How to travel cheaply in Kenya (Tembea Kenya)

In our article, we will look at tips on how to travel cheaply in Kenya in 2020.

We all dream of backpacking one day, and For us to do this, there are various things we will focus on. That is Accommodation, food, Rent vs public means, Paying via a touring agency vs paying at the gate.

How to Travel Cheaply in Kenya

Kenya is one of the best countries in Africa with the best wildlife and favourable weather. It is that place where a Safari is always a good idea any day anytime. However, as a result of the recent high cost of living, most of the things are on the high end. Therefore making travelling a luxury.

However, if you love travelling, there is no need to lose hope yet. In this article, we will discuss various mechanisms of how to travel cheaply in Kenya. As the Tembea Kenya initiative picks up, we are here to ensure it succeeds.

#Tip 1 – Transport (Rent vs Public means)

Matatu culture is the most famous means of transport in Kenya. If you are travelling to Kenya not only to see magnificent wildlife but to experience the culture, then this is an excellent way to traverse the country.

We have various Sacco’s that provide means of transport to all our national parks in Kenya at an affordable price.

Renting a private car may go as high as Kes 3,000 a day whereas you could travel to the same place with only Ksh 250. Therefore, one of the main tips of travelling cheaply in Kenya is by use of public means wherever you may want to go. Moreover, if travelling to the coastal region, you could opt to use rail instead of the road. It is faster than the road, and you will enjoy exceptional scenery along the way.

A Matatu travelling Upcountry

#Tip 2 – Travel during Off-peak seasons

Most people scramble to go for a Safari during the Wilderbeast migration in the Maasai Mara. However, this is not the best time to travel if you would like to travel cheaply.

Cancel out travel during Easter, Christmas, new year celebrations, Valentine’s day as well as around the time that Wilderbeast migrates. Travel mid-January to Mombasa and get to enjoy living in the best restaurants in Mombasa. Around May and November is the best time to go on a safari to the Maasai Mara as the vegetation is green and you can see wild animals grazing luxuriously.

How to travel cheaply in Kenya
Wildebeest Migration at the Maasai Mara

#Tip 3 – Touring agency Vs Paying everything yourself

Touring agencies make everything easier for you. They will organize your tour vehicles,  pay park entry fees as well as cater for accommodation and everything. On the downside, using a touring company to plan your visit to Kenya can be very expensive. They will charge you excessively for things you can access cheaply and at negotiable rates. The easiest way to, therefore, travel cheaply in Kenya is to pay for everything by yourself and at the park. Pay your entry fees at the gate, book the vehicle you will be using at the entrance as well. If you are lucky, you could find other people to share this cost with at these parks. Therefore saving you more money.

Gazelles grazing at Nairobi National Park

#Tip 4 – Choose cheaper accommodation options

No one should compromise on their sleep, even when in a Safari. Instead of booking lodges and hotels inside the park, choose to make reservations at a furnished apartment near the park. This will, by far reduce the cost of food and accommodation. However, Safari is more fun if you sleep in the wild with the animals. Camping is, therefore, the ultimate best choice. It is cheaper, and you will get access to a camping site within the camp. There is no need to come with your camping equipment. However, if you can, please bring them as this makes your travel cheaper. Try to book your accommodation as early as possible.

Camping at a Park

#Tip 5 – Bring/Buy your food

Food and snacks are some of the most basic needs that you will need during a safari. To avoid spending too much on food, opt to shop at one of the many supermarkets in Kenya before venturing to the wild. You could choose to have only one meal in the hotel and the rest you could cook for yourself at the camp. Buying your food makes travelling in Kenya very cheap.

How to travel cheaply in Kenya
A supermarket to buy your food

#Tip 6 – Check if you are travelling from a visa-free destination

The minimum number of days that one could take in Kenya could be ten days to be able to exhaust all our beautiful parks. Therefore, if you are travelling from a visa-free destination, you will not have to pay for Visa fees at the immigration department. The minimum number of days that one could stay in the country without a visa is 30 days. Hence, if travelling from a visa-free country, your travel costs will be significantly reduced.

In conclusion, if you would like to travel cheaply in Kenya, there is a need to take time and plan everything as you will not have a travel itinerary ready once you land. However, if you use these tips on how to travel cheaply in Kenya, you are meant to see beautiful wild animals while on a budget.

What can’t you compromise on while travelling on a budget?


Share on:

Mary is one of the leading writers on Urban Kenyans. She is knowledgable on matters Kenya and has been able to educate many Kenyans on this platform.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.