Kenya Budget Safaris

Budget Safaris

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How Long Should Your Safari Last?

The duration of your safari is a factor to consider when budgeting for an adventure, in Kenya. According to a survey conducted by the Kenya Tourism Board, a satisfying Kenyan safari experience typically requires around 3 5 days. During this time you can explore a couple of parks although keep in mind that you might spend an amount of time traveling of fully enjoying the lodges or campsites.

To truly immerse yourself in the Maasai Mara National Reserve, which spans 1,510 square kilometers it is recommended to allocate at least 2 3 days. Additionally it’s advisable to set aside a day for Amboseli National Park for its breathtaking views of Mount Kilimanjaro and its impressive elephant herds. However these recommendations should be seen as the minimum; if you desire an exploration or want to experience all that Kenya has to offer—including the beautiful flamingos at Lake Nakuru National Park and the abundant crocodile populations, at Samburu National Park—consider adding an extra 1 2 days to your itinerary.

Also it’s important to keep in mind the entrance fees, for the parks. Starting from 2023 non Kenyan adults are required to pay $70 a day for Maasai Mara, $60 for Amboseli $60 for Lake Nakuru and $52 for Samburu. These fees are quite significant. Can greatly impact the cost of your safari especially if you’re, on a budget.

When it comes to planning a safari in Kenya you need to consider the options of Group, Self Private tours. Each style has its features, advantages and disadvantages that can greatly impact your overall budget. Lets take a look, at each type of safari focusing on the associated costs.

Group Safaris

Group safaris are a choice for travelers on a budget because they are generally more affordable. However keep in mind that they offer flexibility and lack exclusivity.
On average a standard group safari in Kenya costs between $150 and $250 per day. This price usually includes transportation ( in a shared vehicle) accommodation, most meals and activities according to a set itinerary. These safaris typically accommodate around 6 10 travelers.
Be cautious of budget packages priced around $100 per day as they often exclude experiences, like visiting the Maasai Mara National Reserve known for its incredible population of big cats, elephants, zebras and the annual wildebeest migration.

Self Drive Safaris

For those seeking freedom and flexibility during their journey self drive safaris are an option.However careful planning is essential to avoid any expenses when embarking on these ventures. When you decide to rent a vehicle for a self drive safari the average cost, per day including insurance usually ranges between $60 and $80. If you prefer to hire a driver expect a expense of around $30 to $50. For camping in the wilderness with the vehicle it’s important to consider a cost of $20 per day for a rooftop tent, which serves as a crucial safety measure.

Furthermore it’s important to take into account the entrance fees for parks; Maasai Mara National Reserve charges $70 Amboseli National Park costs $60 Tsavo East and West National Parks require a fee of $60 each and Lake Nakuru National Park charges $85 (as of 2023).

Private Safaris

If you’re considering private safaris they offer levels of customization and flexibility. The prices for private safaris can vary depending on the level of luxury you seek but generally start from around $300 per person per day. This price includes use of a vehicle a guide at your disposal, accommodation arrangements meals provided during your stay park fees covered in advance as well, as certain activities.

Keep in mind that engaging in activities might incur costs that should be factored into your budget.
For example experiencing a hot air balloon adventure, above the Maasai Mara typically comes at a price of around $450 per person. Additionally if you’re interested in exploring the wilderness on a guided bush walk you can expect to pay a $50, per person.

Additional Safari Expenses Not Included in the Budget

When planning your adventure it’s important to consider additional expenses that may not be included in the safari package. These costs include flights, visa fees, vaccinations, gratuities and travel insurance. Lets take a look, at each of these charges.

International Flights

While some tour companies may include the cost of flights in their packages booking independently gives you the flexibility to use any flyer points you’ve accumulated or take advantage of special deals. As of 2023 a round trip flight from Los Angeles to Nairobi Kenya typically ranges between $850 and $1,300.

Visa Fees

All visitors to Kenya are required to obtain a visa either upon arrival or online to travel. Tour operators generally do not cover this fee so it’s your responsibility to handle it. The standard single entry tourist visa for Kenya costs $51, per person as of 2023.


