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Our Great National Parks: How You Can Help Protect National Parks
If you haven’t seen Our Great National Parks, a series on Netflix narrated by Barack Obama, you should check it out. The cinematography, sweeping landscape shots, and footage of animal encounters are stunning, and Obama’s engaging narration flows naturally. The most important thing about the show, though, is its message: protecting national parks and conserving vulnerable land benefits the entire world. Let’s take a look at national parks and what we can do to ensure that they don’t just survive – but thrive.
Why Are National Parks Important?
Since Yellowstone became a national park in 1872 , public lands worldwide have been designated for protection and saved. Land that may have fallen into development, ranching, or mining instead became the property of citizens everywhere, a place for us all to visit and enjoy. The natural resources – the land, trees, and water – and animals in these boundaries get a safe zone to flourish.
When you visit one of these unique places, you will see the importance of national parks. Whether you drive through the tunnel and first see the jaw-dropping beauty of Yosemite, feel the thundering footsteps of elephants in Tsavo, Kenya, or spot an elusive puma in Chilean Patagonia, you will understand the magic of these lands. They offer beauty, tranquility, adventure, and the chance to get away from the norm, making them ideal vacation destinations.
What We Should Not Do at National Parks
You know that old saying: “with great power comes great responsibility?” Well, it is especially true for our national parks. These lands and animals are not invincible. If we don’t take good care of them, we can damage and even destroy them forever. Fortunately, there are rules and guidelines we can follow when we visit to protect national parks.
Don’t Leave A Trace
When you finish hiking, camping, or exploring a national park, it should look like no one was ever there when you leave. This includes making sure you don’t litter, make fire rings, carve your name in trees, or leave graffiti on rocks (it’s hard to believe, but people sadly do all this). National parks are crucial habitats for animals, and every little change has an impact.
Don’t Take Hiking Lightly
Many people think of national parks as a kind of Disneyland. They assume that hikes are like thrill rides – maybe a little scary, but there are rangers and people everywhere, so what could go wrong? Make sure you bring plenty of water, layers of clothing, and a first aid kit for minor injuries.
Don’t Feed the Animals
Animals in national parks are protected. They have specific diets (that don’t involve candy bars and other junk food), and the young learn from their parents how to eat. Every time you feed animals, it encourages them to rely on humans for food and puts them in a dangerous position.
Don’t Leave Trails or Roads
National parks are wilderness areas. You can get lost and disappear if you don’t stay on designated paths. If you decide to go off-roading – which is usually illegal in parks – you can destroy sensitive habitats and ruin the pristine look of these areas.
Don’t Disrupt Other Visitors
People come to national parks to get away from the rush, noise, and stress of their daily lives. Treat the environment with respect; no blaring music, screaming, or hiking aggressively and without good etiquette. Visitors love their parks for the whole package: scenery, wildlife, and peace, so don’t ruin the experience.
What We Can Do to Protect National Parks
The good news is that we can do a lot to help protect national parks. Staying on trails, cleaning up your messes, and respecting people and animals within the park are great ways to preserve them. If you have kids (or are one yourself), you can join the Junior Ranger program offered at many parks, where rangers teach children the importance of national parks and how they can be stewards of the land.
There are also many ways you can advocate for national parks, including volunteering, donating, and voting for park-friendly legislation. Since parks are funded with public money, people harming national parklands are hurting your property, so if you see something, say something. The animals, land, and other visitors will thank you.
Organizations That Help Protect National Parks
There are many ways to help if you want to safeguard national parks directly. You will find several organizations that protect the parks, including:
- Organization that sell national park merchandise and put profits into the national park system
- Conservation groups that fight for swaths of land
- Educational groups that inform the public of essential information
You will also see websites and organizations that help people plan and prepare for their big trip to a national park. There are many organizations to choose from, but some examples are:
- The National Park Foundation : This group provides a comprehensive approach to protecting animals, land, culture, and the history of national parks. You will see many resources, ranging from park-specific information and recommendations to virtual visits to online Junior Ranger programs.
- National Parks Conservation Association : The NPCA is actively involved in protecting our precious lands. They help preserve currently safeguarded lands and fight for new areas’ conservation. The association follows laws that affect parkland, advocating for anything that helps protect national parks. They also offer education for kids of all ages to teach how and why national parks are so essential.
- Parks Project : This organization is unique. It sells apparel, home and travel products, and accessories. This organization donates much of its profit to protecting parks and educating the public. It also has valuable national park information, guides, music playlists, and a park finder tool.
National Parks Are Essential to Our Future
Our Great National Parks is an inspiring and informative show. Sure, it is made to entertain us, but its message keeps coming through loud and clear. Our national parks are our national and world treasures, and they deserve every ounce of protection we can give them.
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Amboseli National Park
Welcome to amboseli national park kenya.
Amboseli National park is one of the top Kenya safari national parks that is known for having big herds of elephants and stunning views of Mount Kilimanjaro . The park covers an are of about 392 square kilometers and the vegetation of this park is dominated by acacia woodland, rocky thorny bushes, swamps marshland and a Pleistocene lake known as Lake Amboseli .
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Amboseli national park kenya.
Amboseli park Kenya is one of the premium national parks that is located in the Southern part of the country bordering Tanzania. The park is also close to the famous Mt Kilimanjaro which is the highest peak in Africa. The park is one of the close protected areas to the capital city Nairobi, It hosts the largest population of African Elephants in entire Kenya. The park is endorsed by a wide range of tourist attractions and this has made the park one of the most popular national parks not only in Kenya but entire Africa. Visiting Kenya f or wildlife game minus reaching Amboseli is more of incomplete.
The park was established in 1974 as a national park. It has a great history as one of the oldest protected areas in Kenya which were first established as a game reserve in 1906 before it was upgraded to the status of the national park. It was later in 1991 that the park was declared UNESCO world heritage site so as to protect, preserve and conserve the different unique species at the park.
Due to a wide range of inhabitants that cover the park, it has opened a wide gate for the different animal species at the park. The scenic views of the mountain Kilimanjaro is one of the added advantages the park has capitalized for its popularity. Its such a small protected area covering only 392 square kilometers this makes it easily exploited within one-day safari even.
Location and accessibility of Amboseli national park Kenya
Amboseli national park is found 365 kilometers or 226 miles southeast of Nairobi. The park can be reached within 3 to 4 hours’ drive from Nairobi. Amboseli is located in Kajiado County in the South of Kenya . Its found in the Northwest part of Mount Kilimanjaro which is found in Tanzania. The park can be accessed through two different routes though all originating from Nairobi. You can access it through Nairobi –Mombasa road. If you’re in the South in the coastal area of Mombasa, Tsavo West national park or Tsavo East National park it is about 460 kilometers entering through Kimana Gate.
How to access Amboseli national park Kenya
By road: The park can be accessed from both Nairobi in the North and Mombasa in the south along the coastal area. If you are from Nairobi there are two main routes which can be used to access the park. All these routes are in good condition hence making it first and easy to reach to the park. You will access the park is through Nairobi via Namanga on Nairobi-Arusha road. This route is the shortest route that we mostly ose for a day trips to the park entering through the Meshanani Gate. The other route which is short is using Nairobi- Mombasa road via Emali. You can enter the park from the South through Kimana in Olkelunyiet Gate.
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By Air: The park has one airstrip along the Empuseli that is used by small aircrafts inside the park. The driver guide will pick you at the airstrip.
The different Amboseli national park Kenya activities are based on the wide range of attractions that are found at the park. The park activities are the ways the guests can fully exploring the best of the park through doing some or all the activities at the park depending on your budget and planned length of stay at the park. Below are the key attractions that highlight the scenic views of the Amboseli national park.
Activities and Attractitons in Amboseli
- Sinet delta: The delta is located just a few meters away from the famous Observation Hill in the North. This is the birding paradise where birders experience. The place is bush mostly dominated by Acacia that attracts more giraffes in this area. Its also a good viewing point for Mt Kilimanjaro the African highest peak.
- Observation Hill: Got its name from the act whereby the pyramid-shaped hill is used for the aerial and observation. Its spotting place for wildlife. This is where walking safaris are done in Amboseli national park, the summit allows you to have a great observation of the park.
- Birds: Amboseli national park Kenya is gifted with over 420 bird species. Birding is one of the best activities that is done in the Amboseli rainy season. Birding is done from March to May and also around November. These are rainy months of the year in Kenya. The birds are breeding during the rainy season and park also receives more migratory birds across the world. Birds spotted include Hartlaub’s bustard, von der decken’s hornbill, Famlingo, Egrets, Pelicans, Herons, Crowned cranes, pamgani longclaw, steel-blue whydah Secretary birds, Love birds, Starlings, Ostriches, White-bellied go way bird and many more.
- Mammals: The Amboseli national park Kenya is a home of different mammal species especially the African Elephants, lions, leopards, Buffalo, Giraffes, Wildebeests, Hyenas, Gazelles, Topis, Dikdik, Kudu, Oribi, African wild dogs, Foxes, Hippos, Giraffes, zebras mention but a few. The park is famous of its great population of mammals that are easily seen roaming freely in the wilderness. Game viewing is best done throughout the year though the most preferred time is during the dry season of the year.
- Lake Amboseli: This is part of the park where the park got its name from. The attraction is where the boat cruise is done and great game viewing. The lake is a source of water to the wildlife at the park not only for drinking but for great cooling of the body for the big animals at the park. The shower of the lake is a home for the different swamp bird species that are found at this park.
Activities in Amboseli National Park
Amboseli national park Kenya is one of the dream destinations for more travellers. The park can be visited any time of the year providing you a great experience of game viewing . For general activities at Amboseli national park Kenya please visit our blog section on Amboseli national park activities
Some of the key activities include:
- Boat cruise
- Game viewing
- Walking safaris
- Hiking and many more
Our experienced product managers have developed different products for travellers who wish to go to Amboseli National park for a safari. Check more details on the itineraries available or send us your inquiry and our team will respond to you as soon as possible.
AMBOSELI SAFARI KENYA
Amboseli safaris is one of the top tourist Kenya Destinations because of its outstanding variety of wildlife, beautiful land scape and cultural activities making it to rank one of the finest untouched safari for anyone who is interested in a real adventure. Above all is among the country’s most famous game park located close to Tanzania border at the foothills of Africa’s highest mountain popularly known as Mount Kilimanjaro . The park is a premium safari destination because of being the best place in the world to get close to free range of African Elephants and it’s great location that rewards with scenic beauty of landscape dominated by a wide range of attractions .Amboseli national park is truly attractive safari destination to go to leave alone of hosting the largest population of elephants but also offers rewardable spectacular views of Mount Kilimanjaro which is the highest free-standing gorgeous mountain in the world. However, Amboseli offers lots of tourist’s attractions to travelers who love to discover more about African natural beauty and when it comes to wildlife species just reach Amboseli a game worth a visit.
