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    Ol Kanjau Tented Safari Camp, Amboseli National Park, Kenya

    Ol Kanjau Camp is situated at the edge of Mt Kilimanjaro; Ol Kanjau Camp is surrounded by a larger area of true African bush land wilderness owned by Kisongo Maasai pastoralists, who benefit directly when one visits this unrivalled wild open space. Get lost in Greater Amboseli safari with Mike & Judy Rainy, the hosts at Ol Kanjau Camp Amboseli have worked as ecologists in Kenya since 1968 and they are still active in large-scale ecosystem research to see how Amboseli wildlife interacts with Maasai people and their livestock. Amboseli, found at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro, is home to a growing population of elephant; the Rainy's will introduce you to several of 52 known matriarchal elephant families. Ol Kanjau tented camp is a traditional safaris-style safari camp situated just outside Amboseli National Park, it is kept as simple as possible so that you can still "listen to the quiet, smell air clean enough to eat and try to count a million stars". The pace at Ol Kanjau tented Camp Amboseli is unhurried, but directed at providing guests with direct access to traditional and natural Africa, well away from most things modern, including masses of other tourists. The light structure of this traditional tented safari camp maintains the most direct contact with the natural world possible. It reminds us that the natural world is too often diminished by the permanent Amboseli safari lodges structures that people now build everywhere, too often, permanent boutique lodges and safari camps seem grand and in inverse proportion to the amount and quality of wildlife that remains nearby. In Maasai, Ol Kanjau means Elephants.


    The greater Amboseli region is home to a growing population of elephants and the Rainys will introduce you to several of the 52 known matriarchal elephant families. Amboseli, meaning "salty dust" in Masai, is an ideal medium for following animal tracks. After just a few hours on foot safari with an excellent guide, reading the tracks is like reading a well-thumbed book, learning about animal secrets. Ol Kanjau Tented Safari Camp offers traditional Amboseli lodging in spacious safari style tents; and provides a unique and memorable safari experience. Enjoy a tour to the masai village and learn more about their unique culture and the importance livestock plays in their lives. The surrounding area is home to a diverse range of African wildlife including over 274 different bird species. The main attraction at this Ol Kanjau Safari Camp is Elephant safaris, you are able to track and spot these graceful animals during exciting game drives. There are about 52 known matriarchal Elephant families in the Amboseli National Park. Other African wildlife you might spot includes Lion, Zebra, Hyena and Giraffe. Ol Kanjau Safari Camp Amboseli is located approximately 260 Km from Nairobi midway between the forests of Kilimanjaro and 3km East of Amboseli National Park and is a mobile safari camp that closes during the months of April, May and November, Guests can either take flights to Kilimanjaro buffalo airstrip or Amboseli whereas another alternative is taking a five-hour drive in order to access the camp. There are several daily scheduled flights available to Amboseli. Alternatively you can arrive by private charter directly to Amboseli National Park in Kenya. Guests at Ol Kanjau Camp Kenya can rest assured that they will not be chasing around with the minibus brigade, but spending quality time with excellent game-viewing and cultural interaction. Ol Kanjau safari Camp Kenya is an extremely strong option for guests looking for a more intellectual approach to safari guiding.


    Ol Kanjau Tented Safari Camp Amboseli is widescreen Africa at its most classic were elephants live on one of the most productive rangelands in Africa. They are Africa’s best studied elephant population, and have the oldest and biggest individuals left on the continent because they have been so well protected from poachers, drought and human behavior. The Greater Aposeli Ecosystem is large scale Africa. Often referred to as the Kilimanjaro heartland by conservationists, the Greater Amboseli Region is a critical bridge ecosystem that links the vast Tsavo National Parks in the East to the Great Rift Valley and the Serengeti-Masai Mara Ecosystems in the West. When you stay at Ol Kanjau Tented Safari Camp you are at the center of Kenya’s richest African Savannah Ecosystem and one that is the best studied and most understood. At OlKanjau Camp our visitors on an Elephant safari will be introduced to several of the 52 known matriarchal Elephant families. On game drives and walking safari many birds and other mammal species can also be seen. The OlKanjau Camp Amboseli is designed to rest lightly on the earth and bring guests closer to nature and the Kenya wilderness. Mountain biking at Ol Kanjau adds another great dimension to an Amboseli safari in Kenya. The vistas of Greater Amboseli are hard to grasp at first, so wide and all encompassing are the extraordinary views. Every year wildlife photographers are invited to lead photography safari to Amboseli Ol Kanjau Camp, where every day is an opportunity for yet more amazing images. A Kenya safari should include stays at safaris lodges and luxury tented camps, and the one place you should consider is Ol Kanjau luxury Camp. A safari to Kenya isn’t just about seeing game it should also be about the culture of the local tribes, and one of the great things about Ol Kanjau tented lodge is that you get the opportunity to visit nearby Maasai Settlements and understand their culture. At Ol Kanjau you will learn a great deal about the wildlife particularly the elephants, their habits and movements to build up a far bigger picture of what makes them tick. Even more than that, Ol Kanjau is known as the safaris Camp of the Elephant and you will be given a unique opportunity for a close encounter with some of these utterly magnificent animals, and even an introduction to several of the families and this is something you will never forget.


