AMBOSELI NATIONAL RESERVE/ AMBOSELI NATIONAL PARK
I have always wanted to visit Amboseli National reserve in Kenya. I had heard alot about Amboseli National Reserve formerly known as Amboseli National Park. From her famous big Jumbos( Elephants) to the view of the snow- capped peak of Mt Kilimanjaro, the park is one you cant miss to visit in Kenya. My grandfather always talked about their trip to Amboseli, he loved Elephants and in these place he found all that he wanted to see. If you could hear my grandpa talk about this place, you would definately put it in your list of places to visit while on vacation in Kenya. After my grandpa passed away in January 2010, i decide to visit Amboseli National park, this was not my first time in Kenya, i have been in Kenya several time and done safaris , but never visited Amboseli national reserve because of tight schedules.
The next thing i decided was to contact my travel agent in Kenya, Inside Africa Budget Safaris since they are the ones who handle all my travel while in Kenya and Tanzania. I have grown to love them because of their wonderful service and treating me as one of them. I told them that i will be visiting, and they should arrange for me a 6 day trip with Amboseli national reserve included. Amboseli is Kenyas moat spectacular displays of wildlife, lion, elephants, leopards, cheetah and bufallo creating Kenyas most sought after photographers parade.
When the D day finally came, me and my wife landed in Jomo Kenyatta Airport where we were picked up by our agents and transfered to the hotel. We were later taken to Carnivore restaurant for dinner, here there are all types of bush meat and very tasty too. We later retired back to the hotel for overnight . The next morning we were picked up by our driver "Jomba" his a very good man and friendly too.Before we left, we passed to the market to pick up our cook, "Mkorino" that is his name, i tell you this , the guy is wonderful and id you ever make this trip with this agency for camping in Amboseli, demand forthis cook ( Mkorino).
We finally departed for Amboseli national reserve, we were just the two of us plus the driver and cook, we had booked for private tour. Amboseli lies about 250km from Nairobi on the border with Tanzania at the foot of Africa's highest point, kibo, peeps beautifully from the clouds especially in early mornings and evenings.The camp we were going to stay in is in the middle of the park and without a fence. One practically lives with the animals, its no place for the faint heated. The elephant bones arranged outside showed their dedication to this large animals.We had a evening game drive taking the wandering circuits around the park , looking for animals. At longinye swamp we came across a herd of bufalloes grazing in the swamp. They glared balefully at our intruding party probably wondering why humans could not just mind their own business. A few metres away, a herd of elephants was grazing too. Beside the swamp, there were some remains of elephants clearly indicating how bad the drought affected them the previous year.
As we drive around the park, dark clouds can be seen gathering around Mt Kilimanjaro threatening to release its contents.It is said that Amboseli has about 1500 elephants, the largest number in all Kenyan parks and reserves per square metre. We soon prove this as we stumble upon herds after every few kilometres. Being on the border , animals cross between the two countries at will. In the dry season , the herds are found in the low- lying Amboseli but retreat to higher ground in Tanzania at the foot of Mt Kilimajaro in the wet season. Our driver decides to head straight for the highest point in Amboseli, the observation hill where one can see the entire park. Our eyes are now peeled looking for the king of the jungle, the lion. We soon hit pay dirt. About 500 metres from the road, a lion is stalking a herd of impala who by now are alert, their heads held high. We, however , can only see a small speck as the distance is too far.As other vans slowly gather around waiting for the inevitable dash, we move on towards observing hill hoping that we will have a chance to see the lion at close quarters.
The last day we drive straight on with a few brief stop[s for photos . Another herd of elephants passes very close and in our open roof vehicle, we are able to see them without any scare.We slow down to let them pass. They however start trumpeting, signaling danger and we know the lions are around. The young ones move quickly to the middle of the herd for safety. . Back to the lions den, referred to as Makindu due to the coniferous plants all around here, we slowly approach , looking for any sign of the lions. Soon we spot two cubs lying in a clearing, a big lioness watching the bushes, most likely not seeing the lions aware all the same. In the evening we later retire to the camp, and guess what surprise, Mkorino our cook prepared a birthday cake for my wife, i guess our agent told him, it was so nice that didn't know what to say apart from thank you.
The next morning, our last day we had a morning game drive and later in the afternoon after lunch, we departed for Nairobi ending our trip. Thank you Inside Africa Budget Safaris for this wonderful adventure.
John Schuff is a traveler. For more info about this visit http://www.insideafricatravel.com