The park is located is the southern part of Kenya in Kajiado country, it covers an area of about 392square kilometers of its low land at the core of the ecosystem that spreads across the Tanzania borders. It is also surrounded by the local people known as the ‘’maasai’’ and the other side of the country agriculture is being carried out along the swampy area which acts as a tourist attraction to tourist-driven economy. Amboseli has got two protective swamps which includes a dried up Pleistocene lake and green semiarid vegetation which are habitat to diversity of wild animals thus making it one of the best places in Africa to experience wildlife viewing and with more than 420 bird species can be spotted here such as water species like crakes, hamerkop, kingfishers and 47 of them are raptors among other species to be encountered.
Despite the fact that, Amboseli park Kenya is the second top tourist national park in Kenya after Maasai Mara National Reserve and this is because of high concentration of wildlife species in the park. The word Amboseli comes from Maasai language meaning ‘’Salty dust’ ’Come discover the one of the Africa’s most beautiful untouched safari destination in the heart of Africa.
According to its history before even being established as a game reserve, there was a first European to penetrate the maasai region in a year of 1883 famously known as Jeremy Thompson who got attracted by the thrilled array of wildlife in the contrast between the semiarid areas and swampy areas which persists till today. Time came in 1906 the area was set aside as the southern Reserve for the maasai and later in 1948 it was returned to local control as a game reserve. Finally, in 1974 the park was established as a national park to protect the biodiversity of species and this unique ecosystem. After all that has happened it was declared as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1991 and is being managed by ‘’KWS’’ Kenya wildlife service body.
Perhaps, Amboseli is one of best place in the world where you can carry out elephant research plus other documentaries. And since it sits in the shadow of the majestically looming Mount Kilimanjaro with scenic view of its beauty, it has totally made it a famous safari destination in the world.
Wildlife Safari in Amboseli National park
Amboseli park Kenya harbors with big five and other species which include; Buffalos, Lions, Leopards, Giraffes, African Elephants, blue wildebeests, Topis, Hyenas, Topis, Gazelles, Kudu, oribis, African wild dogs, impala, Giant’s zebras mentioned but a few. The park is famous of boosting with great number of mammals that are easily seen roaming freely in the park’s vegetation.
Location of Amboseli National Park
First all, Amboseli national park has got several gates that allows travelers to access inside the park and these include; the Iremito gate, Airstrip gate, Kulinyiet gate, Meshanani gate and Kitirua gate.
The National park is approximately 240 kilometers way from southeast of Nairobi. Taking 3 to 4 hours’ drive from Nairobi the main city of Kenya . The park can be accessed through two different routes starting from Nairobi, you can reach the park through Nairobi –Mombasa road, still you can access it in the south coastal area of Mombasa Road passing via Tsavo West and Tsavo East National park covering a distance of 460 kilometers to access the park through Kimana Gate which takes 8 hours.
Accessibility to Amboseli National park
All roads to Amboseli have a loose surface of volcanic soil which is dusty in the dry season of the year and during wet seasons roads can be impassable.
Getting to Meshanani gate from Nairobi will take you about 3hours by road.
Traveler can use Mombasa road passing via a small town of Emali by car and it covers a driving distance of 228 kilometers.
Note, road transport is absolutely rewarding with great scenic view of Kenya’s country side with most spectacular sceneries in the world.
Amboseli has one Airstrip at Empuseli gate known as Amboseli Airport. Other Airstrips are found at Kilimanjaro Buffalo Lodge and Namanga town.
In this case of transport means we advise our guests to always get in touch with recognized tour operator who are knowledgeable in organizing the pick-up from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport or Wilson Airport and drives you to the park’s lodge or book for you a charter or scheduled flight to Amboseli Airport. If you don’t hesitate you can contact Focus East Africa Tours a trustworthy safari company to arrange for you all the reservation booking /tour packages to Amboseli National Park.
Amboseli national park has got stunning tourist attractions and activities that can be explored by the travelers on their visit to the park as follow.
Attractions in Amboseli National Park
The large herds of elephants which have popularly sold Kenya tourism hub worldwide. Amboseli has become the world’s site for an elephant research projects.
Mount Kilimanjaro-Come visit the highest mountain in Africa with its rewardable scenic view of its beauty.
Big Five-This is truly a jungle of African wilderness where you can meet all the big cats such as Lions, leopards, African cape buffaloes, African elephants and Black Rhinos.
Observation Hill-This is a pyramid shaped hill a great place for spotting wildlife species most especially on walking safari where you can stand at the summit and have a gainful observation of the park’s species such as herds of elephants, buffalos, hippos as well as swamps.
Bird Life-Amboseli national park is truly a birding safari destination gifted with over 420 bird species. This is one of the most done activities in the Amboseli and best done in rainy season when the migratory bird species are present in the park on their breeding. Birds to be spotted include; Egrets, pelicans, Herons, steel-blue whydah secretary birds, love birds, Starlings, Ostriches, White-bellied go way bird, Hartlaub’s bustard, Von der decken’s hornbill, Flamingo, peacocks, Grey crown cranes, African fish Eagle, Marabou stork falcon and many more.
The contemporary Maasai culture and their unique indigenous lifestyle.
Lake Amboseli-This lake also attracts many wildlife species which can be seen on your game drive viewing and its where the name Amboseli was derived from. Travelers can enjoy a boat cruise along this lake as they enjoy great sight-seeing of different swamp bird species around the lake shower.
Mammals-Amboseli national park has got unmatched biodiversity species more especially the African Elephants, leopards, lions, Oribis, Buffaloes, Giraffes, African wild dog, Foxes, Hippos, Zebras, Dik dik, Kudu, Hyenas, Wildebeests many more.
Game viewing is the best-done activity in Amboseli national park which can be conducted in open plains, acacia woodlands, rocky thorn bush in 4×4 wheel driving vehicle or private car. Game drive in Amboseli is so rewarding to experience as you can be able to adventure large herds of elephants grazing on open plains with other wildlife species that roam on park’s promises such as Thomson’s, Grants, gazelles, Hippopotamus, jackals, lions, fringed eared, aardwolf, zebras, waterbucks, serval cats among others. The best game viewing time is early morning hours and evening hours when animals are still active. Visit Amboseli national park on game drive viewing and have a perfect viewing of the largest herds of Elephants on planet as they walk across the Amboseli open plains besides a solitary trees.
Amboseli national park also sounds as one of the best Kenya’s birding safari destination and a rewardable place to view unique variety of bird species, you’re advised to carry pair of binoculars on your birding safari to Amboseli. Birds to be spotted include; pangani long claw ,African swamp hen ,Hartlaub’s bustard ,Rufous chatterer ,Spike-heeled heron,Tavete golden weaver ,vonder Dicken’s horn bills ,Common redshank mentioned but few .Best time to do bird watching in Amboseli national park is rainy season when the migratory birds are in the park which starts arriving from the month of May to June and October to December .Remember to carry a pair of binocular in order to have a clear view of bird species on far distance.
Amboseli lies in the shadow of majestically mountain Kilimanjaro which is a snow capped mountain offering a perfect nature photography to visitors as you listen to the roar of lions and lightning speed of cheetahs in the bush hunting. Absolutely a place worth a visit.
Hot Air Balloon Safari
On your safari to Amboseli it is very possible to tour the entire park in hot air balloon as you can be able to fly over the beautiful skies of Amboseli as you enjoy the spectacular aerial viewing of large herds of elephants, buffaloes, beautiful plains as well as birds of the air like eagles.
Culture encounter/Visit Maasai people
On your safari to Amboseli national park have a great chance of meeting Maasai people and visit their home villages which is quite amazing. As you get to learn about their interesting life style such as their traditional dances, you will be able to see Maasai people carrying spears as you get amazed to their bright ‘’shukas’’ traditional wear, you can as well engage in re-afforestation by planting seeds with them. Visit a true African traditional culture which has not been affected by modernized life on African continent.
Guided nature walk can be conducted in the foothills of Kilimanjaro.
Accommodations in Amboseli National Park
Amboseli accommodations range from high end to budget with comfortable facilities, amenities offering full service bathroom, Wi-Fi, pools, on site restaurant and very many other amenities. Each accommodation facilities provides with a rewardable spectacular view of the ice capped Mount Kilimanjaro, beautiful scenery of park’s land scape, close sighting of wildlife species and many more.
Note that, some of these luxury hotels in Amboseli have nice amenities you might find in a hotel in the City but with great views.
Below are some o f the accommodation facilities that caters for travelers stay at Amboseli national park and some of popular lodges include;
Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge
Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge is a luxury hotel which sits in Amboseli and provides with suitable facilities like free private parking, an outdoor swimming pool and bar, restaurant, Airport shuttle, free Wi-Fi. It is a 4star hotel with a shared lounge suitable for traveler’s stay. Absolutely a nice place to stay in on visit to Amboseli with spectacular viewing of the highest ice-capped Mountain Kilimanjaro and the nature photography of its beauty is quite rewarding along here.
Tawi Lodge Amboseli
Tawi Lodge is located in Amboseli with fully equipped private bathroom with hairdryer, hot tub. Provides suitable facilities such as outdoor pool, garden, bar, a concierge service, restaurant, free Wi-Fi and children play group. At your stay to Tawi lodge you can enjoy African wilderness with gainful sights of species.
Tortilis Safari Camp Amboseli
This is a safari camp which offers to travelers with closeness of the nature itself and it was set against the back drop of Mount Kilimanjaro. They also offer picnic breakfast in the Amboseli wilderness.
Satao Elerai Amboseli
This lodge is in excellent location offering incredible overlooking of wilderness with multiple elephants, giraffes, zebras visiting the water hole. It offers nice facilities like outdoor pool, beautiful garden, free Wi-Fi, free parking, professional chefs and many more. The location provides with break taking views of Mt Kilimanjaro.
Sentrim Amboseli Lodge
This accommodation has great location of its beauty set inside Amboseli with comfortable amenities and facilities such as a 24 –hour front desk, nice restaurant, garden, stocked bar, outdoor pool as well as children playground. It also offers outstanding private bathrooms each with shower and hairdryer. They have a nice welcoming staff.
