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    Amboseli National Park, Kenya, Africa

    Amboseli National Park lies between longitude 37°E and 37° 30' E and Latitude 2° 30' and 2° 45' S in southern Kenya, The southern boundary of the park lies less than 5 km from the Tanzanian border at the base of Africa's highest mountain, snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro. Covering 3,810 square kilometers in the Kajiado District of southern Kenya, spreading across the Tanzania border and anchored by the stunning snow-capped peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro, Amboseli National Park is one of Kenya’s most popular safari parks. With breathtaking scenery and plenty of opportunities to see big game year round, and the park reachable in an hour from Nairobi, it’s easy to see why. Named after Lake Amboseli, the UNESCO protected park’s unique ecosystem has five main wildlife habitats, ranging from swamps and marshes, to thick bushes and a dry lake bed. Although dry and arid, the scenery is lush thanks to the flooding from Lake Amboseli during heavy rainfall, and the melting snows of Kilimanjaro nourishing marshes and springs. Such a diverse landscape means there’s a huge range of wildlife to spot, with over 50 mammals and 400 species of birds to discover.


    The Amboseli Safari can usually be a road safari journey or a flying safari to explore the Mt Kilimanjaro and the varied topography of the Amboseli safari park, or a big-game hunt for Africa’s big cats and elephant herd watching over the Amboseli Observation Hill, or a game drive to observe and photograph the rich wildlife, majestic scenery and infamous Maasai culture. But a combination of any of the three Amboseli safaris would be the most beneficial and commendable experience. Amboseli Wildlife Park has a land area of 392 square kilometers or 151 square miles and is governed by the Kenya Wildlife Service, Olkejuado County Council, and the Maasai community. In 1906, the park was first established as the Maasai Amboseli Game Reserve and in 1974; it has been recognized as a national park. One of the attractions of a safari to Amboseli is the encounter with the Maasai people, the most well known among the many African ethnic groups, due to their distinctive customs and traditions. The Maasai people are the tall and proud nomads known for their legendary prowess in single handed battle and fights with wild animals. The Maasai have been able to adapt to their environment and the wildlife in complete harmony more than any other community in Kenya. The local people in Amboseli are mainly Maasai. However, there are other tribes and groups that decided to settle in the vicinity successful safaris to Amboseli tourist-driven economy After Maasai Mara National Reserve, Amboseli National Park is the second most popular national park and is one of the most accessible in Kenya. Amboseli National Park protects a dried-up Pleistocene lake and semi-desert vegetation swamp. The dried-up Pleistocene lake is covered with volcanic ash, whose salt crystals shimmer on the surface of the lake during dry season, thus, creating a hazy aura of the place.


    The most popular activity is the Amboseli balloon safari while another exciting part of a safari in Amboseli is the elephant herd watching. The name Amboseli comes from the Maasai place name, Empusel, meaning open plain. The Park itself is encompassed within a Pleistocene lake basin, formed when lava flows from an erupting Kilimanjaro blocked off the course of the Pangani River, creating a lake, which is now the Amboseli basin. Over the course of time the lake dried up although the basin is still prone to seasonal flooding. The flat topography of the basin is broken in only a few places by a number of small extinct volcanic vents known as Lemomo, Ositeti, Kitirua, Ilmberishari and Nomatior. To the south the land rises steadily toward Kilimanjaro, while to the North the park is clearly bounded by the shores of the Pleistocene lake. The area is classified as semi-arid savanna receiving between 200-400 mm of rainfall each year. Rainfall is concentrated in two rainy seasons, March-April and November-December. Melting snows and rainfall on Kilimanjaro percolate through the porous soil into an extensive subterranean aquifer reemerging in the basin as series of permanent swamps.


