Amboseli lies immediately north-west of Mount Kilimanjaro, on the border with Tanzania. The Park covers 392 square km, and forms part of the much larger 3,000 square km Amboseli ecosystem. Large concentrations of wildlife occur here in the dry season, making Amboseli a popular tourist destination. It is surrounded by six communally owned group ranches. The National Park embodies five main wildlife habitats (open plains, acacia woodland, rocky thorn bush country, swamps and marshland) and covers part of a Pleistocene lake basin, now dry. Amboseli is famous for its big game and its great scenic beauty – and the landscape is dominated by the towering Mount Kilimanjaro.
Amboseli National Park embodies 5 main wildlife habitats: open plains, acacia woodland, rocky thorn bush, swamps and marshlands. The park also covers a part of the Pleistocene lake basin, which is now dry. Within this basin is the temporary Lake Amboseli that floods during heavy rainfall. Although a very dry and arid landscape, Amboseli is quite lush in places. This park enjoys the backdrop of Africa's most iconic mountains, Mount Kilimanjaro. The melting snows of Kilimanjaro flow underground into the park and continually feeds water to springs, swamps, and marshes providing a much needed lifeline. This fragile ecosystem displays an impressive wildlife variety, with more than 50 mammal species, including one of the largest populations of free-roaming elephants in the world.
The kings of Amboseli are the elephants, which are easy to spot and photograph due to the flat and bare terrain. Amboseli's elephants are said to be the biggest in Kenya and can be found in the swamps where they share the cool waters with the hippos that hide beneath the papyrus.
The park is also home to a large resident population of wildebeest, Burchell's zebra, Thomson's and Grant's gazelle, buffalo, warthog, impala, waterbuck, dik dik, Maasai giraffe and eland. Vervet monkey and yellow baboon inhabit the scarce woodlands, mainly around Ol Tukai Lodge. Lion, spotted hyena, black-backed jackal, wild cat, bat-eared foxes and caracal are also found here, while leopard, cheetah and black rhino are quite rare.
Birdlife is abundant, especially near the lakes and swamps. The yellow weaver bird, Taveta golden weaver, Taita falcon, southern branded Harrier eagle and Superb starling are some of the resident birds found around the park. Bush walks and night drives are offered in private concessions
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