There are so many wonderful safaris and tours in Kenya. Each has its own unique draw. It can be confusing choosing which safaris or national parks in Kenya to visit.
Amboseli National Park offers great safaris and has 58 herds of elephants. But why should you visit this particular Kenyan national park and how would you get there? What do you need to know before booking a tour or safari?
Laid out below is a complete guide to the national park. The best times to visit, attractions, entrance fees and how to get there.
Get To Know Amboseli
The Amboseli National Park is located in Amboseli, Kenya. The two biggest attractions of the park are the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro and the equally graceful elephants. Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest free-standing mountain in the world. Its home is in Tanzania but can easily be seen from Amboseli. The impressive mountain is the picture-perfect backdrop to Amboseli National Park’s diverse fauna and flora life.
The best times to visit the park are from January to February and then again from June to September. During this time, it’s the dry season with little to no rainfall. The weather is dry and cool during this time with average temperatures of 77-83 Fahrenheit (25-28 degrees celsius).
More animals come out of hiding to feed on the lush new leaves after the long rainy season.
You might spot some animals quenching their thirst at the watering hole or having a swim to cool off.
Amboseli is the name that the native Maasai people gave meaning ‘salty, dry dust’. The park was declared a national park in 1974 and a Man and Biosphere (MAB) Reserve by UNESCO in 1991. The MAB program aims to establish and enhance a harmonious relationship between humans and animals. The park works closely with the local Maasai people and many are guides in the park.
Birdlife in Amboseli is One of the Main Attractions
There are more than 600 bird species to spot in the park. An ideal time for an avid birdwatcher to visit is during the short rainy season in October to December. Lake Amboseli covers a large area of ground in the western part of the park. Part of it crosses the border over to Tanzania. During the dry season, thousands of flamingos flock to the lake and snack on the algae and insects at their feet.
Psst… If you are a little stressed about planning your trip, this guide should help ease your holiday anxieties before embarking on your epic adventure to Amboseli National Park Kenya.
Amboseli National Park Location
It can be tricky getting to Amboseli Park if you’re not familiar with parks in Nairobi. There are a few ways to get to the park.
Where Is Amboseli National Park?
The park is in the Rift Valley Province of Kenya. The Rift Valley province is dry land home to the well-known Maasai people. Amboseli National Park is a big park that’s over 124 miles (200 km) away from Nairobi.
How Do You Get There?
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport is the biggest airport in Kenya. It will probably be the airport you’ll arrive at if you arrive internationally. There are two ways to get to Amboseli National Park from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. Either by road or by catching a second flight for a faster trip to the National park.
Traveling to Amboseli by Road:
The cheapest option to reach the park is by road. It is a three-and-a-half-hour car drive from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi. Some travel packages have shuttles that pick up visitors from the airport or city centers. During wet seasons, dirt roads can be difficult to drive on. During the dry season, roads can be dusty, but the views of the countryside along the way make up for it.
Take a Flight:
The fastest way to reach the park is by taking a short flight there. The Amboseli Airport is in the national park itself and has airstrips that allow smaller planes to land there. After landing at Jomo Kenyatta you’ll have to take a connecting flight with a smaller plane to Amboseli Airport.
Nairobi Wilson Airport is one of the places that have small planes flying to Amboseli park. It is the most popular flight starting point and is a half an hour drive from Jomo Kenyatta Airport. Flights from Nairobi Wilson Airport take about 45 minutes to arrive at Amboseli Airport.
Within just four minutes of stepping off the plane, you will be relaxing at your chosen lodge inside this beautiful reserve.
Where Can You Stay?
Amboseli National Park has a few lodges and hotels inside the park. They are usually the accommodation included in your safari packages. Hotels and lodges are three-star and above and provide everything you need. There are accommodation options for all budget sizes and lodging needs and wants.
