Amboseli National Game Park Kenya

Amboseli National Game Park Kenya at a Glance

Background of Amboseli National Game Park Kenya

  • Size: 392 km2
  • History: Gazetted a National Park in 1974.

Got its name from a Maasai word, “Amboseli”- meaning “salty dust”.

Where is Amboseli National Game Park Kenya ?

  • Found in Loitoktok District in the Rift Valley region of Kenya.
  • It is situated about 240 km southeast of Nairobi (Kenya’s capital).

What are the tourist attractions in Amboseli National Game Park Kenya?

  • Large Herds of Elephants
  • Kilimanjaro
  • Four of the Big Five animals (elephants, lions, leopards, and buffaloes)
  • Observation Hill- allows an overall view of the park especially the swamps and elephants.
  • Swamps hosting many elephants, buffaloes, hippos and a variety of birds.
  • Contemporary Maasai culture and indigenous lifestyle

What to do in Amboseli National Game Park Kenya?

  • Game viewing in Amboseli National Park Kenya
  • Bird Watching in Amboseli National Park Kenya
  • Hot Air Balloon safaris in Amboseli National Park
  • Cultural visits in Amboseli National Park

Where to stay in Amboseli National Game Park Kenya?

  • All accommodation options- Luxury, Midrange, and Budget
  • Campsites and Privately Owned Lodges

How to get to Amboseli National Game Park Kenya?

  • By Road: the Main road into the park is from Nairobi via Namanga (240 km) on the Nairobi – Arusha Road, through Meshanani Gate.
  • By Air: has a single airstrip for light aircraft at the Empusel gate.

Background of Amboseli National Game Park Kenya

Covering an area of 392 square kilometers, Amboseli National Park is a premier destination for Kenya wildlife safari experience. It is the second most popular Kenya safari destination after Masai Mara National Reserve and often called “The Land of Giants” due to an impressive number of big tusked elephants here. Amboseli is set against the backdrop of Africa’s best views of Mt Kilimanjaro; Africa’s highest mountain at 5895m. While cloud cover can render the mountain’s massive bulk invisible for much of the day, you will be rewarded with stunning vistas when the weather clears, usually at dawn and /or dusk. The melted snow from Kilimanjaro travels underground and surfaces in the center of Amboseli providing marsh habitat and water for a variety of species.

Besides the giant big tusked elephants, Amboseli Game Park is known for its resident lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, giraffes, zebras, buffaloes and a variety of antelope species. The park is also home to over 400 species of birds providing one of the best Kenya birding safari experiences.

The Amboseli ecosystem is unique. No other place in Africa combines its special hydrology, topography, geological and cultural history. The national park encompasses 5 different habitats including the open plains, the acacia woodland, the rock formations of lava covered with thorny bushes and palm trees; swamps and marshland and covers part of a Pleistocene lake basin, now dry. Within this basin is, a temporary lake called Amboseli, that floods during years of heavy rainfall.

Where is Amboseli National Game Park Kenya?

Amboseli National Park is found in Loitoktok District in the Rift Valley region of Kenya. It is situated about 240 km southeast of  Nairobi (Kenya’s capital). The location of Amboseli makes it a huge attraction for inclusion in your Kenya holiday safaris. The whole park is overlooked by the world-famous views of Mount Kilimanjaro. It is located at an altitude ranging from 1,189 to 1,372 meters.

Because of its location, visiting Amboseli National Park can be combined with a safari in Kenya’s other excellent game reserves. Tsavo West and Tsavo East National Parks are nearby (2h and 4h respectively by road). Masai Mara Game Reserve is also at 4 h drive away from Amboseli.

History of Amboseli National Park Kenya

The name “Amboseli” comes from a Maasai word meaning “salty dust”. The area covered by Amboseli National was formerly known as Empusel; a Masai region that was the most feared region to be crossed by a foreigner. In 1883, Joseph Thompson was the first European to penetrate the region and on his arrival, he was astonished by the fantastic variety of wildlife, the beautiful scenic views of Kilimanjaro combined with contrast between the dry lake bed and the swamps. In 1906, Amboseli was established as a national game reserve until 1974 when it attained its park status and renamed Amboseli National Park.

In recognition of Amboseli’s special combination of ecology and culture, UNESCO the region a Man and the Biosphere reserve in 1991 to conserve its biodiversity, contribute to the development of the local human population and improve the local infrastructure in support of education and research.

Attractions in Amboseli National Game Park Kenya/ Things to See in Amboseli National Park Kenya

Amboseli National Park contains a wide variety of safari attractions. The main K safari attractions the park are the elephants and other animal species including lions, cheetahs, leopards, spotted hyenas, Masai giraffes, Zebras, and wildebeests.  Other attractions birds, lakes, marshes, observation hill, elephant research camp, local Maasai people and views of Mountain Kilimajaro, and many others as shown below.

1) Animals in Amboseli National Game Park Kenya

Kenyan’s Amboseli National Park is a popular destination for Kenya wildlife tours. The park offers great wildlife viewing and it famous for its herds of big tusked elephants. Elephants roam the dusty plains in the morning and evening. During the day the elephants mostly spend their time partially submerged, foraging in Ol Okenya swamp. Having been protected from poaching for a long time, the Amboseli elephants carry particularly impressive ivory and are very relaxed around cars.

The heart of Amboseli woodland yellow fever trees’ and the doum palm known as Ol Tukai by the Maasai and Makindu in Swahili is a cool retreat for elephants.

