Elephant watching in the Amboseli National Park, the second most popular in Kenya
Imagine a place where elephants are free, a place where they are not afraid of humans because they don’t have bad memories of being killed for their huge tusks. A place where the population prospers so much that they help to populate other areas where they no longer abound. That place seems to exist only in our imagination… but no, that place is real. It is called Amboseli National Park.
- Where is located the Amboseli National Park?
- Arriving at Amboseli National Park
- The elephants of Amboseli
Where is located the Amboseli National Park?
The Amboseli NP is located in southern Kenya and is 392 square kilometers. From it you can see Mount Kilimanjaro as long as the clouds allow it). It is the second most popular spot for wildlife viewing in Kenya after the Masai Mara.
In this park lived Echo, a matriarch who passed away at the age of 60 in 2009. She was one of the most studied pachyderms in the world and when she died she was the matriarch of a family of 40 elephants. The BBC made a trilogy of documentaries about her.
According to the Amboseli Trust for Elephants , there are around 1,500 elephants in the park. But of course, there are not only elephants, there is a variety of species that, although not as huge as in the Masai Mara, offer a very different environment from the reserve.
Arriving at Amboseli National Park
On the way you could see giraffes, zebras and other animals. Colleta explained to us that most likely, due to the rains, several parts of the park were semi-flooded and the animals went to other areas to look for grass. With this we already got used to the idea that if we saw them outside it meant that they would not be inside. Well, that’s what it is. We got straight to the hotel to eat and from there we went to the park.
The elephants of Amboseli
Let’s go straight to the point: the elephants. Although we didn’t only see elephants but that afternoon most of the animals we saw were pachyderms (and very posing for photos ^^ ).
Al elephant free area to be restored
We came across some areas of the park that had been declared “elephant free” for the reason: so that the trees could regenerate, and that is when an elephant wants to scratch using a tree, there simply is no tree after that. And indeed you could see from afar the areas that were, so to speak, “somewhat devastated” that needed to be regenerated.
Some areas of the park that had been declared “elephant free”, so that they can be regenerated from the use that elephants give them
Now lets meet the handsome elephants
Quickly after entering we started to meet elephants, the stars of the Amboseli National Park . First we meet a series of males, and here the first:
Elephants in peace
It was impressive to see how they were so calm and it seemed that they already saw the safari cars as part of the decoration. Although our driver was always ready to leave quickly in case any of the pachyderms wanted to go against the vehicle. Luckily it didn’t happen ^^.
If you are a fan of pachyderms you cannot miss it.
Later we met another male, it was obvious that it was a male because its enormous attribute was visible (well, on the scale of elephants it is normal size). We jokingly called it the “fifth leg” XD and it seemed almost like one of the limbs, without exaggerating 😮
And here a video of the handsome elephant:
Pay attention to teeth
One thing to pay attention to, watch how it grabs the food and cleans it up before eating it. There is a reason for this, elephants shed their teeth only 6 times in their life and then when they reach the 6th molt they know their end is near. So from the beginning of their life it is essential for them to take care of their teeth so that each change lasts as long as possible and they remain in perfect condition to be able to eat. Of course, that does not prevent the fateful moment from coming when the teeth of the last change will no longer serve and they will perish from not being able to feed themselves in old age.
It is like when they tell us that we have to take care of our teeth, but for them it is literally a life or death matter.
And as the day passed, what was assumed earlier was confirmed: many of the other animals (zebras, giraffes) were not inside the park and that is that many of the meadows were semi-flooded. But hey, the elephants were there and we were delighted to see them up close and in peace because there were very few tourists 🙂
Along the way we met one of the birds that I already told you is one of my favorites: the secretary 🙂
And we kept walking and we found another elephant that allowed us to observe it for a long time while it ate and walked slowly, seeing it walk towards us is very impressive as you can imagine.
We were so close to it that we could even take an “elephant selfie” 😀
Be careful with nests
We stayed with it for a long time and when we advanced we found some semi-flooded areas in which there were several birds looking for food. And we found the reason why cars should not go out of the way on safari: birds can make their nests right next to the road, that Coletta had already told us and at that moment we could see it with our eyes . There was the bird in its nest of stones very close to the road 🙂
The sun was beginning to set and our time in the park was winding down but we didn’t leave without encountering a large family of elephants. These are made up of females who have blood ties (they are cousins, sisters, daughters) accompanied by their babies. All led by a matriarch, who is the oldest elephant. She is in charge of guiding the group and, making use of the good memory that the species enjoys, she takes them to the best places to graze, etc.
Where are the males?
And the males? They live apart from their families and when one of the babies reaches adulthood, it must leave. The males live apart and approach the females only for what you can imagine XD (make more elephants). They fight among themselves to see who will have the right to go looking for the available females. So it is not uncommon to see a male elephant near a family, it is on the lookout for the females. It is easy to distinguish them, the difference between males and females is huge! Like these we saw here:
A lonely hyena
And we were almost leaving the park and we met a hyena that was wandering alone. Already at this time we knew that the view of Kilimanjaro with the elephants would not be possible. But I would get to see it the next day in the morning.
And after this we left the Amboseli national park, we would return the next day for a quick farewell. What animals would wait for us? That would be a surprise.