Day 43 – 45: Amboseli Bush Camp, Kenya


 453 km to Amboseli – 11 hours including TZN to Kenya border post

 9 749 km trip to date

This was another extraordinary experience – absolutely worth the trouble going into Kenya to see Kilimanjaro and the Maasai lifestyle

Another slow driving trip. From Tanga to the higher regions of Kilimanjaro the landscape is lush tropical with huge palm and banana trees and the same never-ending small villages along the road. Around Kilimanjaro towards the small border post of Tarakea we passed the Kilimanjaro National Park. Contrary to what one would expect, one cannot see the Kilimanjaro mountain.  On the Tanzanian side their are just too many valleys and hills and trees. And clouds and fog and not enough distance between the road and the mountain. We knew Kilimanjaro was within 20km west of us, because the map says it was.

The last 80 km before the border was a winding narrow tarred road with only 30 and 50km/h speed limits around the foothills of the mountain (we still had not seen the mountain). The border crossing from Tanzania was easy enough, and on the Kenyan side they first asked for the Carnet de Passage at the customs office. We had to use the service of a private office to pay for our road tax per credit card as they have no cashier at the border post. We then had to pay this private operator for his services as well.  The border procedures of Africa really are designed for the middle man.

The Kenyan parks are as expensive as the Tanzanian parks and we prebooked the most wonderful lodge outside the Amboseli NP on AirBnB for three nights. It is the property of a German guy who lives in Nairobi and only 15km from the Amboseli NP with a better view to Kilimanjaro than from the Amboseli NP.  The lodge has 3 luxury tents with king size beds and ensuite bathrooms, a fully equiped kitchen and braai pit and a deck overlooking a waterhole. Booking is restricted to one group at a time, so we had it all to ourselves. The lodge is situated in a wildlife conservation area with no fences and we had two Maasai guards patrolling the grounds around the camp every night.

The first morning at sunrise Kilimanjaro was clear.

Elephant outside the lodge

We went for a day game drive to the Amboseli park to look for the wildlife to add to the iconic Kili photo. USD60 per person per day park entry,  but luckily only USD3 per vehicle per day.  Still set us back $246 for a single day game drive for four people.

Amboseli entrance gate
Old Maasai woman at Amboseli NP entrance
Elephant In Amboseli with Kilimanjaro visible

And after an hour into Amboseli Kilimanjaro was covered with clouds and remained covered until late night.

Amboseli NP is a beautiful park.  Lots of water,  flat flood plains with thousands of pink flamingoes and other large water birds.  Wildlife we saw:

  • elephant – a really large herd of 200+ animals in the herd for 360 degrees around us and a few other small groups
  • eland – large group
  • giraffe – a few small groups
  • zebra – a few small groups
  • wildebeest – eastern white-bearded gnu – seen all over the park
  • buffalo
  • olive baboon
  • topi
  • Naivasha dik-dik
  • Thompson’s gazelle
  • Grant’s gazelle
  • warthog
Elephant all around
Eastern white-bearded gnu
Thompson’s gazelle
Grant’s gazelle
Naivashu dik-dik
Olive baboon

Eric and Henriette took a guided walk around the lodge the second morning. Kilimanjaro was clear again until 08h30 and after that you would not know that there is a mountain behind the clouds.

Maasai, giraffe and Kilimanjaro
Maasai guided walk
Maasai guided walk
Giraffe at the lodge waterhole
Eland at the lodge waterhole

Where we are now…

Next: back to TZN to the Ngorongora Crater


    • Julle leef ‘n droom wat uit die boonste rakke is. Geniet dit. Dit is eenmaal in ‘n leeftyd bucket list ding wat julle doen. Gaan groot terwyl julle daar is en klim Kili(?)


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