AA Lodge Amboseli
This is one of the luxurious lodges in Amboseli national park, offering variety of accommodation options such as superior rooms cottages and tents. It has a terrace overlooking the swimming pool where guests can enjoy their meals from, children entertainment hall and available conference hall making the lodge best for business travelers and the place is truly rewarding with great view of Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Kibo Safari Camp Amboseli
This safari camp has a great location with fantastic view of Mt. Kilimanjaro, located in Amboseli provides nice accommodation amenities like an outdoor pool, a garden, stocked bar, complimentary Wi-Fi and rewardable balcony. This is highly a recommended place to stay with rewardable back drop of Kilimanjaro.
OI Tukai Lodge Amboseli
Oi Tukai lodge is situated in the heart of the park offering spectacular views of Mount Kilimanjaro. It is well-appointed and furnished with nice pool, restaurant, guest lounge and all rooms have mosquito nets, fans with comfortable view of herds of elephants in their own terrace.
Weather and climates
Despite the fact that, the national park sits on suitable weather condition varies with average day time temperature of about 28 degrees Celsius while at night the temperature can lower at around 15 degrees Celsius. The temperature usually pick towards the end of the rainy season which starts from October to May and things can cool down a little in the dry season which happens in June to September.
Best Time to Visit Amboseli National park
Amboseli National Park is all year visited destination, though a few months of the year can experience heavy rains in April and May and does not take the shine from Amboseli. The best wildlife viewing in Amboseli National Park Kenya is in dry season which starts from late June to December and from January to March.
Visit Amboseli National Park Kenya’s most popular national park after Maasai Mara National park and call it a worth a visit in a break taking place to visit in the heart of Africa, absolutely Kenya is a great country very one would desire to go to and experience the most spectacular sceneries in the world in its peaceful nature.
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Overview – Amboseli NP
Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of many Lonely Planet guidebooks, including the guide to Kenya.
Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of the Lonely Planet guide to Kenya.
Anthony is the author of the Lonely Planet guide to Kenya.
Amboseli National Park is often called the ‘Land of Giants’ due to the impressive elephants here carrying massive tusks. The animals are set against breathtaking vistas of Mt Kilimanjaro, which makes an amazing backdrop to the small park. Aside from elephants, many plains animals are easy to spot. Fantastic photo opportunities are possible, and early mornings are best for clear views of Kilimanjaro.
Pros & Cons
- Excellent wildlife viewing
- Four of the Big Five are present (no rhino)
- Outstanding elephant sightings
- Views of Kilimanjaro on clear days
- Excellent birding, especially waterbirds in swamp habitat
- Good range of accommodation catering to different budgets and styles
- The park gets very busy, especially in the high season
Amboseli NP Safari Reviews
- Expert Rating 4.1 /5 – 11 Reviews
- User Rating 4.6 /5 – 207 Reviews
Amboseli offers great wildlife viewing, and four of the Big Five are present. Rhinos are absent, but big herds of elephants reliably move to and from the marshy swamps in the center of the park. Buffalo, wildebeest , plains zebra and gazelle are all very common. Lions are the easiest to spot of the big cats .
- More about Amboseli's wildlife
The park encloses an interesting variety of habitats including dusty plains and marshy swamps, but it is the backdrop of snowcapped Kilimanjaro towering above the Amboseli plains that attracts most visitors to this scenic park.
In Amboseli, the average daytime temperature sits around a hot 28°C/82°F, while at night the average doesn’t go much lower than a warm 15°C/59°F. Temperatures peak in the Wet season (November to May), with the February heat being particularly fierce. Things cool down a little in the Dry season (June to October).
- More about the weather and climate
The two drier periods of the year, from January to February (between the area’s short and long patches of rainfall) and June to October (in the Dry season proper), are the best times to visit. Your game drive won’t be ruined by rain, and the animals can’t hide in the thin vegetation. The park does get quite busy at these times, however.
- More about the best time to visit
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Most Helpful Expert Review
Emma is an award-winning travel writer for Rough Guides, National Geographic Traveller, Travel Africa magazine and The Independent.
Busy park, overlooked by Kilimanjaro
Those wonderful photos of Kilimanjaro rising majestically above a thicket of acacia trees, with elephants ambling past and perhaps a hot air balloon floating serenely overheard? They’re taken in Amboseli. Kili’s snowy cap may be much...
Latest User Review
Wide variety of wildlife but huge area where little seen.
Safari Tours to Amboseli NP
6-Day Amboseli/Naivasha/Nakuru & Masai Mara Game Safari
$1,672 pp (USD)
Kenya: Private tour Mid-range Lodge & Hotel
You Visit: Nairobi (Start) , Amboseli NP, Lake Naivasha (Naivasha) , Lake Nakuru NP, Masai Mara NR, Nairobi (End)
Leopard Orchid Safaris
4.8 /5 – 25 Reviews
7-Day Masai Mara-Lake Nakuru-Lake Naivasha-Amboseli Tour
$695 to $1,045 pp (USD)
Kenya: Shared tour (max 7 people per vehicle) Budget Tented Camp & Hotel
You Visit: Nairobi (Start) , Masai Mara NR, Lake Nakuru NP, Lake Naivasha (Naivasha) , Amboseli NP, Nairobi (End)
Bienvenido Kenya Tours and Safaris
4.2 /5 – 62 Reviews
5-Day Roaring Kenya - Mid-Range
$1,420 to $2,070 pp (USD)
Kenya: Private tour Mid-range Lodge & Tented Camp
You Visit: Nairobi (Start) , Amboseli NP, Lake Nakuru NP, Masai Mara NR, Nairobi (End)
Spirit of Kenya
5.0 /5 – 455 Reviews
- Amboseli National Park
Chat with someone who's been here.
Second in popularity after the legendary Masai Mara, Amboseli National Park not only offers great game viewing but is also the place to go for the best views of iconic Mount Kilimanjaro . The world's tallest free-standing mountain actually rises just across the border in Tanzania but Amboseli has a postcard-perfect view of its snow-capped peaks, rising almost six vertical kilometres above the savannah. The best time to view 'Kili' is at dawn and sunset when the clouds lift and the light is clear and soft.
Located about 200km south-east of Nairobi and accessible by road or air, Amboseli is an area of low scrubby vegetation and open grassy plains, all of which makes for easy game viewing. Accommodation is available at several luxury safari lodges and you'll explore the park on game drives, horse-back safaris and guided nature walks.
At only 392km² Amboseli is a small park and the range of animals is not as extensive as that of other parks in Kenya but streams from Kilimanjaro surface in the centre of Amboseli, creating wetlands that support a rich diversity of wildlife and most of the classic big mammals are there. The species list includes lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard, spotted hyena, giraffe and cheetah, and bird watchers will be happy with a list that tops 300 species.
Compact enough to experience in a day or two, Amboseli National Park is included on most Kenya safari itineraries and combines well with a Masai Mara safari . Close by lies Chyulu Hills National Park, a small conservation area based around dramatic, ancient volcanic hills that offer great views of Mount Kilimanjaro and are home to a range of animals that include elephant, buffalo, leopard and many antelope species.
An Amboseli safari can also be combined with several Tanzanian parks. Mount Kilimanjaro National Park and Arusha National Park lie just across the border and are the closest but the highlights of Northern Tanzania - the Serengeti, Tarangire and the Ngorongoro Crater - are easily accessible from this region.
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Discover iconic Amboseli National Park
Located about a four-hour drive (240 km or 150 miles) southeast of Nairobi, Amboseli National Park is well known for its herds of big tusked elephants.
A scenic park in its own right, Amboseli is synonymous with two particular things – majestic herds of elephant and glorious views of Mount Kilimanjaro in neighbouring Tanzania.
Kenya’s second most popular national park after the Masai Mara National Reserve, Amboseli was declared a UNESCO-Mab Biosphere Reserve in 1991.
During heavy rains, the basin at the centre of the park floods, attracting hordes of wildlife. The reserve is an excellent place to view the Big Five, as well as lesser known and rarer wildlife species.
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Frequently asked questions
Amboseli National Park
Under Kilimanjaro's watchful eye
Arid earth extending as far as the eye can see and vibrant oases of swamps teeming with life form the 40,000ha Amboseli National Park . In the distance, Mount Kilimanjaro’s expansive base culminates in its snow-covered peaks seen rising from the earth across the border. The dry months’ bare vegetation offers the perfect environment for relatively unobstructed views of the park’s inhabitants.
Guests can stay in any of the luxury lodges in Amboseli while they explore the tracks that stretch out across the plains of the park. While an array of large game and a list of over 300 bird species populate the park, getting close to herds of free-ranging elephants is Amboseli’s claim to fame. These gentle giants share the land with the semi-nomadic Maasai people, the custodians of the land who are always willing to share their customs with guests on village visits.
After the Maasai Mara National Park, Amboseli National Park is the second most-frequented in Kenya. It offers some of the best views of Mount Kilimanjaro just across the border, and of the free-ranging African elephants that are subject to the longest ongoing elephant study in the wild. Visitors are warned that malaria is found in the area and the necessary precautions should be taken before visiting.
Amboseli National Park Highlights
- Exquisite views of Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa and highest free-standing mountain in the world
- The dry months result in scarce vegetation and offer perfect opportunities to view wildlife unobstructed
- Herds of elephants are frequently sighted in the park
- Other animals include zebra, buffalo, lion, cheetah, wildebeest, and giraffe, to name a few
- Learn about the traditions of the semi-nomadic Maasai people on village visits
Best time to go Amboseli National Park
Frequently asked questions.
We've taken the liberty to answer everything you may need to know about visiting Amboseli National Park
Kenya, like the rest of Africa, is a year-round destination. But some months are better suited for game viewing and the famous Great Migration while others are ideal for scenery, birdlife and beach-and-bush combinations. It all comes down to your own interests and preferences. Let’s have a look at the seasonal highlights. August – October
This is the best time to visit Kenya for wildlife safaris and to experience the Great Wildebeest Migration in the Maasai Mara. The migration is triggered by rainfall patterns and new grass growth. These dry, wintry months are also best for general game viewing. So with or without witnessing the Great Migration, your East African safari experience will be amazing! December – March
The best time to visit Kenya for beaches, scenery, birdlife and wildlife viewing outside of peak season is from December to March. During these months, game viewing is still excellent and fewer travellers means great deals to be found. Days are hot, mostly clear and not too humid along Kenya’s tropical coastline. April – May
So when is it not the best time to visit Kenya? The so-called long rains drench Kenya in April and May with a wet monsoon that renders the coastline a muggy haze and the hinterland a boggy though seriously picturesque quagmire. The perfect time to visit Kenya if you want the place to yourself. Contact our Travel Experts before deciding when to travel to Kenya.