    Ol Kanjau Tented Camp is a very luxury holiday camp consisting of six very spacious twin tents made of lightweight pale brown canvas with large and very comfortable beds. The bathrooms at Ol Kanjau Tented Camp are safari style with hot bucket showers, with ample hot water whenever you need it. The tents also include a dressing table and somewhere to hang your clothes. Privacy is taken care of at Ol Kanjau Tented Camp by the positioning of the tents, and because there is of course no electricity lanterns are used at night to light the tents and this creates a really old fashioned romantic safari in Kenya feel to the place. The fact that there are only six tents of course means there are never more than twelve guests, and so the attention at all times is very personal. Everything at Ol Kanjau Tented Camp is kept as simple as possible which only adds to the wilderness feel. You can sit out at night around the fire and count the stars unspoiled by pollution, and listen to the wildlife of Kenya as it goes about its business. In the middle of the Ol Kanjau Camp Amboseli Kenia is the tent which acts as the dining area, and included with your three course meals are freshly baked breads. Accommodation naturally enough is full board to include soft drinks beer and wine. Ol Kanjau is described as an Amboseli mobile tented camp, and this is because the tents are tents and not a permanent structure. In this way your safaris in Kenya is somehow much closer to the natural world than an Amboseli permanent lodge, and because of that the quality and quantity of the game is much better because there is so much less disturbance to their way of life. You will also discover almost immediately that the pace of life here is totally slow but the access to game viewing is almost unsurpassed anywhere else. You will meet few if any other tourist, but lots of animals and that surely is what a safari in Kenya should be all about, so Ol Kanjau succeeds totally in this respect. Visitors to Ol Kanjau Camp enjoy full board accommodation, including soft drinks, beer and house wine. Dawn on most mornings at Ol Kanjau Camp Africa is incredibly dramatic, as the first rays of light sculpt the twin peaks Mawenzi and Kibo that together form Africa's highest mountain, Kilimanjaro. Taking early morning tea or coffee beneath the twisted branches of an Acacia tortilis tree on the verandah of your safari tent gives you a view of the Mt Kilimanjaro that is exclusively yours, shared only by browsing giraffe, galloping zebra and the last calls of hyena about to retire for the day.


    Many guests amend whatever plans were made the night before just to savor this peaceful Mountain Time. The dry, volcanic dust at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro records animal tracks and hence behavior more sharply than new fallen snow and it is always a delight to walk slowly toward the mountain and concentrate on the archive written in the dust. For the more energetic, a pre-breakfast run on the wooded plains towards Kili with the young Maasai that tend the Ol Kajau camp can be an unforgettable way to loosen up after the confines of a long-haul flight. Whatever the early morning activity, a late open air breakfast is a pleasant precursor to a day's exploration of greater Amboseli. By the time the first elephant herds are encountered, as they walk from their nocturnal feeding areas to the central swamps of Amboseli, we usually have their massive power and social intellect all to ourselves. Our main aim at Ol Kanjau holiday Camp Amboseli is to put together a day that includes many unforgettable elephant moments. Having been habituated by scientists who have watched them for nearly thirty years, the elephants of Amboseli are amenable to close observation without distress or fear. We know of nowhere else in Africa where elephant watching is more rewarding. By mid-day, we will


