Visit the Amboseli National Park in Kenya
“Home of the African Elephant”
Crowned by Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, the Amboseli National Parks is one of Kenya’s most popular parks. The name “Amboseli” comes from a Maasai word meaning “salty dust”, and it is one of the best places in Africa to view large herds of elephants up close. Nature lovers can explore five different habitats here ranging from the dried-up bed of Lake Amboseli, wetlands with sulphur springs, the savannah and woodlands. They can also visit the local Maasai community who live around the park and experience their authentic culture.
Amboseli National Park is located in Loitoktok District, Rift Valley Province of Kenya.
The park is 39,206 hectares (392 km2; 151 sq. mi) in size at the core of an 8,000 square kilometres (3,100 sq. mi) ecosystem that spreads 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. Other attraction of the park includes opportunities to meet the Maasai people and also offers spectacular views of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest free-standing mountain in the world.
In Amboseli’s case it is big skies and far horizons combined with swampy springs and dry and dusty earth trampled by hundreds of animals.
Amboseli has an endless underground water supply filtered through thousands of feet of volcanic rock from Kilimanjaro’s ice cap, which funnel into two clear water springs in the heart of the park.
However, the climatic pendulum can swing from drought to flood, and in the early 1990’s ceaseless rain changed Amboseli into a swamp. A few years later the rains failed and the grass-covered plains turned to dust.
Where to Stay at Amboseli
Accommodation at the park ranges from the budget camping options to lodges and exclusive tented camps. Whatever your budget, you are sure of a place to lay your head after a day full of activities while waiting for the next day’s adventures. Some of the privately owned lodges include; Amboseli Serena Lodge, Oltukai Lodge, Tortilis Tented Camp, Amboseli Sopa Lodge, Kibo Safari Camp amongst others.
Sunrise at Tortilis Tented Camp in Amboseli
The park can be accessed by road either via the border town of Namanga which is 240km from Nairobi with entry at Meshanani Gate or via Emali which is 228km from Nairobi on Mombasa road with entry to the park through Tsavo West National Park via Kimana (Olkelunyiet) gate. Alternatively, you can fly in at the airstrip near Empusel Gate. Other airstrips exists at Kilimanjaro Buffalo Lodge and Namanga town.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: REVISION OF VISA RATES
For those who will be arriving in Kenya on and after July 1st 2011, the new Visa rates will be as follows:
- Single Journey Visa (SJV) – $50.
- Multiple Journey Visa (MJV) – $100.
- Transit Visa (TV) – $20.
- Referral Visa – $20
Or the equivalent amount in Euros, GBP and Swiss Francs
Kenya has three international airports:
- Jomo Kenyatta International Airpor in Nairobi
- Moi International Airport in Mombasa
- Eldoret International Airport in Eldoret
These airports service numerous international carriers including the national airline Kenya Airways.Kenya has good connections to destinations throughout Europe, the Asia- Pacific region, USA and Africa.
Kenya can be accessed by road from Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan and Somalia. Immigration should be processed at land border stations. Entry by sea is possible, and immigration should be processed at a port facility.
Kenya Visa Information
A visa is required prior to entry into Kenya. A single Entry Visa(valid for three months from date of issue) will cost US$ 50. A transit visa will cost US$ 20 (You can also pay using Euros, GBP or SwissFrancs).
Citizens of the following countries need to have a visa prior to arrival in Kenya:
- North Korea
- Stateless Persons
For those whose country doesn’t appear in the list above, visas can be obtained at the Airport upon arrival. It’s advisable to obtain the visa from the Kenyan Embassy/High Commission in your country prior to departure.
* Note: The list of countries shown above is subject to change – For more information please check http://www.immigration.go.ke
For more information check out the links shown below:
- Kenya High Commission – UK office
- Kenyan Embassy in the US
- Kenyan Embassy in Germany
- Kenyan Embassy in Italy
More information in: https://www.amboseli.com/