East Africa is famous for its wildlife-rich plains, classic African landscapes and the Great Wildebeest Migration, which must top every best-of Kenya list:
- Experience the Great Migration, as millions of wildebeest, zebra, topi, Thomson's gazelles and other plains game drift back and forth with seasonal water and food sources.
- The “Samburu Special 5” consisting of unique species found nowhere else: Grevy's zebra, Somali ostrich, gerenuk, beisa oryx and reticulated giraffe.
- Massive unfenced national parks, where large herds of animals move freely along their ancient migration paths.
- The successful cohabitation of people and wildlife in conservancies surrounding national parks.
- The people of Kenya like the colourful and striking Maasai and Samburu with their traditional African lifestyles.
In addition to incredible wildlife, there are many fascinating places to visit in Kenya including World Heritage Sites such as Lamu Old Town on Lamu Island, 13th century ruins of Arab port cities, Mount Kenya and the magnificent Swahili coastline.
Best of both worlds bush-and-beach combinations with easy access to the coastline and tropical islands like Lamu, Zanzibar Archipelago, and Seychelles.
Kenya safari holidays are family-friendly thanks to closed vehicles for example. Many lodges offer triple rooms, family units and children-only safari activities.
Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, is one of East Africa’s largest commercial hubs with international arrivals from many parts of the world.
Stay a couple of nights soaking up Nairobi’s city culture or just a single night to enjoy a proper bed after the long flight over. You also have the choice, depending on the time your international flight arrives, to skip out on the city and head straight to what you came for – a classic East Africa safari.
While carriers seem to chop and change their routes to Africa on a whim, you can currently get to Kenya from these great cities:
- Abu Dhabi with Etihad Airways
- Amsterdam with KLM or Kenya Airways
- Bangkok with Kenya Airways
- Doha with Qatar Airways
- Dubai with Emirates or Kenya Airways
- Frankfurt with Lufthansa
- Istanbul with Turkish Airways
- London with British Airways or Kenya Airways
- Mumbai with Kenya Airways
- New York with Kenya Airways
- Paris with Air France or Kenya Airways
- Zurich with Swiss Air
Having arrived in Nairobi after your long-haul flight, you can enjoy your Kenya wildlife safari by road, by air or a combination of both. Time, cost and convenience will influence your decision.
Flying around Kenya
Domestic air travel is by far the most comfortable, convenient and time-efficient mode of transport on your Kenya safari holidays or your classic bush and beach adventure. Aircrafts are usually of the smaller Cessna type and they’re served by Nairobi’s domestic airport 90 minutes’ drive from the international airport (an important consideration if you want to connect on the same day). A fly-in safari is obviously a spectacular way to see Kenya’s attractions, removes a large chunk of travelling time and side-steps the discomforts of a long, bumpy drive.
Driving around Kenya
East Africa has a bit of a reputation for poor driving conditions, but for many travellers, this adds authenticity to their Kenya safari holidays. Driving is also a more affordable option. Travelling by road, you can hire your own 4x4 for a private self-drive safari or book a road transfer.
A self-drive safari in Kenya rewards the intrepid visitor with the bragging rights to a unique, off-piste African experience that reduces your transport cost, but can increase your hassle cost with long distances, rough roads, corrupt cops and inadequate roadside facilities. A scheduled departure removes the hassle factor, cuts costs and still gives you a unique, authentic African experience. Combining a fly-in where necessary with a self-drive safari or scheduled road transfer gives you the best of both worlds without breaking the bank.
The cost for a Kenya safari ranges from $200 to $3,000 per person per day. Chat to one of our Travel Experts to ensure the best Kenya safari experience according to your time and budget. Here are a few examples of what influences your final Kenya safari cost:
- Time of year with great differences between low and high season prices.
- Your choice of safari lodges and camps.
- Duration of your stay, with great specials for extended bookings
- Where you go, with the cost going up proportionally to the remoteness of your destination and your choice of transportation – e.g. fly-in vs. overland safari vehicle.
- Your choice of safari activities ranging from inclusive wildlife activities to exclusive hot air balloon rides.
Yes. We recommend anti-malarial medication no matter what time of year you plan to visit Kenya. Consult your health practitioner for advice on the right choice of prophylaxis for your body well in advance of your departure date. And if you live in a yellow fever region or plan to travel through a region where it is endemic during your stay, you will need a vaccination and certificate.
Kenya has a rich and fascinating history that dates back to 6 million BC, with the earliest known Orrorin tugenensis (one of the oldest early humans) who lived in the Tugen Hills. Today this area of Kenya is protected and preserved, and you can explore humans’ ancient history at the National Museum of Kenya in Nairobi.
As the years went by, further tool-making Homo erectus and Homo sapiens were recorded, which highlights the deep roots this land has cultivated.
By 1498, the Portuguese, along with Vasco da Gama, arrived in Kenya and took rule over most of the ports including Mombasa. Two hundred years later, Arab influence forced the withdrawal of the Portuguese. Around the 1840s, European missionaries arrived, awestruck at their first sighting of Mounts Kenya and Kilimanjaro (in Tanzania).
By the 1850s, lakes Tanganyika and Victoria were discovered by Burton and Speke, which you can read about their expeditions in the historical novel by William Harrison. After increasing British influence in Kenya, the British Government acquired Kenya and Uganda to become British East Africa by 1895.
Over the following six years, Nairobi was forcibly transformed from a Maasai farming village into the railway headquarters between Mombasa and Uganda, which reached Kisumu on the edge of Lake Victoria in 1901 to open up trading between these flourishing lands. By 1920, Kenya was officially declared a British colony.
Following many attempts to further colonise Kenya, its people fought back. From 1942, members from numerous local tribes united to fight for freedom from British rule. Ten years later, Jomo Kenyatta, 61 at the time, was actively directing this movement of independence and was subsequently imprisoned along with 82 other nationalists.
The rebellion continued and in 1963, Kenya gained its independence with Jomo Kenyatta was elected as Prime Minister. Since its independence, Kenya has been paving the way for its people and, although a journey filled with its own dark history, the country continues to fight and stand together to flourish and grow for the future of its country. Today, tourism is a big part of Kenya’s growing economy and success.
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AMBOSELI SAFARI TOURS
See the great tuskers march before mighty mt. kilimanjaro, amboseli safaris - explore this majestic national park.
Come to Amboseli where over 1600 great elephants roam the savannahs, forests, and fields of this compact but very active park. Their numbers are so large, you can’t miss them as they parade to their favorite watering hole. Nothing is as delightful as looking upon the elephant families, bringing along their young, as they go about their busy day.
On most African safaris you usually can’t be assured of sighting a particular species but here at Amboseli, we guarantee that you will see the elephants. The reserve is famous for being perhaps the best spot in Africa for elephant spotting.
And this very popular park also hosts its share of lions, cheetahs, wildebeests, Masai Giraffes, buffalo, zebra, jackal, hyena, fox, baboon, and monkeys. Plus, Amboseli’s fluid marshes show off avian life such as egret, pelican, Egyptian goose, kingfisher, heron, and over 370 other species of birds.
A day spent at Amboseli will be busy and rich with the abundant wildlife this active park generously offers its visitors.
Mt. Kilimanjaro – Stunning Sentinel
Great Kilimanjaro dominates the park’s southern vista, seemingly a guardian of all who pass before it. The immense rise of Africa’s tallest peak presents a snow-capped summit – an iconic image known throughout the world.
And though cloud cover can sometimes obscure the snowy pinnacle, lucky visitors can often catch a startling glimpse in the early morning or as the clouds part near sunset.
This bountiful mix of photogenic landscapes and the joyous trains of elephants parading by is a photographer’s dream. Just another gift that Amboseli offers lucky safari-goers.
The Wildlife and the Land
Not to be overshadowed by Kilimanjaro’s dominant form, Amboseli boasts five wildlife environments, each supporting a bounty of animals.
You’ll be tracking for Africa’s “Big Five” – lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhino in the park’s savannah and woodlands. Its dusty thorn-bush regions will reveal sightings of impalas, zebras, and wildebeests.
Exploring Amboseli’s marshy wetlands and lakes, you’ll spot every sort of birdlife – pelicans, egrets, cranes, and even flamingoes during the rainy seasons.
As its name implies, this pyramid-shaped volcanic remnant is an excellent lookout point for stunning views of the park. From this vantage point, you’ll be able to spot the park’s many elephants and rhinos as well.
The hill presents one of the few opportunities in the reserve to leave your safari vehicle and stretch your legs with a stimulating hike. Reaching the summit, you’ll be rewarded with expansive views of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Stick around for the sunsets – they can be spectacular.
Amboseli continually surprises with its variety of landforms. The Sinet Delta, located in the park’s northern section provides rich and varied birdlife hosted by the thick vegetation found here.
Look for crakes, ibis, ostrich, and raptors, plus a large number of giraffes populate the area. The Delta also presents more stunning views of Mt. Kilimanjaro to the south.
The People of Amboseli
They are the Maasai – an ancient pastoral people that have made East Africa their home for hundreds of years. You’ll know them even at a distance, garbed in their colorful and fashionable bright plaid wraps.
Besides farming, the Maasai cultivate livestock, mainly cattle and goats, a central part of their lifestyle and culture. While at Amboseli, enjoy a visit to one of their villages and see their homes and corrals.
The Maasai are a welcoming people and will share their customs and ceremonies with you. You can even pick up some of their beaded necklaces and bracelets -memorable souvenirs for you, that will benefit the villagers and their children.
Best Safari Lodges & Tented Camps at Amboseli National Park
Amboseli Serena Safari Logde
Ol Tukai Lodge
Amboseli Sopa Lodge
Kibo Safari Camp
Tulia Amboseli Safari Camp
Porini Amboseli Camp - Selenkay Conservancy
Kilima Safari Camp
Sentrim Amboseli Camp
AA Amboseli Lodge
Here are our kenya single destination safaris taking you to amboseli national park.
Please look over our many safari tours to Amboseli Park by road or by air. Then contact our helpful travel advisors to set up the African safari that best suits your style.