    have filled ourselves with wildlife and visited Maasai cattle herds being watered by hand from shallow wells on the margin of dry Lake Amboseli and talked to their warrior herders. A drive across the lake with its shimmering mirages takes us to a private picnic lunch site in a grove of yellow fever trees on the Kenya and Tanzania border. The southern woodlands just outside the park are the habitat of browsing animals seldom seen on the open plains of the Amboseli Basin and we will expect close observations of the long necked gerenuk and herds of eland. Giraffe are abundant and it's always a joy to discover a nursery group of their infants who are programmed to wait as a group away from their mothers until nursing time. The only thing certain about a whole day out in Amboseli is that it will be filled with unparalleled access to wildlife. A mid-afternoon return to the luxury Amboseli camp allows plenty of time to rinse the dust off and relax before enjoying a sundowner around the Ol Kanjau campfire. The fading of sunlight in transition to starlight around the warmth and conversation at the fire has an uncanny capacity for providing perspective and is the essence of the safari experience.


    Ol Kanjau Camp Amboseli Accommodation


    Kilimanjaro looms into the sky; a jutting monolithic piece of earth that guards the lands silently from a terrific height. Ol Kanjau Tented Safari Camp is a luxury camp providing you with superb accommodation. The light structure of the tents, while keeping you fully accommodated with everything you need, acts as a translucent vale to nature, one that connects you to the living nature, while keeping you secure in your tent. There is a distinct difference in the way this camp is managed in comparison to many of the other camps in the region and throughout Kenya. Accommodation here is a maximum of 12 guests, the tents are spread out so each has its own private space and are all very basic with bucket showers and hot water provided only upon request. Electricity also isn't available here keeping with the theme this is a real leave-no-trace experience where you know your stay will have very little if any impact on the local environment. The Greater Amboseli Ecosystem, within which Ol Kanjau Tented Safari Camp lies, is often referred to as the Kilimanjaro heartland by conservationists. African Elephants are studied well here. Their lives, ecology and behaviour are so fascinating; majestic, huge animals with high intelligence. In 2006, 274 African bird species and 50 African mammal species were identified in the vicinity of Ol Kanjau Tented Safari Camp. The local people are an interesting culture to interact with and learn from: the pastoral Ilkisongo Maasai give greater Amboseli its distinct cultural richness. The Maasai people are the principal landowners of greater Amboseli and the traditional custodians of the area's wildlife wealth which they refer to as "our cattle outside our bomas."


    Amboseli National Park Kenya


    Amboseli National Reserve or Amboseli National Park is situated in south-eastern Kenya, just north of the border to Tanzania and Kilimanjaro. Whenever you see a picture of an elephant with Kilimanjaro in the background, it's likely to have been shot in Amboseli. Unfortunately, the great view of this mountain, which is the highest in Africa, is often obscured by clouds or haze. The nature in Amboseli varies between woodlands, open grasslands and wetlands. It's not a very large park, so you may cover most of it in a long full day. A popular spot is Amboseli Observation Hill, set by the wetlands, where you can leave the vehicle and walk up the hill for great views of the park. It's not a very high or steep walk. Amboseli National Park lies 240 km (150 miles) from Nairobi. Travel along the Nairobi/ Arusha road via Namanga and enter the park through the Meshanani Gate. An alternate route is to travel via Emali, taking the Mombassa route – this means you will enter Amboseli through the Tsavo West National Park by the Kimana Gate. Airport - Amboseli Airport is located inside the Amboseli National Park, and some of the Amboseli lodges have their own private airstrips. Many tourists will book an Amboseli fly Safari from Wilson Airport to Amboseli National Park, in the park you can enjoy self-drive or guided safaris game drives. Private conservancies on the edge of the park offer walk safaris, horseback safaris and hot air ballooning. Amboseli is a fairly good safari park, although not one of the prime parks, as the big cats aren't seen as regularly as in for example when on Masai Mara safari or Samburu safaris. It is one of the best elephant parks in Kenya, though, and very large herds are sometimes seen. The large elephant population has taken its toll on the vegetation; elephants de-bark and pull down tree for food. Tree-planting projects have been started in the area to counteract the damages caused by the elephants. The park can be very good during dry seasons, when it attracts a lot of wildlife. Apart from the elephants, you may see a variety of the classic African safari animals, such as giraffes, zebras, wildebeest, African buffalos, hyaenas and antelopes. Park status A decision was made in 2005 to change the status of Amboseli from national park (under national management) to national reserve (under local management). The change has not formally been done yet, and the park is referred to as both Amboseli National Park and Amboseli National Reserve in different sources.


