October 24, 2012

All about the elephants

They say it's all about the elephants in Amboseli, which is true, but it's not the reason they say it.  The animals you see on safaris, unlike zoos, are unpredictable, and prudent tour companies want to manage expectations to avoid unhappy clients.  They don't want to get your hopes up about seeing a cheetah that never makes an appearance.  Even views of Mt. Kilimanjaro which towers above Amboseli National Park are hedged with uncertainty: "Well... it's possible the clouds might burn off tomorrow morning... but maybe not."  

But Amboseli elephants are indeed so plentiful that you can be guaranteed all the sightings you'd want.  

Trunk swinging, tusk tusking.

Biggest, baby, bird.

Fighting?  Playing?  It's the Rorschach test of elephant interactions.

Our group got lucky.  Within 20 hours (2 game drives and an evening of campfire under the stars) we saw elephants, zebras, giraffes, ostrich(es?), hyenas, baboons, buffalo, lions, cheetahs, and Mt. Kilimanjaro.  

On the move in front of Mt. Kili.

Escorting us to our campsites outside park gates.


Not only that, but we saw elephants, zebras, ostrich(es), hyenas, baboons, buffalo, and lions cross the road without being able to generate any good jokes.  We were elementary comic failures!  

Why did the water buffalo cross the road?    

Getting to Amboseli from Nairobi is fairly painless, as far as Kenyan transit goes.  The roads are smooth and direct, about 3 hours, and you only need to make 1 stop at a random ranger station just outside of Nairobi to pay your park entry fee.  It's clear from the park's sign that it's a stop-over rather than a destination, as plaintively noted on their welcome sign.   

  Needs friends; doesn't know how to play hard to get.  


  1. Lovely, lovely photos! I especially like the ones of the elephants. You crack me up with the tusk tusking, Rorschach test, and needy park sign. - Rachel

  2. Very interesting journey! Did you see also hippos and crocodiles? Or you did not visited on the rivers amd lakes?