AMBOSELI NATIONAL PARK SAFARI TOURS FROM NAIROBI 1, 2 & 3 Days Amboseli Kenya safaris by 4X4 Jeep & by Flight
Amboseli National Park Full Day safari
2 Days Elephants on Parade Safari(by Road)
3 Days Under Kilimanjaro’s Skies (by road)
3 Days Amboseli Fly-in Safari
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Amboseli Safari FAQs
Welcome to the Amboseli Safari FAQ section, your comprehensive guide to unlocking the beauty and wonder of Amboseli National Park. In this dedicated space, we strive to provide you with the essential information you need to plan an extraordinary safari adventure. Whether you’re curious about the park’s wildlife, the best time to visit, or the diverse experiences it offers, we’re here to answer your questions and share our expertise. Whether you’re a wildlife enthusiast, a photography enthusiast, or simply seeking the tranquility of the African wilderness, our Amboseli Safari FAQ section will help you prepare for an unforgettable journey in this remarkable corner of Kenya.
When is the best time to go on safari in Amboseli?
Amboseli National Park is a year-round safari destination, each season offering unique experiences and wildlife encounters. However, the best time for your Amboseli safari may depend on your preferences and what you hope to witness during your visit.
Dry Season (June to October): Ideal for Wildlife Viewing
The dry season, which extends from June to October, is often considered the best time to visit Amboseli for wildlife viewing. During this period, the park’s vegetation is less dense, and animals tend to congregate around the permanent swamps and water sources, making it easier to spot them. This is also a prime time for photographing Amboseli’s famous elephants against the stunning backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro. The dry season offers clear skies, comfortable temperatures, and excellent opportunities for game drives, ensuring that you can maximize your wildlife sightings.
Wet Season (November to May): Green and Lush Landscapes
The wet season, from November to May, brings life to Amboseli’s landscapes, transforming the savannah into a lush green paradise. While wildlife viewing remains good during this period, the wildlife may be more dispersed because they have access to water and food sources across the park. The wet season is a fantastic time for birdwatching, as many migratory birds visit Amboseli during this time. It’s also a quieter period in terms of tourist crowds, offering a more tranquil and intimate safari experience. Keep in mind that some areas of the park may become inaccessible due to muddy roads, so it’s essential to plan your routes carefully.
Ultimately, the best time to go on safari in Amboseli depends on your priorities. If you’re eager for exceptional wildlife encounters and clear views of Mount Kilimanjaro, the dry season is your best bet. If you’re a nature enthusiast who enjoys the vibrant green landscapes of the wet season and prefers a quieter atmosphere, then the wet season may be the ideal choice for your Amboseli adventure.
What animals can I see on an Amboseli safari?
An Amboseli safari promises an abundance of iconic wildlife encounters, and at the forefront of these majestic animals is the African elephant. Amboseli is renowned for its large elephant herds , which roam the park’s diverse landscapes, including swamps, woodlands, and savannah plains. Witnessing these gentle giants against the backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro is a sight that truly defines Amboseli’s allure. Additionally, the park is home to an array of other captivating wildlife, including lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, and giraffes. The vast grasslands offer ample grazing opportunities for buffalo, zebras, wildebeests, and various antelope species, making game drives an exhilarating experience.
Amboseli is not only a haven for terrestrial wildlife but also a paradise for birdwatchers. With over 400 bird species recorded in the park, it’s a bird enthusiast’s dream come true. As you explore the varied habitats of Amboseli, keep an eye out for some of the park’s feathered residents. The African fish eagle, with its distinctive call and impressive hunting prowess, is a common sight. Crowned cranes gracefully dance in the grasslands, and martial eagles soar overhead. The swamps and wetlands attract a wealth of waders, including flamingos, herons, and egrets. Whether you’re an avid birder or a casual observer, Amboseli’s diverse avian population will enchant you with its vibrant colours and melodious calls.
The Elusive Predators
Amboseli’s top predators, including lions, leopards, and cheetahs, add a layer of excitement to your safari experience. While these big cats are often elusive, your expert safari guide will employ their knowledge and tracking skills to increase your chances of a thrilling encounter. Lions, known for their majestic presence and distinctive roars, may be spotted lounging in the shade or embarking on a hunt. Leopards, masters of camouflage, are skilled at concealing themselves in the trees and grasses. The lightning-fast cheetahs, on the other hand, bring an air of exhilaration to the plains as they pursue their prey. Observing these predators in their natural habitat is a testament to Amboseli’s incredible biodiversity and the circle of life that unfolds within its boundaries.
What photo opportunities are there on Amboseli safaris?
One of the most iconic and sought-after photo opportunities during an Amboseli safari is capturing the breathtaking vistas of Mount Kilimanjaro. This towering, snow-capped peak is Africa’s highest mountain and provides an awe-inspiring backdrop to the park’s diverse landscapes. As the sun rises and sets, the light plays on the mountain, creating a mesmerizing spectacle. Whether you’re a professional photographer or a smartphone enthusiast, the sight of elephants, giraffes, or zebras grazing in the foreground with Kilimanjaro towering in the distance is a moment you’ll want to capture.
Up-Close Encounters with Elephants
Amboseli is renowned for its elephant population, and this park offers exceptional opportunities for close encounters with these gentle giants. As you embark on game drives, you’ll have the chance to capture remarkable images of elephants in their natural habitat. Whether it’s a family of elephants bathing in a swamp or a solitary bull elephant wandering through the savannah, the photographic possibilities are endless. Your expert safari guide will position you safely and responsibly to ensure you can capture stunning safari photographs while respecting the animals’ space.
Diverse Wildlife and Birdlife
Amboseli’s rich biodiversity provides a wealth of photo opportunities beyond the elephants and Kilimanjaro. The park’s diverse habitats host a wide range of wildlife, from predators like lions and cheetahs to graceful giraffes and various antelope species. Birdwatchers and photographers will also be delighted by the park’s prolific birdlife, which includes striking species like African fish eagles, crowned cranes, and martial eagles. Whether you’re focusing your lens on a lioness on the prowl or a vividly coloured lilac-breasted roller in flight, Amboseli’s wildlife and birdlife will inspire your photography skills and create lasting memories.
Embarking on an Amboseli safari is not only a journey into the heart of Africa’s natural beauty but also an opportunity to capture the essence of the wild through your camera lens. With Mount Kilimanjaro as your backdrop, elephants as your subjects, and a kaleidoscope of wildlife and birdlife to explore, every moment in Amboseli is a potential masterpiece waiting to be framed.
What should I pack for an Amboseli safari tour?
When packing for your Amboseli safari tour, it’s essential to prioritize comfort and functionality. Start with lightweight, breathable clothing in neutral colours such as khaki, brown, and green, as these shades help you blend in with the natural surroundings and minimize disturbance to wildlife. Be sure to include long-sleeved shirts and pants to protect yourself from the sun and potential insect bites. A wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses with UV protection are essential for shielding your face and eyes from the sun’s rays. Don’t forget a swimsuit if your accommodation has a pool, and pack comfortable walking shoes or hiking boots for any guided walks or nature excursions.
Photography Gear and Accessories
For avid photographers, an Amboseli safari is a golden opportunity to capture stunning wildlife and landscape shots. Ensure you have a reliable camera with a zoom lens to capture distant wildlife and dramatic landscapes. Extra camera batteries and memory cards are essential to avoid missing any photographic moments. A sturdy camera bag or backpack will help protect your equipment from dust and potential bumps during game drives. Additionally, consider bringing a tripod or monopod to stabilize your camera for crisp, clear shots, especially during early morning and evening photography sessions.
Safari Essentials and Personal Items
In addition to clothing and photography gear, there are several other essentials and personal items to include in your packing list. A good quality pair of binoculars will enhance your wildlife viewing experience, allowing you to spot distant animals and birds with ease. Sunscreen with high SPF, insect repellent, and lip balm with UV protection are essential for safeguarding your skin from the African sun and potential insect encounters. It’s advisable to pack any prescription medications you may require and a basic first-aid kit, although most safari lodges and camps have first-aid facilities. Lastly, don’t forget your travel documents, including passports, visas, and any necessary travel insurance information, as well as a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated during your adventures.
Packing thoughtfully for your Amboseli safari ensures that you’re well-prepared to fully enjoy this remarkable journey into the heart of Kenya’s wilderness. By including the right clothing, photography gear, and personal items, you’ll have a comfortable and memorable safari experience while capturing the beauty of Amboseli’s landscapes and wildlife.
Where can I stay in Amboseli safari park?
Africa Kenya Safaris offer a fine range of luxurious safari lodges and tented camps in Amboseli that provide a remarkable blend of comfort and a close connection to the wild. These accommodations are strategically located to maximize your wildlife viewing opportunities, often with unobstructed views of Mount Kilimanjaro. Expect spacious, beautifully appointed rooms or tents with modern amenities, private en-suite bathrooms, and exquisite furnishings. Many of these lodges and camps also feature swimming pools, spa facilities, and fine dining restaurants, ensuring that your stay is as relaxing and indulgent as it is adventurous. With expert guides, exceptional cuisine, and attentive service, you’ll have everything you need for a memorable safari experience.
Mid-Range Camps and Lodges
For travellers seeking a balance between comfort and affordability, Amboseli offers mid-range camps and lodges that provide excellent value for your safari experience. These accommodations typically feature well-appointed rooms or tents with en-suite bathrooms, comfortable bedding, and essential amenities. While they may not have all the luxury features of high-end lodges, they often compensate with warm hospitality, stunning views, and guided game drives that showcase the best of Amboseli’s wildlife. Dining options at these establishments offer a taste of local and international cuisine, ensuring a satisfying and nourishing stay.
Tented Camps for a Rustic Experience
For those yearning for a more rustic and authentic safari experience, Amboseli also offers tented camps that allow you to immerse yourself in the natural surroundings. These camps provide comfortable but simpler accommodation in spacious canvas tents, often with en-suite bathrooms that offer the convenience of modern plumbing. The focus here is on the safari experience itself, with guided game drives and bush walks taking centre stage. Evenings are spent gathered around campfires, sharing stories of the day’s adventures with fellow travellers. Tented camps are an excellent choice for travellers who want to get closer to nature while still enjoying the comforts of a safari adventure.
Amboseli National Park offers a variety of accommodation options to suit different budgets and preferences, ensuring that every traveller can find their ideal base for exploring the park’s breathtaking landscapes and remarkable wildlife. Whether you choose a luxurious lodge, a mid-range camp, or a tented camp for a more authentic experience, your stay in Amboseli will be an integral part of your unforgettable safari journey.
How can I get to Amboseli safari park from Nairobi?
