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Amboseli National Park

Amboseli NP




Best Time To Visit

Weather & Climate

Getting There

Malaria & Safety

Overview – Amboseli NP
Amboseli National Park, a celebrated gem of Kenyan safaris, offers a spectacular showcase of wildlife, including elephants with impressive tusks and a variety of big cats—primarily lions, with occasional cheetah sightings. Nestled under the imposing silhouette of Mt Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, this compact park is rich in diverse wildlife, featuring everything from flamingos to a well-known hyena den. The park truly comes alive with a mystical allure during the early mornings and late afternoons, when the parting clouds reveal the breathtaking summit of Kilimanjaro.
amboseli national park
Best Time To Go
June to October and January to February
High Season
December to March and July to October (Busy)
390km² / 151mi²
1,124-1,169m / 3,688-3,835ft
Pros & Cons
Views of Kilimanjaro
Superb opportunities for wildlife observation.
Top for elephant viewing in Africa.
Good chances to spot rare cats like lions and cheetahs.
Exceptional birdwatching, particularly waterbirds in swamp areas.
A wide variety of accommodations available to suit different budgets and preferences.
The park experiences high visitor traffic, particularly during peak season.
Windy conditions can lead to reduced visibility due to dust.
Amboseli National Park is renowned for its superb wildlife viewing, featuring four of the Big Five. While the park lacks rhinos and sightings of leopards are uncommon, it is well-known for its impressive elephant populations that regularly move through the central marsh areas. The park abounds with buffalo, wildebeest, plains zebra, and gazelle. Lions are frequently seen, and cheetah sightings, while less common, are also a thrilling possibility.


In Amboseli, guided game drives are the highlight, taking visitors on a journey to discover the park’s diverse fauna and avian life. For a unique perspective, consider a hot-air balloon ride at dawn, where you might catch a cloudless glimpse of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Observation Hill is the only spot in the park where you are allowed to step out of your vehicle. Trek up the hill to enjoy a scenic picnic with panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.
At its peak, Amboseli showcases a breathtaking variety of environments, each contributing to its rich wildlife ecosystem. The park spans a broad basin dotted with vibrant green swamps at its core, bordered by acacia woodlands to the east, and vast savannahs that stretch toward remote hills and peaks. Dominating the southern horizon, the majestic Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania looms over the landscape, adding to the park’s dramatic backdrop.
Weather & Climate
In Amboseli, daytime temperatures typically average around 28°C (82°F), while nighttime temperatures maintain a pleasant mildness, usually not dropping below 15°C (59°F). The temperature peaks during the Wet season from November to May, with February notably experiencing the highest warmth. Conversely, the Dry season, spanning June to October, brings somewhat cooler temperatures.
Best Time To Visit
The optimal times to visit Amboseli National Park are during its dry months: January to February, which fall between the short and long rainy seasons, and June to October, during the peak Dry season. These periods offer ideal conditions for wildlife spotting due to minimal rainfall and sparser vegetation, enhancing visibility. However, these popular times also draw the largest crowds. For bird enthusiasts, the best months for birdwatching are from December to March, when a variety of species can be observed.
​Wildlife & Animals – Amboseli NP

Amboseli National Park is one of the top wildlife sanctuaries in Kenya, celebrated for its diverse and accessible wildlife. Known especially for its large herds of elephants, the park also offers sightings of the majority of the Big Five, with lions, buffaloes, and elephants frequently encountered. Although black rhinos are no longer present and leopards are a rare sight, the vast open plains of the park are an ideal habitat for spotting cheetahs. Additionally, these plains are home to a wealth of large herbivores including wildebeest, plains zebra, and both Grant’s and Thomson’s gazelles, making it a haven for wildlife enthusiasts.

Black Rhino
White Rhino
Wildlife Highlights

Amboseli National Park is renowned for its elephants, which are often seen in large herds traversing the dusty plains at dawn and dusk. During the hotter hours, many elephants gather in the park’s swamps, where they can be spotted partially submerged as they forage. The park’s successful anti-poaching initiatives have allowed these elephants to flourish, sporting impressive tusks and showing ease around safari vehicles. Regular sightings of cheetahs and lions add to the park’s allure, and there is also a notable spotted hyena den located northeast of the airstrip. Additionally, visitors should be on the lookout for the elusive bohor reedbuck, often camouflaged in the tall grasses.

