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2-Day Amboseli Safari Tours

Amboseli National Park is a great destination for a 2-day safari. It lacks the big-cat action of the Masai Mara National Reserve, but the huge elephant herds, often encountered at adrenaline-thumping close proximity, should make up for that. And then there is the setting. The open savannah plains at the base of Mt Kilimanjaro form a picture-perfect African scene. Amboseli NP can easily be incorporated into a Kenyan safari covering several parks and reserves, but it is also a suitable destination for a short trip over 2 days. The park’s relatively small size makes it easy to explore in just a couple of game drives. However, no two drives are ever the same and extending your stay by even 1 day will greatly benefit your overall experience.

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1-20 of 34 Amboseli 2-day holidays, itineraries, trips, packages & vacations

6 Questions About 2-Day Amboseli Safaris


6 Questions About 2-Day Amboseli Safaris

Answered by Ariadne van Zandbergen

What can I expect from a 2-day safari in Amboseli?

“Amboseli NP offers an opportunity to really get away from it all, even though it’s just a couple of hours’ drive from the hustle and bustle of Kenya’s capital city. You’ll leave Nairobi after breakfast to get to the park mid-morning. You’ll probably see some animals en route to your lodge or campsite where you’ll have lunch and a short break before heading out again for an afternoon game drive. Animals kick up dust as they walk across the sandy plains, a flawless scene against the setting sun. Early morning is perhaps the best time to be out in Amboseli. This is when Mt Kilimanjaro is often clear of clouds and the snow-capped peaks glow in the first rays of sunshine. You might catch big herds of elephants walking in front of this magnificent backdrop on their way to the central wetland area where they spend the day. You’ll see plenty of other wildlife too. Buffalo, zebra and giraffe are all common, and if you’re lucky you might see lions or other predators as well. You’ll have a late breakfast at camp before heading back to Nairobi.”


Is a road safari or fly-in safari a better choice?

“Amboseli NP is very accessible from Nairobi and can easily be visited on either a 2-day road or fly-in safari. Both are great options, but your choice may depend on how quickly you wish to arrive at the park. The distance is about 200km on a reasonable road, and the driving time is about four hours. With an early departure from Nairobi, you’ll get to the park before lunch time. There are plenty of budget and mid-range tours offering this popular road safari. While the drive to and from the park is quite long, it does give you a chance to see the scenery and villages along the way. You’ll catch a glimpse of what African village life is about, away from the tourist sites. However, if you don’t like the idea of spending that much time in a car, you can also opt for a fly-in safari. Daily flights link Nairobi’s Wilson Airport with the park’s airstrip. Regular flights from Mombasa make a 2-day Amboseli safari from the coastal resorts an option too.”


What kind of accommodation can I expect?

“There are several accommodation options in and near Amboseli NP. Camping is always a good budget option. The campsites inside the park are at great locations, but the private campsites outside the park generally have better facilities. Note though, that if you’re staying for 1 night only, a lodge safari is more practical. There are many accommodation options outside the Kimani Gate. They range from budget to mid-range to luxury. In the mid-range category, you have a choice between a tented camp or a no-frills lodge. Both styles offer all you need for a comfortable stay. In any case, you won’t be spending much time there as you’ll try to maximize your time out in the bush on this short safari. There are, however, obvious benefits to staying inside the park. It means you’re in the best location to start your game drives. Aside from the campsites, there are two lodges and a luxury tented camp in the heart of Amboseli. ”


Which animals am I likely to see?

“Amboseli NP offers fantastic wildlife viewing. The park is well known for its big herds of elephants. Having been protected from poaching here for a long time, they tend to be very relaxed. The males carry unusually large tusks and getting close to one of these giants is something you won’t easily forget. There are plenty of other animals you’re likely to see. Buffalo, zebra and wildebeest are very common throughout the park. Grant’s and Thomson’s gazelles roam the grassy plains in big numbers, while impalas tend to stick to more vegetated areas. You’ll see giraffe in acacia thickets, which is their favorite food. Of the big predators, lion and hyena are most easily seen, but cheetah and leopard are sometimes spotted as well. Even more exciting than spotting big cats is spotting small cats. Keep an eye out for serval and wild cat, the ancestor of domestic cats.”


How much will this safari cost?

“The price of a 2-day safari in Amboseli NP varies. The main factor determining the overall cost is the type of accommodation used. A mid-range tour, using a mid-range tented camp or lodge, costs between US$260 and US$500 per person. Private tours are most popular, but you might be able to economize by joining a group tour. If your timing is flexible, you could consider traveling in the low season. There are usually good deals available and there are fewer visitors around. It’s always a good idea to get a few quotations before making a decision. And don’t forget to check out the reviews on to see other people’s comments and recommendations.”


Is a 2-day safari in Amboseli recommended as a short bush break from Nairobi?

“Amboseli NP is perfect for a short bush break from Nairobi. The park is located about 200km south of Nairobi and the driving time is just under four hours. With an early start, you’ll get there before lunch. This gives you time to rest for a couple of hours before your afternoon game drive. The next day, you’ll have time for a long morning game drive, with a chance to see Mt Kilimanjaro, before heading back to the city. You can also opt for a fly-in safari to cut out the driving times. Amboseli NP is one of Kenya’s flagship parks and a great choice when you want to experience quality wildlife viewing in limited time. There are several other contenders for a short 2-day bush break from Nairobi. Nairobi National Park is unique in that it is located right next to the city. While this makes for some interesting photos with Nairobi’s skyline as a background, it lacks in wilderness appeal. You might be tempted to go to the Masai Mara NR, one of Africa’s most famous reserves, but with only one night, the timing is very tight. Therefore Amboseli NP is overall the best choice.”


Amboseli Reviews

4.4/5 219 Reviews
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...

Full Review

Mark Eveleigh  –  
United Kingdom UK

Mark is a travel writer who grew up in Africa and has written over 700 titles for Condé Nast 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...

Full Review

Gašper  –  
Slovenia SI
Reviewed: Sep 22, 2023

Amboseli was quite hot and dusty. We saw Kilimanjaro, elephants (even the one with huge tusks), lions setting hunting formation. I was still amazed, but if I compare it to Masai Mara, I cannot give it the same rating.

Full Review

Bruno Vidal de Souza  –  
Germany DE
Reviewed: Sep 14, 2023

Because of the swamps the National Park concentrate a really high quantity of animals. It is absolutely beautiful and you see A LOT of animals all together. In really large quantities, it felt like a movie. Another unique thing is the view...

Full Review

Eva Prieschl-Grassauer  –  
Austria AT
Reviewed: Aug 18, 2023

It was very dusty, particularly in the evening when all cars have to leave the park. You cannot leave the roads which makes spotting more difficult compared to Lake Nakuru and Masai Mara. The elephants, on the other hand, were very...

Full Review

Maria Lois  –  
Greece GR
Reviewed: Jul 20, 2023

Despite the small duration of our safari we were very lucky to observe a lioness hunt, see a male elephant really close which was an amazing experience and so many other beautiful animals in a scenery that kept changing as we continued our...

Full Review