    Two large swamps, Longinye and Enkongo Narok, transect the basin and numerous smaller swamps surface in the central and western parts of the park. The swamps are the life-blood of Amboseli and are home to a myriad of species of animals. Thus, the Amboseli basin and Amboseli National Park constitute a dry season concentration area for migrating species of the surrounding Amboseli ecosystem, an area of approximately 3,000 sq km. Based on scientific assessment, the glaciers on Kilimanjaro may be gone before 2015 as a consequence of global warming. How this will affect the Amboseli ecosystem remains to be seen. Deforestation on the mountain slopes due to human activity is another major threat. The East African nation of Kenya has many exciting sites for visitors to check out while on Kenya safari. One of the leading national parks in Kenya is the Amboseli National Park, The Park itself sits on a relatively flat plain and the main gateways are safaris to Amboseli from Nairobi. The Amboseli National Park cannot be expressed in one sentence. It is where Hemingway wrote ‘The Snow of Kilimanjaro”. It is the biggest habitat for elephants among Kenyan national parks. Many foreign visitors fly into Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, although there is a small airport that services the park. The Nairobi-Arusha Road and the Nairobi-Mombasa Road also provide access into the park. Amboseli Wildlife Park is a basin with no obstacle from one end of the horizon to the other. Sun rise and sun set offer breath-taking views.


    Amboseli National Park Game Drives


    Most big-game viewing in Amboseli occurs on game drives in either open or closed 4×4 Toyota Land Cruisers vehicles or Mini vans. Open vehicles may or may not have a shade roof, and closed vehicles will always have roof hatches, as well as normal windows. Most Amboseli safaris Tour we arrange do not use minibuses for game-viewing unless it is specifically requested. In Amboseli it is usual for game drives to take place in the early mornings and late afternoons, avoiding the heat of the day when animals are least active. However in certain regions of Amboseli longer half day or full day drives are possible or required. Game drives allow you to cover a wide range and get closest to big game. In some Amboseli game conservancies and private concessions, driving ‘off road’ is permitted, whilst in Amboseli National Park this is usually not allowed. Your guide will nearly always drive the vehicle, and in some cases may be supported by a ‘tracker’ or ‘spotter’ who will sit up front and help find the animals. Most game drive vehicles can cater for between 1 and 18 guests, though we keep to a maximum of 6 guests per vehicle. It is possible at many properties to pay extra to book your own private vehicle which gives you complete freedom and exclusivity when game-viewing. Night drives are often possible and interesting because you are specifically seeking out nocturnal species which you are unlikely to see during the day. Your guide, or his ‘spotter’, will use a powerful spotlight to find the animals.


    The animals are located by the reflection of their eyes, and whilst the quality of viewing and photographical opportunities may be more limited at night, the search can be exciting and night drives do throw up some really rare and unique sightings. Night drives are not always possible as many Kenya National Parks and Kenya Game Reserves do not permit them. Using Amboseli 4×4 vehicles, you will be able to see and photograph the wildlife in the best way possible, with all explorers enjoying their own window seat for every game drive and even between parks. For a Amboseli private safari, our vehicle is available to be booked for exclusive and private use, ensuring that the game drives are arranged just for you. Amboseli National Park Game Viewing Day Tour Day Trip Safari to Amboseli national park from Nairobi Amboseli national park game viewing day tour trip is a fun one day safari to the park. Our days on safari holiday in Amboseli typically start with wake-up call on or before 5.30am. We’ll have a cup of coffee with cookies or a quick early breakfast before boarding our safari vehicle still in the dark, as the golden light lasts such a short time, we’ll concentrate our efforts in finding our favorite subject before sunrise.


    However, out on the plains of Africa you can never know what you will find as you leave your Amboseli Camp or Amboseli Hotel in the morning. Most of the time we’ll try to find animals on our own, on the basis of previous experience and knowledge of their territories; sometimes we might get some news through phone call from other guides. When we’ll find our subject we’ll stay with it as long as we wish, especially if it’s an active predator or a potentially interesting situation. Most Lodges in Amboseli and Tented Camps in Amboseli generally have a packed breakfast in mid-morning, either under a tree or in the car while maybe waiting for a Cheetah to hunt or a Leopard return to its kill. When it’s the time of the year for the Wildebeests’ migration we’ll check frequently how the situation is at the crossing sites, by going there personally or through our network of guides on safari in Amboseli at the same time.


