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Kenya Camping Safaris

4.6/5  –  1,254 Kenya Reviews

Whether you love camping or you’re just looking at keeping the price of your safari down, I highly recommend a Kenya camping safari. A good operator will provide a comfortable camping setup and sumptuous food. With a great crew, you’ll be able to enjoy the fun part of camping without the hassle. There is no better way to end a day in the bush than sitting around a fire under the stars, recounting the highlights of your day. You’ll hear lots of animals at night; a pack of hyenas laughing, the distant roar of a male lion or the repetitive whistle of a nightjar. Even more exciting is the possibility of seeing small nocturnal animals. Both bush babies and spotted genets easily habituate to humans in campsites.

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1-20 of 65 camping safaris to Kenya

6 Questions About Kenya Camping Safaris


6 Questions About Kenya Camping Safaris

Answered by Ariadne van Zandbergen

What are the pros and cons of a camping safari in Kenya?

“Although there are a lot of accommodation options in Kenya ranging from budget hotels to luxury lodges, you might want to consider a camping safari. If you love camping and it’s something you regularly do, you can’t go wrong. But even if you haven’t camped and it’s not usually how you like to spend your holiday, you might still want to look at the pros and cons of a camping safari. Firstly, it’s the obvious way to keep down costs, as the lodges inside the parks are far more expensive than campsites. And while good budget accommodation can sometimes be found outside the park boundaries, there are real benefits to staying inside the park, close to the wildlife action. The campsites inside the parks and reserves are often in great locations with a view, close to good wildlife-viewing circuits. When you go on a camping safari in Kenya, your operator will provide all the gear and food, so you won’t have to worry about anything really. While some camping tours require some input from you, you won’t have to lift a finger on others. Many reputable operators offer very nice setups. You might be pleasantly surprised by the comfort level, food and general facilities. On the other hand, if you prefer solid walls around you at night, and the idea of sitting out around a fire doesn’t appeal, a camping tour is probably not for you. And while camping is a great adventure, setting up and breaking down camp at each location can eat up time that could be spent differently on a lodge safari. ”


What facilities can I expect to find in the campsites?

“The public campsites in Kenya’s national parks and reserves have basic facilities including running water, toilets and bathrooms. There might also be a kitchen area or open huts for cooking. Some operators use ‘Special campsites’, which are booked on an exclusive basis for one group only. These campsites are often in beautiful locations, but they have no facilities whatsoever. The operator provides everything. There are usually also private campsites outside the parks with good facilities. Campsites located on hotel grounds might have access to a bar, restaurant and possibly other hotel facilities, such as a swimming pool. Unless you are traveling independently, your tour operator will provide all camping equipment and will make sure your stay is comfortable. ”


How much will this safari cost?

“Prices start at about US$100 per person per day, but it is difficult to put an actual figure on the cost of camping safari packages as there are a lot of variables. There are different levels of camping and to some extent you get what you pay for. It’s worth paying a bit more to travel with a reputable outfitter that provides good-sized tents, comfortable mattresses and overall quality gear. You might have to participate in some of the camping chores on some tours, but on other tours, the staff will take care of everything, including cooking hearty meals. A camping safari is not only fun and rewarding, it’s also an easy way to reduce the cost. Group tours are usually cheaper than private tours, especially for single travelers. And then there is a small difference in price depending on the season you want to travel in. It makes sense to get a few quotes before making a final decision. ”


Is it possible to do a trip in Kenya where only some nights are spent camping?

“It is possible to do a mixed safari, where you spent some nights camping and some nights in the comfort of a guesthouse, lodge or hotel. In fact, many camping safaris start with a night in a hotel. This gives you a chance to rest after your international flight, and to prepare for an early departure the next day. For similar reasons the last night of a camping safari is also often spent in a hotel. Some other camping safaris offer a few more nights in alternative accommodation. This is mostly because of logistical reasons. An operator might use a budget hotel on a 1-night stop, but opt for camping when staying a couple of nights inside one of the parks or reserves. This offers a nice compromise if you would like to experience some camping in the bush, but not throughout the trip.”


