Amboseli, at a glance

Clouds of dust, pollen, and mud are whipped into the air, a mirage can be seen in the distance.

What once appeared faint and distant now appears bolder as it approaches, the mirage becomes clearer, its edges more distinct. 

Soon, a stampede of African bush elephants comes stomping past, backdropped by Mount Kilimanjaro in the distance. 

Thousands of elephants live in Amboseli National Park, and it is one of Kenya's most popular safari destinations, second only to the Maasai Mara National Reserve

Amboseli National Park

Home of the African Elephant, Amboseli National Park

Wildlife at Amboseli National Park

Amboseli National Park is home to huge numbers of African bush elephant, hence its moniker: Home of the African Elephant.

The park has done extraordinary work to protect these animals, and sightings are all but guaranteed at Amboseli.

Beyond the elephants, you will also find the rest of the Big Five: lions, leopard, buffalo and giraffe. 

The best spots to see wildlife is from Observation Hill, also known as Normatior. From this height, the vast untamed wild spreads as far as the eye can see, with Mount Kilimanjaro always looming in the background.

Amboseli National Park

Elephants from the viewing deck, Porini Amboseli Camp

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The azure-blue above you bleeds into orange as your eyes drop towards the horizon, the sun just beginning to set. You don't see it though, Mount Kilimanjaro claims the horizon. Between it and you lies nothing but savannah, miles and miles of it. 

How to get to Amboseli National Park

Amboseli National Park sits near the Kenyan-Tanzanian border in the south of Kenya.

It is a four to five-hour journey from Nairobi by car covering 240km, or seven to eight hours by car if you are travelling from Mombasa and through Tsavo West National Park.

You can also take a domestic flight from Wilson airport into the airstrip at Amboseli. 

It is also accessible from Arusha in Tanzania if you are hopping the border to continue your African adventure from Kilimanjaro.

Amboseli National Park

Not your typical Sunday stroll, Amboseli National Park

When is the best time to visit Amboseli?

Animals can be found in the park year-round, but July to October offers the best weather conditions for game drives.

November to February is considered the best time for bird watching due to migration patterns. 

March to May is the long rainy season in Kenya. Conditions for game drives are not good, and the chances of sightings are lower. However, the country is incredibly beautiful this time of year, with all the flowers in full bloom. 

A story from Brilliant

Mia Shah visited Amboseli National Park, and it was an event right from the start

On our final approach to the small airstrip in the middle of Amboseli, the pilot announced that our small 14 seater plane could not land. 

At first, a feeling of fear and anxiety swept over me. This was soon extinguished as we took a sharp turn right, and as my window dipped towards the ground, I saw a herd of hundreds of elephants charging across the landing zone. 

"They own this land", the pilot joked. There was nothing for us to do but circle above, admiring the views as we did so, waiting for them to move.  

I have been lucky to spend a lot of time in Kenya over the years, but I have never quite had a safari experience like Amboseli. It really feels like everywhere you look, you see nothing but beautiful scenery, gorgeous lakes, and many, many elephants. 

Amboseli National Park

Embracing the 'pole pole' (‘slowly slowly’) lifestyle, Seregenti

Accommodation at Amboseli National Park

Porini Amboseli Camp

10 miles north of the Amboseli National Park boundary, Porini Amboseli Camp sits in the Selenkay Conservancy. The game viewing here is extraordinary, and being just outside the park means the lodge retains a genuine off-the-beaten-track aesthetic. 

The camp is small, but over-delivers. Accommodation consists of 10 tented camps, tastefully decorated and complete with solar-powered lighting, en-suite bathrooms, and king-size and single beds. 

Oh, and each tent has a private veranda that looks out over the expanse, towards Mount Kilimanjaro straddling the horizon. 

Amboseli National Park

Tortilis Camp

The views from Tortilis Camp are impossible to describe. Siting on the deck, cold beer in hand, it hits you all at once. 

The azure-blue above you bleeds into orange as your eyes drop towards the horizon, the sun just beginning to set. You don't see it though, Mount Kilimanjaro claims the horizon. Between it and you lies nothing but savannah, miles and miles of it. 

The accommodation at Tortilis is in spacious tents, complete with en-suite bathrooms. They all share stunning views of the surrounding savannah and Kilimanjaro, and the Private House and Family Tent just up the hill share a pool. 

An added bonus: Tortilis is 100% solar-powered.

Amboseli National Park

Could be worse, Tortilis Camp Amboseli

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