Amboseli National Park spans across the Kenya-Tanzania border.


Amboseli National Park

Amboseli National Park, formerly Maasai Amboseli Game Reserve, is in Kajiado District, Rift Valley Province in Kenya. The park is at the core of an ecosystem that spreads across the Kenya-Tanzania border. The local people are mainly Maasai, but people from other parts of the country have settled there attracted by the successful tourist-driven economy and intensive agriculture along the system of swamps that makes this low-rainfall area one of the best wildlife-viewing experiences in the world.

The park protects two of the five main swamps, and includes a dried-up Pleistocene lake and semi-arid vegetation.


Years ago Amboseli was the locale around which such famous writers as Ernest Hemingway and Robert Ruark spurn their stories of big-game hunting in the wilds of Africa.

The Amboseli National Park is 260 kilometers from the capital city Nairobi. Amboseli National Park is the third most visited game area in Kenya after Maasai Mara National Reserve and Nakuru National Park and the visit can easily be done in a weekend.

The first Europeans to penetrate the feared Maasai region known as Empusel were astonished by the fantastic array of wildlife and the contrast between the arid areas of the dry-lake bed and the oasis of the swamps, a contrast that persists even today.

Open plains, acacia, woodland, rocky thorn bush country, swamps and marshland are the five main embodies of the Amboseli National Park, they cover part of the Pleistocene lake basin which is now dry. There is a temporary lake within this basin, Lake Amboseli, which floods during seasons of heavy rainfall. Amboseli is famous for its big game and its great scenic beauty, the landscape which is dominated by Mt. Kilimanjaro.


The snows of Kilimanjaro, white and crystalline, form a majestic backdrop to one of Kenya's most spectacular displays of wildlife - lion, elephant, leopard, rhino, cheetah, buffalo and hosts of plains' game, creating Kenya's most sought after photographer's paradise.

But the popularity of the Amboseli National park is also causing serious concern. The combination of wildlife, tourist vehicles and Maasai cattle are destroying the delicate but precious grassland. Park rules now insist that vehicles stick to roads and tracks.

The Amboseli Park's best game runs are around the swamps and there is a fine lookout on Observation Hill which offers views over the whole of the Park and beyond. This open country of Amboseli is good walking territory, and many camps and lodges organize game walks, or trips to spend time in local Maasai villages.

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