One of my best safari camping destinations is at the Amboseli National Park which is at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro. Having camped in three campsites at Lake Amboseli, I have put together this guide to help you get the most out of your time in this beautiful park.
Can you camp at Amboseli National Park?
Yes! There are a variety of campsites available at Amboseli National Park. The three I have stayed in are Porini, Kimana and Eco Camp. All three provide the perfect setting for a great camping experience. The weather at Amboseli is favorable allowing for perfect camping days and nights.
KWS Campsites at Amboseli National Park:
The KWS-operated campsite is located 200 meters from the Amboseli National Park Headquarters. This public campsite has a capacity of 60 and has the following facilities;
Like other campsites operated by KWS, the daily cost is $2 for citizens and $10 for non-residents. Read more on the KWS website here.
When to go camping at Amboseli
The best time to go camping in Amboseli national park is during the long dry season, which falls between June and October, as well as from December to February. The rainy season is not ideal for camping safaris because of the heavy rains that fall in the park. These rains can also be accompanied by strong winds, which can easily blow away a poorly set tent.
How to camp at this KWS Campsite in Amboseli Park
- Make a booking for the campsite and pay using the approved cashless channels described by KWS here.
- Once you arrive at the campsite, pitch your tent before its dark so you can find your way around the camp.
- Make sure you carry a torch, insect repellent and water with you.
- Be sure to carry out all your waste when packing up and leave the camp in a clean state.
- Sometimes, the temperature may drop to almost freezing at night, so it’s important to carry warm clothing and a sleeping bag.
Private campsites at Amboseli National Park:
If you prefer a more luxurious type of camping with tented camps, there are 7 great options located inside or just outside the gate to Amboseli Park.
The private campsites are managed by concessionaires who offer more amenities and comfort for a higher fee than KWS-operated campsites.
These are luxurious, permanent tents with modern amenities like swimming pools and bars, as well as tented rooms and private bathrooms with both cold and hot water. These camps have been built using nature-friendly materials that blend in with the surrounding environment. Most of these camps are located in areas where wildlife is known to roam.
In the next section, I have described some of the top-rated camps;
Porini Amboseli Camp:
Porini Amboseli camp is located just outside the National park at Selenkay Conservancy. The Selenkay Conservancy is located a few miles north of Amboseli National Park, and it serves as an important migration area for wildlife. The number of tourist visitors is limited to 20 per day, and accommodation is provided at Porini Camp. The camp features 10 spacious tents that are comfortably furnished with en suite bathrooms and solar-powered electric lighting.
This camp is located next to Kaputei Plains in the upper parts of Amboseli, North of Ol-Tukai Lodge.
This camp is not the most affordable with rates going as high as $385 per person, per night and includes house wine, beer, vodka, gin & tonic, soft drinks & mineral water. You don’t have to worry about any park fees because they’re included in the price! Shared game drives in 4×4 vehicles at nighttime and sundowners are standard here too not to mention that they’ll also take you on an escorted walk and visit a Maasai village- all without charging anything additional.Here is a brochure to this camp.
- Large Safari tents with double and single bed
- Solar lights
- En-suite bathroom with flushing toilet and hot showers
- Custom-built open-sided 4WD safari vehicle for game drives
- Free transfers to and from airports including Nairobi’s JKIA
- Guided tours
- Visits to Maasai villages.
As of this post, 455 tourists have reviewed this site on Tripadvisor giving it a high rating of 5/5 which is excellent and is infact the best of all the 7 camps in Amboseli.
One customer had this to say about the camp- “It was comfortable, and the food was good. The staff were fabulous.The spotter and driver were accommodating and excellent at finding/explaining the different animals’ habits and way of life. Even though there is severe drought right now, we were still able to see a lot of animals exist (and parish) from lack of food. It changed me and made me see this as a small example of what we are doing to our planet. The wildlife viewing was superb.”
Kilima Safari Camp Amboseli:
Kilima Safari Camp is situated near Amboseli National Park’s Kimana Gate entrance, spanning 420 acres with a breathtaking view of Mount Kilimanjaro. The Kimana region of Amboseli is especially renowned for its large population of elephants. While it doesn’t sit on vast land of 15,000 acres as the Porini Camp above, this camp is located outside the camp and is relatively cheaper than Porini camp.
From the 265 reviews on Tripadvisor which gave an average rating of 4.5/5, it seems that there is a lot of positives to talk about.
- Conference Facilities
- Swimming Pool
- Kids Pool
- Game Drive
- Laundry Service
- Tour Desk
- Gift Shop
- Wake Up Call
- Spa – Massage
- Airport Transfers