Amboseli National Park
Amboseli National Park, at the
foot of Africa’s highest mountain 5895m (19,340ft) Kilimanjaro is
one of the most popular of all Kenya’s national parks. It lies some
240 kms (145 miles) south-east of Nairobi. The snow-capped peak of
Mount Kilimanjaro rising above a saucer of clouds dominates every
aspect of Amboseli National Park which covers 3920 sq km (1513
square miles). The Tanzania border runs along its base and also
forms the boundary of the Park. Years ago this was the locale around
which such famous writers as Ernest Hemingway and Robert Ruark spun
their stories of big-game hunting in the African wilds.
It is also the home of the famed Masai people, those tall, proud
nomadic warriors whose legendary prowess in battle and single handed
acts of bravely in fights with wild animals has spread across the
world. Perhaps more than any other community in Kenya, however, they
have learned to live in complete harmony with their environment and
the wildlife which surrounds them. The group which numbers more than
240,000 have many fascinating traditions which form part of their
ages-old culture. Their diet is a simple one, consisting mainly of
meat and milk and also the blood of cattle - drawn by firing a
collared arrow into the beast’s jugular vein - mixed with milk.
The snows of Kilimanjaro, white and crystalline, also form a
backdrop to one of Kenya’s most spectacular displays of wildlife -
lion, elephant, leopard, rhino, cheetah, buffalo and hosts of plains
game and the combination makes the park a photographer’s paradise.
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 in times of drought.. Many
attractive birds can be easily seen and equally easily photographed
around the lodges. This is one of the few places where the rare and
beautiful Taveta Golden Weaver is found.