One of the most popular ways to reach Amboseli National Park from Nairobi is by embarking on a scenic road journey. The drive takes you through the picturesque landscapes of Kenya, offering glimpses of rural life, wildlife, and stunning vistas. The distance from Nairobi to Amboseli is approximately 230 kilometres (143 miles), and the journey typically takes around 4-5 hours, depending on road conditions and stops along the way. We offer state-of-the-art 4×4 safari vehicles with a knowledgeable driver-guide who can provide insights about the region and its wildlife. The road trip to Amboseli is an adventure in itself, offering opportunities for wildlife sightings en route, including giraffes, zebras, and various bird species.
Scheduled Domestic Flights
For those seeking a quicker and more aerial perspective of Kenya’s landscapes, we offer flights from Wilson Airport in Nairobi to Amboseli’s airstrip. The flight duration is approximately 45-60 minutes, providing a convenient and time-saving option for travellers. Domestic flights offer panoramic views of the Kenyan countryside, and upon arrival at Amboseli’s airstrip, you’ll be greeted by your safari guide who will escort you to your chosen lodge or camp. This option is particularly attractive for travellers with limited time or those looking to maximize their safari experience by reducing travel time between destinations.
Organized Safari Packages
Our packages typically include transportation from Nairobi to Amboseli, accommodation, game drives, and the services of experienced safari guides. Travelers can choose from a variety of package options, including private safaris and group tours. This hassle-free approach allows you to relax and immerse yourself in the safari experience while leaving the logistics in the hands of experts. Whether you opt for a road trip or a domestic flight for your organized safari package, reaching Amboseli from Nairobi is a gateway to a world of natural wonders and unforgettable adventures
Where is Amboseli safari park?
Amboseli National Park is nestled in the southern part of Kenya, near the border with Tanzania . Its strategic location places it at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak. The park covers an area of approximately 392 square kilometres (151 square miles), making it a compact but incredibly diverse safari destination. As you embark on your Amboseli adventure, you’ll find yourself in the heart of this remarkable park, surrounded by awe-inspiring landscapes, abundant wildlife, and iconic views of the majestic Kilimanjaro.
Bordering Tanzania’s Amboseli Game Reserve
While Amboseli National Park is a Kenyan gem, it’s important to note its close proximity to Tanzania’s Amboseli Game Reserve. These two conservation areas share an ecosystem and are separated only by an international border. The Kenyan and Tanzanian sides of Amboseli offer slightly different safari experiences, with the Kenyan side providing easy access to the park’s central attractions, including Observation Hill and the swamps. The Tanzanian side, on the other hand, offers more remote and less-visited areas of the ecosystem. Whether you choose to explore the Kenyan or Tanzanian side or venture across the border, Amboseli’s charm remains constant, promising a safari experience like no other.
Strategic Location for Wildlife Viewing
Amboseli’s location in southern Kenya places it within reach of other iconic wildlife destinations, making it a vital part of Kenya’s safari circuit. It’s a gateway to exploring the diverse landscapes and wildlife-rich regions of Kenya, including the Maasai Mara , Tsavo National Park, and Nairobi National Park . As you journey through Amboseli’s enchanting landscapes, keep in mind that its strategic location allows you to extend your safari adventure to neighbouring parks and reserves, creating a comprehensive and unforgettable safari experience in Kenya.
How big is Amboseli safari park?
Amboseli, although relatively compact in comparison to some of Kenya’s national parks , covers an impressive area of approximately 392 square kilometres (151 square miles). What it lacks in size, it more than makes up for in diversity and natural beauty. This park’s manageable dimensions are a testament to the variety of ecosystems it hosts, including savannah plains, woodlands, swamps, and wetlands. Within this relatively small space, Amboseli manages to encapsulate the essence of Kenya’s wilderness, offering a rich and concentrated safari experience.
A Microcosm of East African Wildlife
Amboseli’s size is deceptive, as it acts as a microcosm of East African wildlife. Within its boundaries, you’ll encounter a remarkable array of wildlife species, including some of Africa’s most iconic animals. The park is renowned for its large elephant herds, which often roam near the swamps and offer incredible photographic opportunities. Additionally, Amboseli is home to a thriving population of lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, giraffes, zebras, wildebeests, and various antelope species. The birdlife here is equally diverse, with over 400 species recorded, making it a birdwatcher’s paradise.
Efficient Exploration and Wildlife Viewing
The manageable size of Amboseli National Park makes it an ideal destination for travellers who want to maximize their wildlife viewing experiences without spending excessive time driving between locations. Game drives in Amboseli are highly efficient, with the park’s varied habitats ensuring that encounters with wildlife are both frequent and rewarding. Additionally, the park’s well-maintained road network makes it easy for safari vehicles to access different areas, whether you’re tracking elephants near the swamps or searching for big cats in the woodlands. Amboseli’s size ensures that every moment of your safari is dedicated to the thrill of wildlife encounters, promising a memorable adventure within a manageable footprint.
How far is Amboseli safari park from Nairobi?
Amboseli National Park is conveniently located within a reasonable distance from Nairobi, making it easily accessible for both domestic and international travellers. The distance from Nairobi to Amboseli is approximately 230 kilometres (143 miles), and the journey typically takes around 4-5 hours by road, depending on traffic conditions and stops along the way. The road trip itself is an integral part of the adventure, as it offers travellers glimpses of rural life, wildlife sightings, and breathtaking landscapes.
Picturesque Routes to Amboseli
The drive from Nairobi to Amboseli offers travellers the choice of two picturesque routes, each with its own unique charm. The most common route takes you through the scenic Athi Plains, where you can spot wildlife like zebras and giraffes against a backdrop of rolling savannah. Alternatively, you can opt for the Emali route, which offers a different perspective of the Kenyan countryside, passing through rural towns and providing opportunities for cultural encounters. Whichever route you choose, your journey to Amboseli promises to be a captivating prelude to your safari adventure.
Alternative Travel Options
For travellers seeking a quicker and more aerial perspective, scheduled domestic flights are available from Nairobi’s Wilson Airport to Amboseli’s airstrip. The flight duration is approximately 45-60 minutes, providing a convenient and time-saving option. Upon arrival at Amboseli’s airstrip, you’ll be met by your safari guide and transferred to your chosen lodge or camp, allowing you to dive straight into your safari experience. Whether you opt for a road trip or a scenic flight, reaching Amboseli from Nairobi is a seamless transition from the bustling city to the untamed beauty of Kenya’s wilderness.
Who owns Amboseli safari park?
Amboseli National Park is primarily owned and managed by the Kenyan government through its wildlife conservation agency, the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS). As one of Kenya’s flagship national parks, Amboseli is part of the country’s commitment to conserving its rich biodiversity and protecting its natural heritage. The KWS is responsible for ensuring the park’s ecological integrity, managing wildlife populations, and implementing conservation initiatives to safeguard the unique ecosystems within Amboseli.
Community Involvement and Conservation
In addition to government ownership, Amboseli National Park also benefits from the involvement of local communities through community-based conservation programs. These initiatives aim to engage nearby Maasai communities in conservation efforts, as their traditional lands often border the park. By promoting sustainable land use practices and providing incentives for wildlife conservation, these programs help reduce human-wildlife conflicts and contribute to the protection of Amboseli’s wildlife and habitats. The involvement of local communities underscores the importance of shared responsibility in conserving Amboseli’s natural treasures.
Private Conservancies and Partnerships
While the core of Amboseli National Park is government-owned, there are also private conservancies and partnerships that play a role in protecting the park’s wildlife and landscapes. These conservancies often border the park and work closely with the government and local communities to create wildlife corridors and enhance conservation efforts. They offer alternative tourism experiences, such as guided walks and cultural interactions, contributing to the overall sustainability of the region. The collaboration between government agencies, local communities, and private entities reflects the multi-faceted approach to conservation in Amboseli, ensuring that this iconic park remains a symbol of Kenya’s commitment to preserving its natural heritage.
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Amboseli National Park Safari Travel Guide
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Visit Amboseli National Park by Departing From…
Amboseli National Park is Kenya’s second most popular African safari destination. Known as the ‘land of giants', herds of elephants drift across the dusty plains and dip in the marshy reedbeds. It is the home of big tuskers and the longest-running study of wild elephants in the world.
Under 4 hours south of Nairobi, Amboseli is, by African standards, a small national park. What it lacks in size, however, Amboseli makes up for in location. Just across the border, in Tanzania, is Mount Kilimanjaro. Africa’s highest peak and the world’s tallest free-standing mountain, Kilimanjaro to the south, is the scenic backdrop to every Amboseli safari. Kilimanjaro looms large and affects every aspect of Amboseli’s existence but, ironically, is harder to spot than Amboseli’s shy predators.
Amboseli safaris are popular for several reasons. Accessible by air and serviced by good roads from Nairobi, the park itself is easily navigable. Amboseli National Park has great safari accommodation options that range from Kenya Wildlife Service’s budget-friendly campsite to 5-star luxury safari lodges, and family-friendly safari-style hotels. For a more intimate experience, you can stay in one of the conservancies in the greater Amboseli ecosystem.
Elephants are not the only wildlife in Amboseli National Park although they are undoubtedly the stars of the show. Amboseli is home to four of the Big 5 safari animals (lions, leopards, buffalo, and elephants) as well as numerous other African animals. In addition to the megafauna, Amboseli’s wetlands and open plains are home to around 400 bird species.
Breathtaking scenery, large herds of elephants, big tuskers, and abundant birdlife, all in a compact and easily accessible game reserve make Kenya’s Amboseli National Park an incredible African safari destination.
Amboseli Safari Highlights
-Elephants, elephants, elephants. Amboseli has one of the highest concentrations of elephants anywhere in Africa. They are accustomed to safari vehicles and so a safari in Amboseli is an excellent opportunity to see their natural behavior up close.
-Excellent conservation around Amboseli’s elephants means that Amboseli National Park safaris can almost guarantee big tuskers, a rarity in Africa.
-Mount Kilimanjaro. The backdrop to an Amboseli safari is Mount Kilimanjaro which can provide one of the most iconic east African photographic opportunities.
-Maasai cultural encounters and dances are an excellent way to deepen your appreciation of this fascinating African culture.
-Amazing wetlands. Wading elephants and buffalo and almost 400 species of birds.
-Accommodation caters to all budgets making Amboseli an excellent budget safari destination.