Besides elephants, most African popular safari gems can be spotted here. These include the  Cape buffalos, lions, cheetahs, leopards, spotted hyenas, Masai giraffes, Zebras, and wildebeests. The plains support an abundance of large herbivores including Grant’s and Thomson’s gazelles, impalas, and hippos.

The enkongo Narok swamps and other permanents wamps, which divide the grey landscape into broad swatches, are favored resort for buffalo, hippo, and elephant. Close by graze groups of zebra, wildebeest, and impala.

The thick vegetation of the Sinet Delta providing fodder for giraffes.

2) Birdlife  in Amboseli National Game Park Kenya

Amboseli is a good destination for Kenya bird watching safaris and more than 400 species have been recorded here. The swamps in the central part of the park are great for water-associated birds such as egrets, herons, pelicans, and crowned cranes. Large numbers of flamingos may be present in the Wet seasons (March to May and October to December). The grassland areas offer some interesting ground birds such as Hartlaub’s bustard and the localized Pangani longclaw. The acacia woodland holds some dry country specials such as steel-blue whydah, white-bellied go-away bird and the Von der Decken’s hornbill.

Another excellent spot for Kenya birding tours in  Amboseli National Park is the Sinet Delta. The shores of the Kioko Lake, the Simek Lake, the Conch Lake, and the Amboseli Lake are covered with papyrus and are frequented by many species of aquatic birds both resident and migratory.

Other notable bird species in the park include the African Jacanas, Goliath Herons, Grey craned cranes, Hartlaub’s bustards, Rufous chatterer, African swamphens, common redshanks, Dickinson’s kestrels, Eurasian thick-knees, Long-toed lapwings, Pangani longclaws, Rufous chatterers, Rufous-bellied herons, Spike-heeled larks, Steel-blue whydahs, Taveta golden weavers, Von der Decken’s hornbills, Yellow-necked spurfowls.

3) Lakes in Amboseli National Game Park Kenya

The lakes are seasonal and mainly located in the western part of the park and usually fill up during the rainy season. They occupy part of the drained basin of an ancient lake of the Pleistocene. The main ones are the Kioko Lake, the Simek Lake, the Conch Lake, and the Amboseli Lake, also called Embosel or Empusel. In these basins, the water is almost always present, except in times of drought, but the depth is never more than 50 cm.

The shores of these lakes are covered with papyrus and are great spots for Kenya birding watching tours in Amboseli National Park. They are frequented by many species of aquatic birds both resident and migratory. Flamingos, once almost absent in the park, are increasingly present, especially during the dry season; they can be easily spotted around the alkaline lakes while feeding.

In addition to rainwater, they are also fed by the Simek river that on its own collects the water from the Enkongo Narok swamp.

The Conch Lake, which in English means shell, owes its name to the shells that are found in its bed. They were discovered in the 50’s as a result of a drought that completely drained the lake.

 Amboseli Lake is located in the Western section of the park, compared to the other lakes in the park.  It covers a very large area, leaving the boundaries of the park, a part of it extending beyond the border with Tanzania. Perhaps less picturesque than the other lakes of the Great Rift Valley as the Manyara Lake, the Natron Lake, and the Magadi Lake, but it has a very special charm.

4) Marshes in Amboseli National Game Park Kenya

Within the Amboseli National Park, there are several swamps and marshes that are vital sources of water for all the animals living in these lands. The salt marshes, with their intense and bright green, stand out in contrast in the arid and dusty plain of the Park.

They are found mainly in the central part of the park and the most extensive are Enkongo or Ngong Narok Narok, Engone Naibor, Ol Tukai, Longinye, and Ologinya or Ol Okenya. They are fed by spring water coming from the melting snows of the Mount Kilimanjaro that penetrates the volcanic soil, down into the valley and then resurfaces in this very area of the Amboseli National Park thanks to the porosity of the soil.

The freshwater of these swamps, as well as being the only permanent source of water for all the animals of the park, is the ideal habitat for hippos and many species of water birds such as herons, black-winged stilts, kingfishers, egrets, and white pelicans.

Even the elephants prefer this area, is dependent on water, they are often seen in flocks going to the swamps for drinking and getting wet with water, or soaking.

5) The Observation Hill (Normatior) in Amboseli Game Park

This pyramid-shaped hill is situated in the western portion of the park. It was inhabited many years ago by the hunters and gatherers people-the Ndorobo. Signs and traces of their property and implements have been found here giving rise to the Maasai name nomatior meaningthe place of pottery”.

Observation Hill is the only place in the park where travelers on a safari in Kenya can get out and walk. The summit provides an ideal lookout from which to orientate yourself to the plains, swamps, and roads below. The views from here are also pretty elephants, whether south to Kilimanjaro or east across the swamps. Wildlife is generally a fair way off, but the views here put them in their context.

A staircase carved from the volcanic rocks provides access to the summit where there is an observation point. The hill has clear volcanic origin and was formed in the period of the Mount Kilimanjaro activity in the Pleistocene. From up here, the view spans 360 degrees throughout the Amboseli National Park with its arid areas, its marshes, and its lakes and, if the day is clear, the view of the Kilimanjaro, to the South, is spectacular.

At the foot of the Observation Hill to the East, lies the Enkongu Narok marshes, beloved by elephants and hippos; their bright green creates a striking contrast to the rest of the territory that is arid and dusty. Towards North-West there is the Kioko Lake, populated by noisy hippos who spend their days immersed in water; behind that, there is the Amboseli Lake, a seasonal lake that fills with water during the rainy season. Towards the East, you can instead find Ol Tukai, a fenced park area within which the headquarters of the KWS rangers, the Ol Tukai Lodge, and what in the past was the Amboseli Lodge, now abandoned, are located.

