Amboseli National Park Kenya

How to get to Amboseli National Park

Amboseli National Park is located at the border of Kenya and Tanzania and is the second most visited National park in Kenya. Situated about 200 kilometers in the south of Kenya, the Amboseli National Park is located at the border of Kenya and Tanzania. The landscape, backdrop from Mountain Kilimanjaro, the different types of vegetation in the area, and different species of wildlife make it a hot spot for a safari.

The National Park is home to a wide range of wildlife and the animal that you are bound to see are the large herds of elephants, lions, buffalos, zebras, elands, giraffes, gazelles, leopards, and hippos among others. There are so many exciting activities that you can engage in while in Amboseli and these include nature walks, cultural tours, game drives, hot air balloon rides, and bird watching.

amboseli lions

Amboseli is about 365 kilometers from Nairobi and there are two main ways in which you can get to the National Park that is by road and by air. The National Park can easily be accessed by both road and air (using domestic flights).

As you plan on travelling to Amboseli National Park, make sure that all your documents are in order these include:

  • Yellow vaccination card
  • Visa
  • Passport
  • And other documents that will be asked for before your travel date.

Using air transport

Air transport is the fastest and easiest way of getting to Amboseli National Park. Flights from Nairobi to Amboseli can take you about an hour or an hour half to get to the National Park. Although expensive, it is also extremely comfortable and the one disadvantage of using it is that you miss out on the scenic views that tourists using road transport use.

You need to book four flights earlier on to avoid inconveniences at the last minute. Several companies offer flights to Amboseli National Park and these include Mombasa Air safari, AirKenya, and SafariLink. Mombasa Air Safari flies from Malindi, Diani and Mombasa.

Getting to Amboseli by road

Below is a list of estimated distances from different parts of Kenya to Amboseli National Park for tourists using road transport. The list is to help you calculate the time and distance and properly plan your trip to the National Park.

  • Amboseli is 530 kilometers away from Malindi and the drive takes about 8 to 9 hours.
  • The National Park is 390 kilometers away from Lake Nakuru National Park and it will take you 7 to 8 hours by road.
  • It is 560 kilometers away from Kisumu with a 10 to 11 hours’ drive
  • It is 365 kilometers away from Nairobi  and it is a 3 to 4 hours’ drive
  • The National Park is an 11 to 12 hours’ drive from Bungoma at 625 kilometers
  • It is 526 kilometers away from the Samburu National Reserve and takes about 9 to 10 hours.
  • It is a 6 to 7 hours’ drive from Hell’s Gate and it is 350 kilometers
  • It is 451 kilometers away from Mombasa and a 7 to 8 hours’ drive
  • The National Park is a 10 to 11 hours’ drive and 517 kilometers away from Masai Mara Game Reserve.

There are several routes that you can use to drive to Amboseli and the best option is from Isinya which is a 240 kilometers drive through Magadi in Nairobi. It later joins the Nairobi Arusha road through a town known as Namanga. Namanga town is the last town and it is about an hour away from the Meshananai gate. Note that there is heavy traffic from Namanga town and you might end up spending more time than you anticipated.

Gates at the Amboseli National Park

The Amboseli National Park has five different gates that you can use and these are:

  • The Emali gate which is found in the eastern part of the National Park can be accessed through the Mombasa main route.
  • The Meshananai gate accessed from Nairobi
  • The Kimana gate
  • Kulunyeit gate
  • Iremito gate.

The roads leading to the Amboseli National Park from Nairobi is well tarmacked until you get to the last bit that leads to the main gate. The roads leading to the gates are extremely dusty and you should be ready for the heavy dust, especially during the dry season. You need to use a 4×4 wheel drive, especially during the rainy season.

Should I use public or private drives to Amboseli?

If you are planning on using road transport to get to Amboseli then you need to know that you can either use private means or private means. With public means, a tourist van is used and this is shared by the different tourists.

  • Self-drive to Amboseli

A self-drive to Amboseli is very possible and many companies hire out their vehicles for tourists planning a self-drive.  The advantages of self-drives is that you can take as much time as you need on the road, and get new experiences in a new country but it has more downsides with the first one being that it is expensive, you are new to the place so it might be hard for you to get to see the best everything because you do not know the best spots like experienced tour guides.

  • Private drives to Amboseli

You can get to Amboseli using private drives and these can easily be arranged using a tour operator of your choice. Private drives are good for tourists who love the privacy and can afford the drive. An experienced tour guide will be waiting for you at the airport and they will transfer you to your accommodation facilities, to Amboseli, drive you around Amboseli, and then back to the airport after your safari trip. During private drives, 4×4 open-roof land cruisers are used since they carry fewer people.

  • Public drives to Amboseli

With public drives, tourist vans are used and you might find yourself sharing the drive with other tourists. The good thing about using public vans is that all the costs are shared among the tourists like especially transportation costs.


The best, safest, and easiest way of getting to Amboseli is determined by how big or small your budget is. It is best if you contact local tour operators, discuss your budget and let them choose the best way to get to Amboseli. This will save you the hustle of getting the right transportation means to the National Park.


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