A Kenya Safari

How Much Does a Kenya Safari Cost?

There are highly exclusive safaris costing more than $1,000 per person per night, easily arranged mid-range safaris costing from $300 to $600 per person per day. and budget adventures from just $125 per day. Kenya is the original home of the safari and offers something for everyone.

There are highly exclusive safaris costing more than $1,000 per person per night, easily arranged mid-range safaris costing from $300 to $600 per person per day. and budget adventures from just $125 per day. Kenya is the original home of the safari and offers something for everyone.

Average Costs of a Safari in Kenya Safari Costs (Per person per day)

The costings table here gives an instant overview of how much the average Kenya safari will cost, depending on your travel style. Using this table allows you to quickly match your daily budget to the kind of Kenya safari you can afford. Keep in mind when planning your safari budget that where you safari in Kenya and when makes a huge difference to what you spend. The Masai Mara National Reserve in August will cost a whole lot more than Meru National Park in March.

Comfort Level Private
(per day)
(per day)
Camping icon Budget Camping $200 $175
Budget icon Budget Accommodation $200 $175
Midrange icon Mid Range Accommodation $300 $300
Luxury icon Luxury Accommodation $550 $475
Luxuryplus icon Luxury Plus Accommodation $1,000 n/a

Rates in USD $
Excluding additional costs, such as international flights, tips and personal items

Additional Costs Explained


The following list covers a few additional Kenya costs – some obvious, some less so – that you might need to add into your overall budget.

  • International flights

    Nairobi is the major East African travel hub and there can be some great deals on flights to Nairobi from Europe, North America and Asia. For lower prices travel outside of the high season.

  • Visa Costs

    Most nationalities pay $50 for a single-entry visa. If you’re the lucky one adding a side trip to see the gorillas in Uganda or Rwanda then grab yourself an East African tourist visa (not valid for Tanzania) for $100.

  • Accommodation

    Parks and reserves have accommodation at all prices. You might assume staying in a tent is cheaper, but mid- and top-end safari camp tents can have plunge pools, free-standing baths and underfloor lighting, and are pricey. Low season is cheaper.

  • Vaccinations

    A yellow fever vaccination is obligatory for entry into Kenya. Malaria can be a problem in coastal areas and the west of the country so it’s wise to take precautions against mosquitoes and malaria.

  • Tips

    In higher-quality hotels, safari lodges and camps, tipping is expected. Guides and drivers also expect to be tipped. Bring a couple of hundred dollars in smaller bills to cover tips: around $25 per person per day.

  • Travel Insurance

    Standard travel insurance is fine for most safari activities, but if you’re intending to climb Mt Kenya or go scuba diving then make sure your insurance policy covers trekking at altitude and diving. Many policies don’t cover these things.

10 factors influencing the cost of a Kenya safari

Several factors influence the general cost of a Kenya safari, which can vary enormously. The most important factors are the time of year you’ll be traveling, the parks and reserves you’ll visit, and how exclusively you’d like to travel.

  • 1

    Length of stay

    The longer you stay in Kenya or in a particular park or reserve doesn’t necessarily bring the per-day cost down. Park entry fees are always charged on a per-person 24-hour basis and don’t get cheaper the more days you spend in a park. Occasionally safari camps and lodges might have a special offer where every fourth or fifth night is free. Hiring a jeep and driver is always cheaper per day if you hire the vehicle for a longer period.

  • 2

    Level of comfort of accommodation

    Kenya safari accommodation can be very expensive. Many safari camps cost several hundred US dollars a night, and there are plenty of places costing well over $1,000 a night. The good news though is that a safari in Kenya doesn’t have to be too expensive so long as you’re willing to go a bit more bush basic. Pitching a small tent on a basic camp ground saves a lot of money and gives you perhaps a more authentic experience. In between these two extremes is a good array of more moderately priced accommodation options.

  • 3

    Location of the accommodation

    Perhaps nothing influences the cost of a Kenya safari like location does. A safari camp deep within the plains of the Masai Mara NR costs considerably more than a similar quality place just outside of the protected areas. Staying outside park boundaries might also save you money on entry fees.

  • 4

    Group size

    Joining an organized group safari will invariably work out cheaper than an individually tailored safari, and the bigger the group size the cheaper day-to-day costs are likely to be. A great add-on can be to hire a vehicle and driver, organize your own itinerary and book your own accommodation as you go. Top-end safaris are almost always individually tailored or for very small groups.

  • 5

    When you want to go

    High season is July to October, which is also when the wildebeest migration hits the Masai Mara NR. There’s a second high season from mid-December to mid-January. Low season (often marketed as the Green season) is November and March to mid-May. Some safari accommodation closes in low season, but this is the cheapest time of year to go on safari with prices often 50% lower. Mid-season (shoulder season) is a perfect compromise between the two, and ensures great wildlife viewing, fewer crowds and lower costs.

  • 6

    How to get around

    The easiest, but most expensive way, of getting around is by air. Small planes connect many national parks. But even the shortest hop is unlikely to cost less than $100 per person. Hiring a jeep and driver (from $125 per day) will save money if you’re part of a group, but if you’re alone it will cost much the same as flying. Organized mid-range and budget safaris normally travel overland between parks and can be the cheapest way of traveling around Kenya, but keep in mind that you’ll spend a lot of time on the road rather than watching animals.

  • 7

    Where you want to go

    If your dream of Kenya is of elephants below the snows of Mt Kilimanjaro then you’re going to pay top dollar to see such sights. But, the delight of Kenya is that it offers so much more. Head to lesser-known parks and reserves, such as Meru and Hell’s Gate National Parks, and you’ll see a fabulous array of wildlife and invariably you’ll end up paying less for the experience.

  • 8


    Gliding over the plains on a hot-air balloon ride is a popular safari add-on, but expect to pay at least $400 per person. Other safari add-ons that can involve an additional payment include bush breakfasts and walks.

  • 9


    Many people on a Kenya safari sensibly decide to add in a bit of beach time. The two most popular beach locations are Diani and Malindi. In both of these resort towns there’s enough accommodation to ensure that competition keeps prices down.

  • 10

    Specialized interests

    A special-interest holiday, such as one focused on bird watching, might mean paying more for a specialist guide. But, on the flip side, you will likely travel to some lesser-visited and therefore cheaper parks, which will save you money on park entry fees and accommodation.

Ready to find your Dream Safari?

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2 Adults
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