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History of Amboseli National Park



In 1883, Joseph Thompson was the first European to penetrate the feared Maasai region known as Empusel (meaning 'salty, dusty place' in Maa). He, too, was astonished by the fantastic array of wildlife and the contrast between the arid areas of the dry-lake bed and the oasis of the swamps, a contrast that persists today.

Amboseli was set aside as the 'Southern Reserve' for Maasai in 1906 but returned to local control as a Game Reserve in 1948. Gazetted a National Park in 1974 in order to protect the core this unique ecosystem, it was declared a UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Reserve in 1991. The park earned $ 3.5 m (€ 2.9 m) in 2005. On September 29, 2005, Kenyan PresidentMwai Kibaki declared that control of the park should pass from the Kenya Wildlife Service to the Olkejuado County Council and the Maasai tribe. Some observers saw this as a political favor in advance of a vote on a new Kenyan constitution: legal challenges are currently in court. The degazetting would divert park admission fees directly to the County Council with shared benefits to the Maasai immediately surrounding the park.

The park is famous for being the best place in Africa to get close to free-ranging elephants. Other attractions of the park include opportunities to meet Maasai and visit a Maasai village. The park also offers spectacular views of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest free-standing mountain in the world.

Amboseli offers some of the best opportunities to see African animals because its vegetation is sparse due to the long dry months. Amboseli National Park is home to wild animals, which include the African elephant, cape buffalo, impala, lion, cheetah, hyena, giraffe, zebra, and wildebeest among other African animals. There is also a host of Kenyan birds, both large and small, to see if you keep your eyes open and stop at every sighting.

When you arrive at the park, the warden will give you several common sense rules: do not get out of your vehicle, except
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