Wildlife & Animals – Amboseli NP

Anthony Ham
Expert
By Anthony Ham

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of many Lonely Planet guidebooks, including the guide to Kenya.

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of the Lonely Planet guide to Kenya.

Anthony is the author of the Lonely Planet guide to Kenya.

Amboseli is one of Kenya’s most popular parks, and offers great wildlife viewing. The park is famous for its elephants, but most big safari animals can be spotted here. Black rhino has unfortunately become extinct, but four of the other Big Five are present. The plains support an abundance of large herbivores including wildebeest, Burchell's zebra and Grant's and Thomson's gazelle. Masai giraffe and impala can usually be found browsing from stands of acacia trees.

Abundant
Common
Occasional
Rare
None
ElephantAbundant
GiraffeCommon
HippoCommon
BuffaloAbundant
ZebraAbundant
WildebeestAbundant
LionOccasional
HyenaCommon
Wild DogRare to none

Wildlife Highlights

Amboseli’s specialty is its elephants. Big herds roam the dusty plains in the morning and evening. During the day the elephants mostly spend their time partially submerged, foraging in Ol Okenya swamp. Having been protected from poaching for a long time, the Amboseli elephants carry particularly impressive ivory and are very relaxed around cars.

Best Time for Wildlife Viewing

Amboseli can be visited throughout the year, but the most rewarding wildlife watching is in the Dry season, from June to October, when animals gather around the marshes and other predictable water sources. When dry, animals crossing the sandy plains tend to kick up a lot of dust, offering some great photo opportunities when the light is low.

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