Best Time for Wildlife Viewing

Amboseli National Park welcomes visitors all year, but wildlife viewing is most rewarding during the Dry season, from June to October. This period sees animals frequently gathering at marshes and dependable water sources. As they move across the sandy terrain under dry conditions, the stirred-up dust provides spectacular photo opportunities, particularly in the late afternoon light. Moreover, the brief dry interval between the rainy seasons, from January to February, also presents excellent wildlife watching prospects.

Wildlife Photos
feature amboseli (7)
​Birds – Amboseli NP
Amboseli National Park stands out as a superb birdwatching spot, with more than 450 bird species documented. The park’s marshy areas are ideal for observing waterbirds such as egrets, herons, pelicans, and crowned cranes. In the rainy seasons, from March to May and November to December, it’s common to see large gatherings of flamingos. The park’s grasslands are the habitat for unique ground birds including Hartlaub’s bustard and the localized Pangani longclaw. Moreover, the acacia woodlands shelter dry-country species such as the steel-blue whydah, white-bellied go-away bird, and Von der Decken’s hornbill, adding to the park’s rich avian diversity.

Notable Birds in Amboseli NP

Grey crowned crane
African jacana
Black Bellied Bustard
Great Flamingo
lesser Flamingo
Best Time for Bird Watching

Amboseli National Park is a premier destination for bird-watching throughout the year, with the best viewing times from December to March. The park hosts a variety of resident bird species visible throughout the year. From November to April, the area becomes a haven for migratory birds, significantly enhancing the variety of species present. Bird-watchers should note, however, that November and April are the months most likely to experience rainfall, which could interfere with bird-watching endeavors.

Facts & Figures

Bird Species


Migratory Birds

Nov to Apr

Best Time To Visit – Amboseli NP













Amboseli National Park welcomes visitors throughout the year, but the best visiting periods are during the dry seasons from June to October and from January to February. Although clouds often obscure Kilimanjaro, the early morning and late afternoon typically offer the best opportunities for clear views. Moreover, the vistas are especially stunning during the Wet season, which runs from November to May, as the atmosphere is less dusty and the skies are clearer.
Best Time
June to October and January to February (Ideal for observing wildlife; minimal or no rain)
High Season
December to March and July to October (These periods often see high visitor traffic in the reserve)
Low Season
April to June (Off-peak rates might be available)
Best Weather
June to September and January to February (Minimal precipitation)
Worst Weather
April (Highest precipitation)
June to October – Dry Season
Wildlife observation improves during dry periods when animals congregate around water sources.
Predominantly sunny, with minimal precipitation.
Navigating the park is effortless due to well-maintained tracks.
Malaria poses significantly less risk during the Dry season.
Park becomes extremely dry and dusty.
The sky often appears hazy, diminishing the scenic beauty of the surroundings.
The views of Kilimanjaro are less impressive.
November to May – Wet Season
The most stunning views of Kilimanjaro occur after rainfall, when the sky is free from dust.
The park is most picturesque, with lush greenery particularly in years of ample rainfall.
April to June typically marks the low season, often featuring reduced rates.
Optimal period for birdwatching, with the presence of migratory species.
The condition of roads can deteriorate in April and May.
The park often experiences significant crowds during the Easter period.
Wildlife Photos
feature amboseli (7)
Weather & Climate – Amboseli NP
Amboseli National Park offers a climate characterized by hot and dry conditions, punctuated by short but heavy rainfall showers. During the day, temperatures typically hover around 28°C/82°F, while nighttime temperatures drop to around 15°C/59°F. Visitors are advised to dress in layers, especially for early morning activities such as game drives. Generally, the park experiences its long rainy season from mid-March to mid-May, while the short rains typically occur between late October or November and mid-December.
Dry Season – June to October

In these months, temperatures reach their coolest points, and days are usually filled with bright sunshine. Rainfall is minimal, almost nonexistent.


June & July: Anticipate sunny weather with typical afternoon temperatures averaging around 26°C/79°F.


August & September: Daytime temperatures rise steadily until the start of the rainy season. Although peak temperatures may soar, the September average hovers around 27°C/81°F.