It’s very common to spot, from this privileged point, eddies of sand and dust generated by air currents in the driest part of the park.

The landscape has not changed much since the first time that a European has come here and described in his diary the wonders that can be admired from this hill. It is not difficult to see large animals such as elephants, buffalos, hippos, and giraffes, but with the help of binoculars, you can spot many other mammals and birds.

This is also the best place for the traveler on a Kenya Vacation to watch the sunrise or sunset in the entire Amboseli National Park when the warm light of the sun illuminates and heats the whole plain below and the.

6) Elephant Research Camp in Amboseli National Park

The Elephant research Camp offers travelers on a Kenya wildlife tour an opportunity to learn more about the elephants. The elephants of Amboseli are among the most studied in the world, thanks largely to the work of Dr. Cynthia Moss, whose books include The Amboseli Elephants and Elephant Memories. She was also behind the famous documentary DVD Echo of the Elephants. The research camp remains in operation in the heart of the park, under the guidance of the Amboseli Trust for Elephants.

Although the camp is not open for casual visits, it is possible, with prior arrangement, to arrange a one-hour lecture at the camp, during which the researchers explain their work and other related issues of elephant conservation, with time for questions at the end.

In 1968, Cynthia Moss made a life-changing decision and moved to Africa to study elephants in northern Tanzania with Iain Douglas-Hamilton. Four years later, teaming up with Harvey Croze, she found ideal conditions for studying elephants in Amboseli National Park. Four decades later, her work is the longest-running study of wild elephants ever undertaken, documenting the lives and deaths of almost 3,000 elephants. The Amboseli Elephant Research Project is now a hub for research collaboration and training.

Since its inception in 1972, AERP has monitored the Amboseli elephants, identifying all the elephants in the population and collecting data on births, deaths, and behavior. Today, as a result, AERP is the critical source of baseline data on elephants.

Ensuring the survival of the elephant in today’s Africa is an increasingly complex problem. The ivory trade – legal and illegal – and the tremendous increase in the human population in Africa have taken a serious toll.

In 1979, there were estimated to be 1.3 million elephants in Africa; ten years later, there were only about 600,000. In Kenya alone, the elephant population plummeted from 130,000 in 1973 to less than 20,000 in 1989, a loss of 85%. The reason for this catastrophic decline: the ivory trade. The combination of growing human populations and resulting loss of wildlife habitat has exacerbated wildlife-human conflict, creating yet another threat to the future of the elephant.

The elephant population in Amboseli National Park is one of the few that has been able to live a relatively undisturbed existence in natural conditions. This rare situation is primarily due to two factors – the presence of researchers and tourists in the park, and the support of the local Maasai people.

In the absence of poaching and culling, the Amboseli elephant population has been increasing slowly since the late 1970s. Amboseli is, therefore, one of the few places in Africa where the elephant age structure has not been drastically skewed and the population spans the whole range from newborn calves to old matriarchs in their 60s and, even more unusual, many large adult bulls in their 40s and 50s.

7) The local Masai people around Masai Mara National Reserve

Amboseli National is an ideal place for tourists on Kenya’s cultural tours to learn about the unique Maasai people and their culture. The Masai people leave around the park. These tall, proud nomads whose legendary prowess in battle and single-handed acts of bravery in fights with wild animals have spread across the globe. Perhaps more than any other community in Kenya the Masai have learned to live in complete harmony with their environment and the wildlife which surrounds them. All around the park are occupied and abandoned manyatta – Masai villages – quickly built out of bent poles and sticks and plastered with cow dung and equally swiftly abandoned when the grazing is finished and the herds must move on. It is also the home of the Masai people, those tall, proud nomads whose legendary prowess in battle and single-handed acts of bravery in fights with wild animals has spread across the globe. The Masai have learned to live in complete harmony with their environment and the wildlife, which surrounds them.

8) Mt. Kilimanjaro in Masai Mara National Reserve

Visit Kenya’s Amboseli National Park for fantastic views of Kilimanjaro the world’s highest free-standing mountain rising at 5,895 m above sea level. Its snow-capped summit dominates the landscape and on a clear day is easily visible during the early morning and afternoon. It is a superb backdrop for  wildlife photographs

Activities done in Amboseli National Park Kenya/ Things to do in Amboseli National Game Park Kenya

Amboseli National Park is one of the most unique parks not only in Kenya but Africa at large where tourists enjoy a wide range of activities. What to do in Amboseli National Park ranges from game viewing, bird watching, hot air balloon safaris, and cultural visits. All the activities are done after paying a park entry fee. The entry fees for non-resident adult visitors include US$ 60 adults and US$ 35 Child/Student. East Africa Citizens pay Kenya shillings (KSH) 860 adults, KSH 215 students/students. Residents pay KSH 1030 adults and KSH 515 Children.

Citizens Refer to Kenya Citizens with valid National ID/Passports and Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi citizens with valid Passports.

Residents: Refers to persons of other nationalities residing in Kenya with valid documentation from the Kenyan government.

Student: Is herein defined as an individual from a recognized secondary, government or private college university-aged up to 23 years old visiting the Parks for purposes of learning about conservation through a documented and organized arrangement with that institution and excludes students on personally arranged holidays. KWS will require a minimum of two weeks’ notice in order to issue written authorization for student rates.