Ensuring your health and well being while traveling in Kenya is crucial. It is highly recommended that you consult with your healthcare provider or travel doctor regarding any vaccinations and their associated costs.
According to the guidelines provided by the CDC in 2023 it is recommended to get vaccines before traveling to Kenya. These include Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Yellow Fever and Malaria prophylaxis. Additionally make sure you are aware of Kenyas COVID 19 entry requirements, which might include a PCR test taken within 96 hours of arrival.

Tipping in Kenya

When it comes to tipping in Kenya it is considered customary to show appreciation, for service. Typically a 10% tip on the bill at restaurants, hotels and taxis is considered appropriate. At lodges gratuities are usually given when you depart and are often shared among the staff. Its recommended to tip guides separately at a suggested rate of $10 per day per guest. For lodge staff members, a tip of $5 per guest is suggested while transfer drivers usually receive around $3, per guest.

Travel Insurance

It is highly recommended to invest in travel insurance that covers medical emergencies or trip cancellations that may occur during your journey. While accidents are rare it’s always wise to be prepared for any circumstances. There are platforms where you can compare insurance options or your tour provider might be able to suggest suitable choices.

What Is the Best Time To Go To Kenya Without Spending Too Much?

The best time to go on a budget safari, in Kenya depends on factors. Here are a few periods that offer experiences and cost saving opportunities;

Early December; Many people overlook the half of December as a travel window but its actually a fantastic time to visit Kenya. With demand you can find deals and enjoy off peak rates. The landscapes are lush and vibrant after the November rains providing a backdrop for your safaris.

Low Season (April June); The months of April through June bring the “rains” season, which can be an adventure in itself. Although the weather may be humid with showers this is when prices drop significantly and there are tourists around. You’ll have wildlife sightings during this quieter period.

Shoulder Season (October November); October to November is considered the “shoulder season ” often overlooked by travelers. However it offers advantages for budget visitors. The rainfall decreases during these months resulting in landscapes that’re perfect for safaris. The parks are less crowded which means you can enjoy tranquility while spotting wildlife. Additionally safari and accommodation costs tend to be lower during this time. Birdwatchers will also have something to look forward to as migratory birds grace the skies.

These periods provide opportunities, for budget travelers without compromising on the beauty and excitement of a safari adventure.

Budget friendly national parks and attractions in Kenya

1. Nairobi National Park

Experience the thrill of wildlife at the doorstep of Kenyas capital city. For around $43 non resident adults can enter Nairobi National Park. Encounter a wide range of incredible animals, including lions, giraffes, zebras and over 400 species of birds.

2. Hells Gate National Park

Known for its scenery Hells Gate National Park offers an opportunity to walk or cycle through its beautiful landscapes while observing the parks diverse wildlife. Foreign visitors can enter this park for $26.

3. Lake Nakuru National Park

If you’re fascinated by flamingos Lake Nakuru National Park is a must visit destination. For about $60 non resident adults can explore the shores teeming with these birds while also encountering magnificent wildlife such as rhinos, lions, giraffes and over 450 species of birds.

Discovering Kenyas natural wonders on a budget has never been easier, with these attractions! Tsavo East National Park; Tsavo East is one of the parks, in Kenya and provides affordable opportunities for safari adventures. Visitors have a chance to witness the elephants of Tsavo and explore the diverse wildlife. The entrance fee for adults is $52.

4. Maasai Mara National Reserve

Although the entry fee for Maasai Mara is slightly higher at around $80 compared to parks it offers value for money due to its abundant and diverse wildlife. To make the most of your visit consider planning during off peak seasons when discounted accommodation rates are available.

5. Amboseli National Park

If you’re looking for views of Mount Kilimanjaro Amboseli National Park is the place to be. With an entry fee of $60, for non residents this park guarantees a wildlife viewing experience.

Budget Safari Types in Kenya

There are generally two types of packages, for budget trips in Kenya; camping safaris and lodge safaris. Each option has its costs and experiences which are influenced by factors such as your chosen tour operator, group size and selected destinations.

