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Amboseli Safari

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Amboseli-29Known as elephant country and second in popularity to the legendary Masai Mara, Amboseli National Park not only offers great game viewing but it’s also the place to go for the best views of iconic Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest free standing mountain in the world. Amboseli has a postcard-perfect view of its snow-capped peaks, rising almost six vertical kilometres above the savannah.

The best time to view ‘Kili’ is at dawn and sunset when the clouds lift and the light is clear and soft.Located about 200km south-east of Nairobi and accessible by road or air, Amboseli is an area of low scrubby vegetation and open grassy plains, all of which makes for easy game viewing. Accommodation is available in Amboseli in the form of several luxury safari lodges and you’ll explore the park on game drives, horse-back safaris and guided nature walks.

At only 392km² Amboseli is a small park and the range of animals is not as extensive as that of other parks in Kenya but streams from Kilimanjaro surface in the centre of Amboseli, creating wetlands that support a rich diversity of wildlife and most of the classic big mammals are there. The species list includes lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard, spotted hyena, giraffe and cheetah, and bird watchers will be happy with a bird list that tops 300 species.

Compact enough to experience in a day or two, Amboseli National Park is included on most Kenya safari itineraries and combines well with a Masai Mara safari or nearby Tsavo National Park – Kenya’s biggest conservation area. Close by lies Chyulu Hills National Park, a small conservation area based around dramatic, ancient volcanic hills that offer great views of Mount Kilimanjaro and are home to a range of animals that include elephant, buffalo, leopard and many antelope species.

An Amboseli safari can also be combined with several Tanzanian parks. Mount Kilimanjaro National Park and Arusha National Park lie just across the border and are the closest, but the highlights of Northern Tanzania – the Serengeti, Tarangire and the Ngorongoro Crater – are easily accessible from this region.

A Serengeti Safari

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lion-cubsThe ultimate safari destination, if you want to see Africa’s wildlife at its most extravagant, a safari in the Serengeti is hard to beat. Home not only to the world’s greatest concentration of wildlife but also its most spectacular natural migration, the Serengeti National Park is Tanzania’s flagship conservation area and must-do centrepiece of the Northern Safari Circuit.

Known as ‘The Land that Moves on Forever’, the Serengeti’s unmistakable African setting will resonate with travellers on their first trip to Africa as well as old safari hands. Its vast rolling grasslands give a soul-stirring feeling of space and support hundreds of thousands of wildebeest and zebra as well as buffalo, elephant, giraffe and many gazelle and antelope species; red-robed Maasai tribesmen watch their grazing cattle warily – no prizes for guessing that the Serengeti is a big cat – and a photographer’s – paradise.

Contiguous with Kenya’s Masai Mara, the Serengeti’s pleasant climate and abundance of resident wildlife ensures that it is an excellent year-round game viewing destination but it is of course the great wildebeest migration that attracts most attention. Between November and August the herds are on the move in the Serengeti, providing visitors with some of the continent’s most astonishing game sightings and predator-prey interactions – guided game drives and hot-air balloon safaris enable you to witness this phenomenon first hand.