Spotting elephants in Amboseli National Park
Located about a four to five hour drive (240 km) southeast of Nairobi, Amboseli is most famous for two particular things – majestic herds of big tusked elephant and glorious views of Mount Kilimanjaro in neighboring Tanzania.
Game drives in Amboseli National Park
Amboseli is the second most visited National Park of Kenya. The Maasai Mara stands number one. During heavy rains, the basin at the centre of the park floods, attracting hordes of wildlife. The park is an excellent place to view the Big Five, as well as lesser known and rarer wildlife species.
The best game drive tracks are in the most southern part of the park: Olodoare Plains, Oltukai, Longinye Swamp, Observation Hill Swamp area, Lake Kioko and surroundings. Large herbivores such as elephants, wildebeests, zebra and gazelle are easily spotted. Predators such as lions, cheetahs and hyenas are also regularly spotted. There is also a profusion of waterbirds.
Amboseli is a gentle self-drive safari destination, it’s easy to navigate, the tracks are well sign posted and not technical.
How to get to Amboseli National Park
Amboseli is easy accessible from both Nairobi as well as Mombasa, and can be reached in a day's drive. A visit to Amboseli is also great add on to a Tanzania itineary. Its less than an hours drive from Loitokitok town, on the Tanzanian border. When coming from Nairobi, the main entrance road is via Namanga, through Meshanani Gate (240 km) . The other road is from Nairobi via Emali (228 km) on the Nairobi - Mombasa Road. Access from Mombasa is mainly through Tsavo West National Park via Kimana (Olkelunyiet) Gate.
How much are the park fees for Amboseli National Park?
Amboseli is under management of the Kenyan Wildlife Service. In 2020/21 the entrance fee for non-residents is $ 35 for adults and $ 20 for children up to 18 years. Vehicle entry fee is 300 KSH ($2,80) per day. Entrance fee is valid for 24 hours, singly entry. Camping fees are $ 50 for special campsites and $ 30 for public campsites. For an up -to-date, detailed cost overview, also cross check the tariffs page at the KWS website, here.
Best time to visit Amboseli
Amboseli can be visited year-round on your self-drive safari. There's no animal migration pattern. The wettest month is April, the short rains usually come in November and December.
Best places to stay on your safari in Amboseli
Surprisingly, there are not public campsites inside Amboseli National Park. The KWS Amboseli public camp is 200 meters from the National Park headquarters. Or you could stay in the KWS Banda’s.
Kimana Amboseli Campsite is situated on the Southeastern periphery of the park, next to the Kimana Gate, on the way to the Park Headquarters. The camp offers quite good views of Kilimanjaro. There are some basic facilities, like a fenced kitchen (baboon proof!), a well-kept ablution block and some electricity/plug-in points around camp. Some shade is provided by old and tall Acacia trees.
Maasai Simba Camp is in a private ranch on the outskirts of Amboseli National Park at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro, and offers comfortable and budget cottages and tents.
Kibo Safari Camp is a recommended place to stay inside Amboseli, in the more upmarket price range. You sleep in a self-contained glamping tent, with majestic views of Mount Kilimanjaro.