Elephants and other wildlife
Amboseli is a fairly good park, although not one of the prime parks, as the big cats
aren't seen as regularly as in for example Masai Mara
or Samburu. It is one of the best elephant parks in Kenya,
though, and very large herds are sometimes seen. The large elephant population has taken
its toll on the vegetation; elephants de-bark and pull down tree for food. Tree-planting
projects have been started in the area to counteract the damages caused by the elephants.
The park can be very good during dry seasons, when it attracts a lot of wildlife. Apart
from the elephants, you may see a variety of the classic African safari animals, such
as giraffes, zebras, wildebeest, African buffalos, hyaenas and antelopes.
A decision was made in 2005 to change the status of Amboseli from national park
(under national management) to national reserve (under local management). The
change has not formally been done yet, and the park is referred to as both Amboseli
National Park and Amboseli National Reserve in different sources.
Usually, national parks have a better level of protection and conservation than national
reserves. It is to see whether this change of management will affect the quality of
the park or the wildlife, when and if it is formally done.
Combining Amboseli and other parks
Amboseli is situated too far to the south-east to fit into a good safari itinerary that
also includes Kenya's prime park Masai Mara. Travelling
from Amboseli to Masai Mara (or Lake Nakuru or Samburu)
means a very long day on the roads. You can find better itineraries, with less travelling.
Should you want to combine these parks anyhow, you should choose a long safari (six
or seven days), or fly between the parks.
Another option is combining Amboseli and Tsavo. Such safaris
may start from either Nairobi
in central Kenya or Mombasa
on the coast.
Lodges and camps
Serena Safari Lodge is in southern Amboseli National Reserve in Kenya, surrounded
by acacias and backdropped by Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain (5,895 m/19,341
ft). The lodge
offers high standard, and has a style inspired by African materials and the culture
of the Maasai people.
More about Amboseli
Serena Safari Lodge
Web site: www.serenahotels.com
Tukai Lodge has rooms in bungalows facing the Amboseli savanna, where zebras, wildebeest and
elephants may be seen. The standard is good. There is also a swimming pool facing the savanna. The
lodge has a restaurant and a lounge, and there is a gift shop. Baboons and vervet monkeys may be
encountered in the lodge garden.
Web site: www.oltukailodge.com
Tortilis Camp is a good tented camp in Kitirua Conservation
Area south-west of Amboseli, bordering the national reserve. The location is an
advantage, allowing for game viewing not only in sometimes crowded Amboseli, but
also in the conservation area. The camp has 17 tents and a family two-room house.
There is a central dining area, bar and lounge, gift shop, and swimming pool.
The camp offers activities including game drives and bush walks.
Amboseli Porini Camp is a good camp set in Selenkay Conservation
Area some 25 km/15 mi north of the national reserve, an area with no other camps
or lodges. The camp has nine spacious tents with ensuite bathrooms and solar lighting.
Meals in a mess tent, a campfire and a setting right in the bush add to a good
safari atmosphere. The camp offers day and night game drives and bush walks for
Web site: www.porini.com
Amboseli Sopa Lodge (formerly Kilimanjaro Buffalo Lodge) is situated
east and (some 15 km/9 mi) outside of Amboseli. The lodge has 80+ rooms (including
a honeymoon suite) in individual huts, decorated in an African theme. There is
a restaurant, two bars, swimming pool, children's pool, conference room, and a
Web site: www.sopalodges.com
Ol Kanjau Tented Safari Camp is a tented camp just outside
eastern Amboseli, built right in the bush without permanent structures. There
are six tents with safari style bathrooms (bucket showers), dining and bar area,
and safari activities including game drives, bush walks, and bird watching.
Amboseli is a large tourist class tented lodge in the eastern Amboseli area,
offering 60 tents with private verandas. There are dining, lounge and bar areas,
and swimming pool, jacuzzi, and gift shop. The lodge offers game drives in 4WD
Web site: www.sentrim-hotels.com
Kibo Safari Camp is another large tented lodge in the same area as Sentrim
Amboseli. It has 61 tents, all with ensuite bathroom. There is a dining area,
bar, and swimming pool. The main safari activity offered is game drives.
Safari Camp is a tented lodge being built east of Amboseli, outside the Kimana/Olkelunyiet
Gate. It is planned to have 60 tents, bar and dining area, swimming pool, and
Web site: www.madahotels.com
Satao Elerai is a tented lodge in a private concession 10 km/6 mi
south-east of Amboseli. It has nine tents and five suites in bungalows. All have
private bathroom with solar heated water. The lodge offers activities such as
day and night game drives, and bush walks.
Web site: www.sataoelerai.com
Lodge and Kilimanjaro Safari Lodge in central Amboseli have closed.