    We can either go back to Amboseli camps for lunch or carry a picnic lunch. There might be a lot happening in the middle of the day, although the light is generally very harsh. Guests will decide whether they want to stay out or go back to camp in Amboseli for a rest in the hottest hours, when we’ll have lunch in Amboseli Tented camp we generally have a short rest until about 15.30, but we’ll be totally flexible in terms of game drive times according to the preference of our guests. In the afternoon we’ll stay out with the animals until past sunset. That’s when they often become active and we don’t want to miss these moments. Many times all other vehicles leave and we remain to enjoy the last light on the plains together with our subjects. Modern cameras with high ISO capabilities can be very useful in these situations! We’ll then return to camp in time for a warm shower and to download the images or simply rest before dinner, which generally occurs at 20.00. We can sit at the campfire with the starry sky above and the calls of the animals echoing in the silence. It’s a magnificent moment to enjoy and remember the sightings of the day. If guests require, after dinner we’ll have a presentation or a training session on specific aspects of post-processing or photography. We generally go to bed early, before the Hippos come out for grazing around our tents! Our guides are based at Amboseli and know their backyard intimately. They know the individual elephants and their family histories. More than half of the guides in Amboseli are Masai, and have between them 80 years of guiding at Amboseli! All the guides are Bronze or Silver level Kenya Professional Safari Guides Association certified. Our current fleet of vehicles are new, specially fitted, 4×4 Toyota Land cruisers. The vehicles are unrivalled with feature enhancements specifically designed for comfort and photography – open sided with 3 rows of seats, photographic equipment stands, and charging sockets. Clients will share game drives unless “exclusive use of vehicle” has been pre booked at an extra charge. With only 10% of Amboseli National Park utilized by most Amboseli tour operators,


    Amboseli Walking Safaris


    Amboseli Walking safari is widely available throughout Africa and allows you to experience the bush in a totally different way to a game drive. Without the sound of an engine, your senses come alive and you hear, smell and see things that you miss from a vehicle. In addition to getting a little exercise, Amboseli walking safaris also allow you to learn about the smaller aspects of the bush – plants, tracks, insects, birds, dung etc. Of course, coming across big game on foot safari can also be highly rewarding and can occasionally get the heart racing! Many Amboseli safari properties offer nature walks as individual activities (for just a few hours), whilst across Africa there are a limited number of more serious Amboseli walking trails, which can include walking over several days and staying in fairly basic ‘fly-camps’ in the wilderness. There are also certain permanent camps which offer comfortable accommodation but specialize in walking safaris in Amboseli. A crucial element to any Amboseli foot safari is the guide, not only from an enjoyment point of view but also in terms of safety. Rules and regulations on carrying firearms do vary, but it is usual for either your guide to carry a firearm Amboseli foot safaris, or for you to be accompanied by an armed ranger. In a few places walking is conducted without a firearm. It is usual for a maximum of six guests to accompany one guide on foot safaris in Amboseli.


    Amboseli Riding Safaris


    Amboseli Horse Riding Safaris are available in limited places in Amboseli. Exploring the bush on horse-back is a real privilege and can throw up some unique experiences, especially when getting close to plains game. Certain Amboseli camps or lodges which have stables will offer horse-riding as an individual activity (as an alternative to nature walks or game drives). Whilst this gives you the flexibility to choose how much riding you wish to do, please note that these Amboseli riding safaris usually cater for mixed riding abilities, so are less likely to satisfy very experienced riders. A few specific operators offer multi-day riding safaris to Amboseli which are suited to more experienced and dedicated riders. These longer safaris will typically involve spending up to 7 hours a day in the saddle, with nights out in the bush in more adventurous ‘fly-camps’ or ‘mobile tented camps’, which adds to the whole safari experience. Many of these dedicated riding trails operate through big game country, where dangerous game can be encountered, and we therefore recommend that you talk to us about the standard of your riding to ensure you do not attempt a trail that is not suitable. Some operators cater for non-riding partners, offering the chance to enjoy alternative safari activities whilst rides are taking place, meeting at rendezvous points during the day. The breed of horses used varies from Boerperd (a South African breed) to Thoroughbred, and many cross breeds bred for their stamina and sure-footedness. The tack used varies from Australian stock saddle to more traditional English saddles. It is worth talking to us about the type of riding you enjoy at home so that we can best match you to the most appropriate ride in Africa.


