Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Amboseli National Park 2.81° S, 37.50° E 3675 ft

Maybe it was the sight of Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in the continent of Africa,clearing up on the day we arrived after 4 days of hide and seek! It could be the sighting of a mommy and young adult cheetah, a first for me. The parade of tens of African Elephants of all sizes just made it even better or was it the moment when we were greeted by the handsome fella the Gerenuk as we entered the park, what ever the reason, Amboseli is the best! A 97000 acres park, translates to Salty dust in Masai. Wish we had tasted the dust longer!

But first we had to make a long journey of 404 kms from Sweet waters to Amboseli. A stipulated 7 hour journey turned out to be a 9 hour journey without any breaks. It also meant we could not go on the evening game drive which was very disappointing. But then as we approached Amboseli sopa lodge , we were greeted by the sighting of Gerenuks. The slender animal with its doe eyes was a sight to tired eyes. I would move gerenuks high on my list of attractive animals maybe just after the tigers.Loved them!

On arrival at the resort, we were thrilled to checked out the Masai market run by the most friendly local women. An evening well spent browsing through trinkets and conversing with these beautiful women.It was a good finish to a tiring and a long day.

Sopa lodge has rustic looking but luxurious cottages set in  beautiful grounds..The gardens are a perfect place to relax and very inviting to the local fauna . But the first task on my list as I stepped out the cottage early morning was to check out if Kilimanjaro was in sight. I eagerly followed the groundsman who told me it was and took me to the location from where it could be spotted. And there it was , the tallest peak in Africa peeping out behind the clouds. We waited patiently for the clouds to move away and the light to get better. And Voila! we had Kilimanjaro in its full glory. The white cap was missing but it still was a sight that would remain in our memories forever.

Kilimanjaro- Volcanic cone Kibo

Two of three volcanic cones - Mawenzi ( left) and Kibo ( Right)

Masai Ladies at their market

As we started the drive towards the Amboseli national park, we encountered a group of about 10 elephants against the backdrop of Kilimanjaro. This kind of situation is considered to be ideal for a good photograph. Though we were not in the plains of the national park, it did make a good picture. What do you think?  

As we continued into the park, our guide picked up the speed and we knew something amazing was waiting for us. After about a good 10 minutes drive, we saw a bunch of safari vans and jeeps and our heart started beating faster. The guide refused to tell us what it was. We started scouting the vast landscape. My friend finally spotted movement at a distance of about 500 meters and we jumped with joy. We saw a cheetah for the very first time in our lives. We patiently waited and guide figured out its path and took us there. More waiting and then the mom and young adult cheetah got close to our vehicle. Another amazingly beautiful animal , I didn't know if I should admire her or take her photographs. Creations of nature, Cant get enough of the same.

African elephant with a backdrop of Kilimanjaro

African elephants against Mawenzi

African elephants against Mawenzi and Kibo

African Cheetah

As we continued our safari , we had many more encounters with its residents. I just loved Amboseli. Amboseli's most loved residents are its elephants. And we saw elephants after elephants. I was in heaven! Its a feeling like none other. Wish every one could experience Amboseli. Here are some of the fauna we encountered in Amboseli.

African Elephants
East African Cheetah or Tanzanian Cheetah
White bellied go away bird
Common Zebra
Blue wildebeest
Masai Giraffe
African Fish Eagle
Fork tailed or common Drongo
Thomson's gazelle
Common ostrich
Egyptian Goose
Purple heron
Gray crowned crane
Vervet Monkey
Blacksmith Plover
Secretary Bird
Cape Buffalo

I wish i could go back and experience Amboseli all over again


African Elephant

Common Zebra

Masai Giraffe and common zebra

Thomson's gazelle

Common Ostrich

 Common Zebra


African Elephants

August 2016
Amboseli National Park Kenya
The Travel Connection: Love for Elephants
Tip: Stay 2 nights here

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