How to visit Kenya without going broke

It’s possible to travel Kenya without going broke by sticking to your original budget. Here’s six ways to save money when visiting Kenya.

1. off-peak season

Did you know traveling to the Kenyan coast in December will cost you as much as it is to visit Dubai? Whatever you do, avoid traveling during the high seasons which are mainly April, August, September, and December. Prices are exaggerated during these times of the year seeing it’s when most families afford to take holiday vacations. Travel off-peak when hotels have fewer customers. Negotiating a cheaper rate during the low season is easy.


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2. Affordable accommodation

Here are five ways to score cheap accommodation that I have tried.

  • Have a friend host you.Β  Friends have hosted in Lagos,Johannesburg and Accra. It saved me a lot of money since food and accomodation was sorted
  • Use This app always comes through with good hotel deals for a steal, especially during the low season.
  • Camping- there are several camping sites across Kenya for cheap.Β  Kenya is home to at least 40 national parks. Most people travel to Kenya for the Safari experience. Did you know that all the national parks offer camping options at a way more reasonable rate as opposed to staying at the hotels within the parks? I am talking as low as 8 usd a night for camping.
  • Stay at hostels or Airbnb. These options are the best for a solo traveler because other than being affordable; you have the opportunity to meet travelers and locals alike rather than riding solo the entire time.
  • Use couchsurfing. I have had the best experiences couch surfing in South Africa, Togo and Cote D’Ivoire! The best part is that you save money sinceaccommodationn is free.

Whichever method you go with, use tripadvisor to check reviews of other travelers. You don’t want surprises now. Do you?


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3. Meals

Staying at a hostel or Airbnb? Find out if they have a kitchen to have you prepare meals. Remember to shop your groceries at the local kiosks as opposed to supermarkets because the later is expensive. Also, go shopping with a local or your host to avoid getting tourist prices. Want to learn some bomb ass Kenya recipes while at it? Visit Kaluhis kitchen. Thank me later


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Renting a car is the best option for travelers in groups. Most renting companies offer rates between USD 25-45 for 24 hours depending on the type of car you choose. Rates shoot up should you decide to drive to neighbouring Uganda and Tanzania.

If you’re solo, you might have to use public transport that includes taxi apps, matatus, motorbikes, and tuk-tuks. Other than the standard gauge railway that operates from Nairobi to Mombasa, Kenya does not have a light rail system. Some of the taxi apps I recommend include Uber, Bolt, Little Cab. These apps also come with the bike option which is much cheaper but please remember to ask for a helmet every time you hop on a bike.

One way flights between Kenya’s major cities cost around 60 USD if booked at least 2 weeks in advance.

Other cheaper alternatives would be to travel by bus from city to city. Decent bus companies include modern coast, mash poa and the guardian. These buses go as far as Rwanda. A business seat within Kenya will cost you around 18 USD while to a country like say Uganda, it will be 32 USD.


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5. Do you really need Tour operators and Travel agents?

Tour operators and travel agents are perfect for those that prefer having every detail of the trip planned out for them. Granted, this is a luxury left to those that do not mind spending more. If you are keen on saving money, then all you need to do is thorough research when planning your itinerary. Most places in Kenya are accessible without the help of a tour operator. Read some of my travels around the country here to get a clear picture of how I travel in the country without the help of tour operators.


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Read more: Traveling in Kenya

6. Game drives

Safari activities are super expensive in Kenya for non-residents. There’s no way around the fixed park rates. However is there a difference between the big five you spot at the Mara and the ones at Tsavo? Well, the scenery is different, but it’s the same animals. These parks are super expensive so invest in one safari experience and focus on enjoying other aspects of Kenya not widely marketed like the culture, the food, and the beaches along western Kenya.

It helps to travel in a group because of cost-sharing expenses. Finally, download these travel apps which are useful for travelers on a budget. Karibu Kenya!

Read more: The best travel apps for travelers on a budget




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