1) Game viewing in Amboseli National Game Park Kenya

The park’s permanent swamps of Enkongo Narok, Olokenya and Longinye create a marshy belt across the middle of the park. This is where a traveler will encounter most animals during a Kenya wildlife safari in the park. Elephants love to wallow around in the muddy waters and you have a good chance of seeing hippos around the edge. For really close-up elephant encounters, Sinet Causeway, which crosses Enkongo Narok near (Normatior) Observation Hill, is often good; climb Normatior for fine views. The surrounding grasslands are home to grazing antelope, zebras, and wildebeest, with spotted hyenas, cheetahs and lions sometimes lurking nearby; there’s a reasonably reliable hyena den signposted northeast of the hill, which all the guides know about.

If you’re taking the road that runs east across the park to the Kimana Gate, watch for giraffes in the acacia woodlands. This is the best place inside the park for giraffe-spotting. Cheetahs and lions can also be spotted here.

Morning and afternoon game drives are the best time to view the game of Amboseli and to view the spectacular African dawn and sunsets. Game drives are done in customized vehicles, which have open roofs or sides and are ideal for photography. Experienced driver guides will accompany you on each game drive.

2) Bird Watching in Amboseli National Game Park Kenya

If you are a bird lover, Amboseli is your paradise. Amboseli National Park is a spectacular Kenya bird watching destination with more than 400 species of birds including the lesser flamingo, Madagascar pond Heron, the shoebill, and Lesser Kestrel.  The birds are spread across the park, but they are especially concentrated in and around the lakes and swamps. Just come with your binoculars, cameras and sketch the birds as you enjoy the view.

Amboseli is a good birding destination and more than 420 species have been recorded here. The swamps are great for water-associated birds such as egrets, herons, pelicans, and crowned cranes. Large numbers of flamingos may be present in the Wet seasons (March to May and October to December). The grassland areas offer some interesting ground birds such as Hartlaub’s bustard and the localized Pangani longclaw. The acacia woodland holds some dry country specials such as steel-blue whydah, white-bellied go-away bird and the Von der Decken’s hornbill.

Amboseli is a birdwatcher’s paradise throughout the year. Residents include unusual species that are spotted at any time. The migratory bird population fills the park from November to April. The months when rainfall is most likely to disrupt your bird-watching plans are November and April.

4) Hot Air Balloon safaris in Amboseli National Game Park Kenya

Don’t miss a balloon ride during your Amboseli National park safari. You will be able to view the park beauty from an aerial angle, something you may only get to do just once. Let go and feel the wind blow through your hair and clothes. It’s not every day you get to be a bird.

Hot Air Balloon rides offer spectacular sunrise views of Mount Kilimanjaro, an aerial view of the authentic Maasai villages and herds of elephant crossing the plains of Amboseli. Enjoy a full English breakfast served at a scenic location in the bush – meals always taste more delectable in the open African air.

5) Cultural visits in Amboseli National Game Park Kenya

Amboseli is surrounded by many Maasai settlements. Many of the lodges and camps work closely with local Maasai communities and arrangements can be made to walk with local Maasai guides or visit Maasai villages, schools, and communities around the Park. This is the perfect opportunity to experience the fascinating Maasai people and their cultures.

Amboseli National Game Park Kenya Accommodation Hotels / Where to stay or Sleep in Amboseli National Park Kenya

Kenya’s Amboseli National Park contains a variety of safari lodges. The accommodation facilities range from Luxury, midrange to budget.

1) Luxury lodges in Amboseli National Game Park Kenya

a) Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge

Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge is situated on the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro,  Africa’s highest mountain, beside a   giant acacia tree and gently flowing natural spring.  The Lodge was created for adventurers with an African dream.  It is comprising a Maasai-inspired design, a garden restaurant and a palm-shaded swimming pool and sundeck. In every detail, the ambiance captures the essence of Maasai culture, warmth and indomitable spirit. The setting of the Amboseli safari lodge is breathtakingly beautiful, the wildlife abundant and the cuisine, hospitality, and amenities unrivaled.

Accommodation at Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge:

The accommodations at Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge provide a full immersion into life in the untamed bush. Each room is housed in a single-story building opening directly onto the grounds, and each reflects a Maasai Manyatta theme with hand-painted wildlife murals, locally inspired furnishings and artifacts, and the brilliant primary colors symbolic of these fabled warriors. Guests enjoy a balance of sophistication, comfort, and harmony with nature, relishing the unique pleasure of their very own private corner of Kenya.

The lodge features 1 suite and 92 rooms including 3 family rooms, 41 double rooms, 44 twin rooms, 3 triple rooms, and 8 inter-connecting rooms.

Twin Room

Decorated with local antiques, artifacts, and artwork, the Twin Rooms are equipped with two twin beds and a private balcony overlooking the majestic grasslands of Amboseli National Park.

In-Room Amenities

  • Two twin beds
  • Complimentary wireless Internet
  • Coffee/tea making station
  • Bathrobes
  • 24-Hour room service
  • Work desk and chair
  • Private balcony
  • Penhaligon’s bath amenities
  • Ceiling fan

Double Room

Decorated with local antiques, artifacts, and artwork, our Double Room is equipped with one king bed and a private balcony overlooking the majestic grasslands of Amboseli National Park.

