Parks & Reserves Details
The Aberdares is an isolated volcanic range that forms the eastern wall of the rift valley, running roughly 100 km north-south between Nairobi and Thomson’s Falls. Soils are red and of volcanic origin, but rich in organic matter. There are two main peaks, Ol Donyo Lesatima (3,999 metres) and Kinangop (3,906 metres), separated by a long saddle of alpine moorland at over 3,000 metres. The topography is diverse, with deep ravines that cut through the forested eastern and western slopes, and there are many clear streams and waterfalls.
Mist and heavy rainfall occur throughout much of the year, with precipitation varying from around 1,000 mm yearly on the north-western slopes to as much as 3,000 mm in the south-east.
Lesatima Peak, Kinangop Peak, waterfalls, walks in the moorlands, Twin Hills, Elephant Hills and Table Mountains. One of Kenya’s rhino sanctuaries. Queen Elizabeth II learned of her accession to the British throne at Treetops lodge. The Kimathi Hideout/Mau Mau caves.
The park is home to most of the larger mammals, including some black rhino. The park has endangered species including the rare bongo, giant forest hog, packs of the now very rare wild dogs and endemic mole rat and mole shrew.
Other game includes leopard, serval, endemic bird species, reptiles and insects.
Mountain climbing, camping, hiking, walking, game viewing, night viewing of wildlife at The Ail and Treetops lodges. Trout fishing is available along the many ice-cold clear, flowing streams.
Amboseli lies immediately north-west of Mount Kilimanjaro on the border with Tanzania. Amboseli was established as a reserve in 1968 and gazetted as a national park in 1974. The park covers 392 sq km, and forms part of the much larger 3,000 sq 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. Within this basin is a temporary lake, Lake Amboseli, that floods during years of heavy rainfall. Amboseli is famous for its big game and its great scenic beauty and the landscape is dominated by the towering Mount Kilimanjaro.
The climate is mainly hot and dry. Amboseli is in the rain shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro. The maximum average temperature of the warmest month is 33°C during the day, while that of the coldest is 27-28°C. An annual rainfall of 300 mm per annum is distributed over two seasons: April/May and November/December. Recurrent droughts and potential evaporation of 2,200 mm per annum typifies the region.
Mount Kilimanjaro; Observation Hill which allows an overall view of the whole park, especially the swamps and elephants; swamp below observation hill hosts many elephants, buffaloes, hippos and a variety of water fowl like pelican; Egyptian goose; contemporary Maasai culture and indigenous lifestyle; herds of elephants.
Amboseli has over 80 different mammals ranging from the tiny (and rarely seen) spectacled elephant shrew to the huge bulk of the African elephant. Few visitors will go home without superb elephant pictures with Kilimanjaro as a backdrop. There are over 400 bird species.