Kenya is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Africa, but most people planning to visit do not know how much a trip roughly costs and whether or not it is expensive to visit the country. Well, how much you spend on your trip to kenya entirely depends on the time of the year you plan to travel [ whether its low, high or peak season], activities you plan to undertake while in the country and the level of comfort you expect to enjoy during your trip in terms of accommodation and mode of transport [ by road or by air ]. You can read more on Kenya Safari Cost here.
For instance, during low season full package prices vary considerably from USD 400 per person for a budget 3 day Masai Mara tour (with a group of 4 persons in a vehicle) staying in a budget camp, upto USD 600 per person during peak season for a similar Masai Mara safari. You can see Kenya Safari Packages here. Below we will discuss each of these factors in detail.
The cheapest times 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 this makes it more expensive to secure rooms. The Peak season runs from July to October. If you're travelling on a tight budget, its 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 instance; A luxurious Tented Camp such as Governors Camp or Mara Explorer will cost roughly US$ 300+ per person/night during low season and US$ 600+ per person per night during the peak season.
A mid-range luxury safari lodge such as Keekorok Lodge will cost roughly US$ 150 per person per night during low season and US$ 250 per person per night during peak season.
There are also budget tented camps that you can find for US$ 100 or less per person per night. You may also opt for camping in tents which is way cheaper still but then this is a basic camp site with your own tents and very basic facilities.
Every tourist destination in Kenya has accommodation options to cater for various budgets of different clients preference. The different classes of accommodation ranges from budget/cheap to mid-range to the most luxurious depending on what you want. For instance, If you spending a night in Nairobi you can get plenty of guesthouses at affordable prices between $15 to $20 per night. You also have the option of staying at a luxurious 4 star Airport hotel that cost US$ 190 for a double room per night all year.
Prices of transport:You can either choose to fly to your safari destination or travel by road. Flying is more expensive compared to travelling by road, but also more convenient and quicker especially for shorter safaris such as an overnight or two night trip. For solo travellers flying to any destination works out cheaper than driving there unless one manages to join a group on a road safari which lowers the pricing.
For instance, 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 transport, there are normally two types of vehicles that are used for safaris i.e 4x4 Toyota Landcruiser Jeep or Safari Tour Vans that carry upto 7 persons per vehicle. Tour Vans are the most common mode of transport for safari tourists as these cost less compared to the other vehicle type. The 4x4 Toyota Landcruisers are more expensive than the Tour Vans understandably so as these are larger, four wheel drive vehicles that make rough road travel slightly more comfortable.
Note that the price is 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/day for transport in a safari tour van. Therefore, the larger the group the lower the cost per person sharing. A Landcruiser safari vehicle costs anything from US$ 250 to 275 per vehicle/day depending on the season and availability.
Note:Transport on your safari is priced per vehicle and not per person.
If you plan on adding adventure activities such as Maasai Village Visit, Hot Air Balloon Flight, Night Gamedrives, Bush breakfast and dinners, Nature Walks, Guided Safari Walks and Horse Riding, you can expect that your Safari cost will increase.
Hot Air Balloon ride price 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 Mara or Amboseli.
Maasai 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.
Local food in Kenya is relatively cheap and you shouldn’t need to spend a lot of your budget on eating out in the country. An incredibly popular dinning option in Kenya is to attend a barbeque at Carnivore restaurant in Nairobi, which in addition to being incredibly cheap, is a great way to try local grilled meats such as goat, crocodile, or ostrich.
In a mid-range 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 them from restaurants.