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Amboseli Budget Safari Tours

Kenya has some fantastic parks and Amboseli National Park is the favorite one of all for many travelers. It’s a compact park that’s easy to get to and get around, and it’s a place for memorable wildlife encounters, from lions and cheetahs to denning hyenas and up-close elephants. Looming over the park along its southern flank is Mt Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain: it may lie across the border in Tanzania, but the best views of all are from Amboseli. The national park is also deep in the Maasai heartland, and the wider ecosystem includes many Maasai-run conservancies where you can encounter these true custodians of the land.

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1-20 of 107 cheap tours, packages and holidays to Amboseli National Park

5 Questions About Amboseli Budget Safaris

 
 

5 Questions About Amboseli Budget Safaris

Answered by Anthony Ham

Which other parks and reserves should I visit on a budget Amboseli trip?

“You should dedicate as much time as you can to visiting and exploring Amboseli National Park. It’s a fantastic park for culture, wildlife and scenery, a combination that few other parks can match. I recommend a minimum of 2 days in the park but would suggest more if you can spare them. If you do have time to venture beyond Amboseli, the conservancies around the national park are worth exploring. However, they don’t have much in the way of budget accommodation. When you’re in Amboseli, you’re a half-day drive from both Nairobi National Park (to the northwest) and Tsavo West National Park (to the southeast). Both are world-class wildlife destinations. Closer at hand is Chyulu Hills National Park, the setting for Ernest Hemingway’s ‘Green Hills of Africa’, although the scenery is generally better than the wildlife viewing.”

1

What kind of vehicle can I expect on a budget safari to Amboseli?

“There are many different tours and packages available for an Amboseli budget safari, but in most cases, you’ll travel by road to the park. Flying is possible but expensive. The trip to Amboseli from Nairobi or Mombasa will take you along the crowded and chaotic Nairobi–Mombasa road, where you may experience heavy traffic. Your trip may be in a minibus or a 4WD vehicle. Once inside the park, your game drives will probably take place in a minibus. These workhorses of Kenyan safari trails should have a pop-top roof: you stand on the seats and can enjoy an elevated, uninterrupted view. On a budget safari, you’re likely to be sharing the vehicle with other (sometimes many) travelers. The 4WD safari vehicle (with open sides, a canvas roof and tiered seating) is also possible, although this is usually reserved for more expensive safari tours.”

2

What type of accommodation can I expect on cheap Amboseli packages?

“In most instances on a budget Amboseli safari, you’ll be camping. Where this is the case, you’ll likely sleep in simple two- or three-person tents with a ground mattress. Inside the park, there are a handful of basic public campsites. At these fenced sites you can expect a communal building with showers (hot water is unreliable) and toilets with separate sections for men and women. One of these campsites, close to Kimana Gate in the east, has a small bar and kitchen. Facilities may be basic, but often all you have to do to see Mt Kilimanjaro is stick your head out of your tent in the morning. Outside the park there are numerous affordable, privately run accommodation options. Most of these are camping areas with all the usual facilities (including a communal kitchen and dining area), plus views of Kilimanjaro as an added bonus. Some places have simple rooms (either in a lodge or a Maasai village context), usually with shared bathrooms.”

3

How do I avoid the crowds in Amboseli?

“Amboseli is a really popular park, and there are times when it is impossible to avoid the crowds. But you shouldn’t let that spoil your holiday. The busiest months are in high season, which runs from December to March and again from July to October. Visiting outside these months can be a good option, although April and May can be rainy, not to mention muddy for getting around. Be careful if you are traveling at this time: I once visited Amboseli at Easter and it was busier than ever, including sharing one cheetah sighting with 36 other vehicles (yes, I counted them, and no, I didn’t stick around). June and November can be good months for a slightly quieter safari experience. If you’re staying inside the park, the first hour or so can be lovely and quiet, before all the vehicles start arriving through the park gates.”

4

How much does an Amboseli budget safari cost?

“A cheap Amboseli budget safari can start at US$150 per person per day. A large proportion of this amount will go to your Amboseli National Park entry fees, which are a pricey US$60/35 per adult/child per day. Also included in this estimate should be all accommodation (such as camping fees and equipment), food, water, guide, driver, vehicle and, on most days, two game drives around the park. There are lots of different tours and packages, but one thing to remember is that for a really cheap safari, you may be expected to join in and help with camp tasks such as setting up camp and taking down the tents when it’s time to move on, as well as cooking and washing up. You may be able to keep costs down a little by traveling outside of the high-season months. However, budget prices are less variable by season than are more expensive safaris.”

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Amboseli Reviews

4.4/5 232 Reviews
Expert
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
5/5

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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Expert
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
5/5

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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Flore  –  
Netherlands NL
Reviewed: Feb 25, 2024
4/5

It was big, we saw almost all the animals except the rhino (but the rhino doesn’t live in Amboseli) and no cats. But we went on safari on for 1,5day. But the experience was so cool and wonderful, we would definitely go again.

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Aleksandra  –  
Italy IT
Reviewed: Feb 16, 2024
5/5

Amboseli is great, but you can not see all the animals you can find in Maasai Mara. It is iconic for the view of mount Kilimanjaro and the many elephants. It is also recommended for birdwatching and has wonderful landscapes.

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Gašper  –  
Slovenia SI
Reviewed: Sep 22, 2023
4/5

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.

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Bruno Vidal de Souza  –  
Germany DE
Reviewed: Sep 14, 2023
5/5

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...

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