AMBOSELI NATIONAL PARK
Lions? Leopards? And Chimps
- It’s one of the best spots in Africa for seeing great herds of free-ranging elephants
- The park sits at the foot of world-famous Mt. Kilimanjaro – the tallest mountain in Africa and the highest free-standing mountain in the world
- Amboseli teems with wildlife- lion, cheetah, wildebeest, Masai giraffe, zebra, buffalo and so much more
- The mighty tuskers parading before the towering snow-capped mountain are a photographer’s dream – it’s hard to take a bad photo at Amboseli
Under Amboseli’s Big Sky
The big sky and scattered brush here shelter a wonder of wildlife waiting to be discovered. You’ll find small mammals like jackal, hyena, fox, monkey, and baboon.
The park’s active marshes also offer sightings of kingfisher, egret, pelican, heron, and raptors – a total of 370 bird species.
And standing sentinel over it all, the massive form of Kilimanjaro rises through the clouds to over 5895 m (19,000 ft). Though partly obscured during the day it is not uncommon for the mist to disperse at dawn or dusk leaving stunning views of its snow-capped summit.
Home of the Maasai
At Amboseli, you’ll have the opportunity to meet the indigenous Maasai people in their local village. This can be a moving cultural encounter, learning how these ancient herders tend their livestock and live off the land. You may even get to experience their rituals and ceremonies and perhaps their traditional jumping dance.
Things to Do in Amboseli National Park
Elephant Research Camp – The great numbers of elephants here present wonderful research opportunities. Located in the heart of the park, the camp continues to carry out the work of Dr. Cynthia Moss who studied the great pachyderms who became the subject of many books and documentaries.
Ol Okenya Swamp – You’re guaranteed to spot the free-ranging elephants of Amboseli as they are so plentiful. This is a favorite place to see them during the day foraging and enjoying the cool waters of Ol Okenya Swamp.
The Maasai People – Don’t miss visiting one of the several Maasai villages in the area. Your Africa Kenya Safari guide can easily arrange a visit to meet and learn about these pastoral people. You may even want to purchase some of their beaded work as a souvenir.
Observation Hill – This is a great spot to leave your safari Jeep and stretch your legs – you’ll be rewarded with scenic vistas of the park’s lakes, marshes, and plains… and the wildlife inhabiting them. Of course, the views of Mt. Kilimanjaro are equally captivating.
Sinet Delta – Amboseli is much more than just fabulous elephants. Head to this delta for the finest birdwatching in the area. Plus, you’ll find more photogenic views of Kilimanjaro to the south.
These reserve-based projects help the livelihoods of the nearby rural communities.
- Education for local students, including computer skills training
- Healthcare – providing medical supplies to the local health centers and mobile clinic
- Energy – providing hundreds of local families with energy-efficient stoves – reducing the need for firewood.
Ol Pejeta Eco-Facts
- Sanctuaries to protect endangered chimpanzees, oryx, hartebeest, Grevy’s zebra, and bat-eared fox
- Home to the world’s last remaining northern white rhinos
- The largest black rhino sanctuary in East Africa – the rhino population has increased by over 100 in the last 25 years.
Survey: Amboseli Park
Amboseli is not one of Kenya’s larger parks but that just makes it easier to spot the wildlife with its greater concentration of species. The park is just 392 sq. km (151 sq. mi).
Location: Set on the Kenya/Tanzania border, the park resides in the shadow of Mt. Kilimanjaro to the south.
Climate: Daytime temperatures are about 280C/820F which makes for a mild to warm safari experience. The park tends to be on the drier side.
Best time to visit: The dry season (June – October) presents the best viewing as the brush is thinner and allows more visibility of the wildlife.
Operating Hours: Amboseli is open year-round from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm, daily.
Getting there: The easiest way is to book a tour with Africa Kenya Safaris. We’ll take you there in style – a specially outfitted 4 x 4 Safari Jeep.
