Amboseli National Park
Amboseli National Park

Amboseli National Park


Amboseli lies North West of Mt. Kilimanjaro, on the border with Tanzania. It was established as a reserve in 1968 and actively gazetted as a National Park in 1974. The Park covers 390.26sq.km1, and forms part of the much larger 3,000sq.Km2 Amboseli ecosystem. Large concentrations of wildlife occur here in the dry season, making Amboseli a popular tourist destination. Six communally owned group ranches, namely Olgulului, Kimana, lmbirikani, Kuku, Selengei, and Rombo, actively surround it.

Amboseli National Park
Amboseli National Park

The National Park embodies5 main wildlife habitats (open plains, acacia woodland, rocky thorn bush country, swamps and marshland) and covers part of a pleistocene lake basin, now dry.

Within this basin is a temporary lake, Lake Amboseli, that floods during years  of heavy rainfall. Amboseli is famous for its big game and its great scenic

The landscape is actively dominated by Mt. Kilimanjaro, with floating elephants within the swamps adding to its beauty.

What To See

Mt. Kilimanjaro

Visit Amboseli National Park for fantastic views of Kilimanjaro the highest free standing mountain in Africa rising at 5,896m above the sea level. lts snow capped summit dominates the landscape and on clear day is easily visible during early morning and afternoon. It is a superb backdrop for wildlife photographs

Herds of Elephants against the backdrop of

Mt. Kilimanjaro

The park provides a unique habitat for approximately one thousand elephants. View visitors will go home without superb elephant images beneath  Mt.Kilimanjaro.

The Swamps

Buffalo, hippo, and elephant actively favor the enkongo Narok swamps and other permanent swamps, which divide the grey landscape into broad swatches, as their favored resort.Close by graze groups of zebra, wildebeest and impala while numerous birds feed, breed and nest in the lush vegetation. Look out for graceful crowned Cranes, the long-necked Africa’s Darter, and kingfishers. Egyptians geese are almost certain to be with a variety of ducts and plovers.

Observation Hill-Nomatior

From the observation Hill there is a panoramic view of most of the park and climbing is worth the effort. The hunters and gatherers people, the Ndorobo, inhabited it many years ago. Signs and traces of their property and implements have actively been found here, giving rise to the Maasai name “nomatior,” meaning the place of pottery.

OI Tukai

The heart of Amboseli woodland of ‘yellow fever trees‘ and the doum palm known as 0| Tukai by the Maasai and Makindu in Swahili. A cool oasis of trees, Ol Tukai is a retreat for wildlife and greatly favored by elephants.

Activities Option

Public campsite

Olkelunyiet public campsite is near the parks headquarters with running water, wash rooms, showers and kitchen shade.

Picnic site

A picnic site (observation point) with view points, shade, nature trail, latrine.

What To Take With You

Drinking water, picnic items and camping equipment if you intent to stay overnight. Also useful are: binoculars, cameras, hat, sunscreen, sunglasses and guidebooks.

Fact File

Altitude: 1150 meters sea level

Area: 390.26km1

Location: Loitoktok District, Rift valley Province

Distance from Nairobi: 250 km

Gazette: October 1974

Climate: The climate is mainly hot and dry. Amboseli is in the rain shadow of Mt. Kilimanjaro. The maximum average temperature of the warmest month is 33°C during the day, while that of the coldest is 27-28°C.An annual rainfall of 300mm perannum is distributed in two seasons: April/May and November/December. Recurrent droughts and potential evaporation of 2200mm per annum typifies the region (KWS, 1991).

Vegetation: Swamps are dominated by Papyrus and Cyperus lmmenses, the dominant plant species are Sporobolus, in the grassland, Acacia in woodland, and Suaeda Monica in the bush land, Elephants estimated at approximately 1500, buffaloes estimated at approximately 472, Lions estimated at approximately 40.

Wildlife: Monitor Lizards, Chameleons, Egyptian Cobra, Python, Puff Adder, Black Mamba. more 400 recorded species

Features: Arid wildlife species, ice capped Mt. Kilimanjaro, salty dust with mirages, permanent swamps, observation point.

Roads: Viewing roads network covers the park adequately. Many of the park viewing roads are not usable during the rains and because of the loose ashy nature of volcanic soil, the roads become very dusty during the dry season.

Where To Stay Lodges And Tented Camps

lnside the Park

KWS self – catering accomodation, Amboseli Serena lodge, Oltukai lodge

Outside the park

Tortils camp, Porini camp, Elerai Satao camp, Kilima Safari Camp, Kibo lodge, Tawi lodge, Sentrim lodge and Sopa lodge.

Kws Self-Catering Accommodation

There is a selection of 5 economically priced KWS self-catering ‘bandas’ (offered inclusive of bedding, towels, cooking equipment, bathrooms, showers and communal eating area). The self-catering ‘bandas’are Kilimanjaro, Kibo, Simba, Nyati and Chui. Power is supplied by generator from 6.30pm to 11pm.

When To Go

The Park is Accessible on 2WD between April-Oct. It is Accessible on 4WD between Oct-March on all roads.

What To Take With You

Drinking water, picnic items and camping equipment ifyou intend to stay overnight. Also useful are: binoculars, camera, hat, sunscreen and guidebooks.

How T0 Get There


The main road into the park is from Nairobi via Emali(228km) on the Nairobi-Mombasa road and another 78 km to lremito gate through Loitokitok road .The road is tarmac upto LoitokitokT0wn. The other road from Nairobi is via Namanga (240 km) on the Nairobi-Arusha road, via Meshanani gate.The road is tarmac upto Namanga but badly corrugated and potholed in places from Namanga to Meshanani gate(75km). Access from Mombasa is also through lremito gate via Emali or Kimana gate via Tsavo West. The park has five gates: lremito, Kimana, Meshanani, Airstrip and Kitirua gate.

By air

Airstrip the park has a single airstrip for light aircraft at Airstrip gate.

Other airstrips exist at Kilimanjaro Buffalo lodge and Namanga town.

Open: Daily 6.00am-6.00pm including public holidays. Note: no entry is allowed on foot and visitors will not be allowed entry after 6.15pm.

Current entry charges

Obtainable via kws HQ Tel: +254(20)6000800, 6002345. 020-8029705

Email: –

Safari card required?

Entry is by safaricard or Visa card. You may actively obtain and load a Safaricard at either the Nairobi National Park main gate or the lremito gate in Amboseli National Park.

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Sabina Kamene