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Home of the African Elephant

Perfect for a classic wildlife safari, Amboseli National Park boasts of one of the best destinations in Africa to view large herds of as many as fifty elephants up close. Patrolling the diverse Amboseli topography; grass plains, acacia woodlands, rocky thorn bushes, swamps and marshes, the vast ecosystem is designed in such a way that it is capable of containing and sustaining the wildlife therein. Other wildlife species found here include hippo, buffalo, giraffe, lion and leopard. A variety of water fowls include, pelicans and the Egyptian goose. The authentic and rich Maasai culture is also a great puller of visitors on safari to the Park.

The park is 39,206 hectares (392 km2; 151 sq. mi) in size at the core of an 8,000 square kilometres (3,100 sq. mi) ecosystem that spreads across the Kenya-Tanzania border.

The park is famous for being the best place in Africa to get close to free-ranging elephants among other wildlife species. Other attraction of the park includes opportunities to meet the Maasai people and also offers spectacular views of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest free-standing mountain in the world.

In Amboseli’s case it is big skies and far horizons combined with swampy springs and dry and dusty earth trampled by hundreds of animals.

Amboseli has an endless underground water supply filtered through thousands of feet of volcanic rock from Kilimanjaro’s ice cap, which funnel into two clear water springs in the heart of the park.

However, the climatic pendulum can swing from drought to flood, and in the early 1990’s ceaseless rain changed Amboseli into a swamp. A few years later the rains failed and the grass-covered plains turned to dust.

Attractions and Activities

The big game and great scenic beauty where the landscape is dominated by Mt. Kilimanjaro and the hundreds of elephants congregating around the swamps is definitely a spectacle. The unrivalled views of Mt. Kilimanjaro the highest free standing mountain in Africa rising at 5,896m above sea level and its snowcapped summit dominates the landscape and on clear days it is clearly visible during early mornings and afternoons making it a superb backdrop for wildlife photography.

The Park embodies 5 main wildlife habitats (Savanna grassland, acacia woodland, rocky thorn bush, swamps and marshland) and covers part of a Pleistocene lake basin. Within this basin is a temporary lake Amboseli that floods during heavy rainy seasons thus attracting flamingoes. The lake is characterized by very alkaline water but is usually extremely dry and dusty during the hot and dry season, weather that characterizes the Amboseli ecosystem most of the year. This lake is situated in Nyiri Desert that expands towards the southern border of Kenya and Tanzania covering Amboseli National Park.

Water springs associated with Mt. Kilimanjaro give rise to several swamps in the park e.g. Enkong Narok swamp and other permanent swamps which are critical to wildlife in the Amboseli ecosystem.

Amboseli is one of the 60 Important Bird Areas (IBA’s) in Kenya and thus it is recognized as globally significant for bird conservation. The ecosystem has a rich birdlife with over 400 species recorded, of which 40 are birds of prey.

Observation Hill-Nomatior – Offers a panoramic view of the Park and hiking is worth the effort. It was inhabited many years by hunters and honey gatherers called the Ndorobo. Signs and traces of their property and implements have been found here giving rise to the Maasai name Nomatior; the place of pottery.

Lemomo Hill – Situated in Kitenden conservancy approximately 3km from the park boundary. The hill peak is the highest observation point that offers the best views of the park and other key areas of the ecosystem

Ol tukai – The heart of Amboseli woodland of yellow fever trees and the doum palm known as Ol tukai by the Maasai and Makindu in Swahili. Ol tukai is a cool oasis of tress and a retreat for wildlife greatly favored by Elephants and Lions.

Rich Maasai Culture – Visit Amboseli for a lifetime experience of the Maasai culture. Interact with Maasai in their bomas-the Manyatta and established cultural centers. Their largely livestock grazing lifestyle has been important in conserving wildlife resources in the Amboseli Ecosystem

Resource center and Museums -Situated at Noonkotiak and Lemong’o areas respectively about 6km from Kimana gate. Avails key information on the ecosystem.

Visitors can enjoy game viewing, bird watching, picnicking, photography, camping, cultural tourism and balloon safaris.

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Stay in the Wild. Explore. Create memories

Set in the quietude of nature, KWS offers a modest and wide range of self-catering accommodation options targeting the budget traveler. Whether you are looking to get away from the exhausting grind of life, a break away from the hustle and bustle of the city right into the serenity of bush, or you just long to soak in your senses and reconnect with nature, KWS bandas and guesthouses offer the perfect ambience

Amboseli National Park offers the following:

Kilimanjaro Guest House:

Accommodation: 1 unit, 7pax

1st bedroom – One double bed.

2nd bedroom-One double bed.

3rd bedroom– Three single beds.

Amenities: Bathroom, furnished sitting area with DSTV, open plan dining area, kitchen equipped with gas stove, fridge, kitchen utensils, cutlery, crockery, glasses, beddings, toiletries and electricity. A house caretaker is available.

Kilimanjaro Annex:

Accommodation: 1 unit; 4pax

Two bedrooms each with a double bed.

Amenities: Bathrooms, electricity, kitchen, fridge, kitchen utensils, cutlery, crockery, glasses, bedding and toiletries. A house caretaker is available.

Simba Cottages:

Accommodation: 2units; 2pax per unit

One unit has one double bed and the other unit has two single beds.

Amenities: Well-equipped kitchenette, fridge, gas cooker, beddings and toiletries. Lighting is by electricity. A house caretaker is available.

Chui Cottages:

Accommodation: 2units, 2pax per unit

Each unit has a bedroom with 2 single beds

Amenities: Well-equipped kitchenette, fridge, gas cooker, beddings and toiletries. Lighting is by electricity. A house caretaker is available.

Camping: Public Campsites

  • Amboseli

For this category standard amenities are provided; water, toilet/bathroom and kitchen area.

Public campsites do not require prior booking.

*Reservation of bandas/guesthouses is done through the park warden or through KWS headquarters reservations desk;

*Prevailing camping rates apply per person per day for both special and public campsites including other park charges.

Park Fees

Citizen/ Residents;

Adult: KES 860

Child/Student: KES 215


Adult: $60

Child/Student: $35

Mode of Payment:

MPesa. Visa Card. Direct deposits to KWS bank accounts. Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)

Special Services

Security/Guided tour per guide

  • KES 1,720 – up to 4 hours

  • KES 3,015 – Over 4 hours

Vehicle Charges per day

  • Less than 6 seats KES 300

  • 6-12 seats KES 1,030

  • 13-24seats KES 2,585

  • 25-44 seats KES 4,050

  • 45 seats and above KES 5,000

How to get there

By Road: The Park Has Four Main gates; Iremito, Kimana and Meshanani gates.

  • Via Emali to Iremito gate on the main Nairobi- Mombasa road. (204km) At Emali turn to the Emali-Loitokitok road. Follow signs to the right leading to Amboseli via Iremito gate. Alternatively continue on Loitokitok road to Kimana shopping center and follow the signs to the park through Kimana gate.

  • Nairobi – Namanga via Meshanani gate (220km) the road is tarmacked up to Namanga and murramed from Namanga to Meshanani gate.

  • There is a road linking Amboseli National Park and Tsavo West National Parks. The road will lead you to the park through Kimana gate (240km).

By Air; The Park has a single tarmacked airstrip –Kimana airstrip (1.2km long) for light aircraft. Other airstrips exist at Kilimanjaro Buffalo Lodge and Namanga town.

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