    Usually, national parks have a better level of protection and conservation than national reserves. It is to see whether this change of management will affect the quality of the park or the wildlife, when and if it is formally done. Combining Amboseli and other parks Amboseli is situated too far to the south-east to fit into a good Kenya holiday safari itinerary that also includes Kenya's prime park Masai Mara. Travelling from Amboseli to Masai Mara (or Lake Nakuru or Samburu) means a very long day on the roads. You can find better itineraries, with less traveling. Should you want to combine these parks anyhow, you should choose a long safari (six or seven days), or fly between the parks.


    Another option is combining Amboseli and Tsavo. Such safaris may start from either Nairobi in central Kenya or Mombasa on the coast. The Park is in an area were malaria is prevalent. It is advisable that you speak to your local GP about prophylactics before embarking on your trip. The Park offers good wildlife viewing throughout the year, however to avoid the mud of the wet season it is best to visit the park between January and February and June through September. Amboseli Budget camping safari is mostly where you have to have your won tent, and be fully self-sufficient, bringing everything including water and firewood or cooking gas. It’s a very adventurous way of touring Amboseli on a low budget compared to the Amboseli safari lodge. The park campsites came along with the camping fee, with the additional cost of park and vehicle fees. Public Amboseli campsites are often used for Amboseli budget safaris, so at times it can be quite crowded. The site has pit toilets and water, but the supply is not constant and sometimes it must be obtained from the Amboseli lodges. A special camp site located in a solitary place, in the southwest corner of the park. It is the usual camping place for higher budget camping safaris. There is firewood but no other supplies, so be sure to bring your own water and food.


    The best time to visit


    The dry season in Amboseli safaris begins from January to October, with warm dry days from July to October, the best time to visit and with many game sights near the water holes and the springs. This is a great park for photography as big herds of wildlife at close quarters are often to be found passing by snow covered Kilimanjaro.The rains are around April and last until June, shorter rains in November and December. Remember to get your malaria treatment and drugs before you arrive for Amboseli Kenya safari although Kenya safaris in Amboseli National park are good all through the year.


    This region is home to the nomadic Masai people and you will see their circular manyattas (villages), surrounded by thorny scrub fences, scattered across the plains. Human settlements and nomadic pastoral activity has threatened Amboseli Wildlife habitats that previously included the private Masaai farms that are near the park.


    Amboseli Elephants


    Much of what we know about elephant social life comes from research done at Amboseli National Park in Kenya, where the population lives in conditions close to a natural, undisturbed state. But this is unusual. Across Africa, elephant numbers are dwindling as demand for ivory has surged in recent years. Once poachers have killed the biggest males, mature matriarchs are their next targets. What happens to a group that loses its matriarch is not clear. Amboseli’s elephants number around 1,400. They roam over approximately 3,000 square miles, inside and outside the park, and across international boundaries. These are the world’s longest-studied elephants. Nobody knows them better than Cynthia Moss, who has led the Amboseli Elephant Research Project (AERP) since she founded it in 1972. In particular, Moss and her colleagues have discovered much about elephant families and their social interactions. “Our studies show how absolutely crucial matriarchs are to the well-being and success of the family,” she says. At Amboseli the elephant family unit, consisting of a mother and her immature young, sometimes along with sisters, aunts and grandmothers, is the core of elephant society.


    Within family groups, which range in size from two to more than 20, the oldest, most experienced female takes the lead. But group size is constantly changing, responding to the seasons, the availability of food and water, and the threat from predators. An adult female elephant might start the day feeding with 12 to 15 individuals, be part of a group of 25 by mid-morning, and 100 at midday, then go back to a family of 12 in the afternoon, and finally settle for the night with just her dependent offspring. Known as a fission-fusion society, it is a complex social dynamic relatively rare in the animal kingdom but not uncommon in primates, including humans. It has long been assumed that the structure of the wider social network grows out of natural patterns of mother-offspring associations, where daughters remain within their group for life while sons strike out on their own as teenagers. A team led by Beth Archie from Duke University decided to test this idea. By genetically analyzing fecal and tissue samples from 236 elephants at Amboseli, they determined how closely related they were to each other and then superimposed the familial ties onto observed patterns of association. They found a remarkable fit, indicating thatthe more closely related individuals are, the more time they tend to spend with one another. So, at Amboseli at least, a matriarch heads a group of her immediate relatives, and the social network extends beyond this core family unit.