In-Room Amenities

  • One king bed
  • Complimentary wireless Internet
  • Coffee/tea making station
  • Bathrobes
  • 24-Hour room service
  • Work desk and chair
  • Private balcony
  • Penhaligon’s bath amenities
  • Ceiling fan

Family Room

Decorated with local antiques, artifacts, and artwork, our two-bedroom Family Room is equipped with a bedroom with one king bed, a second bedroom with two twin beds, a shared bathroom and a private balcony overlooking the majestic grasslands of Amboseli National Park.

In-Room Amenities

  • Bedroom with one king bed
  • Second bedroom with two twin beds
  • Complimentary wireless Internet
  • Coffee/tea making station
  • Bathrobes
  • 24-Hour room service
  • Work desk and chair
  • Private balcony
  • Penhaligon’s bath amenities
  • Ceiling fan

– Ol Donyo Oibor Suite

Equally suited to be a presidential/CEO, honeymoon or VIP venue, our spacious and elegant Ol Donyo Oibor Suite enjoys a fabulous view of Kilimanjaro from its private balcony and rooftop terrace.

In-Room Amenities

  • Master bedroom with king bed
  • Separate sitting area
  • Balcony and private rooftop terrace with spectacular views of Mt. Kilimanjaro
  • Bathroom with Jacuzzi and shower
  • Minibar – stocked according to your preference
  • Satellite TV and video
  • Dedicated room steward and in-room catering/bar services
  • Private entrance
  • Air conditioning
  • Complimentary wireless Internet
  • Coffee/tea making station
  • Bathrobes
  • 24-Hour room service
  • Work desk and chair
  • Private balcony
  • Penhaligon’s bath amenities

Facilities and services at Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge include;

Restaurant: The central dining area is reached by a timbered bridge spanning a mountain-fed stream and is flanked by water gardens. The walls feature hand-painted wildlife murals while the décor reflects the traditional culture and heritage of the Maasai people. The spacious lounge and bar feature a broad terrace and a blazing fire-pit where evening cocktails can be enjoyed.

Breakfast and lunch are presented buffet-style and feature a wide range of international choices. In typical safari style, we offer a full English breakfast as well as European options while our lunch menus will typically include meat, poultry, fish and vegetarian options.

The table d’hôte dinner menus feature a salad buffet, soup, entrée, pudding, cheese and biscuits, and tea or coffee. Vegetarian options are always available. Guests may also enjoy theme nights, with specialties ranging from pasta and Mongolian-style stir-fry, BBQ and spiced roast to Kenyan favorites like “Nyama Choma” (traditionally roasted meats), “Sukuma” (local kale cooked with tomatoes, onions, garlic, and coriander), “Posho” (maize) and other local delicacies.

Bush Breakfast: Few dining experiences are more memorable or as typically Kenyan as breakfast in the bush. Setting off after an early morning cup of tea, you can enjoy a fascinating game drive into the bush where, at one of our specially chosen breakfast sites, a full English breakfast will be cooked before you. Enjoy a glass of chilled ‘buck’s fizz’ while you savor the experience.

Bush Dinner: Nothing is quite so essentially “Safari” as the traditional ‘bush dinner’, especially when it is enlivened by the presence of a group of scarlet-clad Maasai morans (warriors). Located in a grove of acacia trees immediately adjacent to the lodge, your lantern-lit dinner begins with cocktails around the campfire. A 6-course dinner will then be cooked on a blazing BBQ, accompanied by a wide range of salads and vegetables. While dessert and coffee are served, the Maasai will entertain you with songs, chants, and dance displays. Dine in the wild and taste safari-life at its best.

Conference rooms: Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge is one of the most dramatic and inspiring destinations for conferences, incentive tours and safari retreats in Kenya. The event venue offers a unique setting for up to 150 delegates with its elegant décor and hand-painted wildlife wall frescos, while the experienced staff can assist with catering and tech support.

Sundowners: Offers private “Sundowner” with campfire, entertainment, dancers, music, and hot or cold canapés.

Lounge and bar: The lodge features a broad terrace and a blazing fire-pit where evening cocktails can be enjoyed.

24-hour on-call medical services

Laundry and shoe-shine

Swimming pools

b) Ol Donyo Lodge

Wedged between Kenya’s Tsavo East and Amboseli National Parks in the heart of the Chyulu Hills, this is a place of timeless wild beauty presided over by Africa’s greatest icon – Mount Kilimanjaro. The lodge itself sits in thick woodland in the foothills of the Chyulus with views over the plains to Mount Kilimanjaro.

Accommodation at Ol Donyo Lodge:

Designed to merge outdoor and indoor living, the unique suites and villas (no two are the same) rise from the landscape on either side of a palatial lounge and dining area.

All 6 suites plus 1 two-bedroom family unit have their own plunge pool and enjoy roof terraces where intimate “star beds” can be set up, allowing guests the thrill of sleeping in style under a canopy of endless stars.

A maximum of 16 guests, sharing, can be accommodated, plus an additional guide’s room as required. Children from 5 years are welcome. Families with children between the ages of 5 & 15 will be accommodated in the Pool Suites.

Facilities and services at Ol Donyo Lodge include;

Restaurant: All Alfresco lunches on the verandah and or candlelit dinners in the main dining room are wonderful, but we also enjoy hosting breakfasts in the plains and dinners under the African sky or surprise sundowners and classic English tea in the romantic setting of the bush. Finally, it’s a nightcap around the cozy outdoor fireplace to round out another perfect day in Africa.

c) Satao Elerai Camp

Satao Elerai Camp is located in a quiet, unspoiled, unique setting on a 5000-acre private conservation area 12 km southeast of Amboseli National Park at the foot of Africa’s Largest mountain, Mt Kilimanjaro. The camp looks down onto the Amboseli National Game Park in one direction and up to Mt Kilimanjaro in the other direction, giving clients what is arguably the best location of any camp in Amboseli.

