Tips to plan your safari in Kenya
In this section, you find all the information to organise your own self drive safaris in Kenya:
- park entrance fees
- national parks at a glance
- organize your game drive
- encountering wild animals
For designated tips about the Maasai Mara, check our travel blog, self drive safari in the Maasai Mara.
Park Entrance Fees
Kenya has over 23 National Parks, 15 National Reserves and more than 140 private conservancies that all have their own pricing system.The Kenyan Wildlife Service (KWS) manages a big number of the National Parks, marine parks and reserves. The KWS used to have the Safricard system, but this is abandoned since April 2017. Now it is possible to pay with either Credit card (mastercard and visa) or Mobile Money (MPESA, by Safaricom). It is smart to buy a SIM card and register this for MPESA at the start of your trip in Nairobi. It is not possible to pay with cash at the entrances of the KWS parks!
Kindly check the following links for the latest entrance fee information:
- KWS Entrance fees.
- Masai Mara Triangle
- Ol Pejeta Private conservancy
- Lumo Community Wildlife Sanctuary
Planning to cross to Tanzania? Check more about Tanzanian park fees. Keep in mind that with a non-tanzanian registered vehicle you pay $150/day for the vehicle feed at TANAPA managed parks.
Overview of the best parks in Kenya
There are a lot of wildlife safari destinations, national parks, national reserves and private conservancies that are well worth a visit. We keep updating our blog about the most beautiful destinations in Kenya that you can visit with your rental car. You can find tips about campsites, routes and suggestions from us and fellow roadtrippers in these posts:
Organize your game drive
Most Roadtrippers do the game drives by themselves. If you are a bit unlucky with viewing game and you have the feeling you're missing out, you can always arrange for a ranger at the park entrance gate. The cost for a ranger differs per park, but is usually between 1500 and 3500 Kshs. Sometimes, lodges also provide ranger-guides to take you through the park. A tip of around $10 is highly appreciated by most rangers. Our Roadtrip Kenya drivers are also experienced safari guides that can take you around any national park in Kenya.
Elephants and buffaloes are beautiful and giant creatures who will certainly leave a firm impression on your safari trip. As elephants love bushy areas (= food), they can sometimes appear from behind a bush very sudden en in close proximity of your car. When you are that close, the car suddenly feels slightly fragile compared to these huge animals.
So, safety tips are in place here: always be alert and drive as if you would expect animals lurking around the corner. Keep an eye on heavy moving bushes and trees. Keeping distance is key. Never try to drive towards elephants intentionally. Heavy ear flapping, trumping his trunk and bluff charging are signs that he or she is a bit pissed off by your company.
When you encounter an elephant or lonely buffalo on the road, do the following: make sure you have a clear route to drive away if necessary, always leave your engine running, stay calm, keep your voices down and most of all enjoy the experience!