In the language of the Maasai, the word “Amboseli” means “Salty Dust”. Despite its sometimes dry and dusty appearance, Amboseli has an endless water supply filtered through thousands of feet of volcanic rock from Kilimanjaro’s ice cap. These underground streams converge into tow clear water springs in the heart of the park.
The endemic dust is volcanic ash which spewed from Kilimanjaro a millennium ago. During the dry seasons a curious feature is the shimmering dry lake bed where mirages are punctuated by herds of zebra and wildebeest. The principal attraction of Amboseli is its vast herds of elephant within the park. The bull elephants here have some of the largest tusks in Kenya. Plentiful game includes: zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, impala, and leopard, caracal and serval cat can be seen. Birdwatchers will enjoy the amazing array that gather at the swamps, including pelicans, bee-eaters, kingfishers, the African fish eagle, martial eagle and the pygmy falcon.
Amboseli is an important rangeland in Maasai culture. They have coexisted with the animals here for hundreds of years – striking a balance between their cattle grazing on the savannah and the needs of the wildlife.
There are also many private reserves that outside the park offer a wealth of game-viewing and walking safaris, night game drives and other activities.
Park Size: 392 sq. miles -630 sq. kilometers
Altitude: 3,900 – 4,500 ft. | 1,188 – 1,371 meters.
Ecosystems: Semi-arid savanna, swamps, spring fed water holes
Wildlife: Huge herds of Elephants, zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, impala, and leopard, caracal. Birds: pelicans, bee-eaters, kingfishers, African fish eagle, martial eagle, pygmy falcon
When to go: Anytime except April and May
Highlights: Watching the huge herds of elephants. Game drives, camping, walking safaris and night game drives in the surrounding private reserves