Accommodation at Satao Elerai Camp include;

Satao Elerai has 5 lodge-style suite rooms and 9 deluxe Mountain facing tents, both designed to ensure that your stay will be in complete luxury. Large comfortable beds and quality linen combine to ensure that you will sleep through the night in total comfort in front of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Each tent has its own ensuite bathroom with solar hot showers and a toilet with a view. Raised cedar wood floors, acacia poles and makuti (thatch) roofing complement the surrounding environment. Large balconies with relaxing day beds combine to offer the perfect place to lie as you take in the ambiance when relaxing.

The elegantly furnished suite rooms have large sliding doors that open out onto your own private verandah overlooking the plains below and Amboseli National Park. Elephants, giraffe’s and zebra are seen most days from the comfort of your room. Designed using natural rock and acacia wood, the bathrooms have their own naturally crafted bathtub and shower which is unique to Elerai.

Facilities and services at Satao Elerai Camp include;

Restaurant: Their Safari chefs provide the most sumptuous selection of cuisines to satisfy every taste. The dining room looks out onto Kilimanjaro to the South and down across the resident waterhole to the plains of Amboseli to the West.

Bush dinner: For groups, a bush dinner on the Elerai conservation area offers something completely unique and special.

Camp Pool: The Camp Pool offers a relaxing swim and a splendid view of Mt Kilimanjaro.

Lounge Area: Wine and relax at the lounge and enjoy the African ambiance and the sound of wildlife.

Sundowner: A sundowner with Kilimanjaro as the backdrop is something not to be missed. Few locations offer such an amazing chance to take that ideal Africa sunset picture with the bonus of Kilimanjaro in the background.

d) Campi ya Kanzi

Campi ya Kanzi is widely recognized as one of the most inspiring and eco-friendly safari experiences in Africa. Situated at the foot of the legendary Chyulu Hills, Ernest Hemingway’s “Green Hills of Africa,” it is a luxury camp offering an incomparable combination of 5-star luxury, first-class wilderness adventure, amazing wildlife, and authentic immersion in Maasai culture. This is truly the ultimate African safari.

Accommodation at Campi ya Kanzi include;

Kanzi house ( 8 guests) and swimming pool suite (2 guests)

6 luxury tented cottages

2 Luxury tented suites

Hemingway & Simba tented suites

The classic safari experience under canvas, with the luxury of a comfortable bed and a full ensuite bathroom. Each of the luxury tented suites, Hemingway and Simba, provide two of the best views of the watering hole and of the hills surrounding the camp.

A perfect oasis to enjoy the vast wildlife such as zebras, giraffes, and lions that visit our watering hole while you enjoy a cup of tea and bitings on your private porch. Great for honeymooners, couples or any guest that would like to experience a home away from home while enjoying the wilderness right at their fingertips!

Amenities

  • Private veranda
  • Custom Italian linens
  • En suite bathroom with double sinks
  • Dressing room
  • Organic bath products
  • Bathrobes
  • Wardrobe
  • Sitting area
  • Safe
  • Flashlight
  • Safari literature
  • 24-hour solar electricity
  • Hot and cold running water
  • Laundry service

Luxury Tented Cottage

The classic safari experience under canvas,  with the luxury of a comfortable bed (4 tented cottages have twins, 2 have a king-size bed) and a full ensuite bathroom.

Each of the six luxury tented cottages are named after the beautiful view of the specific hills that they face: Chyulu, Longitok, Elenyo Waite, Kilimanjaro, Oldonyo Oibor and Ololorami.

You can enjoy a view of the vast wildlife that visits our watering hole as well while you enjoy a cup of tea and bitings on your private porch. Make yourself at home in the midst of stunning wilderness!

The luxury cottages can accommodate a child in a safari cot.

Two of the cottages are close to each other and the idea of a family.

Amenities

  • Private veranda
  • Custom Italian linens
  • En suite bathroom
  • Organic bath products
  • Bathrobes
  • Safe
  • Flashlight
  • Safari literature
  • 24-hour solar electricity
  • Hot and cold running water
  • Laundry service

Kanzi House & Pool Cottage

Kanzi House is an exclusive villa located in Kenya available to larger groups and indicated for Kenya safari families holidays who would like to stay under one roof and dine privately. It can be booked only by one party at a time for a minimum of three nights. Or it can be booked individually: the pool cottage for a couple, the private villa for up to four guests.

When booked in exclusivity and combining the three double rooms and two twin rooms, the house and the pool cottage can accommodate up to 8 people (plus 2 kids).

Kanzi House & pool Cottage features a Jacuzzi, an 18-meter swimming pool, a pool cottage, a fire pit, and a beautiful view of Mount Kilimanjaro, Kanzi House provides a luxurious private experience while allowing guests to explore the savanna around Campi ya Kanzi.

Dining can be arranged either inside or out; al fresco dining is available next to the pool or in the open dining area beside the pool cottage. Guests at Kanzi House will be served by dedicated cooks and waiters, a dedicated safari guide, and a dedicated vehicle.

Facilities and services at Campi ya Kanzi include;

Restaurant and bar

Infinity & plunge pools

Wi-Fi in your tent

Electricity: All electricity and hot water are provided through our solar power system.