For nature-lovers, a more authentic outdoor experience might be up your alley. You can sleep at one of their many campsites. Prices range from season to season and also between residents, non-residents and citizens. There are sanitary facilities available at all the campsites.
If you want to be spoiled and go all out, there are a few luxurious options available too. Some tour packages offer accommodation at higher-end campsites like Kibo Safari Camp. This campsite offers buffet breakfasts and complimentary wifi.
Why You Should Visit Amboseli National Park
The Amboseli Trust for Elephants was started in 1972. They aim to conserve these animals and work along the national park to keep them safe. There are more than 1600 elephants in the park. These elephants are largely protected from poachers and still have their tusks. As a result, they have become expressively carefree and aren’t afraid of walking between tourists and their cars.
Aside from elephants, there are many other animals found on an Amboseli safari. The most common are the wildebeest, giraffes, zebras, buffalos, and hippos. You can spot them during the day relaxing at marshes or in the swamp. Predators like leopards, cheetahs, and wild dogs are not as common. Lions can be spotted now and then, but are usually lazing in the shade taking naps during the day
Amboseli National Park Fees
Amboseli park fees are reasonably priced. Entry fees are divided between residents, citizens, and non-residents. The park encourages Kenyan citizens and residents to visit the park so their ticket prices are much lower compared to non-residents.
Adult citizens are expected to pay $9.50 USD and children $5 USD. Adult resident tickets are $8 USD while children’s tickets are $2 USD.
Non-resident are people not currently living in Kenya and are usually tourists. Non-resident adults can expect to pay $60 USD and children $35 USD to enter the park.
Entry tickets are only valid for 24 hours hours. If you’d like to visit more often, annual passes are sold to everyone at about $390 USD per adult and $94 USD per child.
Amboseli Safari- Different Tours to Take
Kenya is a popular safari destination and the safari costs aren’t too bad. The Amboseli National Park offers a selection of safaris. Apart from the standard safari drives they offer, they also have walking, cycling, and horse riding safaris for their guests.
3 Days and 2 Nights in Amboseli
Enjoy a hassle-free tour of Amboseli National Park with zero stress. Experience the entirety of the park as well as a cultural experience with the Maasai people.
The three-day tour starts with a bright and early pickup from five possible pickup spots all over Kenya. You will then have a full day to soak up all of the beauty of the park. Watch the sunrise over Mount Kilimanjaro before your morning game drive. Another night game drive ensures that you’ll have a chance to see all the animals in the park. Accommodation and meals are included for all three days.
Hot air Balloon and Breakfast Tour
What could be more amazing than a hot air balloon ride over a picturesque landscape? A hot air balloon tour at sunrise with a champagne breakfast included.
Expect an hour-long ride over the Kenyan landscape as it’s waking up. Mount Kilimanjaro greets you as you see the sun rising over it. Below you’ll see the savannah grassland and the lush wetlands.
Cultural Tour With the Maasai People
This eye-opening cultural tour with the Maasai people will take you on a bush hike and animal spotting in Amboseli Park. After your hike, you’ll visit the Masai Village to socialize with the locals. The Maasai are the local people living in the south of Kenya and have a rich history and culture. You’ll spend half a day learning the culture of the Maasai people. They love interacting with tourists and including them in their singing and dancing.
A short hike to Mount Kilimanjaro follows. The six-hour tour is the perfect experience for kids and parents who don’t want to do the full-length tour. Tour guides will lead you on secret and less traveled routes up the mountain to avoid crowds. A game drive and Amboseli conservation tour close your four-day experience.
When Will You Travel to Amboseli?
Amboseli National Park offers an amazing opportunity to see an almost untouched landscape.
There are many opportunities to see the animals in the park at close range. The welcoming Maasai people, who live in and around the park, are always happy to show you around or tell you stories about their birthplace.
Amboseli National Park is a wonderful place to see a blend of culture and wildlife. It shows how humans and nature can live together in harmony.
Read more about all-inclusive safari experiences in Africa here!