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Amboseli Safari From Nairobi - Compare 485 Tours

Amboseli National Park is everything you could wish for in an East African wildlife destination. It’s a relatively small park and has classic savannah scenery, as well as swamps and light woodlands, lots of acacia trees and amazing views of Mt Kilimanjaro. It also has a remarkable diversity and quantity of wildlife for such a compact park and is one of the best places in Kenya to see elephants. Surrounding the park are a number of Maasai-run conservancies that offer an alternative to the traditional safari experience. And Amboseli is one of the closest major parks to Nairobi, making it among the easiest places to visit from Kenya’s capital.

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5 Questions About Amboseli Safaris From Nairobi


5 Questions About Amboseli Safaris From Nairobi

Answered by Anthony Ham

How much time do I need for an Amboseli National Park safari from Nairobi?

“My ideal minimum for an Amboseli safari from Nairobi would be 3 days. On a 3-day safari, you’ll travel from Nairobi to Amboseli on day 1 and return to the capital (or continue your onward journey elsewhere) on day 3. That means you would spend 2 nights and 1 full day in the park. This would allow you to enjoy at least four game drives: two in the early morning and two in the late afternoon, which are the times when animals are active and easiest to see. However many days you have on safari, you should try to leave Nairobi as early as you can on day 1. You should also leave as late as you can (without having to travel at night) on your last day of safari. If you can spare an extra day or two, having 2 or even 3 full days in the park would be ideal.”


Can I see all Big Five animals on an Amboseli safari?

“You can see four of the Big Five on a trip to Amboseli: lion, elephant, buffalo and leopard (although leopards are the most difficult of the big cats to see in the park). The missing member of the Big Five is the rhino. If you have time to visit Nairobi National Park before or after traveling in Amboseli, there’s a good chance that you might see black rhino there. Apart from the Big Five, which was named by colonial hunters as the five animals most dangerous to hunt, Amboseli has some brilliant wildlife to enjoy. You won’t get any closer to big-tusked elephants than you can in Amboseli. I’ve also seen multiple lions on every visit to the park. Other highlights from my visits (and hopefully yours) include cheetah families, spotted hyena dens, zebra, giraffe, wildebeest and more. The birding here is also exceptional, with around 420 recorded species, which is more than you’ll find in many countries.”


Is Mt Kilimanjaro located in Amboseli National Park?

“No, Mt Kilimanjaro is not in Amboseli National Park, although it is so close that it can feel like it is. That’s because even though Mt Kilimanjaro (Africa’s highest mountain) is across the border in Tanzania, the best views of the mountain are from Amboseli. Mt Kilimanjaro is a constant presence whenever you’re in Amboseli. Even when the snowcapped summit is cloaked in clouds (as it often is during the day), you can still always see the mountain’s foothills rising above the southern boundary of the park. I’ve had varied experiences in Amboseli. There have been days when the summit has been visible throughout my stay. On other visits, I’ve only seen it at sunrise and sunset when the peak emerges from the swirling clouds (which happens most days). Whenever it does, have your camera ready to capture that classic Amboseli image of an elephant posing in front of the mountain.”


Should I stay in Amboseli or one of the bordering conservancies?

“There are three options for accommodation when visiting Amboseli: inside the park, just outside the park close to Kimana Gate, and outside the park in one of the exclusive Maasai-run conservancies. There aren’t many places to stay inside the park’s boundaries, apart from a couple of lodges and a campsite. Aside from the beauty of the surroundings, the advantage of staying in one of these places is that you’re close to the wildlife from the moment you leave your lodge. This gives you a head start on seeing animals while others are waiting in a morning queue at the park gate. Staying just outside Kimana Gate gives you a lot more choice when it comes to accommodation, and many places have Kilimanjaro views. It can be a really special experience staying in one of the Maasai-run conservancies. Each has plenty of wildlife and deep roots in the local community: they can be a wonderful way to spend time among the Maasai. You’ll also have a much more exclusive experience because only those staying in the conservancy can visit. The main disadvantage is that you may be some distance from the park itself.”


How much will an Amboseli safari from Nairobi cost?

“When you check the various tours and packages that are available for Amboseli safaris from Nairobi, you’ll see that there are many different possibilities when it comes to cost. As a general starting point, if you’re looking for a cheap or more affordable safari package, expect to pay around US$125 to US$150 per person per day for a budget camping safari. Prices can go up to US$500 per person per day for the full luxury experience. Most safaris will cost somewhere in between. If this seems high, remember that the daily park entrance fee for Amboseli is US$60/35 per adult/child per day. This fee should be included in the cost of your safari. Things that will affect how much you pay for your safari include whether you’re on a private or cheaper group safari, whether you fly or drive between Nairobi and Amboseli, what kind of accommodation you choose and when you’re traveling. Prices in high season (December to March and July to October) can be double those of low season (April to June).”


Amboseli Safari Reviews

4.4/5 191 Reviews
Mark Eveleigh  –  
United Kingdom UK

Mark is a travel writer who grew up in Africa and has written over 700 titles for CNN Traveller, Travel Africa, BBC Wildlife and others.

One of Kenya’s most picturesque parks with spectacular views of Kilimanjaro

I creaked into Amboseli after a frantic break-neck drive with the military convoy from Tsavo in a near-dead Suzuki Vitara hire-car. I had a soldier riding with me and the cartridge of his AK47 wore a hole through the dashboard because of...

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Lizzie Williams  –  
South Africa ZA

Lizzie is a reputed guidebook writer and author of the Footprint guides to South Africa, Namibia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

Guaranteed wildlife-viewing at the foot of Kilimanjaro

Amboseli has instant likeability and although it can be crowded with game-viewing vehicles, there are plenty of good reasons for its popularity. For a start, it’s a straightforward drive from Nairobi via the newish C102 road – the...

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Venkat Ramani  –  
India IN
Reviewed: Mar 23, 2023

Amboseli NP is a very dusty place with dusty roads. Great place for sighting large herds of Elephants, Hippos, and Birds. Lots of zebras, gazelles, Wilde beasts, and plenty of ostriches. Hyenas and Lions are rare but you can come across a...

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Nancy Wambui Michuki  –  
Germany DE
Reviewed: Feb 8, 2023

We were able to see alot of animals despite the season.
It would be better to travel in August or September.
As for the birds, it was wonderful to see so many sorts and birds
You need to much time atvthe end

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Lisa van der Hoek  –  
Netherlands NL
Reviewed: Jan 16, 2023

Amboseli is well-known for its abundance of Elephants. We got to see lots of them, roaming around the swamp, which was a beautiful sight. The recent draughts were clearly visible due to the amount of uneaten carcasses across the park; makes...

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Ben Krug  –  
United States US
Reviewed: Nov 14, 2022

I'm not sure what Bush Vibe is, but there were significant parts of the park without trees or bushes. Visiting just before the rainy season was probably the reason. As a smaller park, it was not surprising to see numerous animals no matter...

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