi. The nearest town is Namanga, on the Kenya/ Tanzania border. There are regular buses and matatus to Namanga from Nairobi and other destinations. There are also regular private shuttles from Nairobi to Arusha in Tanzania, which pass by Namanga. There are daily scheduled flights from both Nairobi and the coast. Amboseli has a central airstrip. Private Charters also use this strip.
Accessing Amboseli National Park is difficult without private transport. Most visitors come here as part of a Safari package from Nairobi or in a Hire Car. Those bringing their own vehicle should be prepared for dusty driving conditions, although the park has well-established internal roads and tracks.