Amboseli Bush Camp – A gem at the foothills of Kilimanjaro

You know what sucks about being in the bush? Having to pee or going for a number two. There’s nothing scarier or more vulnerable than having to squat amongst long grass, surrounded by dudus, which can totally crawl up your legs, hearing strange noises in the distance, the possibility of a hungry animal sneaking up on you and the worst is when you’ve been squatting for a while that your legs start to hurt. The struggle can be REAL!

But I’m a girl of simple pleasures. As long as I’m out in nature I don’t mind roughing it out on a camping trip. Where there’s no phone signal, no electricity, no flushing toilets and the only way to stay clean is baby wipes! I know that doesn’t sound like everyone’s cup of tea but there’s something about getting lost in nature in such a raw state. But hey, there are times when you just got to “treat yo-self” and upgrade from having to pitch your tent to having an actual room, a bed and a toilet where you don’t have to stress about squatting in long grass.

Background:

The first time I ever heard of Amboseli Bush Camp was through The Kenyan Camper (can we just take a moment and appreciate his ability to instil wanderlust into you?). This accommodation has been on my bucket list for ages and the minute I saw it was available during a long weekend, it was a given! Plus, it was my partners birthday that weekend, so without a second thought, it was booked.

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What a sight for sore eyes!

Getting there:

Amboseli Bush Camp is located 229 km from Nairobi (around 4 hours driving) depending on how well you can navigate the lunatic highway, sorry I mean Mombasa road. Once you get to Emali turn right towards Loitokitok. Kimana town is around 90 km from this turnoff, once you pass Kimana town keep an eye out for a Shell petrol station on your left. Around 1 km after the Shell take a right on the murram road (there will be signs for Amboseli). Continue on this road for 10 km until you see a sign saying “Satao Elerai” on the left. The corrugation on this road is pretty bad so be prepared for a bumpy ride.

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Then after around 1 km you will see a green barrier on the left with a sign saying “Private” and two elephant skulls, drive through and you have arrived! Easy to find as the owners will give you clear directions, you can also type in google maps “Amboseli Bush Camp”.

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Amenities:

Positioned at the foothills of Kilimanjaro, Amboseli Bush Camp is a secluded  safari camp located just a few kilometers from the Amboseli Kimana gate. This accommodation boasts extensive views of Mount Kilimanjaro, a lounge that overlooks a watering hole and guests have exclusive use of the whole property.

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Sit back and take in the views.

The property consists of three large tents (one en-suite), two tents have king beds and one has a queen bed. In the lounge area, they can fit four-floor mattresses so in total ten guests can comfortably stay at this property.

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The view from the en-suite room, look at how clear the view of Kili is!

There is a shared shower and a toilet. Want a shower to wake you up in the morning? Need one to refresh you from a dusty safari? No stress the camp attendants have GAHT YOU! Just let them know a few hours in advance and they’ll have the water ready for you.

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Bathroom on the left and shower on the right.

The lounge area is dotted with quirky artefacts and books. Many a time we’d sit back, enjoy the breeze and take in the view of the watering hole.

The kitchen contains a gas cooker, a fridge with a freezer (a real-life saver considering how hot Amboseli is) and all the cooking utensils you would need. Being a self-catering accommodation you would have to bring your own food, but they do provide filtered drinking water. If you love your pizza or roast, these guys have a wonderful wood-fired clay oven and the camp attendants are even willing to make the pizzas for you (oh it was sweet having pizza after pizza fresh out the oven served for dinner). They also have a cast iron BBQ (you will need to bring your own charcoal for this) which is small, portable but produces tasty BBQ items.

What we got up to:

We spent hours and hours lounging on the deck. Whether we were reading a book, listening to music, having our meals, BBQing our meat or sipping on G and T’s, we spent most of our time there. In the morning we would even have Dik Diks and Kudus stroll up to the waterhole!

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The view of Kili from the lounge, quite sad seeing how little snow there is
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Loved the lounge!

We headed out for a full day in Amboseli National Park. Amboseli comes from the Maasai word meaning “salty dust”.

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It’s a park full of contrasts, from death to life, drought to bountifulness. The first thing we saw when we entered the park was carcasses, it’s always eye-opening when you see the effects of global warming first hand. We then drove across a dried up lake, which looked more like a scene from Mad Max! You could just tell the park was begging for the rains to come.

We ended our safari going up Observation Hill, it only took us around 10 minutes to get to the top. And boy were we treated to panoramic views of the park! The majestic Kilimanjaro to one side, the marsh surrounding the hill full of animals grazing, dust devils scattered everywhere. We even spotted an Elephant munching away in front of us.

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Spot the elephant?
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A park of contrasts, oasis meets dessert.

Before we headed home, the sky cleared for us, the sunset rays hit Mount Kilimanjaro showing all of its majestic beauty.

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Costs and booking info:

For all the amenities and exclusiveness, we got at Amboseli Bush Camp, you’d expect to pay an arm and a leg for the place. Well, the good news is the property is very pocket-friendly. For the two nights we stayed there we paid around KSH 4000 per person. (WHUUUUT?!)

Amboseli bush camp can hold up to 10 guests. The cost of the property starts from $95 (prices will vary on the weekends). You can book this incredible safari camp through Airbnb, just search for “Amboseli Bush Camp.”

All in all, Amobseli Bush Camp is a true gem, a destination you need to add to your bucket list. If you’re looking for a weekend getaway or a place to rest during your safari without breaking the bank, I cannot recommend this property enough!

So book this place, pack your bags and head out for your next adventure.

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