Amboseli National Park is seen as the Home of the African Elephant
Crowned by Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, the Amboseli National Park 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 sulfur springs, the savannah, and woodlands. They can also visit the local Maasai community who live around the park and experience their authentic culture.
Probably second only to the Maasai Mara in popularity, Amboseli National Park is a fairly small park known for its vast elephant herds. They’re often photographed with nearby Mount Kilimanjaro as a backdrop. Only 200 km from Nairobi, Amboseli National Park combines well with a number of other game parks for an outstanding Kenyan safari experience.
- Iconic, snow-capped Kilimanjaro as a backdrop
- Known for its huge herds of elephants
- Excellent variety and abundance of wildlife
- Great selection of safari lodges
- Game viewing includes game drives, walking, and horseback safaris
- Different types of landscapes add to the scenic safari experience
Amboseli National Park is on the Tanzanian border, just northwest of Mount Kilimanjaro (or Kili as it’s known to locals), and provides the most iconic and majestic views of the world’s highest free-standing mountain. It’s probably one of the most photographed wildlife areas in the world. You’ll see it typically showing huge herds of games pictured in front of the backdrop of snow-capped Kili.
Small in size, but not in wildlife
The smallish park, covering just 390 km², is part of the vast Amboseli ecosystem of 3,000 km² with a variety of landscapes from dry expanses of open plains and rocky thornbush to acacia woodlands, swamps, and marshlands. It’s best known for its huge herds of elephants. An abundance of wildlife congregates here in the dry season, making this park second only to Maasai Mara in popularity.
Great choice of lodges & game viewing options
There is a good choice of luxury lodges at Amboseli and you have the option to go on game drives, horseback safaris, and guided bush walks with experienced guides and rangers. The game viewing is not quite on par with Maasai Mara as it’s a much smaller park, but you’re likely to see the big African mammals; elephant, lion, buffalo, leopard, cheetah, spotted hyena, giraffe, several antelope species, and other plains animals. Birding is very respectable with over 300 species recorded here.
Easy reach of Nairobi
Amboseli is about 200 km from Nairobi and is often included on safari itineraries as it’s easy to get to by road or air. It combines well with safaris to Maasai Mara and Tsavo National Park as well as parks in neighboring Tanzania like Mount Kilimanjaro, Arusha, and the more famous Serengeti, Tarangire, and Ngorongoro Crater.
Please discuss your wishlist and preferences with us, and we’ll happily design your dream safari for you – with no obligation at all.
Wildlife & Safaris
Amboseli is famous for its huge herds of elephants and thousands of other large plains animals that come to drink at the area’s many permanent lakes and swampland. Photo opportunities are something of an attraction, using the very distinctive Mount Kilimanjaro as a backdrop for a wide variety of wildlife.
A lesser-known fact is that the Amboseli has its own wildebeest and zebra migration, albeit on a much smaller scale than the Maasai Mara. Other plentiful species include Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelles, buffalo, hartebeest, eland, and water-buck as well as healthy populations of lion and hyena.
The Amboseli region has several lodges and safari camps and walking safaris are also popular here. Its proximity to the Tanzanian border makes it a popular add-on to an itinerary that includes Tanzania.
We have no scheduled safaris to Amboseli but can include one on a tailor-made Kenyan safari itinerary. We recommend spending at least 2 nights at Amboseli National Park. Speak to us about your safari wish list and we’d be more than happy to design a custom safari to suit your budget and requirements.
The giants here are the great herds of elephants. Hundreds of them.
Protected from poachers, they carry their massive tusks with pride as they gather at predictable watering holes, delighting the many who come to Amboseli National Park to view these noble creatures.
Amboseli is known as the best place in Africa for getting up close to free-ranging elephants. The population is so robust here that sightings are guaranteed!
It’s just one of many reasons the park is the second most popular in Kenya – only the Masai Mara draws more visitors.
Amboseli is also a photographer’s paradise. Those wonderful photos you’ve seen of elephants seemingly posing in front of snow-capped Mt. Kilimanjaro? They were taken here.
Kilimanjaro, the largest mountain in Africa and the highest free-standing mountain in the world, towers over the park-like a stately and photogenic sentinel. And when the clouds burn off at dusk or dawn, you’ll be treated to visions of its snowy peak.
But it would be foolish to think elephants are the only wildlife attraction in the park. On your game drives on Amboseli’s great horizons you can spot wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, gazelle and of course, cheetahs and lions.
And not to be overlooked – smaller mammals like a hyena, foxes, jackals, vervet monkey, and the yellow baboon abound.
The bird life is equally rich, especially in the park’s marshes and lakes. Be ready for sightings of pelicans, kingfishers, cranes, egrets, and the Madagascar heron. And raptors – 47 types have been spotted including falcon and the harrier eagle.
The sky and horizon are vast here encompassing Amboseli’s 5 wildlife environments which ensure great numbers and diversity: wetlands, savannah, woodlands, thorn-bush, and the dry lakebed of Lake Amboseli.
Even the word “Amboseli” comes from a Maasai word meaning “salty dust”.
And you’ll find the Maasai people in their villages spread around the park. You can visit with them and experience a truly authentic and ancient African culture.