Amboseli, Chyulu Hills and Tsavo

Why visit Amboseli, Chyulu Hills and Tsavo

  • Huge elephant herds wander in the shadow of Kilimanjaro in Amboseli
  • Superb photographic opportunities away from the crowds
  • Explore lava flows and caves in the volcanic Chyulu hills National Park
  • Big 5 game in Kenya’s largest and wildest parks, Tsavo East & West

A little more about Amboseli, Chyulu Hills and Tsavo

Often overlooked by travellers less in the know, these three regions sit in a thinly populated part of Kenya down on the border with Tanzania. The lack of tourists, the wide open spaces and the dramatic backdrop make for some of Kenya's most thrilling wildlife encounters. This is no more the case than in Amboseli where, with over 1000 resident elephants in the park against a backdrop of the world’s highest free-standing mountain, the snow-capped Kilimanjaro, it is a photographer’s dream destination. Amboseli works well when combined with Laikipia or the Masai Mara, to give a great overall impression of Kenya's wildlife and wild places.

The volcanic dust, which gives the park its name (Empusal is from the Maa word for ash) provides dramatic silhouettes at sunrise and sunset, in a blaze of dusty reds and oranges as the moon rises over Kilimanjaro. The days are no less dramatic as the meltwater from the volcano drains through a network of underground streams, resulting in patches of watery green marshlands and lakes, adding yet more contrasting colours to the arid plains. This vital water source not only draws a scattering of predators to the area, but also allows for some fantastic birding.

To the north east of Amboseli, Chyulu hills form the youngest volcanic mountain range in Africa, where open plains and rolling hills are dotted with brittle boulders and rocky outcrops. Stay at Campi ya Kanzi, one of Kenya's best camps and explore the impressive sounding Leviathan Cave as an alternative to the traditional game drives.  Finally, the combined parks of Tsavo East and West account for Kenya’s single largest area of protected wildlife in two strikingly different parks. Tsavo West is the smaller of the two, harbouring the Big 5 and the excellent Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary, whereas Tsavo East has less game, but rewards visitors with its wild, untrammelled atmosphere. 

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