Amboseli National Park Reserve Attractions, Accommodation, Mt Kilimanjaro

Amboseli National Park/ Amboseli National ReserveAmboseli Safaris, Amboseli Lodges, Amboseli Accommodation.  Visit the magical Amboseli  National Reserve and enjoy the  true african safari experience  of the yesteryears.  Car Hire from Nairobi, Mombasa or Malindi  and visit Amboseli National Park  to enjoy undisturbed vistas of Mt Kilimanjaro, watch the as the Maasai herdsmen with their domestic stock interact with  big cats and marvel at the famous Amboseli  elephant herds; and at the end of the day Savour the hospitality of Amboseli Serena and Sopa Lodges.  

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Amboseli National Park/Amboseli National Reserve

Amboseli National Park Reserve Attractions, Accommodation, Mt KilimanjaroMt Kilimanjaro- One of the main attractions

Location: Kajiando district 238 Km from Nairobi. Amboseli National Reserve (Amboseli National Park) borders Tanzania to the south.  The name Amboseli comes from

 the Maasai place name, Empusel, meaning open plain. Amboseli National park is managed by KWS (Kenya Wildlife service) on behalf of the central  government.


The local people around the park are the nomadic Maasai.  The Maasai way of life is compatible with wildlife conservation.  Most of the conservation areas in Kenya are located in Maasai Reserves.  A visit to Amboseli is not complete without visiting the Maasai homesteads. 


Area: 392 Km˛


Established: Amboseli  National Park  was

 gazetted in 1974 but in 2005 the park management reverted to Okejiando County council, thus the name changed to once more   to Amboseli National Reserve.  It had been a reserve since 1948. It is the best place to photograph the majestic Mt. Kilimanjaro (5985M). The reserve is famous for its big game and its great scenic beauty - the landscape is dominated by MT Kilimanjaro. 


Getting to Amboseli National Park:

Amboseli attracts visitors from all over the world. Amboseli National park can be accessed by road or air.  Though a majority of the visitors are in organized groups, private individuals can visit the park without any fear.  International visitors mostly arrive at either Nairobi, Mombasa or Kilimanjaro Airports where they are picked by tour operator or private cars and driven to the park.  It is possible to hire private cars from  Nairobi, Mombasa or Kilimanjaro airports and drive into the park   To visit the park  you need a car.  The road distance from Nairobi varies.


Driving from Nairobi:

View Larger Map of Amboseli National Park

  • Nairobi to Namanga (240 km tarmac) on the Nairobi - Namanga Road, via Meshanani Gate (75km).

  • Nairobi to Emali (228 km tarmac) on the Nairobi - Mombasa Road, via Remito Gate (64 km)

  • Mombasa through Tsavo West via Kimana (Olkelunyiet) Gate.


Flying to Amboseli National Park

Airstrips: The Amboseli National Reserve has an airstrip at Empusel gate.  Others are Kilimanjaro Buffalo lodge and Namanga town. Flights to Amboseli National park originates from Nairobi's Wilson Airport and Moi Airport Mombasa. Charter flights are available from Nairobi Wilson Airport.


Safaris / Tours to Amboseli National Park

At R&N Xplorer Africa Safaris, we do organize custom or tailor make tours for our clients to Amboseli National Park from Nairobi, Mombasa or Kilimanjaro.  Our Wildlife safaris can last from one to several days depending on the guest request.  A good safari will include visits to nearby national parks of Tsavo West, Tsavo West and the nearby Chyulu Hills.  Note that the park is also surrounded by group ranches which offer an alternative destination. A popular package is the 12 days Nairobi-Masai Mara-Serengeti-Ngorongoro-Lake Manyara-Amboseli-Nairobi .  Those that have short stay can combine Amboseli National Reserve with the Lake Nakuru, Maasai Mara Naivasha Safari. A very good package would combine Amboseli with Mt Kenya, Samburu, Sweet Waters Nakuru and Maasai Mara Safari . Amboseli National Park is easily combined with Rwanda Gorilla Tracking Safaris or Beach destinations of Mombasa, Lamu, Malindi, Zanzibar or Dar Es Salaam.


To help us tailor make your safari just let us know the number of participants, desired destinations, the dates of travel and duration of stay.  Also important are desired accommodation facilities.


Climate of Amboseli

Being on the leeward side of Mt Kilimanjaro, Amboseli National Park experiences a modified tropical climate.  The are is hot and dry (arid) with an annual rainfall  of 300 mm.  The hottest month- September has averages of 30 degrees centigrade and the coolest month have 27 degrees centigrade.  Amboseli experiences two rainy seasons-April/ May; November December.   Evaporations rates are very high.  The Aridity of the area makes ideal for game sighting.  During the dry months, animals congregate on the swamps.