Top Attraction: Amboseli Elephants
Amboseli National Park’s top attraction is undeniably the elephants. Not only does Amboseli boast one of the highest concentrations of elephants in Africa but it also hosts the longest-running elephant study in the world. For almost 50 years, the Amboseli Trust for Elephants has kept extensive records of births, deaths, and movements of these African safari giants. The conservation efforts have been so successful that Amboseli is one of the few places in Africa where you are likely to see big tuskers - large adult elephant bulls with large tusks. Another positive spinoff for your Kenya safari is that the elephants are well-habituated, meaning that you can get up close to these remarkable creatures.
Activities at Amboseli National Park
Amboseli has an excellent selection of safari activities. From night game drives to walking safaris and cultural visits to local Maasai villages. The top attraction in Amboseli is, of course, the elephants.
When and where to see Amboseli’s elephants
While elephants are Amboseli’s top attraction, seeing them against the backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro is an unforgettable safari experience. Just 30km from Amboseli National Park at the closest point, Kilimanjaro rises nearly 5000m above the Amboseli plains. Despite the proximity, Kilimanjaro - draped in the thick clouds - can be harder to spot than a leopard in dense bushveld.
To catch a glimpse of elephants grazing in front of Kilimanjaro head out early to Ol Tukai and Olokenya swamps. Another great spot is Observation Hill where you can see the whole of Amboseli and the surrounding mountains with 360-degree panoramic views.
Surrounding the Amboseli National Park are a number of private conservancies. The conservancies are run on Maasai land and share traversing rights. The Amboseli conservancies are often less busy than the main park and afford guests the opportunity to go off-road on game drives. This is a bonus when tracking shyer animals like cheetahs off the beaten track.
Where is Amboseli National Park?
Amboseli National Park is in the south of Kenya on the border with Tanzania, a stone’s throw away from Mount Kilimanjaro. A four-hour, 240 km / 150 mi, drive southeast of Nairobi will put you at the park's gate. Amboseli is in the Loitoktok District of Kenya . Tsavo National Park is to the east, and Arusha (the gateway to Tanzania’s Northern Safari Circuit - the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara, and Tarangire Park) is only 180 km away.
Amboseli National Park Explained
Amboseli national park vs amboseli conservancy areas .
Amboseli National Park is a 392 km² (151 sq mi) area that was set aside for wildlife conservation in 1974. During the 1990s the use of community conservancies was pioneered in Amboseli with significant progress being made consistently since then. Today the Amboseli Ecosystem Trust oversees conservation areas, conservancies, and wildlife corridors which cover over 5000 km² of land, a delicate balance between government stakeholders, conservation organizations, communities, private owners, and tourism partners. Amboseli and the greater Amboseli ecosystem were declared a UNESCO biosphere reserve in 1991, highlighting the importance between the landscape, wildlife, and people.
Anyone can visit the Amboseli National Park by entering the gate and paying the park and vehicle entry fees. Because of the proximity to Nairobi, Amboseli is popular with local Kenyans who flock to Amboseli during vacations, over weekends, and on public holidays. All guests must follow the government-set rules and regulations and will pay extra for activities like night drives and walking safaris. Visitors to Amboseli may not visit the conservancies on day trips.
The Amboseli Conservancies on the other hand are privately run. This means more expensive but also a more intimate safari experience. They subscribe to their own rules and are a little more flexible allowing bush walks, horse riding safaris, and night drives. Visitors who choose to stay in the conservancies are permitted to enter Amboseli National Park on day trips by paying the gate entry fees.
There are currently 20 Amboseli conservancies in various stages of development. Kimana Community Wildlife Sanctuary is Kenya’s first community-owned wildlife sanctuary. To the north of Amboseli, Selenkay Conservancy’s open plains and woodland are home to the exclusive Porini Amboseli Camp and Kitirua, between Amboseli and the Tanzania border, is an exclusive 120km² conservation hotspot famous for elephants and predators and serviced by the Tortilis Camp, which with a long history and comfortable accommodations is popular with family safaris.
- Back to the Top: Amboseli Quick Links
Amboseli Wildlife & Birds
Amboseli’s unique geography has defined the park by producing permanent swamps which are a magnet for both wildlife and birds. Elephants thrive here and the small size and excellent protection have meant that elephants can reach maturity without being poached. The big tuskers dominate the show. There are around 1500 of these swamp-loving elephants, one of the highest concentrations of elephants anywhere in Africa. Because of its small size and excellent infrastructure, Amboseli is considered an excellent all-year-round African safari destination.
On your Amboseli safari, you can expect to see many of the savannah wildlife – giraffes, Grant’s, and Thompson's gazelles, buffalo, hartebeest, waterbuck, eland, wildebeest, and Burchell’s zebra. In the drier areas, you will be lucky to spot gerenuk and fringe-eared oryx as well as bat-eared foxes, caracal, jackals, and serval cats. With relations between wildlife and communities improving, the Amboseli predators have made a comeback. You will see lions and hyenas though cheetahs and leopards remain elusive. As many as 400 bird species have been counted at Amboseli National Park. The combination of seasonal lakes, permanent swamps, and dry plains make it a bird watchers utopia. There are about 47 species of raptors, including martial eagles, fish eagles, and secretary birds. Taveta golden weavers are common and the endangered Madagascan squacco heron is also present. Palearctic migrants make their appearance in the safari low season. With many of Amboseli’s tracks running close to bodies of water, water birds are abundant. Long-toed lapwings, rufous-bellied herons, crowned cranes, kingfishers, pelicans, hammerkops, and more. Birding safaris are recommended in the rainy season from November to April when birds are attracted to the abundance of water and food.
Amboseli Safari Travel Guide
Amboseli National Park is a great African safari destination all year round. This is because of its small size and excellent roads. That said, there are some factors to consider. High season is more expensive than the low season and while game viewing is good all year round, animals are easier to spot when it's dry.
Best Time to Visit Amboseli in Kenya
During the low rainy season, from November to May, Amboseli is lush and green. Because the rain washes all the dust out of the air, this is a great time for photography. There are clear views of Mount Kilimanjaro. This is also the best time for bird watching as the seasonal migrants have arrived. The short rains are heaviest in November and the long rains are from April to May. Due to the wet, Amboseli is quieter, and rates are lower too.
Like most of East Africa, the best game viewing is during the high-season dry months from June to October. At this time of year, the grass is shorter and the bush is dry. Safari animals are easier to spot and they tend to congregate around water sources. The downside of the high season is that Amboseli National Park does get crowded and prices are at a premium.
Amboseli Weather & Climate
Kenya sits on the equator. The climate is therefore stable without truly distinct seasons that are experienced in the northern hemisphere.
In Kenya’s summer from June to November, temperatures range between 20°C / 68°F and 34°C / 93°F. Winter safari temperatures, from December to May range from 18°C / 64°F to 29°C / 84°F.
Kenya has two rainy seasons: mid-March to June affectionately called the “long rains” and then the “short rains” from October to December.
How much does an Amboseli Safari cost?
Amboseli National Park and the greater Amboseli ecosystem have an excellent array of safari options from budget-tented camps to luxury safari lodges. It really does have something for everyone. When you use a safari tour company, your park fees and transfers are usually included in the price of the tour making the logistics a lot simpler. For a more in-depth look at the costs of a Kenya Safari - click here .
The price ranges below are meant as a rough guide. They include things like park fees, accommodation, meals on safari, game drives, and transfers. Prices exclude flights to East Africa, extras like alcoholic drinks, laundry, and telephone calls, and tips for drivers, guides, and porters.
*Prices in US$ value at the time of publishing but exchange rates do fluctuate.
How to Get to Amboseli National Park in Kenya
International flights will arrive at Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta Airport (NBO). This is the busiest transport hub in East Africa. Located 11 miles/18 km from Nairobi’s central business district, Jomo Kenyatta is serviced by airlines from around the world. Almost all Kenya safaris will start here.
15 km/9 miles from Jomo Kenyatta, is Wilson Airport (WIL). Kenya Fly-in safaris to Amboseli all depart from Wilson. It is a good idea to leave enough time between your international arrival and domestic departure as it can take up to 90 minutes to travel between the two airports. Be aware that these are small propeller-powered light aircraft that carry between 15 and 40 passengers. Baggage allowance is limited to around 15kg (including carry-on luggage). Make sure that you know what to expect when booking with one of our safari travel experts and check these details before you depart.
There are several entrances to Amboseli National Park. These are Iremito, Empuseli (or airport gate), Kulinyiet, Meshanani, and Kitirua Gates. The gate that you use will depend on where you have booked your safari campsite or lodge. The Amboseli Airport is located at Empuseli Gate and is the only airport that directly services the park.
Road transfers are easily organized as part of your Amboseli safari package. Traveling by road to Amboseli via the shortest route - 228 km / 140 mi - will take between 3 and 4 hours, or you can plot a more scenic 460 km / 286 mi trip via Tsavo East and West which will take about 8 hours.
- Back to Top: Amboseli Quick Links
Getting Around: Transport in Amboseli
Safari vehicles in Kenya generally fall into two categories; Safari Tour Minibuses or 4X4 Safari Jeeps. The Amboseli safari experience is no different.
The Safari Tour Vans are more budget-friendly and seat around 7 people. They come standard with a pop-up game viewing roof and sliding windows, a UHF radio for relaying and receiving game spotting info, and a cooler box. The Safari Vans lack the clearance of a 4X4 and there are luggage restrictions.
The Safari Jeeps are usually Toyota Land Cruisers or less commonly Land Rovers. These vehicles also seat around 7 people and have luggage restrictions but they do have 4X4 capabilities. If you are going to one of the privately run conservancies you are likely to be in a Safari Jeep. Safari Jeeps can be either closed or open-sided but will also have pop-up roofs, UHF radios, and cooler boxes.
Where to Stay in Amboseli National Park
The Amboseli National Park and the greater Amboseli ecosystem have accommodations to suit every budget. If you are on a shoestring budget, you can get a Kenya Wildlife Services campsite for as little as US$30 per person per night. Luxury Lodges, budget lodges, family-friendly too, Amboseli has it all.
What to Wear on Safari in Amboseli
When packing for your Amboseli Kenya safari, remember that your luggage will be restricted to 15kg for a fly-in safari. Paying careful attention to your packing list of lightweight but sensible is key. The way to think about your Amboseli safari packing list is in layers.
Early morning game drives in open vehicles can be chilly, to begin with. You will need a warm hat and perhaps even gloves and a scarf if you are prone to cold. A lightweight puffer jacket or fleece with a hard or soft shell should do the trick. Things do warm up quickly so it’s important to be able to shed your jacket and have something lightweight and cool underneath. A cool shirt that is breathable is essential. Zip-off trousers can easily convert from trousers to shorts, leaving you cool and comfortable. When evening falls and you head out on a game drive, think of this process in reverse.
