As our Big Cats and Tuskers safari touches down in Amboseli today I thought this would be the prefect time to share some more details on the Amboseli safari experience. Whilst the park is famous for being the best place in Africa to get close to free-ranging elephants, there are a number of other highlights which contribute to making Amboseli such a popular destination – especially for photographers.
Whilst not known for its predators sightings there are still ample opportunities to see lion, cheetah and even leopard in the region. Spotted Hyaena are more common and large clans can be seen strolling across the open plains as they patrol their territories and head out to forage.
Talking of open space, Amboseli has plenty of open areas where one can see for miles. The dry lake bed of Lake Amboseli is one of our favourite spots to stop and enjoy a packed breakfast whilst on safari and often provides great photographic opportunities. An elephant bull is dwarfed by the sheer scale of the large african sky during one of our breakfast stops last year.
General game numbers are quite variable in Amboseli depending on the time of year and the amount of rain which has fallen in the area. February is pretty much the peak of the dry season as the first of two rainy seasons will begin in March/April and then again in November/December. In-between these rainy seasons the general game and elephant populations tend to congregate around the lush swamps and marshes which dominate the central region of Amboseli, providing excellent photographic and game viewing opportunities.
General game species include Thompsons gazelle, Grants gazelle, buffalo, waterbuck, zebra, wildebeest, giraffe and hippo.
Birdlife around the marshes and swamps is spectacular with loads of African Jacana, various kingfishers, egrets, herons and even fish eagles.
Further afield in the palm thickets which are scattered around the fringes of the salt marshes one finds a host of different bird species including the Little Bee-eater.
One of the most abundant bird species is the Cattle Egret which is almost always found accompanying elephant herds and bulls as they move between the acacia woodlands and the swamps.
Whilst each of these species adds to the overall safari experience offered by Amboseli, the elephants are undoubtedly the focus of almost all activity in this region and I can honestly say that some of my most memorable elephant images have been captured at the foot-slopes of mount kilimanjaro.
Where is the classical Amboseli shot with elepahnts and Mount kilimanjaro you ask?
Whilst I have one in the bag I am hoping to see one shared on Instagram by one of our guests in the next day or two. Keep an eye on the #BigCats2015 to see if the mountain reveals itself for Gerry, penny and our guests on the Big cats & Tuskers Safari!
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