Amboseli National Park offers one of the most classic and breathtaking views of Kenya, with Mount Kilimanjaro (in Tanzania) as the back drop. At 18,652 feet, Kilimanjaro dominates the plains like a powerful god ruling the world from his white capped throne. In fact, ancient Swahili and Arab legends tell of a great inland mountain with a terrible god living at the top. As punishment for anyone daring to approach his throne, he would paralyze their hands and feet. Interesting how inhabitants of tropical areas described being frozen. Mount Kilimanjaro is located in Tanzania but the most spectacular view is from Amboseli National Park.
Back to Amboseli, we arrived at the Amboseli Serena Lodge in time for lunch and then an afternoon game drive. The lodge is truly wonderful. The accommodations were on par with an upscale US hotel. Meals were buffet and well prepared, again very westernized.
Despite your first impression that this is nothing but a dry, arid and dusty land, you soon become educated. Amboseli has plenty of water year round, it’s just underground. The snows of Kilimanjaro melt, soaking into the porous subsoil layers of volcanic rocks. These underground streams bubble to the surface forming two clear springs in the center of the park. Water also oozes up at several other points in the park creating large marshes like the Loginya Swamp. These swamps and marshes have become private spas for elephants, hippos and buffaloes.
During my stay in Amboseli I photographed some truly huge elephants and hundreds of other plains animals. What I didn’t see at Amboseli were cats. In fact, I didn’t get a photograph of any predators.
From Amboseli my tour took me from the north side to the south side of Mount Kilimanjaro as I headed for the Tarangire National Park.
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