Amboseli & Tsavo

See the famous Amboseli elephant herds move across the plains against the backdrop of snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro...

Overview

Amboseli, Chyulu Hills and Tsavo are three separate and distinct game parks in the south-east of Kenya. All have fabulous views of Mount Kilimanjaro, and you can link all of them in one safari. But each is different. And so you can treat each one as a stand-alone destination as well.

Amboseli National Park is generally flat savanna grassland dotted with acacia shrub and stands of fever trees. Game is plentiful with buffalo, zebra, wildebeest, gazelle, giraffe, lion and cheetah all here. Plus you can see the smaller mammals such as the ever-present black backed jackals, spotted hyena and bat eared foxes.

Towards the centre of the park are a series of marshes fed by underground channels carrying melt water from the glaciers of Kilimanjaro. These waters are the only permanent water source for miles around.

Marshland birds include pelicans, kingfishers, crakes, egrets, hammerkops and even the rare Madagascar squacco heron. So far, 47 raptors have been identified, including the rare taita falcon and southern banded harrier eagle.

Our recommended Amboseli safari camps include Tortilis Camp and Amboseli Porini Camp. Nearby, in the Chyulu Hills, is one of the best safari experiences in Kenya, Ol Donyo Lodge.

Safaris in Tsavo West & East

Travel further and you reach the Tsavo West and Tsavo East National Parks. Tsavo is so vast that it is separated into two separate parks. These are bisected by the Nairobi highway to the coast. And also the famous railway linking Nairobi with Mombasa

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Madelyn Nieuwoudt

Africa Travel Specialist
Our experienced band of Safari Planners can create a bespoke plan for you. More enriching, more restorative and making more of a difference. Discover how working with a specialist adds value to your African adventure.

Features

Why you may love it

  • See the famous Amboseli elephant herds move across the plains against the backdrop of snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro
  • Best place from which to view Africa’s highest freestanding mountain (at 5985m or 19,340ft)
  • One of the most popular game parks in Kenya - only one hour flight from Nairobi
  • Game is abundant and wildlife eat the grasses so low that it’s easy to spot them
  • Amboseli’s water source supports some 1500 elephants, plus the local Masai community and their livestock
  • Marshland is home to a prolific number of bird species – perfect for birders

Explore the Amboseli & Tsavo map

When to visit Amboseli & Tsavo

Mid-December to mid-March

Summer in Amboseli & Tsavo

Amboseli lies on the edge of the inland plateau at 1180m (3,700ft). However this lower altitude means that it is hotter and drier than the Masai Mara. This yields the characteristic dry savanna plains. Overall it rains less here (700mm less annually than the Masai Mara). The summer has hot 30C days and pleasantly warm nights with only occasional afternoon showers.
AVG RAINFALL 69 mm
MAX TEMP 30 ℃ / 86 ℉
MIN TEMP 16 ℃ / 61 ℉

Mid-March to May

Autumn in Amboseli & Tsavo

The long rains here take the form of hard afternoon showers and they make park roads more tricky to navigate. It is not the ideal time to visit, though there is less rain than in the Mara.
AVG RAINFALL 204 mm
MAX TEMP 27 ℃ / 81 ℉
MIN TEMP 17 ℃ / 63 ℉

June to mid-October

Winter in Amboseli & Tsavo

This is the best time to visit for your safari. This is the slightly cooler and driest time of the year with pleasant daytime temperatures but cool nights. Though it is generally dry, it can rain at any time in the Mara.
AVG RAINFALL 23 mm
MAX TEMP 24 ℃ / 75 ℉
MIN TEMP 14 ℃ / 57 ℉

Mid-October to mid-December

Spring in Amboseli & Tsavo

November is the time of the less intense short rains. However the rain comes as afternoon or night showers so there’s plenty of sunshine as well.
AVG RAINFALL 88 mm
MAX TEMP 28 ℃ / 82 ℉
MIN TEMP 16 ℃ / 61 ℉

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Did you know
  • Size39,206 hectares in size
  • CultureThe local people are mainly Maasai