Car Hire in Amboseli
When planning a visit to this popular Kenyan destination, you'll notice that there is no car hire in Amboseli. However, there are options available in Nairobi, which is a 3-hour-30-minute journey to the north. Alternatively, Arusha has options about 3 hours and 10 minutes to the south across the Tanzanian border. Some of the choices in Nairobi include NairobiCar, Sixt, Elite Car Rentals, Central Rent-a-Car, Rhezor Enterprises, and Ridgeways. Options in Arusha include Roadtrip Tanzania, First Car Rental, Seasons, and Serena Car Hire. Given the terrain, most of these places offer (and require) tough, 4WD vehicles.
Car Hire at Amboseli Airports
Although there is Amboseli Airstrip (ASV), it is typically used for private and smaller aircraft rather than commercial jets. Therefore, you'll most likely be landing at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO). At NBO, there is a NairobiCar car hire location situated right next to the passenger drop-off area. On the other side of the airport, there's a Sixt Car Hire for Amboseli on Airport N Rd. From there, you can take Mombasa Road into downtown Nairobi where you'll find even more options for car rentals to Amboseli. A car rental in Amboseli most typically comes with a safari guide.
Driving in Amboseli
Driving along the stretch that leads to the park can be enjoyable once you're accustomed to local road conditions. Signs are relatively sparse in some urban areas, so be sure to pay attention to the flow of cars. Expect dense traffic in Nairobi but unpaved, unmarked roads between there and Amboseli. The biggest thing to accustom yourself to is wildlife. Large animals don't limit themselves to park boundaries, and you must watch for gazelles and other fast-running animals when you cross the road. At night, animals like lions may be on the roadway, so most guides recommend that only experienced drivers attempt the highways at night.
Parking in Amboseli
You won't have to worry about parking when you hire a car in Amboseli because there's an onsite parking lot for visitors. There are also several guesthouses and camps at the park that provide on-premises parking to guests. Parking is available during the park's daily operational hours, which are 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. After you initially rent a car for your Amboseli trip, you'll probably head toward downtown to rent a room.
If you'll be visiting a shopping mall in Nairobi, try to find parking before 11 a.m. to avoid crowds. Remember, you can't rent a car in Amboseli, so plan to return the vehicle to the original pickup location.
Where to Go and What to See in Amboseli
The highlight of the area is the wildlife, with the park often referred to as “Home of the Elephants.” To make sure you get to see the lions, try to start your game drive as early as 6 a.m. After driving your hire car to Amboseli, you could travel 2 hours south to see Mount Kilimanjaro National Park. You could also drive a few hours to the north and see Chyulu National Park and Campi ya Kanzi. Before leaving town, you might want to take a ride through the nearby Nairobi National Park as well.