    Amboseli Tented Camps


    There are many different styles of accommodation available on Amboseli safari including a variety of ‘safari tented’ options. Whilst feeling comfortable and relaxed is hugely important on any Amboseli holiday, we would also strongly point out that there are several other key elements to consider when assessing accommodation options. Value for money, location, views, size of tented camp (number of rooms), management style and tented camp atmosphere, food quality and dining arrangements (communal or individual), service levels, variety of activities, quality of guiding, relaxation opportunity and game-viewing potential are all hugely important factors to consider. Your overall safari to Amboseli experience will be determined by a variety of factors, and not just comfort levels. Everyone has different priorities, and you may decide to change them for different stages of your holiday to Amboseli, perhaps choosing to ‘mix and match’ the styles of accommodation you experience. However, in order to give you appropriate suggestions, we will need to have a general idea how adventurous you are happy to be, and what those personal priorities are. Amboseli safaris offer an experience of Africa as it used to be. Far from tourist crowds, we find the wonders that drew adventurers to the continent decades ago. Vast herds of elephants still roam the acacia-studded savanna. Antelope, giraffe and buffalo thrive in the wetlands of the Lake Amboseli and at watering holes that sustain life on the dry plains. Lions laze beneath mopane trees, an icon of genuine wilderness that's vanishing all too quickly in the contemporary world. Classic tented safari camps offer luxuries reminiscent of a nostalgic era in the African bush. You'll find it all here still, in secluded Amboseli. Kenya is one of the last true wilderness areas in Africa, teeming with wildlife that thrives within a mosaic of healthy ecosystems. An exclusive safari destination like Amboseli is a “once in a lifetime” dream trip for most travelers—is one to do right. While some companies run larger groups that stay in busy national parks or on the fringe of wildlife concentrations, our Secluded safaris to Amboseli delivers a remote nature experience of exceptional quality, replete with close-up wildlife sightings enjoyed in a peaceful and personal manner. There can be no greater thrill than introducing your children to the wonder of Africa.


    Whether it’s watching their astonished expressions as they come face to face with an elephant for the first time or their wonder when they find the safari tent is so much more than the one they use in the garden, it’s bound to be an unforgettable experience. Most of us here at Book & Travel have children and have travelled extensively with them in Amboseli National Park, so we really do know what works when it comes to planning a family safari. We know which Amboseli camps have guides that truly engage children of all ages, at which they will learn to make bows and arrows or about conservation or get an authentic glimpse of tribal culture. Kenya may well be all about the wildlife, but we will also make sure that you get access to the unique experiences that truly enrich a family’s holiday. We visit all the properties we sell so we know which have ideal facilities for children - who do the best junior ranger programmes, where your children can help the chef cook breakfast in the bush, and where the guides will play baseball with elephant dung balls bats made from sticks. Key on family safaris is variety which is why we will suggest, if you have the time, that you visit several different camps in Amboseli on your Amboseli holidays. Going on safari is guaranteed to be one of the best vacations you'll ever have. A safari is exciting, educational, adventurous, and unique. To make sure you get the most out of a safari, there are a few things you should know. Our list is based on experience, after having the good fortune of enjoying dozens of safaris throughout the Amboseli.


    What Will an Amboseli National Park Safari Cost?


    Although we have supplied the rack rates to Amboseli lodges and Amboseli camps, actual prices are very different when you factor in transfers, park fees, and game drives, which is why you will inevitably have to deal with your tour operator – travel agent or a company like Book & Travel us we are a safari company and still have camps and lodges throughout Amboseli National Park in order to get a realistic price quote on the whole safari. It's best to choose a few operators and compare quotes: There's no getting around it: An Amboseli holiday safari will take a relatively hefty chunk out of your budget. Just as Daily Park fees add significantly to your daily costs so do concession or operating rights within the park to your accommodations -- no bad thing if all profits raised are poured back into conservation. Aside from this, running a tourist operation miles from the nearest town are incredibly costly -- fresh supplies need to be trucked or flown in, often at great expense. You can reduce costs by staying in large Amboseli lodges, such as those run by Sopa Lodges and joining group package tours, even if you settle for a large lodge to save money, we still strongly advise you, if possible, to budget for a private vehicle, as this will enhance your safari immeasurably. If necessary, put together your own group. Better still is to cut short the safari by a few days (but you will need to spend at least 3-4 nights in the bush to really experience it).


