Amboseli lies immediately North West of Kilimanjaro, on the border with Tanzania. Amboseli was established as a reserve in 1968 and gazetted as a National Park in 1974. The park proper covers 392 square kilometres and forms part of the much larger 3,000 square kilometre Amboseli ecosystem. Large concentrations of wildlife occur here in the dry season, making Amboseli a popular tourist destination. It is surrounded by six communally owned group ranches.

The National Park embodies five main wildlife habitats – open plains, acacia woodland, rocky thorn bush country, swamps and marshland – and covers part of a pleistocene lake basin, now dry. Within this basin is a temporary lake, Lake Amboseli, that floods with prolonged heavy rainfall. Amboseli is famous for its big game and its great scenic beauty, with the landscape famously being dominated by Kilimanjaro.

Location of Amboseli

On the border with Tanzania, Kajiado District, South Kenya.

Climate of Amboseli

The climate is mainly hot and dry. Amboseli is in the rain shadow of Mt. Kilimanjaro. The maximum average temperature of the warmest month is 33°C during the day, while that of the coldest is 27-28°C. An annual rainfall of 300mm per annum is distributed in two seasons: April/May and November/December. Recurrent droughts and potential evaporation of 2,200mm per annum typifies the region (KWS, 1991).

Roads to Amboseli

The main road into the Park is from Nairobi via Namanga (240 km) on the Nairobi – Arusha Road, via Meshanani Gate. The road is tarmacked up to Namanga but is badly corrugated and potholed in places from Namanga to Meshanani Gate (75km). The other road and via Emali (228 km) on the Nairobi – Mombasa Road. The road is tarmac up to Emali and murram from Emali to Remito Gate (64 km) Access from Mombasa is mainly through Tsavo West via Kimana (Olkelunyiet) Gate.

Airstrips in Amboseli

The park has a single airstrip for light aircraft at Empusel Gate. Other airstrips exist at Kilimanjaro Buffalo lodge and Namanga town.

Park Roads in Amboseli

Viewing roads network covers the park adequately. Many of the park viewing roads are not usable during the rains and because of the loose ashy nature of volcanic soil, the roads become very dusty during the dry season.

Amboseli’s Park Gates

The park has five gates or access points: Kelunyiet, lremito, Ilmeshanan; Kitirua and the airstrip.