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Kenya Private Safari Tours

4.6/5  –  897 Kenya Reviews

If you want to see lots of wildlife in an incredible setting, you should go to Kenya, the pioneering country of the classic safari. Kenya’s established tourist industry and network of well-run parks and reserves is suitable for first-time and repeat visitors alike. Private safaris are most popular. Experiencing all that Kenya has to offer with people close to you makes for a very special holiday. You’ll have more flexibility when booking a private safari than when joining a group tour; use the filters on the SafariBookings website to narrow down your choices. There are a few things to consider when planning your trip. Below we’ve answered some frequently asked questions.

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1-20 of 1,325 private tours, packages and holidays to Kenya

6 Questions About Kenya Private Safaris


6 Questions About Kenya Private Safaris

Answered by Ariadne van Zandbergen

What are the pros and cons of a Kenya private safari?

“When choosing between a private or a group safari in Kenya, you should be aware of the pros and cons of both. The main advantage of a private safari is that you don’t have to fit around set dates and you’ll have a greater day-to-day flexibility while on tour. Your guide will be able to accommodate you more when they have no other people to worry about. It also means there are no possible clashes of interest with different people on the tour. Most of all, if you are traveling with your partner or family or even friends, you might prefer it to be a private group without outsiders bringing in a different ambience. The main reason to consider a group safari is that packages are usually slightly cheaper. This is especially true if you are traveling alone or with only one other person. The bigger your party, the less difference it makes to the price. Single travelers might prefer a group tour over a private tour to have company and meet new people.”


When is a private safari recommended?

“Many people prefer a private safari over a group safari, but whatever your preferences, in some cases a private safari is recommended. Although many group tours don’t have significant age restrictions, a private safari is sometimes a better choice when traveling with children. The added flexibility on a private safari helps tremendously. You might, for example, sometimes want to cut a game drive short when your child is tired. You and your guide will be able to indulge your children more when there aren’t other guests to worry about. People with special interests might also benefit from a private safari. Serious birders and dedicated photographers tend to clash with other people on general-interest tours. Although most people are happy to compromise to some extent, frustration will build up quickly between people with vastly different priorities on a tour. As an alternative to a private safari, birders and photographers can also look into joining a specialized tour catering specifically to those interest groups. Last but not least are honeymoon couples or any couple looking for a romantic holiday. Not only will they have more privacy on a private tour, it will also make it easier for the operator to incorporate some special treats and moments for the couple. Perhaps a romantic bush dinner under the stars or a surprise spa treatment for two.”


Will we spend all of our time with the guide on a Kenya private safari?

“One of the pros of a private safari is that you have the opportunity to really build a rapport with your guide. When on a road safari, your guide will be your companion throughout the trip. On a group safari, the guide will usually eat with the clients too. This is less clear-cut on private safaris and it depends hugely on the directions of the operator. Most visitors love to use the meal times to get to know the guide better, learn about their culture and views on life. However, if you’re traveling as a couple, newlywed or not, or even as a family, this might not be what you had in mind when you booked the safari. Therefore, it is advisable to make the operator aware of your preferences on this matter before commencing the trip. While meal times offer a great opportunity to talk with the guide, you might also feel that it is good to spend some time with your private party without the guide.”


Which parks should we visit on a private Kenya safari?

“The world-renowned Masai Mara National Reserve is Kenya’s must-visit destination. Big-cat sightings tend to be out of this world. If you time your stay right, you’ll find yourself in the middle of the great migration where millions of wildebeest, zebras and gazelles cross the plains following the rains. Seeing a dramatic river crossing is one of Africa’s bucket-list wildlife encounters. Lake Nakuru National Park is another favorite. The scenic Rift Valley lake teems with birdlife, including flocks of pelicans and flamingos. It’s also one of the best places in Kenya to see rhinos. Head out early when you’re visiting Amboseli National Park. Not only is it the best time for wildlife viewing, you might see Mt Kilimanjaro rising up from the dusty plains before clouds cover the peak. Ol Pejeta Conservancy on Laikipia Plateau is also a great destination. This Big Five reserve, at the base of Mt Kenya, is great for black and white rhino sightings, and the chimpanzee sanctuary is also worth a visit.”