This is Amboseli National Park
This is the land of the Giants – great herds and magnificent vistas. And then there’s the grandeur of Mt. Kilimanjaro. An easy journey from Nairobi, come to Amboseli to discover its rich eco-systems and the colorful birds and wildlife that make this popular park their home.
Let’s Get Started
Amboseli National Park Facts
Want to discover more about amazing Amboseli? Our quick Q&A guide will help you with Amboseli National Park facts and information on its wildlife, climate, history, and just what makes it an unmissable safari destination!
Amboseli National Park is a famous wildlife conservation area located in the southern part of Kenya, near the border with Tanzania. This iconic park covers an area of 392 square kilometres and is home to a wide range of wildlife species, including over 80 species of mammals and over 400 species of birds. The park is located at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro, which is the highest peak in Africa and one of the highest free-standing mountains in the world.
Amboseli Location and Access
Amboseli National Park is situated in Kajiado County, which is in the southern part of Kenya. The park is located about 240 kilometres south-east of Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya. Visitors can access the park via road or air. If traveling by road, it takes about 4-5 hours to drive from Nairobi to Amboseli National Park. Alternatively, visitors can take a flight from Nairobi to Amboseli Airstrip, which is located within the park.
The Park’s Unique Features
One of the most striking features of Amboseli National Park is the stunning backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro. The snow-capped peak of Africa’s highest mountain provides a stunning contrast to the park’s dry, dusty plains. Amboseli is also known for its large herds of elephants, which are some of the most photographed animals in the world. The park is also home to other wildlife species such as lions, cheetahs, zebras, giraffes, buffaloes, and various species of antelopes. Bird enthusiasts can also spot a variety of birds such as kingfishers, weavers, and pelicans, among others.
Discover Maasai Culture
In addition to the wildlife, Amboseli National Park also offers visitors a chance to experience the Maasai culture. The park is located in an area where the Maasai people live, and visitors can learn about their traditional way of life and interact with them. The Maasai are known for their vibrant culture, unique dress, and their co-existence with wildlife.
Amboseli National Park is one of Kenya’s most popular national parks and is located in the southern part of the country near the Tanzanian border. The park covers an area of 392 square kilometres (151 square miles) and is part of the larger Amboseli ecosystem.
Comparing Amboseli National Park
To put the size of Amboseli National Park into perspective, it is roughly the same size as the city of San Francisco in the United States. However, despite its relatively small size, the park is home to an abundance of wildlife and offers visitors a chance to see a wide range of animals in their natural habitat.
Geographical Features of Amboseli National Park
The landscape of Amboseli National Park is dominated by the stunning Mount Kilimanjaro, which is the highest peak in Africa and the highest free-standing mountain in the world. The park is also home to several swamps, which attract a variety of animals, including elephants, buffalo, and hippos. The park’s unique combination of grassy plains, wetlands, and woodlands provides a diverse range of habitats for wildlife, making it an ideal safari destination.
Amboseli National Park is situated in the southern part of Kenya, close to the border with Tanzania. The park is located about 230 km from Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya. The distance between Nairobi and Amboseli National Park can be covered by both road and air transport. The driving time from Nairobi to Amboseli is approximately 4-5 hours, depending on the mode of transportation and the route taken.
Safari Packages to Amboseli National Park from Nairobi
Africa Kenya Safaris is a tour operator based in Nairobi that offers a range of safari packages to various destinations in Kenya, including Amboseli National Park. One of the popular packages is the 3-Day Amboseli Safari, which starts and ends in Nairobi. The package includes accommodation, transport, park fees, and game drives. Guests can expect to see a wide range of wildlife such as elephants, lions, cheetahs, wildebeests, zebras, and many more.
Another package offered by Africa Kenya Safaris is the 4-Day Amboseli and Tsavo Safari. This package includes visits to both Amboseli and Tsavo East National Parks. Visitors can expect to see the famous herds of elephants in Amboseli as well as the diverse wildlife in Tsavo East, including the ‘red elephants’. The package includes accommodation, transport, park fees, and game drives.
