Amboseli National Park Day Trip from Nairobi – Tours – Sojourn Safaris Ltd

Daily Tour 1 Day Trip
Amboseli National Park, Loitoktok District, Rift Valley, Entonet, Kenya Kenya Tour Guide: Amboseli National Park Day Trip from Nairobi - Tours - Sojourn Safaris Ltd

Amboseli National Park Day Trip from Nairobi

Amboseli day trip is a full day tour to Amboseli national park from Nairobi. The Amboseli national park day trip includes full day game drive, park fees for a day, transport in safari van, and buffet lunch in lodge, pick up and drop off in your hotel. Amboseli national park 1 day safari is one of the most popular day trips from Nairobi for people with only a day to spare.

Here are the highlights of an Amboseli National Park Day Trip

  • Distance of Amboseli from Nairobi
  • Amboseli timings and opening hours
  • View of Kilimanjaro from Amboseli Park
  • Elephants of Amboseli National Park day trip
  • Animals to see in Amboseli Day Trip
  • Birds of Amboseli National Park
  • Lake Amboseli Views
  • Views of Amboseli from Observation Hill
  • Swamps of Amboseli National Park day trip
  • Buffet Lunches at the Amboseli lodges
  • Masai People of Amboseli
  • How to book your Amboseli National Park Day Trip

Explore Amboseli day trip from Nairobi and see Africa’s highest mountain and great herds of elephants roaming in this amazing park. Amboseli national park is one of the premium parks in Kenya and is largely popular for the large herds of elephants. It’s the closest place near Nairobi that you can see an African wild elephant and in great numbers.

1.   Distance of Amboseli from Nairobi

If you are to go to an Amboseli national park day trip, you will need to allow 3.5hours each way. The park is located some 215km from Nairobi due south west. The distance is not very far if you were to depart from Nairobi early enough to make time for game drive. Most 1 day trips to Amboseli are able to make it there by 0830hrs which is early enough.

The roads are mostly tarmacked all the way but only about 18km to the Erimito gate that is unpaved and a little rough. You will drive from Nairobi on the A109 Mombasa highway and pass through Salama and sultan Hamud towns. At email, you turn right into the Oloitoktok road and drive for an hour. At the Imbirikani junction, you take a right turn towards the Erimito gate. The KWS green signage will guide you if it’s your first time driving here.

2.  Amboseli Timings and Opening Hours

This Amboseli national park day trip starts pre-dawn at 0500hrs and drives for 3.5 hours through some scenic plains. You will see lots of giraffes, gazelles and zebras enroute to Amboseli as your appetizer. The park opens the gates at 0630hrs and closes at 1830hrs.

On arrival at 0830hrs, you start a game drive immediately for the next 6 hours. At 1300hrs you can go for lunch at either Oltukai, Serena or Kibo safari camp. The lunch lasts for an hour and you have an extra 1 hour game drive until about 1500hrs. You will now start your exit drive with a game drive enroute.

You are back in Nairobi by 1930hrs taking into account the traffic on the road getting into town. If you have a late flight, the driver guide will be happy to drop you off at the airport as it’s on the way to the cbd.

3.  View of Kilimanjaro from Amboseli Park

There is something that captivates you while watching snowcapped mountains. They remind you of silence, peace and quiet that everyone craves for as an escape from everyday life. Mt Kilimanjaro’s peak Kibo with its flat top covered in snow gives you the same feeling. It’s quite an amazing view of the blue peak capped with white snow that seems to be jutting out of the white clouds above.

The view of Kilimanjaro at dawn and again at sunset is very clear and very calming. Thousands of people visit the Amboseli national park to get the best views of the Kilimanjaro. The mountain stands at 5985m above sea level and is the highest in Africa. It is also referred to as the roof of Africa.

Watching the peak of Mt Kilimanjaro in one of the biggest attraction to the Amboseli national park day trip. Taking pictures of wildlife in the foreground and the ice capped mountain forming your background is everyone’s dream photo of an African safari adventure.

4.  Elephants of Amboseli National Park

By far the biggest attraction in your Amboseli national park day trip is the hundreds of African wild elephants roaming the park at every location. There are over 1,500 elephants in Amboseli in an area of less than 392sqkm.

The elephants are more concentrated on the swamp areas as they feed on the evergreen water grass. This means at the swamp areas of the park, you can see hundreds of elephants all around your game drive vehicle.

