Amboseli National Park Kenya

Amboseli National Park Kenya

“Home of the African Elephant” Crowned by Mount Kilimanjaro Africa’s highest peak, the Amboseli National Parks is one of Kenya’s most popular parks. The name “Amboseli” comes from a Maasai word meaning “salty dust“, and it is one of the best places in Africa to view large herds of elephants up close. Nature lovers can explore five different habitats here ranging from the dried-up bed of Lake Amboseli wetlands with sulphur springs, the Savannah and woodlands.  They can also visit the local Maasai community who live around the park and experience their authentic culture.Amboseli lies immediately north-west of Mount Kilimanjaro, on the border with Tanzania, the Park covers 392 square km and forms part of the much larger 3,000 square km Amboseli ecosystem.

Amboseli lies immediately north-west of Mount Kilimanjaro, on the border with Tanzania. The Park covers 392 square km and forms part of the much larger 3,000 square km Amboseli ecosystem.

Large concentrations of wildlife occur here in the dry season, making Amboseli a popular tourist destination. It is surrounded by six communally owned group ranches.

The National Park embodies five main wildlife habitats (open plains, acacia woodland, rocky thorn bush country, swamps and marshland) and covers part of a Pleistocene lake basin, now dry.

Amboseli is famous for its big game and its great scenic beauty; the landscape is dominated by the towering Mount Kilimanjaro.

The National Park embodies five main wildlife habitats (open plains, acacia woodland, rocky thorn bush country, swamps and marshland) and covers part of a Pleistocene lake basin, now dry. Within this basin is a temporary lake, Lake Amboseli, those floods during years of heavy rainfall.

Amboseli boasts of rich birdlife, with over 400 bird species recorded, including the globally threatened Madagascar Pond-Heron, Lesser Flamingo, Lesser Kestrel, and Possibly Africa’s most sought-after bird, the Shoebill which is a one time record in the area and over 40 birds of prey.

The park also has forty-two of the ninety-four species of the Somali-Masai biome that occur in Kenya.

To find Amboseli a very productive bird-watching spot, one needs to get there during and just after the October-December rains. This is when local birds are joined by migrants from the Northern hemisphere, sometimes in fairly large numbers.

Other wildlife includes; the African Lion which can easily be found and occasional sighted stalking prey, Cape Buffalo, Cheetah, Gazelle, Spotted Hyena, Jackals, Wildebeest, Common Zebra, Olive Baboons, name it.

Amboseli has over 80 different mammals to be found ranging from the tiny (and rarely seen) spectacled elephant shrew to the huge bulk of the African elephant. Few visitors will go home without superb elephant pictures with Kilimanjaro as a backdrop. There are over 400 bird species.

Mount Kilimanjaro; Observation Hill which allows an overall view of the whole park especially the swamps and elephants; Swamp below observation hill hosts many elephants, buffaloes, hippos and a variety of waterfowl like pelican; Egyptian goose; contemporary Maasai culture and indigenous lifestyle; herds of elephants.

Size of Amboseli national park

The park is 39,206 hectares (392 km2; 151 sq mi) in size at the core of an 8,000 km2 (3,100 sq mi) ecosystem that spreads across the Kenya-Tanzania border.

Location of Amboseli national park

Formerly Maasai Amboseli Game Reserve is a national park in Kajiado South Constituency in Kajiado County

How to get to Amboseli national park Kenya

By Road:

The main road into the park is from Nairobi via Namanga (240 km) on the Nairobi-Arusha Road, via Meshanani Gate. The road is tarmacked up to Namanga but is Maram from Namanga to Meshanani Gate (75km).

The other road is via Emali (228 km) on the Nairobi- Mombasa Road. The road is tarmacked up to Emali and Maram from Emali to Remito Gate (64 km) Access from Mombasa is mainly through Tsavo West via Kimana (Olekelunyiet) Gate.

By Air: The Park has an airstrip at Empusel gate. There is also an airstrip for light aircraft at the Park Headquarters (Olekelunyiet). Other airstrips exist at Kilimanjaro Buffalo Lodge and Namanga town.

Things to do in Amboseli national park

Wildlife Viewing

The landscape of the Amboseli National Park offers the most scenic views of wildlife.  The Amboseli is like a gigantic bowl of vast vegetation cover and numerous swamps that harbour wild animals of disparate species from the Big Five to unique birds such as, peacocks and spotty zebras.

A cultural visit to the local villages

The local communities living around the Amboseli national park are a unique ethnic group in East Africa. The Maasai community is known for its traditional culture that has not been affected by modernization of the African continent. They lead a tribal way of life, which is worth exploring especially their traditional dances and clothing.

Game Drive

Going on a game drive in the Amboseli is more than just landscape viewing and encountering animals. The Amboseli is a top destination for nature that is mostly dry and covered by dust from recurrent winds, which create a “dust devil” phenomenon. This happens from time to time depending on the changes in atmospheric pressure to build a mini-twister impression in the air.

However, as much it is enjoyable to watch, keep a safe distance from it since it is uncomfortable on the skin.

Game drives in the Amboseli also provide a truly refreshing encounter of watching the sunrise and sunset in exceptional hues of colour change over the horizons.

Nature photography

The Amboseli national park is probably Africa’s irrefutable background of scenic brilliance. The beautiful scene of the snow-capped Kilimanjaro Mountains which is the highest mountain in the African continent- provides the perfect backdrop for nature photography.

When to Visit Amboseli national park Kenya

The dry season from June to October is generally considered the best time to see wildlife in Amboseli; with little rain falling wildlife retreats to the park’s swamps where underground water from Kilimanjaro wells up permanently year-round.

Where to stay in Amboseli national park

Amboseli has a range of accommodation to suit all budgets, tastes and interests. There are very basic campsites where one can pitch a tent and sleep under canvas in the wild, well-appointed safari lodges, luxury tented camps with large, fully furnished tents, small private camps for your exclusive use and much, much, more.

  • Ol Tukai lodge.
  • Endonyo –Amboseli.
  • Kibo safari camp.
  • Amboseli Serena.
  • Tortillis camp.
  • Sentrim Amboseli Lodge.
  • Kibo Villa –Amboseli.


Game drives in Amboseli national park
Walking safaris in Amboseli national park
Cultural tours to the Masai village near Amboseli NP
Nature and landscape photography in Amboseli NP
Hot air balloon safaris in Amboseli NP
Camping safaris in Amboseli national park


How to get to Amboseli national park


3 Days Amboseli national park safari
4 Days Luxury Amboseli national park safari
5 Days Amboseli and Nairobi national park safari


Best time to visit Amboseli national park


Tortilis camp Amboseli
Amboseli Serena safari Lodge
Kilima safari camp Amboseli
Kibo safari Camp Amboseli
Ol Tukai Lodge Amboseli


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