After more than twenty years of travelling in Africa, I have become somewhat impervious to the beauty of the African bush. And yet, something about Amboseli National Park stole my heart.
Did you know there are fifty elephant families living in Amboseli? That's more than seventeen hundred elephants. And every single one of them is known by name to the researchers at Elephant Trust Research Camp. I watched as herds, larger than I had ever seen, moved gracefully across the plain, set against the backdrop of snow-capped Mt Kilimanjaro.
The Amboseli ecosystem is unique. From glaciers to alpine meadows, forests, woodlands, arid bush, grasslands, swamps, lakes, lava flows and windswept plains. It is, all in all, an elephant's paradise.
There are a few places to stay inside the park, my favourite being a small, private eco-lodge known as Tortillis Camp. However there are also wonderful places to stay outside the park, hidden within private conservancies. If you want to splash out, Tawi Lodge or Satao Elerai Camp are both wonderful choices at USD$600-700 per night. Small, eco-minded, and elegantly understated, with magnificent views of Mount Kilimanjaro and the Amboseli plains.
Guest accomodation at Tawi Lodge
If you're on a budget, I recommend Paran Resort in Kimana for $USD25 per night. It's simple, clean, comfortable, the restaurant is excellent, and the staff are wonderful. You can drive to the Kimana Gate park entrance in 40mins, and you'll see plenty of wildlife along the way.
Another option is the self-catering guesthouse at Kimana Sanctuary at USD$180 per night. It's a chic private house that sleeps 8 people, nestled by a river and surrounded by yellow fever and acacia trees that stand over 25m tall. From here, you can drive to Amboseli in 40mins, but then again, you may not want to leave...
Kimana Sanctuary Guesthouse
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