Is Kenya Expensive To visit? As one of the most popular tourist destinations in Africa as well as East Africa, Kenya is visited by millions of travelers each year. Most travelers planning to visit this magical country do not know how much a trip roughly costs and whether or not it is expensive to visit the country.
Well, the amount of money spent while on your trip to Kenya entirely depends on the time of the year you plan to travel – that is whether in low season, high or peak season, activities you plan to do while on the safari and the level of comfort you expect to enjoy during your Kenya safari in terms of accommodation and the mode of transport – by road or by air.
This article offers you all the information you need to know to about the cost of a safari in Kenya.
For instance, during low season full safari Packages vary considerably from USD 400 per person for budget 3 days Masai Mara Safari. With a group of 4 persons in a vehicle, staying in a budget camp costs about 600 USD per person during the peak season for a similar Masai Mara Safari.
- Time Of The Year
The cheapest time of the year to visit Kenya is during the low season (April and June) or the shoulder season (Jan to March). Prices tend to be higher during the Peak Season which is normally when the Great Wildebeest Migration occurs due to high numbers of tourists visiting the country and particularly Masai Mara National Reserve which makes it more expensive to secure rooms.
The Peak Season runs from July to October, if you are travelling on a tight budget. It is best if you avoid the peak season and plan on visiting during the low or the shoulder season when the prices are lower and rooms are readily available.
For example, a luxurious Tented Camp such as Governors Camp or Mara Explorer will cost roughly US$ 300 plus per person per night during low season and US$ 600 plus per person per night during the peak season.
A mid-range luxury safari lodge such as Keekorok Lodge will cost roughly US$ per person per night during low season and US $ 250 per person per night during the peak season.
Budget Tented Camps cost about US$ 100 or less per person per night, there are also camping options in tents which is way cheaper still but then this is a basic camp site with your own tents and very basic facilities.
- Level of Luxury
Every tourist destination in Kenya has accommodation options catering for various budgets of different visitors’ preference, the different classes of accommodation ranges from budget (cheap) to mid-range and the most luxurious depending on what you prefer.
For instance, if you are spending a night in Nairobi, there are plenty of guesthouses at affordable prices between $ 15 to $ 20 per night. There are also options of staying at luxurious 4-star airport hotel those costs $ 190 for a double room per night all year.
Prices of Transport – while on a Kenya safari, you can either choose to fly to your safari destination or travel by road. Flying is more expensive compared to traveling by road but also more convenient and quicker especially for shorter safaris such as an overnight or two-night trip.
For solo travelers, flying to any destination works out cheaper than driving unless on joins a group on a road safari which lowers the pricing of the safari.
For example, one way flight from Nairobi to Masai Mara ranges from US$ 200 – 250 per person while a return flight will cost anything from US$ 300 – 450 per person including taxes depending on the season and availability.
For road transportation, there are normally two types of vehicles that are used for safaris that 4×4 Toyota Landcruiser jeep or Safari Tour vans understandably so as these are larger, four-wheel drive vehicles that make rough road travel slightly more comfortable.
Note: Prices are based on the full occupancy of the vehicle for instance, if there are only two people in the vehicle. It will cost US$ 80 per person a day for transport in a safari tour van, therefore the large the group the lower the cost per person sharing.
A land cruiser safari vehicle costs anything from US$ 250 to US$ 275 per vehicle/day depending on the season and availability.
Note: Transport on your safari is priced per vehicle and not per person
- Additional Activities
If you are planning on adding adventure activities such as Maasai Village Visit, Hot Air Balloon Flight, Night game drives, Bush breakfast and dinner, Nature walks, Guided Safari Walks and Horse Riding. This will increase your safari cost.
Price for Hot Air Balloon ride in Masai Mara or Amboseli ranges from US$ 415 per person to US$ 500 depending on which camp or lodge you will fly from in the Masai or Amboseli.
Masai Village Visit in Masai Mara Price ranges from US$ 30 to US$ 50 per person and the cost is inclusive of return transfers from your overnight safari lodge or camp, services of an English-speaking driver guide and village contribution fees.
- Prices Of Food & Drinks
In Kenya, local food in Kenya is relatively cheap and you shouldn’t need to spend a lot of your money on eating out in the country. An incredibly popular dinning option in Kenya is to attend a barbeque at Carnivore restaurant in Nairobi which is addition to being incredibly cheap, is a great way to try local grilled meats such as goat, crocodiles or ostrich.
In a midrange restaurant or a food court in Nairobi will cost you about US$ 2- 5 for a meal but even meals in a high-end restaurant can cost as little as US$ 10. Additionally, you can expect to spend less when buying drinks from local supermarkets compared to buying the from restaurants.