Laundry service

e) Tawi Lodge

Tawi Lodge is located on a private conservancy of 6,000 acres just five minutes from Kimana Gate, the eastern entrance to Amboseli National Park, at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro (5,963m) – the world’s largest free-standing mountain.

The style of the lodge is a harmonious combination of modern style to give you comfort and traditional style to remind you that you are in Africa.

Accommodation at Tawi Lodge include;

13 cottages ideally located on bush land facing Kilimanjaro.

Each cottage has its own wooden-deck veranda and a fabulous view of the highest mountain in Africa, even from the comfort of your bed or your bathtub. Double or twin cottages, all have en suite bathrooms fitted with both a bath and shower. Each cottage has its own fireplace and a minibar for those very special sundowners. Lighting and water systems are solar-powered.

The style of the lodge is a harmonious combination of modern (for your comfort) and traditional (to remind you that you are in Africa).

Before and after dinner, relax by the campfire, or at our very special “mobile” bush bar, and listen to the magical sounds of the savannah under the spectacular African sky where the stars seem brighter than anywhere else.

Room types

Double Room

All cottages have a fabulous view of the highest mountain in Africa, even from the comfort of your bed or your bathtub.

All doubles have four-poster beds, with comfortable mattresses. You have a private wooden deck, overlooking the mountain. Each cottage has a fireplace. The bathrooms have showers and large Victorian baths.

Twin Room

All cottages have a fabulous view of the highest mountain in Africa, even from the comfort of your bed or your bathtub.

All the twins have four-poster beds, with comfortable mattresses. You have a private wooden deck, overlooking the mountain. Each cottage has a fireplace. The bathrooms have showers and large Victorian baths.

Facilities and services at Tawi Lodge include;

Restaurant: The attention to detail and excellent and friendly service are particularly noticed whilst dining. Fine cuisine with selected produce grown in our own organic gardens irrigated with water from the Kilimanjaro surfaces through volcanic rocks and creates a very fertile soil. Your senses will be delighted by a blend of spices from the Swahili Coast.

Sundowners: In the cool of the evening, your driver/guide will lead you to a beautiful spot for chilled sundowners overlooking the Amboseli landscapes.

  • 24-hour Security
  • Bar
  • Communal Dining
  • Eco-Friendly
  • Internet Access (Complimentary)
  • Laundry Service (Available)
  • Library
  • Mobile Connectivity
  • Pool
  • Private Vehicle Available
  • Restaurant
  • Secure Parking
  • Spa

2) Midrange Lodges in Amboseli National Game Park Kenya

a) Amboseli Sopa Lodge

The lodge is located on the edge of the Amboseli National Park. It is set in 200 acres of private land, and with a rustic charm all of its own, the lodge nestles in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro which, at almost six thousand meters, is Africa’s highest and most famous snowcapped mountain.

Amboseli Sopa Lodge is set within mature wooded gardens with a wide variety of trees and plants which include thorn trees, Acacias, fragrant Frangipanis, colorful bougainvillea and giant cacti which all thrive in these surroundings. The gardens are also home to numerous species of birds as well as monkeys, mongooses, squirrels, duikers, the occasional gazelle and, once in a while, even an ever inquisitive leopard.

Accommodation  at Amboseli Sopa Lodge:

Rustic, well-spaced cottages meander through the vast expanse of the mature gardens and house our eighty-three guest rooms. These are all brightly decorated with Maasai themed wall murals, and each room has been purpose-built to contain either one or two queen-sized beds as well as a veranda.

The Lodge features a luxuriously appointed, extremely spacious, two-bedroom Presidential suite with a private dining room and an attached kitchenette, and also with a huge lounge and a quite simply vast veranda

  • 83 rooms in total
  • 40 rooms with 2 queen size beds of which, 6 of them have interconnecting doors, ideal for families and 24 rooms can be turned to triples on request.
  • 21 rooms with one king-size bed, of which 2 rooms are suitable for the physically challenged, and 1 room is a honeymoon suite.
  • 22 rooms have one queen size bed.
  • 6 of the rooms have interconnecting doors ideal for families.

Facilities and services at Amboseli Sopa Lodge include;

Restaurant: The Kibo Restaurant is named after the tallest peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro, and is a round structure with a thatched palm frond roof following the design of traditional African huts. The glass windows and doors face the mountain, the floor is made of a mixture of multicolored marble shards and clay tiles, and the side of the mantle of the circular, central fireplace is decorated with wood carvings of wildlife.

Terrace: The Mawenzi Terrace is an outdoor dining area set beside the Mawenzi Bar and named after Kilimanjaro’s second-highest peak. The terrace is shaded by an enormous Acacia tree whose branches also spread out over the long curve of a natural stone-topped buffet table and its two recessed barb-cue grills.

Bars

 The Mawenzi Bar is divided into two by a massive central fireplace and a freeform wall with subtly concealed lighting. The inner section has suspended wrought iron, shaded chandeliers, beautiful furnishings made of authentic African driftwood, and its walls are decorated with a multitude of Maasai handicrafts and artifacts.

Hemingway’s Bar is dedicated to the memory of Ernest Hemingway, who died in 1961, and is perched on top of massive boulders at the highest point of the property, it offers uninterrupted 360o views of the surrounding landscapes and is the perfect place for an evening sundowner. Steps lead down from the bar to a grotto with a sand floor and African wooden stools, and it is from here that you can get a closer view of the spotted and striped hyenas, the white-tailed mongooses, and the Genet cats which come to feast on the meat we put out for them every night.

