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Amboseli National Reserve (formerly Amboseli National Park) Description

Amboseli National Park, now Amboseli National Reserve, is home to the largest peak in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro, which makes it a popular tourist destination after the Masai Mara. Amboseli also features five different wildlife habitats including the lake bed of Lake Amboseli, sulfur springs surrounded by swamps and marshes, open plains, woodlands, and areas of lava rock thorn bush. The area around Amboseli is home to many Maasai communities as well as six communally owned group ranches surrounding the reserve.

Amboseli National Reserve is known for the large herds of elephant and bird watchers will enjoy a visit to the forested area. Other common wildlife includes lion, cheetah, Maasai giraffe, eland, Coke's hartebeest, waterbuck, impala and gazelle. A visit to Enkongo Narok Swamp guarantees a variety of bird and wildlife activities.

In 1883, Joseph Thomson was the first European to enter this area of Maasai country known as Embosel (meaning dust in Maasai) and the name portrays an accurate picture of the hot dry climate. The erratic rainfall over the years made Lake Amboseli almost totally dry up but heavy rainfall in 1992 saw a return of water to the lake. The heavy rains caused flooding in large areas of Amboseli National Reserve but this also created a far greener landscape.