    Amboseli Flying Safaris


    Amboseli is scenically stunning and whilst game-viewing usually takes place at ground level, there are various ways you can enjoy the African scenery and sometimes wildlife from an aerial position. The Amboseli holidays safaris are operated by light aircraft scheduled services from either Mombasa or Nairobi Wilson. While in the Amboseli park all transfers and game drives are operated by 4x4 safari vehicles provided by the Amboseli lodges and tented camps. These are shares vehicles and are ideal for better viewing and ease in photography of the wildlife. All of these safaris can be extended by an extra night or more on request. Airkenya flies daily to Amboseli to the south of Kenya. Airkenya operates a daily scheduled flight to Amboseli. Most people know that at 5,896 metres (19,340 feet) Mt. Kilimanjaro is Africa's highest mountain but few are aware that it is the highest free-standing mountain in the world. And the best views of the mountain are from Amboseli! Indeed one of the most timeless images of Africa is that of a herd of elephant roaming the dusty plains of Amboseli with the majestic Mt. Kilimanjaro and its snow capped peak in the background. Particularly when the early light of dawn turns the mountain to a dark hue of purple and its snows to an ethereal pink. But elephants are not the only animals to make their home in Amboseli and the waters of the swamp at the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro draw in herds of plain's game and their attendant predators such as lions and cheetah.During the dry seasons the plains of Amboseli are crossed by 'dust devils' as the midday temperatures and winds combine to lift the fine volcanic soil into whirling spirals. The timing of the flight is such that returning passengers can connect directly to the Masai Mara or north to Nanyuki, Lewa Downs, Loisaba, Samburu or Shaba. Or to Lamu, Kiwayu and Diani on the Coast and Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.


    Also Safarilink is Kenya's premier safari airline with a network of connecting domestic scheduled services to all the best safari destinations within Kenya and across the border into northern Tanzania. From its base at Wilson Airport, Nairobi SafariLink provides daily scheduled flights to Amboseli; additionally it can also provide Amboseli private charter flights if a client's particular requirement as regards destination or timing cannot be met by the scheduled services. This professional quality specialist airline now operates 12 aircrafts ranging in size from 13 to 37 seats, which are chosen to meet the specific requirements of operating into bush airstrips within Kenya's world famous game parks. Safarilink now provides daily scheduled services to 22 destinations and during the busiest periods of the year carries over 14,000 passengers per month. With a fleet of modern turbo-prop aircraft, Mombasa Air Safari has been in the skies of Africa since 1974 and is the oldest established and most popular airline at the Kenya coast. Mombasa Air Safari flies daily scheduled services from: Mombasa, Diani beach, Malindi to: Amboseli and Tsavo (on request) Departing early each morning the flights are designed for maximum convenience to visit the wonderful game parks of Amboseli, Masai Mara and Tsavo. Mombasa Air Safari offers convenient on-line ticket sales for one way and return fares from Diani beach, Mombasa and Malindi to Lamu, Masai Mara, Amboseli and Tsavo plus air safari packages for 1, 2 or 3 days. Fly from Mombasa to Amboseli (Kenya) at the best prices in the market.


    Flights from Mombasa (Kenya) (Mombasa-Moi International Airport, Mombasa) to Amboseli (Kenya) (Amboseli) with us. To search for availability and reserve your flight Mombasa (Kenya) - Amboseli (Kenya) look at the box above and select the departure and return date as desired. You can also buy several airplane tickets Mombasa (Kenya) (Mombasa-Moi International Airport, Mombasa airport) - Amboseli (Kenya) (Amboseli airport) at the same time, by selecting the adults, children and babies travelling. Looking for amazing & cheap deals on flights to Amboseli? Save money by finding cheap flights to Amboseli with us. We offer you discount air tickets on various international flights to Amboseli from all important cities. In addition to helping you find cheapest airline tickets and discount travel to Amboseli, we also provide you last minute cheap flight to Amboseli and special Kenya flights deals and offers. Our extensive online airfare booking engine helps you find cheapest flights to Amboseli and let you book air tickets to Amboseli online. So book your next flight to Kenya with and enjoy great discounts on your air travel. Kenya Air charter, Kenya Helicopter hire , Kenya Private Jets, Kenya Air Cargo, Kenya aircraft hire, Kenya Charter flights , Nairobi charter flights, Wilson Airport flights, Kenya air operators, Kenya Medical Evacuation, Kenya Air Safaris, Kenya Aerial advertising , Kenya National Parks flights, Mombasa air safaris, Mombasa charter flights, Kenya humanitarian flights, Kenya Air ambulance, Kenya Jet charter


