Traveling to Kenya can be costly. A safari is not cheap, but Kenya is one of the most iconic destinations in Africa, and the country continues to welcome millions of budget travelers who have very little money to spend. These visitors understand that even the most expensive destinations have affordable accommodations and that if you’re willing to forego a little comfort and convenience, Kenya doesn’t have to break the bank.
Here are some tips for how to save money while visiting Kenya:
1. Consider Seasonality
When planning and booking your Kenyan trip, take into account the peak, high, low, and shoulder seasons. This will have a significant impact on the cost of everything from transportation to accommodation, activities, and food.
Peak season is from July to August, and while you will benefit from nice weather, longer days, and the opportunity to witness the Great Wildebeest Migration, keep in mind that this season will see large crowds and inflated prices.
The high season runs from January to March which is a good time to visit the beaches along the Indian Ocean because the sea temperatures are very warm and the water is clear.
The low season lasts from April to May. The benefits include fewer crowds and lower prices, but keep in mind that only a limited number of camps and lodges are open during this time, and long rains make spotting wildlife very difficult.
The shoulder season is June, November, and mid-December, and it offers the best of both worlds in our opinion. You have generally nice weather, fewer tourists, and lower prices, but some attractions may experience brief rains. Also, be prepared for inclement weather during this period.
2. Consider Cheaper Destinations
One of your big options in Kenya is where to go; some destinations are considerably cheaper than others, especially if you look at places that aren’t big tourist hubs. Samburu and Meru, for example, are far less expensive than destinations like Masai Mara or Amboseli.
3. Consider Budget-Friendly Accommodation
Avoiding luxurious hotels in Kenya is the best way to save money on accommodation. Seek out low-cost lodging near the park’s entrance and plan day trips into the reserve. The main disadvantage of this option is that you won’t be able to go on pre-dawn game drives.
4. Reduce the Number of Safari Nights
When traveling to Kenya for a safari, it is essential that visitors understand that the more nights spent on the safari, the more expensive the trip will be. Most safaris in private game reserves and remote locations include all-inclusive accommodation. Meaning that your meals, locally branded beverages, and safari activities are usually included in your nightly accommodation rate.
Combining destinations is often a good way to reduce costs even further. On a seven-day vacation, for example, one could consider spending two nights on safari in the Masai Mara and three nights in Diani.
5. Travel on an Affordable Mode of Transport
In Kenya, the slowest modes of transportation are usually the cheapest. As a budget traveler, you can choose safari vans over safari jeeps, which may appear to be more expensive and consume more fuel due to their 4×4 model. Another way to book an affordable Kenyan safari is to share a vehicle or travel in a group..
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