Deriving its name from the Masai word “Amboseli”, meaning 'salty dust', the national park is one of the elite safari destinations of Kenya. To the west of the park is Lake Amboseli, the ephemeral lake that takes up quite a chunk of the park area, and appears after rains only to disappear for the rest of the year. Situated at only 260 kms from Nairobi, the Amboseli National Park is the second most popular safari in Africa. The 392 km2 park which forms a constituent of the much larger 3,000 km2 Amboseli ecosystem, is set against the breathtaking backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa and offers sights of a range of terrains from woodlands to Savannah, from swamps to rocky patches. It is home to over 900 majestic African elephants and more than 500 species of birds. Predators like hyenas, African lions, cheetahs, leopards etc coexist harmoniously with exotic herbivores like wildebeests, lesser kudus, zebras, monkeys, rhinos, giraffes etc. Except when they hunt for food! Because of the hot and dry climate the water bodies dry up fast resulting in sparse vegetation which is an excellent setting for game viewing. Gear up with binoculars, sunglasses and a hat to embark upon the adventure of a lifetime.
Bring your own food and water and other camping necessities cause the camps generally are not very well equipped. Evenings and mornings are the best time for game viewing as the hot noons are generally napping time for animals.
The best time for game viewing is the dry season from June to October. The grass is shorter, the vegetation sparser making it easy to observe the wildlife. For bird watching the best time is the rainy season from November to January. The sky is clearer and it is the best time to view Mount Kilimanjaro. But navigation may be difficult owing to loose muddy soil in rainy seasons, especially in April, when it receives the highest rainfall.
You can observe elephants, rhinos and hippopotamus and other wildlife in their natural habitat from close quarters. Witness the dynamic equation between predator and prey. Contrast it with the relationship between a newborn calf or cub and the mother. You can make a cultural trip to the villages and meet the Masaai people and learn their way of life. They are the natives of the land who live a nomadic life building makeshift but sturdy huts out of timber and cattle dung and they keep moving in search of greener pastures for the cattle.
There are two ways to reach Amboseli.
From Nairobi to Namanga it's a paved road but with potholes. From Namanga to Meshanani gate it's a 45mins drive on the bumpy road. You can also enter through Mombasa via Emali through Tsavo West National Park via Olkeluniyet gate.
After reaching the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, you can take a flight to Amboseli's airstrip at Empusel gate from Wilson Airport, Nairobi.