Our second visit to Amboseli National Park came in October, towards the end of the dry season. The contrast with our first visit in April was stark: the green grass had dried, shriveled and turned yellow; it was hot and dry, with regular dust storms twisting their way across the parched landscape; and the lake had shrunk noticeably, although it was still large enough to sustain a small flock of flamingos. Elephants drank swampy water amongst dead trees and hungry baboons tried to grab snacks from passing safari cars. Most disturbingly, the plain was littered with the carcasses and skeletons of dead wildebeest, zebras and other animals. Vultures and hyenas were thriving on this macabre buffet, but there were so many dead animals that the scavengers had mostly had their fill and many carcasses were left untouched. This is why Amboseli literally means ‘dusty and salty’ in the local Maasai language.
This time, we were visiting with three other families (it was international school half term) and stayed just outside the park at Kibo Safari Camp. Our kids had a blast and we managed two new activities: breakfast at Observation Hill (formerly Poachers’ Hill), a small volcanic peak that provided a 360-degree viewpoint over the whole national park, and an adults-only sunset photo drive, complete with a close-up view of mating lions.
Here are some of my favourite photos from the visit:
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