Camping Safaris

When it comes to camping safaris in Kenya you can enjoy an experience in the wilderness at a lower cost. On average an all inclusive camping safari in Kenya may range from around US$150 to US$300 per person per day. This price includes transportation, camping equipment, park entry fees, guide fees and certain meals.

However it’s important to note that the actual cost can vary depending on your tour operator choice and the size of your group. Some operators may offer prices while others may charge extra for additional services or exclusive access to specific areas. If your chosen destinations are popular or located in regions this could further increase the cost. So if you have a bit flexibility with your budget camping safaris could potentially reach up to US$400 to US$600 per person, per day.

Luxury Safaris

Alternatively for travelers who prefer comfort and luxury during their adventure lodge safaris offer an excellent option.A typical mid range safari experience, in Kenya usually begins at US$350 per person per day. However if you decide to go for a tailor made safari that is tailored to your preferences the price range can vary from US$400 to over US$700 per person, per day. The extra cost typically includes the selection of lodges, personal guides and exclusive destinations.

List Of Budget Accommodation in Kenya National Parks

Maasai Mara National Reserve

Mara Sidai Camp

Accommodation; They offer budget tents with shared facilities.
Price (as of 2023); Starting from US$80 per person per night.
Amenities; They have a restaurant, bar and a campfire area.
Activities; You can enjoy game drives and even opt for hot air balloon safaris at a cost.

Enchoro Wildlife Camp

Accommodation; They provide tents with ensuite bathrooms.
Price (as of 2023); Starting from US$100 per person per night.
Amenities; There’s a restaurant and bar for guests to enjoy.
Activities; Game drives are offered for guests to explore the reserve.

Amboseli National Park

Kibo Safari Camp

Accommodation; Their tents are quite affordable. Come with bathrooms.
Price (as of 2023); Starting from US$120 per person per night.
Amenities; Guests can make use of their restaurant, bar and swimming pool facilities during their stay.
Activities; Enjoy game drives or take guided nature walks to experience the park.

AA Lodge Amboseli

Accommodation; Budget rooms with bathrooms are provided here.
Price (as of 2023); Starting from US$150 per person per night.
Amenities; The lodge offers a restaurant, bar and swimming pool, for guests convenience.
Activities; You can go on game drives during your visit.

Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks

Voi Wildlife Lodge

Accommodation; This lodge provides budget rooms with bathrooms.

Price (, as of 2023); Starting at US$90 per person per night.
Facilities; Enjoy a restaurant, bar and swimming pool during your stay.
Activities; Embark on thrilling game drives.

Ngulia Safari Lodge

Accommodation; rooms with bathrooms.
Price (as of 2023); Starting at US$100 per person per night.
Facilities; Delight in a restaurant and bar on site.
Activities; Experience game drives.

Lake Nakuru National Park

Kivu Resort

Accommodation; rooms with bathrooms.
Price (as of 2023); Starting at US$100 per person per night.
Facilities; Indulge in a restaurant, bar and swimming pool offering relaxation and enjoyment after thrilling game drives.

Flamingo Hill Tented Camp

Accommodation; tents with bathrooms for your comfort and convenience.
Price (as of 2023); Starting at US$120 per person per night.
Facilities; Dine in the restaurant or unwind at the bar during your stay.
Activities; Venture on captivating game drives to explore the surroundings. 

Samburu National Reserve

Samburu Sopa Lodge

Accommodation; Budget rooms with bathrooms for a pleasant stay.
Price (as of 2023); Starting at US$120 per person per night.
Facilities; Enjoy meals at the restaurant relax by the bar or take a swim in the swimming pool between exhilarating game drives.

Ashnil Samburu Camp

Accommodation; Stay in tents with bathrooms for an immersive experience amidst natures beauty.
Price (as of 2023); Starting at US$140 per person, per night.

We offer amenities for our guests to enjoy, including a restaurant, a bar and a swimming pool. Additionally we provide activities such, as game drives to enhance your experience.