Amboseli National Park offers a range of accommodations to suit different tastes and budgets. There are various lodges, tented camps, and campsites located both inside and outside the park.
Safari Lodges in Amboseli
Inside the park, there are several options for visitors who want to experience the wildlife up close. One of the most popular lodges is the Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge, located on a hill overlooking the park. The lodge has 96 rooms, each with a private balcony that offers stunning views of Mount Kilimanjaro. Another popular option is the Tortilis Camp, which has 17 luxury tents nestled in a shady acacia grove.
Lodges and Campsites Near Amboseli
For visitors who prefer to stay outside the park, there are several lodges and campsites located in the surrounding areas. One of the best options is the Ol Tukai Lodge, located on a 20,000-acre wildlife sanctuary bordering the national park. The lodge has 80 chalet-style rooms, each with its own private veranda with views of the park and Mount Kilimanjaro.
Book Safari Packages with Budget or Luxury Accommodation
Africa Kenya Safaris offers a variety of safari packages that include stays at various accommodations in and around Amboseli National Park. These packages range from budget camping safaris to luxury lodge safaris, and include game drives, guided walks, and cultural visits to local Maasai communities. Visitors can choose from packages that range from 2 to 10 days, depending on their interests and time available.
Amboseli National Park is a popular destination for tourists and wildlife enthusiasts. The best time to visit Amboseli National Park is during the dry season from July to October and January to February. During this time, the weather is pleasant, and the wildlife is easy to spot because they gather around the water sources. Visitors can witness the iconic views of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, with clear blue skies in the background.
The rainy season, which starts from March to June and November to December, can make some parts of the park inaccessible, and wildlife is not easily visible. The wet season brings about lush vegetation and more abundant water sources, which can be a good time for birdwatching enthusiasts to visit.
The wildebeest migration can also be seen in Amboseli National Park from late November to early December. The park serves as a corridor for the wildebeest migration from Tanzania to Kenya. However, the timing of the migration varies each year, depending on the rainfall patterns, and it’s essential to plan your visit accordingly. Africa Kenya Safaris offers packages that consider the best time to visit the park for the ultimate safari experience.
Amboseli National Park is located in a semi-arid region of Kenya, which means that it experiences long dry seasons and short rainy seasons. The weather in Amboseli is generally pleasant throughout the year, with plenty of sunshine and clear blue skies. However, visitors should be prepared for significant variations in temperature between day and night, and between the dry and wet seasons.
Dry Season (June-October)
The dry season in Amboseli is the best time to visit the park, especially for wildlife viewing. This season runs from June to October and is characterized by hot, dry weather with little to no rainfall. During this time, the animals are concentrated around water sources, making it easier for visitors to spot them. The skies are generally clear, providing excellent opportunities for photography and panoramic views of Mount Kilimanjaro. Temperatures during this period range from 20°C (68°F) to 30°C (86°F).
Wet Season (November-May)
The wet season in Amboseli runs from November to May, with the peak rainfall occurring between March and May. During this season, the park is lush and green, and the animals are scattered, making them harder to spot. The rains also create muddy roads, which can make it difficult to navigate the park. However, the wet season also brings migratory birds to the park, making it a great time for bird watching. Temperatures during this period range from 18°C (64°F) to 28°C (82°F), but can drop significantly at night.
The history of Amboseli National Park dates back to the early 1900s when it was established as a reserve for the Maasai people and their livestock. However, it wasn’t until 1948 that the reserve was gazetted as a National Park and named “Amboseli” after the Maasai word for “salty dust”. In the years that followed, the park was managed by various colonial and post-colonial governments until it was handed over to the Kenya Wildlife Service in 1974.