Is a self-drive camping safari in Kenya recommended?

“If you like to travel independently, you can certainly consider a self-drive camping safari in Kenya. The best way to do this is to book with an outfitter specializing in self-drive safaris. They will set you up with a sturdy 4x4 and camping equipment. You’ll have the choice between a ground tent and a roof-top tent (depending on the outfitter and the rental car). Make sure to check with your operator what is and isn’t included with the gear. You might be able to hire an electrical fridge as well. Although a reputable operator will offer 24/7 roadside assistance, you should at least be competent to change a tire. Depending to some extent on your itinerary, a little experience in 4x4 driving is recommended too. If you love total freedom and a sense of adventure, a self-drive camping safari in Kenya might be a dream come true. But I wouldn’t recommend embarking on this kind of trip unless you are an experienced traveler with a flexible attitude. With no local guide on your side, you should be prepared for things to go wrong occasionally. It’s all part of the adventure. ”


Is a camping trip in Kenya safe?

“A camping safari in Kenya is very safe. Crime is virtually unheard of in any of the established parks and reserves. Furthermore, your guide will look out for your safety at all times. Note, however, that campsites are usually unfenced, which means that animals can walk through freely. Human presence mostly keeps wildlife out during the day. But at night, after everybody has gone to bed, predators and other wildlife might well pass through camp. It is safe to stay in a tent with wild animals around, so long as you adhere to a few sensible precautions. You will be briefed on how to behave accordingly. The biggest problems in campsites are usually monkeys and baboons. These intelligent creatures learn how to open tents, boxes etc. As a general rule, you shouldn’t keep any food inside your tent (especially meat or strong-smelling fruits such as oranges), which might interest predators or elephants. ”


Kenya Reviews

4.6/5 1254 Reviews
Stuart Butler  –  
United Kingdom UK

Stuart is a travel writer and author of numerous Lonely Planet guidebooks, including 'Kenya', 'Rwanda' and 'Tanzania'.

East Africa’s Most varied Nation

Kenya is the original home of the safari. This is the land of the world renowned Masai Mara National Reserve where tawny coloured lions feast off the hundreds of thousands of wildebeest that annually migrate into the country from...

Full Review

Mike Unwin  –  
United Kingdom UK

Mike is an award-winning wildlife writer, former editor of Travel Zambia magazine and author of the Bradt Guide to Southern African Wildlife.

The home of safari

Kenya, to most people, is safari. This is where it all began, after all, and from Out of Africa to Big Cat Diary the country has provided the images that define the visitor’s idea of Africa. Certainly, when it comes to game viewing, this...

Full Review

Nomita M.B.  –  
Switzerland CH
Reviewed: Dec 5, 2023
Kenya is an absolute dream come true!

Kenya is an absolute dream come true! Everyone should try to go on safari in the Masai Mara, it was a once in a lifetime trip. I was so impressed with the variety of wildlife we were able to see in only 3 full days. It was clear we were not...

Full Review

Duniel Ortuno  –  
Chile CL
Reviewed: Dec 4, 2023

With my friends we had an excellent experience on the Safari in Masai Mara. It was a real adventure full of good vibes. I thank Silas very much for all his generous guidance, help and orientation, he was an excellent tour guide for us....

Full Review

Laura Henderson  –  
Qatar QA
Reviewed: Dec 4, 2023
Absolutely incredible.

Daniel took us to hells gate and he was the most amazing tour guide - thank you so so much for everything you did! We had such an amazing 5 days and nothing in life will top the experience that we had with this tour guide company, thank...

Full Review

Sachin Dharwatkar  –  
India IN
Reviewed: Dec 4, 2023
Kenyan hospitality stands out and shows at every step!

The Masai Mara experience is just fantastic; the sweeping plains and their expanse, the vast herd of animals and their diversity adds to the quality of the game viewing and the far reaching views make spotting easy. Our highlights were...

Full Review