Located in southern Kenya, Amboseli National Park is arguably the most impressive place in Africa for elephant sightings. But not just any elephant sighting. Amboseli is home to some of the largest and most breath-taking ‘tuskers’. This is a term used for an elephant with huge ivory tusks that sweep the floor – some weighing more than 45kg pounds per tusk. Sadly, these extraordinary ‘tusker’ elephants are far and few, with only around 20 left in the world today, but a considerable number can be found in the Amboseli National Park and surrounding ecosystem.

Not only are these huge tusker elephants seen in Amboseli, but enormous herds of elephant are also found migrating through this expansive ecosystem. Large herds of elephants can be seen, walking in a line across the dry and arid terrain. To make it that little bit more special, Mount Kilimanjaro – Africa’s largest mountain – is often the backdrop of the landscape, dominating the sky with its snowy peak. On a clear day, Amboseli National Park is considered the best place to see the impressive 5,895-meter high mountain, which is actually in Tanzania.

As well as reliable elephant sightings, Amboseli National Park also has good numbers of lion prides, and plains game such as zebra, giraffe, and a wealth of antelope species. You will enjoy morning and late afternoon safaris, often in open-sided vehicles with professional safari guides. This park is particularly good for photographers – both amateur and professional – because many of the safari camps have specialized vehicles for photographers and their equipment, as well as experienced guides who know the best angles and lighting for the perfect shot.

The safari experience in Amboseli National Park is also more varied, as you can do activities like bush walks, cycling, community visits, and day and night drives. On top of that, you will enjoy some safari surprises along the way, such as breakfasts in the bush, and sundowners in front of waterholes, filled with resident hippo pods or crocodiles. It’s a very special park, and the safari camps in this area really have perfected the safari experience for guests. We recommend Amboseli National Park as either a stand-alone safari destination, or to combine it with another park like the Masai Mara National Reserve, and small aircraft planes make it possible to do this.

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Best camps in Amboseli National Park

There are a handful of safari camps we recommend in Amboseli National Park. Some luxury safari camps are part of a larger portfolio of camps in Kenya, which helps with combining destinations. For example, Tortilis Camp is part of the Elewana Collection, which has sister camps all across Kenya – the Masai Mara National Reserve, the Greater Mara Conservancies, the Laikipia Plateau, and the Kenyan coast to name a few. Combining sister camps and properties can be great value, so do let us know if you are looking to combine multiple destinations and we can curate a luxury trip for you.

Amboseli Elephants_When to go

When to visit Amboseli National Park

The best time to visit Amboseli National Park is the June to October window, which is the dry season in Kenya. This period also offers warm weather and plenty of sunshine. In turn, this makes for great visibility, for both game viewing and also the opportunity to see the incredible Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. The period of December to March is also a good time to visit, with dry and warm weather also offered. The rainy season between April and May makes game viewing less reliable because of the thicker vegetation and cooler temperatures. That said, it can make for a dramatic backdrop, especially for photographers.

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What safari activities can I do in Amboseli National Park?

Typical early morning and late afternoon game drives are offered in Amboseli National Park. The animals – particularly the big cats – are at their most active in the early hours of the morning, before the sun rises and the temperature starts to rise. This is why game drives start around 6am so that you have the best opportunity to see them. This is also the same reason as to why the afternoon game drives start around 3-4pm. The middle of the day is usually the hottest and the animals are at their least active, so game drives during this time are unproductive. Along with game drives, the safari camps in Amboseli National Park also offer bush walks, community visits, cycling, and walking experiences.

How long should I spend in Amboseli National Park?

We’d recommend a minimum of three nights on safari in Amboseli National Park. It’s possible to drive to the park from Nairobi, which we can arrange in a private 4×4 safari vehicle with a private driver/guide. This is approximately a 4-hour drive, but there are also airstrips in Amboseli which offer a much more direct route into the park. If you are combing Amboseli National Park with other safari destinations, such as the Masai Mara National Reserve, I’d recommend a split of 3 nights in each. This gives you a good amount of time to enjoy the game viewing activities on offer.

What is Amboseli famous for?

Amboseli National Park is made up of a variety of landscapes including vast, open savannahs, dry and arid plains, and more bushy swamps. These diverse landscapes are home to a range of animals – from huge elephant herds to coalitions of cheetahs. While the park is not home to the Big Five (there are no rhino here), the park has an exceptional reputation for elephant numbers, big cat sightings, and birdlife. The park is also regarded as the best destination for views across Africa’s largest mountain – Mount Kilimanjaro.


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