Located about 200km from Nairobi, Amboseli National Park offers incredible views of Mt. Kilimanjaro as well as incredible diversity of wildlife. Even though smaller in size; 392km2 compared to the 1,510km2 of the Masai Mara, there are about a 1000 elephants that call Amboseli home.
Amboseli was our 1st safari experience, not counting Nairobi National Park as it was so close to the city and our hotel. The drive from Nairobi took about 5 hours with a few bathroom stops that inevitably included some souvenir shopping. We were there for 2 nights staying at Kibo Safari Camp, outside the park, a short drive to the Kimana gates.
Our room, a very spacious tent with a nice porch and a great bathroom didn’t have views of the Kilimanjaro but there seem to be some rooms with incredible views. Kibo Camp’s amenities include a large, beautifully set up cafe/bar, a swimming pool, a large covered outdoor dining area, a gift shop and I believe a spa/massage area.
We assumed our day would be spent on the game drives and never thought much about any of the activities available in Kibo. On our second day after a bit of a longer morning drive our driver told us we were free for the rest of the day. We were a bit surprised but felt like it wouldn’t be ok to ask for an afternoon/evening drive since we knew the drive back to Nairobi’s Wilson airport was waiting for us early in the morning and we understood he probably needed the rest. With no swimsuits packed for a safari vacation, and no wi-fi in the rooms we chilled for a few hours at the bar going over photos and impressions of our 1st days in the african bush.
Our last night at Kibo was also our wedding anniversary and they really made a beautiful effort that made us feel so special. The whole staff came out with cake, dancing and singing beautiful songs in swahili. It was a beautiful surprise and we loved it !!
Amboseli is all about the mountain and the elephants. The view of these majestic, intelligent giants with the backdrop of Mt. Kilimanjaro feels unreal as you watch them move, eat and communicate along their path for the day. You feel and you truly are so privileged to be there.
If you’re lucky to have clear skies don’t take the view of Mt. Kilimanjaro for granted. It’s common for folks to spend days in Amboseli and never see the mountain.
If visiting during the dry season; December to March or the dry but cooler season June to September nothing I can say will prepare you for the Amboseli dust. Once we landed in the Masai Mara our driver Steve said: “I don’t even have to ask where you’re coming from, I recognize that Amboseli dust”. 🙂
While on our game drive we were lucky enough to see Tim, Kenya’s oldest elephant, he was so close to our car it was incredible. His tusks weighing at about 100 pounds each make him a constant target of poachers. In recent years he’s been injured several times by poachers but thankfully is still standing strong, his majestic tusks untouched.
While in Amboseli we saw an abundance of wildlife in such a small area; zebras, hippos, giraffe, monkeys. It was truly an incredible introduction to the African wilderness.