How much do Kenya private safari packages cost?

“Many factors influence the price of a Kenya private safari. A private seven-day budget tour starts at about US$1,100 per person. Going up to mid-range, prices are around US$1,500 per person for one week, and luxury tours start at around US$2,000 per person. You can use the filters on the SafariBookings website to narrow down your priorities, but these are some rough figures to give an idea of prices. Your choice of accommodation will have the biggest impact on the overall price of your safari. There is usually a choice between budget, mid-range or luxury. Camping is most budget-friendly but there are cheap lodgings too. These are usually located outside the parks. No-frills mid-range accommodation offers a bit more comfort, and high-end luxury camps are the most suitable choice on exclusive fly-in safaris. When budget is a consideration, always consider traveling out of season. You might experience a bit of rain, but the landscapes are exquisite and there are lots of baby animals around. The lack of crowds is a bonus too.”


What type of vehicles can I expect on a private Kenyan safari?

“There are three main types of safari vehicles used by tour operators in Kenya. Most popular is the modified minivan with pop-up roof. These vans usually have eight passenger seats. Many operators only fit a maximum of seven visitors in the van so everybody has a window seat. If they fill the vehicle to full capacity (eight passengers), somebody will have a middle seat. Most safari vans are four-wheel drive. The 4x4 vans are fine on most roads, but they don’t have the power of a Toyota Land Cruiser. Some operators offering luxury tours use the customized Land Cruisers with pop-up roofs instead of the vans as they offer more comfort and versatility. The seating capacity is usual six, which gives everybody a window seat. Lodges offering all-inclusive packages also use the Land Cruisers on game drives. These dedicated game-drive vehicles are further modified to be open-sided. A third type of vehicle is the overland truck. They usually carry large groups, between 12 and 30 people. The seating varies. Some trucks have a line of seats looking inwards on each side of the truck and others have front-facing seats. The trucks are often used on budget camping trips covering several countries.”


Kenya Safari Reviews

4.6/5 897 Reviews
Brian Jackman  –  
United Kingdom UK

Brian is an award winning travel writer, author of safari books and regular contributor to magazines such as BBC Wildlife and Travel Africa.

Africa for Beginners

Kenya is so easy to get to - just eight hours away by air from London. Fly overnight and you can be in the bush in good time for lunch. Even before you arrive in Nairobi you can see giraffes wandering under the flight path in the city’s...

Full Review

Kim Wildman  –  
Australia AU

Kim is a travel writer who authored and updated over 15 guidebooks, including Lonely Planet's South Africa and Bradt's Tanzania guides.

Out of Africa

It’s a cliché I know, but you can’t get more Out of Africa than Kenya. The setting for the Karen Blixon’s 1937 novel of the same name - made even more famous by a certain Academy Awarding winning Hollywood movie starring Robert...

Full Review

Ryan S.  –  
United States US
Reviewed: Jul 26, 2021

This was by far the greatest trip I have ever experience. Seeing these animals in person, staying at the lodges Bonfire paired me with, and having a great experience with our driver Tony was everything. Thank you for making my dream Africa...

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Shelmith  –  
Kenya KE
Reviewed: Oct 14, 2020
Kenya is amazing!!

Safari bookings took us to this amazing hotel ,ole sereni hotel which was close to wildlife.there was an amazing scenic view I would never forget .the roof top was exceptionally beautiful .We went Nairobi national park, we had an...

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John  –  
United Kingdom UK
Reviewed: Jul 20, 2020
All we hoped for and more.

Our Kenya holiday was everything we hoped for and more, thrilling fascinating breathtaking emotional and beautiful. The thrills came from spotting the many different animals we were lucky enough to spot on our game drives and a visit to...

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MD  –  
United Kingdom UK
Reviewed: May 20, 2020
Kenya Safari- Masai Mara and Amboseli- January 2020

Went on two 3 day safari's in Kenya, first to the Masai Mara and the second to Amboseli. All in all the two trips were good value given the low price, I've listed the pros and cons below. Pro's- -Amazing scenery and wildlife, you cannot...

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