The Habitats in Amboseli National Park/ Reserve:

Amboseli National Reserve has  5 main habitats. 

  • open plains

  • acacia woodland

  • rocky thorn bush country

  • swamps and marshland

  • Dry basin of Lake Amboseli (a dry basin, that floods during heavy rainfall.

Physical features and attractions in the park:

The main physical features in Amboseli Reserve are

  • Splendid views of the Mt.Kilimanjaro & Mt. Meru.

  • swamps- OloKenya, EnKongo Narok, Oltukai, which serve as livelihood of this otherwise dissolute park.  They are also inhabited by hippos and attract large numbers of birds.

  • Lake Amboseli-dry filling only during the rainy season

  • Observation hill

  • Mt Meru in Tanzania.

Mammals of Amboseli National park:

The Park  has a large mammal population.  Among the species to be found here are elephants, zebra, gnu, hippopotamus, buffalo, spotted hyena, waterbuck, Maasai giraffe, Thomson's and Grant's gazelle, impala, lion and cheetah. gerenuk, fringed-eared,   duikers, aardwolf, spotted hyena, lions, buffaloes, baboons, bush baby, Serval cat, caracal, leopard, jackals.


Part of the Amboseli attractions are the nomadic Maasai herdsmen with their domestic stock in close vicinity of predators.


Amboseli Elephants

Amboseli National Park/Reserve is the home of the most celebrated and longest studied elephants population in the World. Due to absence of poaching and culling, Amboseli elephants are the only ones with animals spanning the whole age range- newborn calves, old matriarchs in their 60s, and unusually many large adult bulls in their 40s, 50s and even 60s. Currently, the Amboseli population comprises of approximately 2000 individuals in 54 families and over 211 independent adult bulls. Just like Gorilla Safaris, the above is a good reason why a safari to Amboseli is a must do for any visitor to East Africa.


Profusion of bird- life -  420 species of birds recorded.


Vegetation: One of the main challenge to continued existence of Amboseli National Park is poor vegetation regeneration.  This is attributed to its dryness being on the leeward side of Mt. Kilimanjaro and saline soils which are not ideal for vegetation growth.  Coupled with this Amboseli National Reserve boosts of the largest herd of  elephant population in Kenya which have cleared all the trees leaving glass and bare ground.  


Activities to undertake in Amboseli National Park:

Game drives are conducted through out the day.  The best times to see animals is early in the morning and evenings.  During the heat of the day animals will congregate in the swamps.  With over 400 recorded species of birds, Amboseli is an ideal destination for birding.  Nature walks are conducted to the observation hill.  Most of the lodges will offer traditional dances in the evenings.  Balloon safaris are conducted very early in the morning.   Visits to the local people are best conducted in the afternoon.  In these visits, you learn about the Maasai way of life.  During your visit you can also participate in the re-a forestation program by planting a seedling.



Amboseli Serena Lodge, national park lodges, accommodation attractionsAmboseli Serena Lodge :-Amboseli Serena Lodge has a total of 92 rooms.  The lodge offers:- Bush Dinners; Sundowners at Observation Hill; Private picnics; specialist cultural entertainments; Full housekeeping services (laundry, valet, babysitting on request );Full medical back-up and emergency evacuation facilities; Africana Gift Shop; Beauty treatments, massage and hairdressing; Swimming Pool, nature walks, jogging trails, bird watching and game drives; Forex facilities; Full library of books on Africa.



Amboseli Sopa Lodge, national park accommodation attraction safarisAmboseli Sopa Lodge : Nestled in 190 acres of wooded Maasai land, the lodge sits on the foot hills of Africa’s highest mountain, Mt Kilimanjaro four hours drive from Nairobi.   Mature wooded gardens with a variety of trees and plants, from thorn trees and acacias, to fragrant frangipanis, colourful bougainvillea and giant cactus plants thrive in these surroundings. Different species of birds build their nests while monkeys with babies clinging under their bellies and squirrels dart through the gardens. The Lodge boasts of, Gift shop, Laundry,  Swimming pool, Children’s pool, Evening turn down service, Baby sitting, Balloon safaris, Nature walks, Car wash


Ol Tukai Lodge, amboaseli national park, attractions,safaris, reserve, accommodationOltukai Lodge 80 luxury chalet-style twin rooms at Ol Tukai Lodge, all with an uninterrupted view of the wetlands or Kilimanjaro. All rooms have private bathrooms and individual terraces. Other facilities include:-Restaurants and 2 bars, Swimming pool, Bureau de Change, Credit cards, Children corner, Telephone, fax and radio call, 200 delegates Conference facility with video, flip charts, projector and other relevant apparatus, Multi denominational chapel, Clinic. Activities include board games, game drives, Maasai dances, bird-walks and lectures on elephants


  • Amboseli Lodge

  • Tortillis Camp

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