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Sitting at the Kenyan border with Tanzania, the snow-capped peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro rises above a saucer of clouds and dominates every aspect of Amboseli National Park. This park covers only 150 square miles but, despite its small size and fragile ecosystem, it supports a wide range of mammals and birds. Chyulu Hills National Park is a mountain range that sits tucked away between Tsavo West National Park and Amboseli National Park, preserving an essential migration corridor. Amboseli and the Chyulu Hills sit in the heart of Maasailand, and it’s not unusual to see Maasai warriors or small children tending their cattle as you traverse the area. This area is the setting for works by writers such as Ernest Hemingway and Robert Ruark, who spun stories of big-game hunting in the wilds of Africa.

Amboseli is only a 4 hour drive from Nairobi, making the area very popular on the mass market tourism routes. For this reason it can be crowded but this also makes it a great option for a driving (versus flying) itinerary. The park also boasts incredible concentrations of elephants and is home to the Amboseli Elephant Research project, the longest running elephant study in the world.

Our favorite properties in Amboseli are Tortilis Camp and Amboseli Porini. The Chyulu Hills offer a more remote and exclusive experience and our favorite properties in the area are Ol Donyo Wuas and Campi Ya Kanzi.

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Jamie Mehrotra