Amboseli National Park is found in Oloitoktok, which is in Kajiado county in Kenya. The park is famous for being home to large herds of Elephants and like Maasai Mara National Reserve, it extends into Tanzania. The park is also famous as it is located at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro, thus offering guests a look at the majestic mountain, without having to climb it.
I was excited as we ventured into Amboseli National Park, as I really wanted to see herds and herds of elephants, which is what the park is famous for. Elephants are indeed interesting animals everything from having great memories, to being gigantic in size but equally as soft in nature. They tend to live in communities and everyone takes care of everyone. The head of the home is interestingly, the oldest female in the group, thus making them a matriarchal society. They have been known to show their emotional soft side as they actually mourn their dead and have been seen to shed tears. Their famous, large, heavy, ivory coloured tusks have made humanity to perceive them as “money makers”, instead of a beautiful part of their body. Kindly, lets keep Human hands away from these beautiful animals.
We had the privilege of seeing several elephant families that mainly comprise of females. It still surprises me that such small, cute calves will eventually grow into massive animals, whilst on a strictly vegetarian diet. It is always a beauty watching them majestically walking on the savanna, slowly cutting grass with their trunks and there after enjoying their meal.
Further on, we had the privilege of sighting the usual herbivores like deers and gazelles. I am however very fascinated by the buffalo, not sure why. I guess its lonesome look, its massive size and its dark colour have something to do with it. Here, we found a lone buffalo grazing by the banks of the river, enjoying both the lush green grass and the cool waters beside it. People are always warned to be weary of lone buffalos, but this one seemed to be having lots on its mind. It hardly even raised its head towards us, seeming to truly enjoy its meal.
We found a crash of hippos enjoying a dip in the cool waters, whilst playing. Honest, they all seemed to bob their heads at the same time, then showed their faces long enough for us to identify them and then dipped back in the waters.
Amboseli Observation Hill
This is an interesting place to visit as it gives one an aerial view of part of the plains. One has to hike a couple of stairs to get to the top, a trip I highly recommend. Once at the top, the first beauty was the river below that had lots of green cover on it, making it look like a piece of art.
Sighting Mount Kilimanjaro:
Noting that Amboseli National Park is at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro, one easily gets to observe this beautiful, majestic mountain. Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa standing at 5895 m and it is the highest free standing mountain in the world. You can read about my successful hike to Uhuru Peak, its highest peak here: http://wangechigitahi.co.ke/conquering-mount-kilimanjaro/
There are various options for accommodation in the area, but, in this instance, my amazing host was Kibo Safaris Camp. It is located on the periphery of Amboseli National Park and it thus takes less than five minutes to get to the gate. They officially get an ace from me for their amazing service and amenities. First up, we were all welcomed with hot towels to clean our hands and thereafter a cold glass of juice. The drive down had been hot and dusty and thus this was indeed, highly appreciated.
The accommodation at Kibo Safari Camps are Luxury Tented Camps that accommodate single, double and family sizes.I was immediately struck and impressed by the “bush” feel that the lodge has maintained by having lots of “bush” and plant cover in the area. The rooms have a mini patio with a set table and chairs allowing guests a cool place to relax while enjoying the natural light and fresh air. When we entered the luxury tented rooms, I was greatly impressed by both its size as well as its beauty. The “tent” is huge and more like a home than a tent. I liked the rustic look of the wooden beds which were also very comfortable and I was impressed that they have a vanity area. All around the “home”, they spectacularly played with the decor and accessories that we even had animals like gazelles representing on our walls via wall paintings. The bathroom area is also really huge with well set wardrobes, a clear indicator that they are more than happy to host you for several days.
They have done a great job in maintaining a lot of bush cover in the area, the walkways have lots of rock and pebbles that I felt one with nature while here. I also really appreciated the fact that there is no free wifi in the rooms-you came to relax, bond with nature and leave the crazy “tech world” behind. For wifi, one would have to visit the reception and conference rooms.They are also very eco friendly and thus have solar energy running the power in the establishment.
The food on offer here, will have you questioning your capacity to eat. It is all buffet and all the dishes offered are mouth watering and more so delicious. I assure you, chances of you mix and matching your plate are high as everything is really good. These guys were even gracious enough to prepare a pre-breakfast for us before we went for the morning game drive.
The staff however take the cream on the top, they were warm, friendly and ready to assist even before we asked. This shows a happy team, and a happy team reflects on how they are treated by the management. I always say the strength of an establishment lies with the staff, these individuals out did themselves. Thank you all for your great customer service.
I highly highly recommend a visit to Amboseli National Park to all and sundry. This place indeed is a haven for many animals and more so elephants. I love elephants and thus I was elated, excited, thrilled when they chose to expose themselves so easily, as if they had come to meet an old friend-Me. It was also great to see so many other animals like the reclusive hippos also on my short early morning game drive that I plan to return for a longer visit and animal bonding. Kibo Safaris is amazing and I recommend a stay of at minimum two nights to have adequate time to enjoy all facilities including the swimming pool and spa, which I didn’t have time to enjoy on this visit.