    Amboseli National Park Safety


    Please be aware that our Amboseli safaris may take you into close contact with wild animals. Attacks by wild animals are rare, but no safari into the African wilderness can guarantee that this will not occur. Please note that many safari lodges and camps are not fenced and that wildlife does move freely in and around these areas. Always follow the safety instructions from the lodge or camp's staff with regards to moving to and from your tent and while on game activities throughout your safari. Please be especially cautious and informed when staying at a private camp or the smaller tented lodges. Please make sure that if you have small children with you, to not let them out of your sight or wander alone. There will be a security briefing at most tented lodges upon arrival but do not hesitate to voice your concerns to the staff or your guide. Many of the smaller tented lodges will escort you to and from your tent for dinner. Under no circumstances should you move to and from your tent/room during the night without being escorted. When staying at a private camp, you must not wander out of the campsite and you must always be escorted to and from your tent. Never get out of your car without asking your guide/driver if it is safe to do so. You don't want to end up as lunch. No matter how tempting it may be to get that perfect photo of you with a rhino ... don't do it. If you're dying for a pee, let your driver know and he'll find a safe spot to stop so you can run behind the vehicle and "check the tire pressure" as they say in the safari business. Needless to say, no toilet paper litter please. Don't walk around Amboseli camp at night on your own if it is unfenced and you've been asked not to by our management. You don't see nearly as well in the dark as the animals do, and they'll spot you a lot sooner than you will spot them. Amboseli Tented camps generally provide a whistle, or a flashlight with which to signal if you need a guard to come and escort you to and from the dining tent. Many safari vehicles are open-topped and the wildlife is generally accustomed to these. But, if you stand up or wave something around on the side, some animals will get annoyed and consequently aggressive. I have been charged at by elephants in an open vehicle, believe me, it was a little too exciting. You also have to remember that poaching is rife in many areas and anything that looks like a gun can trigger a very nasty response from a wild animals especially elephants.


    Can I Hire a Car and Self Drive?


    Not really. Aside from Nairobi National Park, which is as well signposted as you'd expect from a national park bordering a capital city, operators will insist on supplying a driver with your vehicle. This is because local drivers know the vehicles and terrain better, and roads are not only virtually impassable in certain areas, but rarely marked. The driver also doubles as a guide, pointing out wildlife, birds, or plants you may otherwise miss and giving you a bit of background on the species. This knowledge can be very rudimentary, however; if you want a really good guide (and if this is your first safari, you should definitely try to budget for this), you should choose a company that prides itself on the quality of its guiding and invests in specialized training .As a result, these companies tend to insist on having guests use their guides and vehicles, and won't accommodate another company guide, making it difficult to include them in overland safaris that comprise a number of destinations. You know you are dealing with a company like this when they offer only "game package" and no "full board" options (refer to rates located below each review). Camps and lodges that offer full board options have separate accommodation and dining for guides and pilots (this is more often than not included in your price).


    Should I Opt for a Tented Camp or Lodge Experience?


    There are many who say you haven't been on safari until you've heard the roar of a lion through canvas. We strongly recommend that you stay in at least one tented camp, and regular safari-goers will not set foot in a lodge or any concrete structure in the wilds. If you're edgy about sleeping in a tent, be assured, this is camping, but not as you know it. There are also an increasing number of small lodges that, in their design, eschew traditional distinctions between different kinds of building material. So a cottage may have part-stone, part-canvas walls -- or, in some sections, no walls at all. And it's long been typical of high-end safari tents to come with attached stone-walled bathrooms.


