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.
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 for 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.
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:
Hiking and many more
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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.
Activities in Amboseli National Park
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.
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.