Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Happy New Year from Amboseli!

Happy New Year! We hope everyone had as great of a time as we did, especially with our first guest from home staying with us! We woke up bright and early on New Year's Day to head to our second safari in Kenya - Amboseli, known for its elephants and views of Kilimanjaro (the highest mountain in Africa, located right across the border in Tanzania). It did not disappoint.

So how did Amboseli compare to the Maasai Mara? Well, they were very different. In the Mara, we saw animals much more frequently. Yet in Amboseli, we enjoyed unique landscapes like marshlands (and of course, the majestic Kilimanjaro) and got some very unique photos once we did see animals (like those dueling wildebeest).

Of course, the most iconic shots included a snow-capped Kilimanjaro. I grabbed photos of a few running giraffes in the foreground of the mountain in addition to the elephant in the first photo of this post. Can you spot the giraffes in the picture above?

Amboseli also definitely lived up to its reputation as a home for elephants. (Amboseli-phants?) We probably saw more elephants than anything else while we were there. A fun fact we learned on this trip is that you can tell whether a mature elephant is left- or right-handed based on which tusk is more worn down from greater use.

We also had a few moments of hilarity. Check out the smooth operator we dubbed the "James Bond" bird, or "tuxedo" bird, looking at us above.

Our guide informed us that the water we saw bubbling up from the ground in the wetlands was fresh water runoff from Mount Kilimanjaro. I was amazed by how clear it was in many areas of the park.

Thankfully, the weather was superbly cooperative, creating some beautiful scenes in the sky, like the rainbow above and the rippling clouds in the sunset below.

We also had luck on our side when it came to sightings. Even the fly that got stuck in the window of our car on the way back to Nairobi was beautiful!

So would we recommend Amboseli? Absolutely, but it's worth noting there's always a risk with the weather. It would have been a major disappointment if we had been stuck inside the whole time because of rain and couldn't see the top of Kilimanjaro because of the clouds. All we can say is that we're glad we took our chances.

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