If you want to see elephants from Nairobi, Amboseli day trip is your closest and best bet. You can see elephants spurring on the game drive tracks, elephants half immersed in the water feeding on water grass, and lone bulls twice as tall as your safari tour van.

The elephants in Amboseli have a daily commute where they come to the park during the day to feed on the grass and mostly to drink the fresh water. In the evening, you will meet with hundreds of the elephants returning to the south western edges of the park into the forested areas away from the grasslands.

5.  Animals to See in Amboseli Day Trip

Besides the hundreds of elephants that you can see here in your Amboseli 1 day trip, there are thousands of other animals that roam this lands. There are herds of buffalos, giraffes, leopards, hippos, gazelles, wildebeests, hyenas, impalas, zebras, jackals, lions, cheetahs, baboons, elands among others.

The animals are mostly found near the swamps and in the grasslands. The lions are very tricky to see in Amboseli and your best bet is early morning and late evening hours. Leopards as usual are very reclusive and rarely seen.

There is a local wildebeest migration in the months of February when they come to the Amboseli from Tarangire National Park in Tanzania for calving. It’s a great sight around February to see the tens of thousands of brown calves roaming with their mothers in the park. The months of January and February offers some of the best Amboseli national park day trip excursions.

6.  Birds of Amboseli National Park

If you fancy bird watching, then Amboseli is an Important Bird Area due to availability of all year water supply and vast grasslands. The swamp is swarming with thousands of birds and water fowl which feed on the worms and fish in the water. These include the kingfisher, herons, African fish eagle, Hadada ibis and many others.

Watching the larger birds is as interesting as watching the big cat predators as they stalk their prey. The birds of prey are also abundant with the martial eagle topping the list. Other savannah birds specialized in eating snakes and small rodents include the kori bustard, secretary bird and others. There are also hundreds of seed and insect eaters on the savannah grasslands. If you are patient and observant, you will be fascinated by the behaviors of these birds.

And then there are the cleaners of the wilderness. The relentlessly patient bulk of feathers slumped on tree branches all day long as they ominously wish an animal would fall and fail to rise again. The vultures are always overhead in search of clarion to feed on and clean the environment as efficiently as they always do.  Amboseli national park day trip safari is a birdwatchers dream.

You will also be treated to the most scenic sighting of the pink flamingos lining the lake Amboseli shoreline. There are millions of these birds during the wet season and they are breathtaking to watch in Amboseli.

7.  Lake Amboseli Views

Be treated to watching the one of the very few seasonal lakes in Africa. Lake Amboseli is a dry flat span of white sand that is patched and dry in the hit season. The lake transforms during the wet season into this shallow expansive lake which hosts millions of flamingos. The lake is alkaline and promotes growth of algae. The algal bloom of the blue green algae supports the flamingo populations here.

You can watch the lake from the observation hill or drive to its shores to watch the birds and the other wildlife around it. In the dry season, there is a road that cuts through. It’s always a driver’s gamble to figure out if it’s dry enough to cross it or risk getting stuck in the middle of this punishingly hot pan.

An Amboseli 1 day safari will always visit the observation hill to make sure you see the lake Amboseli and the whole expanse of the park.

8.  Views of Amboseli Park from Observation Hill

To grasp the enormity of the Amboseli national park, you will need to visit the observation hill located right in the middle of the swamps. The observation hill is also located in a very central place that allows you to see all the park all around.

The KWS management have constructed some very clean toilets at the base of the hill and a series of stairs up the hill to easy access. At the hill top, they have made some nice sheds with concrete benches to sit on and watch the park below through the open sides.

The large pool below is a hippo’s paradise and you will watch hundreds of them wallowing in the water. Some elephants can also be seen from here as they feed on the water grass while half way submerged in the water.

I have previously had lots of packed lunches from this point as you feel the afternoon breeze and watch the distant elephants drinking from the source of the swamp waters. It’s a great place to visit in your one day Amboseli safari from Nairobi.

9.  Swamps of Amboseli National Park

If you want to marvel at natures mechanics, then Amboseli is the best place to observe them. One of the most prominent features that you will see in your Amboseli national park day trip are the swamps located in the middle of the park. These evergreen swamp areas are always teaming with wildlife while the rest of the park is dry and patched with lots of dust devils swirling away.

