In the shadow of Kilimanjaro

Amboseli Travel Blog

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Amboseli National Park is located in Loitoktok District, Rift Valley Province of Kenya. The ecosystem mainly savannah grassland spread across the Kenya-Tanzania border. The park is famous for being the best place in Africa to get close to free-ranging elephants among other wildlife species and of course spectacular views of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Granted status  as a national park in 1974 it covers only 392 sq km but despite its small size and its fragile ecosystem it supports a wide range of mammals at well over 50 species and birds ,over 400 species.

Part of the Park is composed of a dried-up lake bed which in the shimmering heat produces mirages. Swamps and springs, fed by underground rivers from Kilimanjaro's melting snows, form permanent watering places for the wildlife through times of drought.

The lake bed is subject to sporadic floods and noxious salts in the gravel bed are dissolved to serve as a deadly poison for what is left of the local woods; very few of the fine acacias, once a feature of this region, remain.

The snows of Kilimanjaro 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 one of Kenya's most sought after photographer's paradise. But the Park's popularity 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 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.

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3,772 km (2,344 miles) traveled
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photo by: tirsomaldonado