    Amboseli Camp Sites


    There are two campsites in Amboseli National Park, namely: Olgulului Public Campsite and Nairushari Campsite : They advantageously located in a non-dusty area south of the park in a marvelous backdrop of green bushes, dry grasses and the shadows of Nairushari and Iimbireshari hills, last slopes/hills of the Kilimanjaro (few kilometers south the Observatory Hill). One is a public campsite managed by K.W.S. and the other one is managed by the Maasai community. Nairushari is a special (premium) Amboseli campsite for high-end camping safaris while the Group Ranch public campsite is basic and sometimes suffers shortage of essentials like adequate water. You can expect that the difference would be the crowding on the low budget camping safaris and provision of key necessities. We recommend and indeed arrange camping safaris to Amboseli at Nairushari. The Kenya Wildlife Service (K.W.S) runs bandas, Amboseli guest houses and special campsites in order to provide medium budget accommodation in choice areas to allow an Africa bush holiday experience close to the wild away from the beaten track. A typical guest house in Amboseli comprises one self-catering guest house with three bedrooms (one with a double bed and the others with 2 single beds. Bed linen, towels, kitchen utensils and gas cooker are provided. We provide a cook to take care of all meals and equally pay for his accommodation. Maximum capacity is 6 persons. Budget Tented Camps are also available. Instead of open field camping in our tents, you and we may opt to use a tented camp like Kimana Amboseli Camp with ensuite tents, hot showers and flush toilets. Mid range camps like Kibo Safari Camp have a touch of luxury and a swimming pool. So is the Sentrim Amboseli Tented Camp. There are many different Amboseli safari companies that book complete Amboseli tours, including lodging and transportation. Visitors can also bring their own cars or rent vehicles for use in and around the park. Travel during the months of April and May as well as November and December with out a 4x4 may be impossible in Amboseli National Park, as those months typically have rain, often making the roads in the park impassable.


    Amboseli Elephants


    Amboseli is home to big herds of Zebras, Gazelles, Buffalos and Wildebeests, along with Lions and Cheetahs. A great variety of water birds can be observed in and around the marshes. However, its main attraction is the great population of Elephants. Approximately 1,500 of these fascinating creatures live in the ecosystem and visit Amboseli regularly. It is fantastic to watch them walk to and from the swamps in the mornings and evenings. During times of plenty, Elephants concentrate sometimes in hundreds, with old bulls following the herds of females and calves. Photographically it is very rewarding. Its flat and dusty plains and dry lake beds provide amazing backdrops for dramatic and evocative images, especially in certain remote areas of the park. In the early mornings and late afternoons the snowy peak of Mt Kilimanjaro may emerge from the clouds, and when a herd of Elephants appear in the distance it is one of the most iconic scenes in the entire African continent. On our Amboseli vacation here in Amboseli we focus almost exclusively on photographing the Elephants. We has an intimate knowledge of the park and will take you to remote areas, away from the classic tourists’ circles and where you will be able to enjoy in total peace and silence the Elephants in this extraordinary land. If you are keen on photographing Elephants, you will love one of our photo safaris trips dedicated to these beautiful giants in the wet months, when the Elephants are most active. Amboseli Elephant research project: This was founded by Cynthia Moss in 1975 and is the world’s longest running study of wild elephant population. The project has compiled three decades worth of births and deaths within a community of 50 elephant families totaling about 1500 individuals. Due to these project efforts, the local elephant population in Amboseli was spared the attention of poachers who were so active in the early 1980’s. As a result, elephants in Amboseli have little fear of vehicles thus making this park arguably the finest place in Africa to observe elephants at close quarters.