October: This period is characterized by intense heat and humidity. The initial rainfall brings relief from the scorching weather.

Wet Season – November to May

In Amboseli, the Wet season unfolds in two parts: the short rains followed by the long rains, with January and February providing a brief respite from precipitation. Traveling within the park becomes challenging in April and May due to the deterioration of road conditions caused by rainfall.


November & December – Short Rains: Rainfall reaches its peak in November, often accompanied by afternoon storms, although it rarely lasts the entire day. The average daytime temperature is 28°C/82°F, but it tends to rise just before rain.


January & February – Dry Interval: The exact start and end of this dry spell, which separates the rainy seasons, remain unpredictable. Nonetheless, February emerges as the hottest month, with an average afternoon temperature of 30°C/86°F (with higher peaks anticipated).


March, April & May – Long Rains: The extended rainy season typically begins in mid-to late March. Although rainfall seldom persists all day, afternoon showers become more frequent. April usually experiences the heaviest rainfall, with afternoon temperatures reaching 30°C/86°F.

Amboseli National Park
Amboseli NP Photos
amboseli national park
​Getting There – Amboseli NP

When visiting Kenya, you’ll likely land at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO), conveniently located 15 km/9 mi southeast of Nairobi, the country’s capital. Another option is Moi International Airport (MBA), situated 9km/6 mi west of Mombasa, Kenya’s second-largest city.


Amboseli National Park is positioned 215km/134 mi southeast of Nairobi, requiring approximately a 4-hour drive*. If you’re planning a cross-country road trip, you can access Amboseli from other parks as well. The distance from Tsavo West National Park (via Emali and Mtito Andei) is approximately 200km/125 mi, taking about 3 to 4 hours* by car. Alternatively, you can reach Tsavo West’s Chyulu Gate via a rugged track from Kimana.

Driving times are provided as rough estimates. It’s important to always consider the potential for significant delays.
Main Park Map
Airlines & Ticket Prices

It’s advisable to check Skyscanner to explore airlines serving Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) and to compare ticket prices. Alternatively, you can book your flight to Kenya through airline websites such as Kenya Airways, British Airways, KLM, Turkish Airlines, Emirates, Qatar Airways, and others.

Domestic Flights

You have the option of charter flights for inter-park travel, which can be organized as part of your tour package. Domestic flights from Nairobi depart from Wilson Airport (WIL), situated 6km/4 mi south of the city. Scheduled flights to Amboseli are available through several domestic carriers:


AirKenya (Departures from Wilson Airport in Nairobi)


Safarilink (Departures from Wilson Airport in Nairobi, as well as Tsavo West and Chyulu Hills)


Mombasa Air Safari (Departures from Mombasa, Masai Mara, Malindi, and Diani Beach)

Passport, Visa & Other Entry Requirements

Please refer to our “Getting There” and FAQ sections on the Kenya page for detailed information on passport, visa, vaccination, and other entry requirements.

​Malaria & Safety – Amboseli NP

We believe that Amboseli National Park is exceptionally safe for visitors. Crime is not a major worry in Kenya’s established parks and reserves. Nevertheless, it’s wise to practice common safety measures in urban areas, where petty theft may occur. For more information on safety precautions in cities and urban areas, please refer to the relevant section below. It’s worth noting that safety incidents are extremely uncommon, and you’ll be well looked after during an organized tour, shielding you from any potential concerns.

Malaria & Vaccinations

Before planning your journey to Kenya, it’s crucial to seek guidance from your healthcare provider regarding recommended vaccinations. Malaria is prevalent, especially during the height of the rainy seasons (from March to May and November to December). Hence, taking antimalarial medication is advisable. Additionally, it’s highly recommended to take other preventive measures such as wearing protective clothing in the evenings and using mosquito repellent containing DEET.

Wildlife Viewing

Watching wildlife is generally safe, especially when you’re part of an organized tour. It’s crucial to follow your guide’s instructions carefully and to acquaint yourself with the park’s rules. For more information, please consult the ‘Wildlife Viewing Safety Precautions’ section below.

Photo Gallery of Amboseli National Park

Map of Amboseli National Park

Photo Gallery of Amboseli National Park

Main Park Map

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