Conservation Efforts in Amboseli
Over the years, Amboseli National Park has faced various conservation challenges such as human-wildlife conflict, poaching, and habitat degradation. However, concerted efforts by various stakeholders including the Maasai community, Kenya Wildlife Service, and non-governmental organizations have helped to mitigate these challenges. For instance, the Maasai community has been involved in conservation initiatives such as wildlife monitoring, anti-poaching patrols, and community-based tourism. These efforts have not only helped to protect the park’s wildlife but have also contributed to the socio-economic development of the local community.
Current Status of Amboseli National Park
Today, Amboseli National Park is a popular tourist destination, attracting thousands of visitors every year. The park is not only famous for its iconic views of Mount Kilimanjaro but also for its rich wildlife including elephants, lions, cheetahs, hyenas, and various bird species. The park also serves as an important research and conservation center, hosting various studies on wildlife ecology, behavior, and genetics. Overall, Amboseli National Park remains a vital conservation area and an important contributor to Kenya’s tourism industry.
Amboseli National Park is one of the best safari destinations in Kenya due to its diverse wildlife and stunning landscapes. It is a perfect place to view the majestic African elephant, as it is one of the few places in Africa where you can get close to these giant animals. Amboseli is also home to over 80 other mammal species including lions, leopards, cheetahs, giraffes, zebras, buffalos, and many more.
Great for African Wildlife & Culture
In addition to its wildlife, Amboseli offers visitors a unique cultural experience. The park is located in the land of the Maasai people, who have lived in the area for centuries. Visitors have the opportunity to interact with the Maasai and learn about their way of life, including their traditional dances, music, and crafts. The Maasai also act as guides in the park, offering their expert knowledge and insight into the local wildlife.
Stunning Views of Mount Kilimanjaro
Another highlight of Amboseli is its breathtaking views of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa. The snow-capped peak of Kilimanjaro provides a stunning backdrop to the park’s flat plains and marshy swamps. It is a photographer’s dream come true, and visitors can capture some of the most iconic images of Africa from Amboseli National Park. Overall, Amboseli National Park is a must-visit destination for any safari enthusiast or nature lover.
Amboseli National Park is famous for its large elephant herds, making it one of the best places in Africa to see these majestic animals in their natural habitat. While exact figures may vary depending on the source, the most recent estimates put the elephant population in Amboseli at around 1,600 individuals.
Elephant Research Project
The Amboseli Elephant Research Project (AERP) is a long-term study of the ecology, behavior, and social organization of elephants in the park. Founded in 1972 by Dr Cynthia Moss, the project is the longest-running study of elephants in the world, and has produced invaluable insights into the lives of these magnificent creatures.
Despite the size of the elephant population in Amboseli, there are still threats to their survival, including habitat loss, poaching, and human-wildlife conflict. To address these challenges, conservation efforts are ongoing in the park, including anti-poaching patrols, community outreach programs, and habitat restoration projects. With continued dedication and support, it is hoped that the elephant population in Amboseli will continue to thrive for generations to come.
Amboseli National Park is home to a diverse range of wildlife, making it a popular destination for safari enthusiasts. The park is known for its large elephant herds, which are some of the biggest in Africa, as well as for the iconic backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro. Visitors can expect to see a variety of other wildlife species during their visit, including lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, giraffes, zebras, wildebeests, and buffalos.
The Amboseli ecosystem also provides habitat for over 400 species of birds, making it a birdwatcher’s paradise. Some of the bird species that can be spotted in the park include the African fish eagle, the martial eagle, the secretary bird, and the lilac-breasted roller. The park’s varied landscapes, from swamps and marshes to savannah and acacia woodlands, provide diverse habitats for these birds to thrive.
Beyond the Big Five Safari Animals
The park also has a number of smaller animal species that can be seen, such as dik-diks, rock hyraxes, and various rodents. Visitors can explore the park’s diverse habitats through game drives, guided walks, or even horseback riding safaris. The best times to view the wildlife are early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the animals are most active.