The Pool Bar is set in a brightly colored, rondavel-style building adjacent to the swimming pool’s deep end. A central, decorated pillar supports the conical thatched roof while high tables and chairs fill the floor area beside the bar counters.

Swimming Pool

Laundry

Gift Shop

b) Ol Tukai Lodge

Ol Tukai Lodge is one of the best spots in the world to watch elephant with the backdrop of Africa’s highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro.

Ol Tukai is an Eco-rated lodge having excellent outdoor and indoor facilities with its unique collection of African art. The property receives an overwhelming response from the international and local tourism market.

Accommodation at Ol Tukai Lodge include;

There are 80 luxury chalet-style twin rooms, all with an uninterrupted view of the wetlands or Kilimanjaro. Stylish and comfortable, the rooms have private bathrooms and individual terraces.

There are rooms allocated for special needs visitors.

The beautifully appointed rooms provide quality, comfort, and attention to detail. The presence of the wilderness can be felt in the silence of the night.

Facilities and services at Ol Tukai Lodge include;

Dining area: Launch is served out on the veranda and on most occasion elephants, zebras, and buffalos can be spotted. Theme nights are held throughout the week and include barbecues and the Swahili fish menu. In addition, the kitchen has an in house vegetation and Indian cuisine chef.

Elephant bar: This is situated between the lounge and dining room. This open-air bar serves a wide selection of beers, cocktails, liqueurs, and fresh fruit juices. Above the bar, the roof level deck offers a splendid panorama of marshland and Kilimanjaro.

Guest Lounge: Free Wi-fi available at the reception lounge.

Swimming pool: The crystal clear waters of the swimming pool are shaded by the acacia tree. The pool deck has sunbeds for relaxation and soaking up the afternoon African sunshine before the evening game drive.

Gift shop: The gift shop stocks interesting African artifacts, gifts, and memorabilia.

c) Kilima Safari Camp

Kilima Safari Camp is located in the area of Amboseli National Park, next to the Kimana Gate Park entrance. The camp is set out on a 420-acre site with a spectacular view of Mount Kilimanjaro. The Kimana area of Amboseli is famous for its large elephant population. Clients can enjoy great game viewing from their tents which face the Animal water pools and all public areas and guest rooms are set towards Mount Kilimanjaro.

Accommodation at Kilima Safari Camp comprises;

  • 50 Kilimanjaro facing safari tents
  • 12 Kilimanjaro facing lodge rooms
  • 10 Kilimanjaro facing Milma tents

Facilities and services at Kilima Safari Camp comprises;

Dining: Full board meal plan (breakfast, lunch, and dinner). Complimentary refreshments before morning and evening game drives.

Conference and meeting rooms

Curio shops

Swimming pool

Massage services (on booking)

3) Budget safari lodges in Amboseli National Game Park Kenya

a) Kibo Safari Camp

Kibo Safari Camp is picturesquely set at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro which at 5,896 meters is the highest freestanding mountain in the world and topped by one-fifth of all the ice in Africa in the famous Amboseli National Park.

Amboseli, meaning “salty dust” in maa, the language of the Maasai, is a place of stark contrast. The park provides the classic Hollywood image of Africa. Set in rolling savannah scenery the park is dwarfed by the presence of the pink-tinged, snow-capped peak of Mount Kilimanjaro

Accommodation at Kibo Safari Camp include;

Kibo Safari Camp has 73 self-contained tents for single, double, triple and family accommodation. The beds have been custom designed and locally made using bush logs and will ensure a good night’s sleep! All tents have flush toilets, showers, and washbasins. You can enjoy your shower as you like: bubbling hot or refreshing cold. For the duration of your stay in the African bush, Kibo Safari Camp will be your home away from home!

Facilities and services at Kibo Safari Camp include;

Dining: Dine in the open terraced restaurant set under acacia trees overlooking the majestic Mt. Kilimanjaro. The fruits & vegetables are served fresh as they are picked from our very own farm. The camp chef will pamper you with fine cuisines for all tastes.

Special meal requirements are met on request eg vegetarian or special meals for the sick. Please inform us about any special meal requirements at the time of booking.

Lounge & Bar

Dining room

Swimming Pool

Spa/Massage

Art Gallery

Gift/Souvenir Shop

Conference Facilities

How to get to Amboseli National Park/ Distance from Nairobi to Amboseli National Game Park Kenya

By Road

Amboseli is located 240 km southeast of Nairobi (takes about 4 hours drive). Self-drive from Nairobi to the reserve is a good option. The main road into the park is from Nairobi via Namanga the Nairobi – Arusha Road, through Meshanani Gate. The other road is from Nairobi via Email (228 km) on the Nairobi – Mombasa Road. Access from Mombasa is mainly through Tsavo West National Park via Kimana (Olkelunyiet) Gate. The park is accessible in 2WD, but the 4WD safari vehicle is always the best option, particularly after rain.

By Air

Airstrips: The park has a single airstrip for light aircraft at Empusel gate. Other airstrips exist at Kilimanjaro Buffalo Lodge and Namanga town.

Charter flights are an option between parks – these are typically booked for you as part of your tour package. Domestic flights from Nairobi leave from Wilson Airport (WIL), 6km/4mi south of Nairobi. Scheduled flights can be booked with several domestic carriers:

  • AirKenya (Flies from Nairobi)
  • Safarilink (Flies from Nairobi and Tsavo West)
  • Mombasa Air Safari (Flies from Mombasa, Masai Mara, Malindi, and Diani Beach)