Amboseli National Park Kenya

Observation Hill in Amboseli

The observation hill was formed more than 1000 years ago due to vulcanicity. This was due to the volcanic activity from Mountain Kilimanjaro which cause the earth’s crust to rise leading to the formation of numerous hills and volcanic Lakes including the observation hill. The hill can only be accessed by walking and tourists with the help of a tour guide have to get out of their cars and start the trek up the observation hill. Previously known as the poaching hill, it was used by poachers as the easiest way to target the animals because it provided safety and a clear shot to the animals. And after poaching was stopped in the National Park, the hill became an observation hill for tourists due to its strategic location.

amboseli sightseeing safari

Known as the Normatior in the Masai language, the hill has staircases that were made out of volcanic rocks and these make it easy for tourists to climb up the observation hill. The observation hill is the highest point in Amboseli and at the top of the cone-shaped hill, you will find stalls where you can sit and a roof.

The observation hill is a great spot for game viewing and as you stand up on the hill, the views of the different animal species like buffaloes, crocodiles, elephants, and flamingos on Lake Amboseli can easily be seen, the swamps within the National Park, the Masai villages, wildebeests, lions, leopards, gazelles and Burch ell zebras in the open savannah grasslands. The Kilimanjaro peaks located in the southern part can also be viewed from the observation hill, Lake Kioko in the North-western part of Amboseli and all this can be done with the help of good binoculars.

Kioko Lake is located on the North-western side of the observation hill and is the best spot for watching hippos. The hippos can be seen moving in and out of the water and the sound that they make can be heard from the observation hill. In every direction that you face while on the observation hill, you enjoy everything around you.

What you need on the observation hill

You do not need to be physically fit trek up the observation hill but there are essentials that you might need when you get there and these include:

  • A camera
  • Binoculars
  • Good hike boots
  • Bottled water
  • Snacks
  • Extra batteries for the camera
  • Raincoat for the wet season

Booking a trip to the observation hill

The observation hill receives a large number of visitors due to its strategic location and therefore you need to secure your spot on time. You can make bookings to the observation hill either as an individual or as a group and the bookings can be made by making a call to the National Park but make sure that you book months before due to the heavy traffic that the hill sees.

Other prominent sights that need to be checked out while on safari to Amboseli National Park besides Amboseli National Park include the following:

  • Mountain Kilimanjaro

Although Mountain Kilimanjaro is not in line with the Amboseli National Park, it can be accessed from there. Amboseli is found on the western side of Mountain Kilimanjaro which experiences the hot and dry season. Mountain Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain on the African continent and clear views of the snow-capped peaks can be seen from the observation hill, from the different lodges found in the National Park, and while enjoying a balloon safari. The best views of Kilimanjaro are seen either in the morning or in the evening.

  • The Sinet Delta

The Sinet delta is a Lake that is found in Amboseli and is the best birding spot. Located in the Northern part of the National Park, it is one of the most frequented places by birders and this is because of the many bird species that are found in the different habitats around the Sinet Delta. The Sinet Delta has both dense and thick grasslands and vegetation which makes it the perfect place to see the birds and you also get to see the giraffes eating foliage.

  • Lake Amboseli

Lake Amboseli is located right in the center of the National Park and is one of the top destinations in Amboseli. Amboseli Lake acts as a water source for almost all the animals in the Park and is home to some aquatic animals like crocodiles, hippos, and buffaloes. Enjoy a boat cruise on Amboseli Lake with great views of the animals during the dry season and the different bird species during the wet season.

  • Masai villages

Masai villages are found outside the National Park and are the place to go for a cultural trip around Amboseli. The Masai are best known for their unique culture, brightly colored clothes uniquely constructed Bomas which act as their homes and their general way of life. An hour with them is like taking a walk back in time.

The observation hill has a 360 degrees view of the entire National Park and one gets to enjoy the beautiful scenery while up on the hill.

Lodges near the observation hill

Getting a lode near or around the observation hill will enable you to get to the hill on time and easily make your trip to Amboseli National Park memorable and enjoyable. Some of the lodges near the hill include:

  • Tortilis camp Amboseli
  • Ol Tukai lodge
  • I’m a country lodge
  • Zebra plains Amboseli camp

When to go to the observation hill

The observation hill can be visited all year round although the best time is during the dry season which is experienced from January to February and June to October. It makes climbing the volcanic steps easy as compared to the wet season when they are a bit slippery.

The observation hill is the best safari for tourists who cannot afford the balloon safaris while in Amboseli National Park. Its unique cone nature offers great views of both the sunset and sunrise making the observation hill the perfect destination for wildlife viewing in Amboseli National Park.

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