    Children and Long Drives Are Not Friends


    If you have younger children don't save money by sharing a game drive vehicle with other guests unless they belong to your party. Safaris are great for children, but the drives are long and can get quite boring for most youngsters under the age of 5. Get your own private vehicle; it will be better for everyone. For the best safari experience with small children, stay in a Amboseli lodge that has a children's explorer program, or book a family safari. A safari is a social activity, you'll likely be sharing a vehicle with others and many camps also encourage dining together. There's plenty to talk about and plenty of time to talk. But on a game drive or nature walk, try and keep in mind that animals will be distracted by your voices and will tend to move away when they hear them. If someone is shooting a video, don't start a conversation; keep quiet so they can get some decent footage without human noises interfering. If you are in a car with windows, it's better to keep them closed. We have been harassed by baboons on several drives through the more popular game parks. They are so habituated to cars they are not afraid to leap up on it and dent your roof. You really don't want one inside your car.


    What Happens If I Have Special Dietary Requirements?


    This is not a problem as long as you let your Amboseli camps or Amboseli lodges reservation agents know well in advance -- bear in mind that everything has to be trucked or flown in, and stock has to be micromanaged to avoid waste, so it's hard to deal with last-minute requests though it is incredible what the top-end Amboseli camps are capable of. As a general rule, make sure your safari operator takes note of your food requirements and in the case of the high-end lodges your drinks preferences, too at the time of booking. This information need to be communicated to use by the clients directly to us whether you have booked through a travel agent or safari company or not


    Should I Bring My Hair Dryer? Adaptor Plugs?


    Although many Aboseli lodges don't have a hair dryer in the room, they will have one or two at reception. This is hardly convenient or practical, so if you're dependent on one, bring it. That said, if you want to visit semi-permanent tented camps, leave it in the suitcase, or check first that you are not overloading the system, as they use a lot of power. The power systems that operate at many Amboseli camps and lodges (notably the eco-friendly ones) will malfunction if you plug in your hairdryer, and there are even a handful of high-end facilities that don't supply power to the tents out of principle. Some camps offer 24-hour solar power, but many are still powered with a generator that is switched off at night. Flashlights and candles are supplied in this case. Every safari camp or lodge has adaptor plugs, but to save the hassle of going to reception (and, on occasion, being forced to hand over a deposit), bring your own. If having access to power is likely to be a deal breaker when choosing where to stay, be sure to investigate this issue thoroughly.


    Tipping Guide


    Bring plenty of low-denomination dollars for tipping at each camp or lodge; the best camps have a communal box so that tips are shared equitably between front- and back-of-house (or tent) staff. Specialized services such as a private butler or your driver/guide are usually tipped at $10 a day per person. You may, of course, tip more, or not at all, depending on service rendered. Don't forget to tip your guides, drivers and camp staff while on safari in Amboseli. Tips make up a big percentage of the staff's salary; ask our tour consultants for guidelines on how much to tip before you go. Don't bring sweets for children or gifts for people (unless you know them personally). There are plenty of ways you can help, and a cash donation to the right place goes a lot further than anything else. Don't go crazy buying super expensive safari gear, but do wear comfortable cotton clothes that you don't mind getting dusty and that aren't too brightly colored. Layer up, the weather will quickly go from cold to hot and back again. Khaki is a good color, but not mandatory


    Can I Use My Credit Card While on Amboseli Safari?


    Ideally, no. Many places don't take cards; others convert all the charges to U.S. dollars at a very unfavorable exchange rate. Try to prepay for as much as possible and carry cash (U.S. dollars) on you for tipping and small purchases. Traveler's checks are useful for big purchases, but there is often a surcharge for using them, just as there is for using a credit card. If you are not American, change your currency into dollars before arriving in Kenya and try to grab a handful of the local currency for smaller payments at the airport (using an ATM) when you arrive. A growing trend in Kenya is to quote prices (and accept payment) in euros or British pounds in addition to U.S. dollars; Kenyan shillings (Ksh) are also widely quoted. Throughout this guide, our accommodation reviews carry credit card information; we've listed those cards that can be accepted for payment on-site. For the most part, when it comes to booking a safari, you'll have paid for your hotel accommodations and safari package well in advance (operators won't secure your reservation until full payment is received, though we confirm booking ap. Most places will have a minimum amount for credit card payments, but unless we've listed them as a "no credit cards" operation, you should be able to pay for extras (drinks, additional specialist activities, balloon rides) using a card.


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