In short, the swamps of Amboseli are the only lifeline to this park and which all the animals depend on since the park is essentially a very dry and salty area. Infact, the very word Amboseli is a corruption of the Masai word ‘Empusel’ which means a place of salty white dust. Where then, does this life sustaining water come from all year round?

The Amboseli swamps are fed from underground rivers that carry the melted waters from Kilimanjaro ice caps. This melted ice percolates underground and passes through the millions of porous volcanic rock to emerge to the surface inside Amboseli national park. This is why Kilimanjaro is life sustaining to all the animals in Amboseli. It’s an amazing discovery in your 1 day Amboseli tour to note that all that life depends on this one great physical feature.

The water emerges inside Amboseli as crystal clear, fresh and cool springs before spreading to the swamps where it nourishes the water grass than animals feed on. Such is the cycle of life in Amboseli. All depends on the mighty Mount Kilimanjaro.

10. Buffet Lunches at the Amboseli Lodges

If you are partial foodie or an outright and unapologetically a fully-fledged one, the Amboseli one day trip is up your lane. There are some very nice lodges that offer amazingly wide variety of fresh foods on their buffet table.

The buffet caters for all diet preferences including vegetarians, meat eaters, and gluten free diets among others. There is even a very wide fruits and vegetable varieties for people on diet.

Your Amboseli 1 day tour driver will take you to any of the lodges like Serena, Oltukai, Sopa, Kibo Safari, AA lodge, Ashnil or others for your buffet lunch. The cost of the lunch is mostly inclusive in the Amboseli national park day trip price.

11. Masai People of Amboseli

If you love to meet new people and learn their cultures, then the Masai warrior tribe are an intriguing yet exciting people to interact with. The Masai have retained their age old traditions and culture to date. They have been the defacto custodians of our wildlife for centuries. The Masai live side by side with the wildlife and despite the incursions by modernity, they have maintained their culture as intact as possible.

That is not to say they don’t have mobile phones or take their kids to school. I think asking that of them would be unfair in this current technologically advanced world. They have all the gadgets and solar panels but will still stay in their traditional Manyatta households. Their houses made of mud and cow dung and sleep with their calves and little sheep kids. But during the day they will make deals and communicate with loved one using a mobile phone.

The children will trek for 5 miles to the nearest government funded primary school while evading elephants and other dangerous animals. This is what they mean when they say they live amidst the animals.

Masai people are very welcoming to visitors in their Masai villages located around the park. If you have time after your Amboseli day trip game drive, you can pop in for an hour of traditional dances and entertainment. They will also be kind enough to show you traditional archery and spear throwing. You also get to see them make fire using dry sticks and dry elephant dung.

Make sure to buy some of their women made traditional beads jewelry. It may ensure their sons and daughters get that needed education.

12. How to Book your Amboseli National Park Day Trip

As usual, a day trip does not need so much advance booking since no accommodation is required. Most Nairobi tour operators are happy to take last minute bookings for all day trips from Nairobi.

I have used Robert of Sojourn safaris on several occasions and each time he has been on point in planning. He is very knowledgeable and makes booking an Amboseli day trip easy by whatsapp messages or email.

His company also has very friendly and knowledgeable driver guides. Mike was especially charming and very patient with us. The guides make the long drives on Amboseli and Masai Mara day trips bearable with their stories of the African bush.

You can contact him directly on his whatsapp to get an instant response on +254722661827 or inbox him in his personal email


5:20am: Depart from Nairobi to Amboseli through Masai people country side.

9:00am: Arrive in Amboseli national park and start of a game drive in the park. Enjoy the view of Kilimanjaro from outside and inside the park. Take as many pictures of the peak of Kilimanjaro.

11:00am: Go for a search of the lions in the Amboseli wildlife park savannah grasslands. The cheetahs are also to be found to the south of the park while the elephants are found around the ponds. See an elephant only 10ft from your vehicle window.

1:00pm: Enjoy a picnic packed lunch at the observation hill in the park. See the hippos and elephants in the pool below.

2:00pm: Continue with an afternoon game drive in the park and take pictures of animals.

3:00pm: Enjoy a final game drive on your way to the gate to exit for Nairobi.

6:30pm: Arrival in Nairobi city and drop off in your Nairobi hotel or JKIA Nairobi airport.

Contact us via whatsapp at +254722661827 or email us on 

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