Amboseli National Park
A little to the north west of Mount Kilimanjaro, Amboseli, established as a nature reserve in 1968 and promoted to National Park status in 1974, is situated on the border between Kenya and Tanzania. The park, 392 square metres in area, is surrounded by Amboseli’s 3,000 square metre ecosystem, where the Masai live a traditional life as herders alongside their cattle and goats, much like that of their ancestors, and for the most part in equilibrium with the area’s wildlife population.
Five distinct habitat types are apparent in Amboseli: open grasslands, acacia woods, scrub steppe, swamps and marshland. The national park itself is in actual fact a dried up lake dating from the Pleistocene period. Smaller and seasonal Lake Amboseli appears each year after the heavy rains. Amboseli is notable for its rich variety of big game, including elephant herds, a few hundred strong, and, needless to say, its scenic beauty with towering Kilimanjaro providing a majestic backdrop for what is a second-to-none safari experience.
Huge herds of elephants
Amboseli National Park is first of all famous for being situated at the foot of Africas highest mountain – Kilimanjaro towering 5,895m into the sky. Also this national park is famous for its huge herds of elephants wandering from swamp to swamp over the dusty plains. Combining those two features alone makes it a breathtaking experience to visit Amboseli National Park and situated only a couple of hours drive away from Nairobi, its among Kenyas most popular national parks. Of course there are other animals than elephants and the park boasts a fine representation of the east african fauna.
The climate in the Amboseli region, lying 1,200-1,300 metres above sea level, is comparatively warm and dry. The highest average temperatures in the warmest months (December to February) rise to 33C during daytime, while temperatures in the coldest months (June to August) lie typically around 28C.
Amboseli is situated within Kilimanjaro’s precipitation zone with annual rainfall of 300mm, distributed between demarcated seasons: April/May and November/December. Recurring droughts and moisture evaporation potential of 2,200mm annually are typical for this region.