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Amboseli Day Trips From Nairobi

Of all the places to spend a day on safari in Africa, Amboseli National Park and the surrounding area in Kenya has to be high on many people’s bucket list. It’s a fabulous park for so many reasons, with the main highlights being the amazing wildlife you can see here, as well as the opportunities for encounters with members of the local Maasai community. Best of all, although Africa’s highest mountain, Mt Kilimanjaro, lies across the border in Tanzania, the best views of the peak are from Amboseli. In fact, the image of elephants with Mt Kilimanjaro in the background is a classic depiction of the East African safari.

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1-7 of 7 Amboseli day trips starting from Nairobi

5 Questions About Amboseli Day Trips


5 Questions About Amboseli Day Trips

Answered by Anthony Ham

How can I find a reliable operator for a 1-day safari in Amboseli National Park?

“The best place to find a reliable tour operator for your 1-day Amboseli safari is right here on That’s because this is by far the most comprehensive source of information on safaris to Amboseli and elsewhere in Africa, with a whole range of resources that will help you organize your trip. For a start, SafariBookings is an essential planning tool, which draws on detailed reviews of the park by a panel of experts who have decades of collective experience in Africa. You’ll learn which animals and birds you can see, when is the best time to visit, and so much more useful information about Amboseli. On you can also read reviews that are specific to each operator. These have been written by safari travelers based on their firsthand experience of traveling with the operator in question.”


What can I expect from a day trip in Amboseli?

“On a day trip to Amboseli National Park, you can expect to spend the day exploring the park on a guided game drive. This usually means that you will go looking for animals in either a white minivan with a pop-up roof (where you can stand up and look out) or an open-sided 4WD safari vehicle with a canvas roof and tiered seating. It’s important to remember that a 1-day Amboseli safari means a day trip to the park. It’s likely that you will spend a significant proportion of your day in the park, but you won’t sleep overnight there. You will probably begin your day elsewhere and leave Amboseli before nightfall. Obviously, this means that the closer to Amboseli you begin and end your day, the more time you’ll have to explore the park itself. You’ll travel to and from Amboseli by road or by air. The former will take longer, but the latter is much more expensive. It is possible, although rare, that a safari tour operator will call it a day trip if you stay close to (but outside) Amboseli. Most often, you will fly in and fly out, or visit Amboseli on your way between other itinerary stops. Whichever is the case, make sure you understand exactly what each operator has in mind.”


Which animals can I expect to see?

“While nothing is guaranteed when it comes to wildlife viewing, there’s a good chance that you’ll see elephant. Giraffe are commonly seen around the acacia forests in the east of the park, while hippo, buffalo, wildebeest and zebra are also reasonably easy to see. Of the predators, lion and spotted hyena are probably the most likely, although cheetah is also possible. There are no rhino in the park, which means that seeing the Big Five (lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino) is not possible, and leopard is extremely difficult to see. Two things will limit how many animals you see. One is that, as a general rule, the longer you stay, the greater your chances of seeing more animals. With only 1 day in the park, you would have to be incredibly lucky to see all of these animals. Also, because you need to travel to and from the park, it’s unlikely that you will be watching wildlife at the best time of day: animals are most active and most easily seen early in the morning and late in the afternoon. At these times, you may well be traveling, rather than exploring the park.”


Where should I be based to do a day trip in Amboseli?

“To maximize your time in the park, you should base yourself as close as possible to Amboseli. If you plan to spend your day trip inside the park itself (as opposed to the wider Amboseli ecosystem), you could base yourself in one of the Maasai-run group ranches or conservancies that surround the park. There are lots of accommodation choices outside the eastern (Kimana) gate, with some Maasai homestays in the towns of the area. Other nearby possibilities include the far western corner of Tsavo West National Park or on the western side of Chyulu Hills. It's possible, perhaps even likely, that your 1-day Amboseli safari will be part of a broader Kenyan safari trip. This may mean, for example, that you fly into Amboseli from Nairobi in the morning, then fly out to Tsavo or Mombasa in the afternoon. There are, of course, many variations on this theme.”


How much will this safari cost?

“Your Amboseli day trip could cost as little as US$200 per person per day, but it could also cost a lot more than that. While you won’t have to factor in accommodation when calculating the cost, there is another major variable to consider. If you fly into Amboseli and leave the park in the same way, this will add greatly to the overall cost of your day trip. Make sure you understand what’s included in any prices quoted to you by a safari operator. They will usually include all transfers, guide, driver, vehicle, park entry fees (US$40 to US$70 per adult per day, depending on the season) and activities such as game drives, as well as food and drink. One final thing to remember. If your Amboseli day trip is part of a longer safari, it can be hard to separate out the Amboseli part of the overall fee.”


Amboseli Reviews

4.4/5 239 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

Shirley Rogers  –  
United Kingdom UK
Reviewed: Jul 3, 2024

Amboseli is stunningly beautiful and very different from other national parks. We witnessed the predators and prey animals returning after the rains. Seeing Mount Kilimanjaro is wonderful. This was my third visit and I will go again next...

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Dulanjanee Prakash  –  
Sri Lanka LK
Reviewed: Jun 20, 2024

Amboseli National Park is an outstanding safari destination, offering stunning views of Mount Kilimanjaro, abundant wildlife including large elephant herds, and diverse ecosystems. Its unique landscape and excellent game viewing...

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Ilunia  –  
Estonia EE
Reviewed: May 6, 2024

(we went in April)
It was flooded a bit so the big cats were hiding.
Lots of elephants in big herds.
Lots of birds.
The early morning walk was 10 USD extra, but we did not do it, as we wanted to enjoy the sunrise by ourselves.

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Flore  –  
Netherlands NL
Reviewed: Feb 25, 2024

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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