Color-wise you keep your palette to natural hues beige, greens, browns, and khakis are best. You want to avoid both black, white, and anything loud. White gets grubby very quickly, black gets very hot and attracts mosquitoes at night and loud colors like bright yellow or red frighten animals and attract bees.
Closed comfortable shoes are best for your days on safari and a good pair of sneakers or trainers are perfect. Unless you plan on doing any actual hiking, hiking boots are unnecessary. For time spent in camps and lodges, a pair of slip-slops can be a comfortable addition.
Amboseli Travel Health & Safety
- The African sun can be severe. A hat and sunscreen are highly recommended and it’s always a good idea to stay well-hydrated.
- Don't forget to pack your preferred insect repellent to keep the bugs at bay.
Your safari guides are trained, and extremely knowledgeable, and their top priority is to keep you safe in the wild. Always listen to their advice about how to behave and what to do while on safari.
- Even in fenced camps, it is a good idea not to walk around alone at night because of wild animals. If at all possible always have a guide escort you to your tent.
- Food always attracts animals so do not keep it in your room or tent.
Is Amboseli Safe?
Visited by thousands of safari enthusiasts every year, the Amboseli National Park is a safe safari destination.
- Travel Health: Vaccines
- Before you travel, visit your local travel clinic and find out well in advance what vaccinations are required. This is a changing landscape and does require forward planning.
- Kenya is a malaria area but prophylactics are both effective and accessible in your home country. To remove any anxiety in this regard, visit your local travel clinic and organize your meds well in advance.
Amboseli Safari Travel Tips
On safari in amboseli, kenya.
Being on safari in Kenya is a magical experience. Kenyans are open, friendly, and welcoming. Here are a few helpful tips and suggestions to keep in mind while you are on safari.
Cash & Tipping in Amboseli
Though most of your travel expenses will be inclusive, it’s a good idea to take some cash for extra purchases like curios and gifts. US dollars are widely accepted but it is also a good idea to have some Kenyan shillings in supply. Major credit cards are usually accepted at larger establishments and cash can be obtained from ATMs in big cities.
Tipping is customary in Kenya. How much is at your discretion and depends on the quality of service and your satisfaction, 10% is a good baseline to work from.
Mind Your Manners: Park Etiquette in Amboseli
Kenya is conservative and high emphasis is placed on modesty, good manners, and courtesy.
Taking photographs is a sensitive subject so it is a good idea to always ask permission before you snap. Many people will expect money in exchange for your snap.
Month-by-Month Amboseli Safari Guide
Our month-by-month is a rough guide to the weather of Kenya and while we try to be as accurate as possible, shifting weather patterns do make the weather difficult to predict. Ditto the movements of wild animals that follow their own rhythms.
January - birding
One of the warmest months in Amboseli, January is the best time for birding enthusiasts. Late afternoon showers are common in short bursts and migratory birds from Europe and North Africa flock to the shallow lakes and swamps. January is also the start of the calving season.
February - baby animals and predators. The low season is a great time for birders and photographers.
The explosion of life that started in January continues through February until March. February is comparatively quiet and a great time for predators and prey. Expect wide open spaces and an 'exclusive' feel particularly in the private conservancies that are part of Amboseli.
March - wet and often muddy
March is a muddy month. Many lodges begin to close for the low season while heavy afternoon thundershowers keep things dramatic with occasional flooding.
April - low season
April is a "long rain" month. Typically cool (but still warm by European standards), April is a wet, low-season month. This is a quiet time with great budget rates and a quieter safari experience.
May - drizzly with mud
May is still wet and cool and by this stage, many roads are more like muddy rivers. Rivers on the other hand flood their banks and getting around is slow and sticky. May is definitely the month for a fly-in safari.
June - lush vegetation and good game viewing
The long rains come to an end in June. A much drier month, June in Amboseli is the start of the high season. Cooler weather and lush green landscapes make this one of the best times for an Amboseli safari.
July - best weather
July is pleasant, warm, and dry. Wildlife in general stays close to their watering holes making July an excellent Amboseli safari month. Be prepared for crowds as this is the Kenyan safari high season.
August – excellent game viewing
Cool and dry, August is the month for great safari sightings.
September - exceptional game viewing
Still dry, September in Amboseli National Park is all about the exceptional safari game viewing.
October – temperatures rise, excellent game viewing
Hot and dry, October is often the hottest month. Animals stick close to watering holes waiting for the November rains.
November - afternoon thundershowers and spectacular skies
The short summer rains begin in November. Though wet, the afternoon showers are short and followed by clear skies making for an otherworldly drama. This is also the start of the birding season.
December - festive season crowds and birding safaris
December is quieter than the peak-season months but the national park can get busy with festive season tourists.
Amboseli National Park Facts
- Declared a National Park in 1974
- 392 km² (151 sq mi)
- Kenya's second most popular national park after the Masai Mara National Reserve
- Declared a UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Reserve in 1991
- As Kilimanjaro’s ice cap melts, water flows underground replenishing Amboseli’s clear water springs in the heart of the park
Amboseli Geography & Landscape
Mount Kilimanjaro looms large over Amboseli’s landscape. The mountain is intrinsic to the geography and ecology of the Amboseli ecosystem. Kilimanjaro’s ice melts and flows underground through volcanic rock and fills Amboseli’s wetlands.
The dominant feature of Amboseli National Park is the wetlands which attract both animals and birds in an otherwise dry habitat. The seasonal Lake Amboseli is usually a dry dust bowl, but in the central area, you will find lake Kioko. Further east is Longinye swamp and to the south Enkongo Narok swamp. These permanent water sources, filled with water from Kilimanjaro, are vital to the animals of Amboseli, drawing them like a magnet, especially in the dry peak season safari months. In the wet, low-season safari months the dusty plains between the swamps are lush with pasture, and the dust bowl that is the Amboseli Lake fills with shallow water.
The south of Amboseli, towards Mount Kilimanjaro , has more woodland which provides browsing for the Masai Giraffe and good bush cover for predators.
Amboseli National Park History
The first people of the Amboseli area were hunter-gatherers. They were displaced by the Bantu-speaking Kamba and Chagga peoples who began arriving around fifteen hundred years ago. The first Maasai people, who migrated south from modern-day Sudan, began to arrive in the early 17th century.
Scottish explorer Joseph Thomas was the first European explorer to document his journey through the Njiri Plain to Lake Amboseli, which, even in 1883 was completely dry. Only 25 at the time, Joseph walked with a 150-strong entourage of helpers and blazed the trail for all the explorers who followed.
In 1899, the British colonial government, in an attempt to confine the Maasai, created the Southern Maasai Reserve which stretched from Nairobi to Kilimanjaro and as far west as the Mara River. In 1948 they created, with the intent of protecting wildlife decimated by hunting, the Amboseli Reserve. Acknowledging the Maasai’s nomadic ways, however, they granted them grazing and traversing rights in the park. In 1961 when Kenya gained independence, Amboseli came under the local Kajiado District Council. This lasted until 1974 when population expansion, encroachment, and an upswing in tourism prompted President Jomo Kenyatta to put the reserve in the hands of the National Parks Service. This arrangement excluded the Maasai from the reserve and the life-giving water of the Amboseli wetlands. The kickback from this arrangement was met with widespread poaching and the decimation of Amboseli’s rhino and lion populations.
Since then, Amboseli has been pioneering human-wildlife relations through conservation and conservancy initiatives. Today the value of safari tourism is being widely embraced by Maasai communities and populations of wildlife are rebounding. A boon for the Maasai has been leasing their land directly to safari operators which gives important cash incentives but also creates jobs and other income-generating opportunities. Amboseli Culture: Maasai
Amboseli Culture & the Maasai
The people of Amboseli are the Maasai. Increasingly these tall, proud and semi-nomadic people are involved with tourism and conservation. Their unique history and affinity with the Kenyan landscape make visiting a Maasai village a must. The greater Amboseli ecosystem is dotted with Maasai villages many of which will welcome visitors who are interested in learning more about their way of life. Experience their unique dress, accessories, dances, and ancient rituals, and meet their fiercely independent warriors.
Planning your Amboseli Safari in Kenya?
The Amboseli National Park is a must-see for every traveler to Kenya , and the close encounters with elephants and views of Kilimanjaro are incredible.
We feature affordable Amboseli safari packages that range from 4-day safaris to epic Africa Overland Tours that include Amboseli National Park on longer journeys to multiple countries. There is a variety of budget Amboseli Safaris to choose from, including camping and lodge safaris, small group tours, family safaris, overland tours, luxury camping safaris, and more.
For an affordable Private Safari to Amboseli contact African Budget Safaris . Our experienced travel consultants are experts at designing tailor-made safaris for your unique needs and budget.
Google Map of Amboseli National Park
Use the Google map to explore Amboseli National Park.
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- Pilanesberg National
- Sabi Sands Game Reserve
- Serengeti National Park
- All Budget Safaris
- All Overlanding
- Child Friendly Tours
- Gorilla Trekking
- Adventure Travel
- Short Stay Tours
- Private Safaris
- Accommodated Overland
- Budget Camping Safaris
- Budget Lodge Safaris
- Exclusive Budget Safaris
- Exclusive Overland
- Expedition Tours
- Family Overland Tours
- Forty Plus Safaris
- Gorilla Trekking Tours
- Hiking Tours
- Overland Camping Tours
- Self Drive Tours
- Shark Cage Diving Tours
- Backpacker Hostel
- Beach Resort
- Bungalow or Chalet
- Fully Serviced Camping
- Guesthouse / B&B
- Lodge & Camping Combo
- Lodge / Safari Lodge
- Luxury Camping
- Mobile Camping
- Standard Camping
- Tented Lodge
1. Africa is BIG! Wildlife sightings are not guaranteed . 2. Our wildlife search is inclusive - it only shows trips matching all the boxes you tick. 3. If you get 'no results' - select fewer animals :)
- Exceptional Birding
- Whales & Sea Life
- Migration Safari
- Shark Cage Diving
- Conservation Experience
Please note: activities are often optional components on any given tour.
- Delta Mokoro
- Fly-in Safari
- Hiking / Climbing
- Hot Air Balloon
- Walking Safari
- White Water Rafting
Tours Focused on Amboseli National Park
Amboseli & private game reserve fly-in camping safari.
Trip Style Amboseli National Park Budget Safari Packages