Going on safari in Kenya is a unique trip in the world, and although nowadays there are cheaper alternatives, it is still expensive and not suitable for all budgets. How much does it cost to go on safari in Kenya? Why are some cheaper than others? Are all safaris the same? What budget do I have to take into account when traveling to Kenya? Which is more expensive Tanzania or Kenya?
In this article we try to detail the differences between safaris in Kenya and why there are price differences.
IN OTHER POSTS, we tell you important information about safaris and trips to Kenya and Tanzania. I share them here, because if you are at the point of looking for information about safaris, it is very important that you read them too, even before this one:
- Our Safari in Kenya with Maasai and solidarity with the territory
- Budget for travel to Kenya
- How to make a sustainable and positive impact travel in Kenya
- Honeymoon in Kenya
- Best time to travel to Kenya
- Which is better Kenya or Tanzania?
Safaris in Kenya: How much does they cost
Kenya is not the cheapest safari destination, but it is one of the most famous in the world. Normally, tour operators’ budgets include all expenses, such as park entrance fees, accommodations, food, transportation and driver/guide.
But it is important to be clear, before hiring a safari, what is included and what is not. For example, drinks are not usually included, and prices are generally quoted for two adults traveling and sharing a room. Traveling on your own can mean increases of 20 or 50% of the total.
Safari prices do not include tips either, which will end up being a significant part of the budget, but we will discuss this later.
The cost of an economic safari in Kenya
The most economical safaris in Kenya consist of a camping safari and a group safari. They generally stay outside the national parks and the travel agencies work in large groups and with a minimum of staff. Meals tend to be more basic.
Ask if sleeping bags are included in the safari, as they are usually rented separately. In addition, intimate and personal cleaning items must be brought.
The cost of a group tented safari in Kenya is about $150 per person per day excluding sleeping bag.
The cook usually goes with the tourists and cooks food in the camping area every day.
We have never done a tented safari in Kenya, so we cannot give you our opinion. On the other hand, if you want to do a tented safari in Tanzania, we can help you.
Another reason why it is more economical is to go in a group. By sharing car and guide, the price of the safari is reduced. But it has other disadvantages, for me the main one is that you do not know who you will go with and you can change the group in the middle of the safari. This is why local agencies make trade-offs between several to be able to gather tourists. Another disadvantage is that riding in a group means, yes or yes, going slower. When you go in a group, you know, you have to wait until everyone is ready. Finally, the guides are in English, and there is no possibility of hiring them in Spanish, unless you create a group of 4-6 Spanish-speaking tourists yourself.
Mid-priced safaris in Kenya
A mid-priced safari means staying in a lodge, where you can enjoy the comfort of a room with a private bathroom. Meals are taken at the lodge restaurant. The cooks at the lodge will prepare the food for the next day.
They are the most common type of safari among travelers and can be done in groups or privately. If it is done privately it means that we will have our guide all to ourselves. On the other hand, if we go in a group, we will be together with more tourists and we will share the costs of the car, driver and fuel.
Lodges can be found inside or outside the National Parks or in any of the Conservation Areas in Kenya.
It is important to know if our safari will be a group trip or if it will be in a private car, as the price difference is considerable but so is the experience. It is not the same to go in a group during the whole trip and follow the rules of the group or to go with your car/guide and have more freedom and more availability of the guide who will be only for you.
Avoid large lodges, especially in high season.
The prices of a safari in Kenya in lodge category are about 300$ per person per day.
The cost of a luxury safari in Kenya
High-priced safaris offer luxury hotels, private, upscale service, and some even have an airstrip for arriving by light aircraft.
The service is truly luxurious, and attention is paid to the smallest detail, the staff is very attentive and the guides are good. Looking for accommodations for our travelers, we have seen lodges that cost almost 1,000 euros per day and per person… imagine…. a 7-day safari…
Even in places without running water for the local population, hot showers are available for tourists.
Tips during the safari in Kenya
Although they tell you that the price of the Kenya safari includes everything, it is not true. In most safaris there is an obligation to tip. You will be surprised by the amount of tips that are given during a safari in Kenya. Drivers and guides benefit the most from tipping, which starts at $10 per day per person. If a cook goes with us, we should also tip him or her a similar amount. In addition to the staff traveling with us, tipping is almost mandatory in all the accommodations we go to, whether it is the staff that carries your luggage or other hotel staff.
You may be surprised that after paying so much money you have to tip so much, in these two links we talk about sustainable and responsible travel:
The amount of the tip will vary if the hotel where we go is a luxury hotel. As a personal anecdote, I remember the day in the Serengeti when I tipped $10 when we left the lodge where we had spent a night. The workers gave me dirty looks and I left a bit “embarrassed”.
This is why tips have to be added to calculate the price of our safari in Kenya.
Book a Safari in Kenya
If you would like to book a safari in Kenya we invite you to take a look at our sustainable and positive impact safaris we do in Kenya. We collaborate with an NGO founded by a Maasai that dedicates all the benefits of tourism to the Maasai community in the form of education, access to drinking water, and protection of women, among other projects. In addition to having a positive impact, you will surely have the best safari guide in the world, William, National Geographic official guide to the Maasai Mara. Would you like to get to know the Masai Mara together with him and his fellow Masai?
Just take a look at the safaris we do in Kenya, they are all with them and if it fits you, you can send us an email or whatsapp and we will schedule a call.