Expert Reviews – Amboseli NP
Brian is an award winning travel writer, author of safari books and regular contributor to magazines such as BBC Wildlife and Travel Africa.
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A land of Giants
By East African standards, Amboseli is quite small – a mere 150 square miles of arid plains that become a dustbowl in the dry season months of July to October. And yet this is a land of giants. Amboseli is the park where Kenya’s biggest tuskers roam against the stunning backdrop of Kilimanjaro – the world’s highest freestanding mountain. At its foot lie lush green swamps – a dream of water in a thirsty land. Fed by the meltwaters of Kilimanjaro’s glaciers, they are vital to the park’s well being. Without these dense, reedy oases, Amboseli and its wildlife could not exist. My abiding memory of Amboseli are the evening game drives, heading back to Tortilis Camp when the light turns to gold and the air is filled with a fog of dust in which solemn processions of marching elephants appear as ghostly silhouettes.
Nana is a travel writer and author of multiple guidebooks, including the Lonely Planet guides to Africa, Zambia & Malawi and South Africa.
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Elephants and Mount Kilimanjaro
Amboseli hugs the Tanzanian border and makes for one of Kenya’s most dramatic photo opportunities – herds of elephant lumbering past with Mount Kilimanjaro as a backdrop. The park is famous for them and groups of up to 100 are not uncommon.
Aside from this, however, some find Amboseli a disappointment. The landscape is for the most part, dry, flat and unappealing and, during my visit, there were other tourist vehicles at almost every turn.
There are plentiful buffalo, giraffe and zebra here and predators are also found. Lions are few, but I did see a cheetah and plenty of hyenas on my visit. The flat open landscape makes animals easy to spot.