    Amboseli Observation Hill


    Observation Hill is locally known as Noomotio. This means hollow point that can hold water. When you climb to the top of this hill, you will understand why. The hill is made out of vulcanic material that was places here by an eruption of the Kilimanjaro long ago. From the observation hill in Amboseli, there is a panoramic view of most the Amboseli Park and climbing is worth the effort. It was inhabited many years ago by the hunters and gathers people; the ndorobo. Observation hill is known as “Noomotio” meaning a rocky depression that holds water in the local Maa tongue, probably in reference to its black porous rock, a product of the same volcanic activity that created Kilimanjaro. Unfortunately there are no rhinos in the Park due to poaching. There are also over 400 species of birds, including the bee-eater, kingfisher, African fish eagle, marital eagle and pygmy falcon. Apart from the great wildlife viewing in Amboseli, one can also enjoy excellent views of Mt Kilimanjaro and Meru.


    Lake Amboseli


    Lake Amboseli: This is a seasonal lake covering a third of the Amboseli Park western side. This immense pan gets filled with water when Amboseli receives a good rainfall. More often, Lake Amboseli is a barren expanse of cracked clay, swept across by swirling armies of dust devils and occasional herds of wildebeest and Zebras.


    How to get to Amboseli


    By Road: Amboseli National Park can be accessed by road and airstrip. The main road is from Nairobi via Emali on the Nairobi- Mombasa highway, a distance of 250 km South of Nairobi through the Iremito gate and you can top up the entrance fees here. The other road is from Nairobi via Namanga and onto Meshanani gate. From Namanga to Meshanani gate is 75 kilometers of a badly corrugated and potholed road. Access from Mombasa is also through Iremito gate via Emali or Kimana gate via Tsavo west National park. Amboseli has five gates; Iremito, Kimana, Meshanani, Airstrip and Kitirua gate.


    Best time to visit Amboseli - rates and fees


    January and February are good months to visit Amboseli, as well as June through September. Avoid April and May, which are the rainy season. There may also be some rain from November to December, which may make the roads in Amboseli impassable.


    Temperatures year round are 27-31°C (81-88°F) in the day and 22-24°C (72-75°F) at night. For Kenya birdwatchers, the best months to see migratory birds are October to January. The best times for viewing are early and late in the day, as animals tend to sleep in the hot midday sun. Park entrance fees and opening hours: - you can view the latest Amboseli national park fees for both citizens and non-citizens. The Kenya wildlife administration offers reduced fees for Kenyan citizens and residents.


    Amboseli Climate Guide


    The Climate Guide for Amboseli, Kenya is perfect for planning your Kenya holiday. Monthly weather averages give the best indication of what the weather is usually like for every month of the year including figures for temperature, rainfall and sunshine. Amboseli’s climate is hot and arid, with scarce precipitation since it is in the rain shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro. The annual rainfall of 12 to 16 inches (300-400 millimeters) comes in April/May and November/December. Five primary wildlife habitats comprise this fragile ecosystem: open plains, acacia woodland, rocky thorn bush country, marshland, and swamps. In the northwest area of the park the dry bed of Amboseli Lake is covered with fractured saline earth. During the wet season, the rains flood the lake bed and the surrounding area, diluting the salts. The saline soil inhibits tree growth, but the salt-rich pasture attracts many herbivores. Amboseli is actually overflowing with underground water year round. As the snows of Kilimanjaro melt and flow downhill, they soak the porous, volcanic rock subsoil. Several underground streams rise in two clear springs in the center of the park. On the park’s south side is a palm tree forest that provides cool shade and water, and is flanked on both sides by swamps. Observation Hill rises in the west, which provides spectacular views of the park. Amboseli is known for elephants—about 900 live in the park, along with zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, buffalo, hippo, caracal, serval, lion, leopard, cheetah, and wild dog. More than 400 species of birds have been sighted.


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