Kenya road distances & driving times - Create a realistic and unforgettable itinerary

Are you eager to start planning your ultimate roadtrip in Kenya? While distances might seem doable on apps like Google Maps, we have noticed that most travellers underestimate the country's driving times.

With our Roadtrip Planner, we give you a clear idea of what distances to expect when self-driving in Kenya. Besides providing you with road distances and driving times, we have also added some extra advice on how to design your ideal itinerary in Kenya. Need some assistance? Share your day-to-day itinerary with us, so we can cross-check feasibility and help you where needed. Have fun planning and don't forget to take it easy - Polée Polé. Safari Njema !



Kenya roadtrip planner | Distances & driving times

When driving in Kenya, we recommend calculating an average of 50km/h on general roads, plus 30km/h inside the parks. The times provided in our table below are realistic but approximate. Factors such as weather and changing road conditions can affect your actual travel duration. When using navigation apps like Google Maps or Maps.me, add roughly one-third to the estimated travel time. 

Instead of planning the entire day's journey in one go, break it into segments. This precaution helps avoid following Google Maps' shortest route, which may lead you onto poorly maintained or nonexistent back roads, potentially increasing both travel time and the wear on your vehicle. In Kenya, taking shortcuts is not advisable!

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Kenya roadtrip planner | Distances & driving times

Tips for creating the best Kenya self-drive itinerary

When designing your Kenya self-drive itinerary, make sure to take the following planning advice at heart: 

  • Being constantly on the move does not make your Kenya (self-drive) holiday more fun. Plan at least two nights at each location to appreciate where you are. If you booked yourself a beautiful lodge, make sure you have time to enjoy it. Some lodges are a destination in their own right. Besides that, you have to build in some flexibility to allow for the unexpected, as things might work out differently than planned. Jam-packed itineraries cause long driving days, speeding and fatigue which is dangerous and can lead to accidents on the road. 

  • Don't plan a long driving day when you need to catch a flight. We have seen roadtrippers doing a morning game drive in the Masai Mara, whilst having to catch their international departure flight from Nairobi in the evening. Madness. If something goes wrong, there's instant stress. You can always rely on excellent road support from our end, but things take time and cooperation to organize. Best to take it easy and plan your travels with ease. 

  • Build in variation. Do not underestimate the game driving/viewing inside the national parks. These can be challenging and tiresome activities for the driver and the travel companions. Best is to alternate vehicle-based activities (Kenya safari drives and getting from A to B) with activities to stretch your legs, such as walks/hikes or cultural experiences. For further inspiration and tips, check out our Kenya Travel Blog.

  • Combine camping with lodges. At Roadtrip Africa, we are big fans of alternating camping stays with nights spent at lodges. Many upmarket lodges are foreign-owned, but it can also be a greatly rewarding and authentic experience to stay at a more budget and locally-owned guesthouse. Check out our hotel guide here and read more about our favourite accommodations in Kenya.

  • 'polé polé' (slowly slowly) is a lifestyle in Kenya. Expect everything to take a while, from fuel stops to entering parks, ordering a meal, etc. 

And don't forget: a road trip in Kenya is best enjoyed when you believe that the adventure lies in the journey, not the destination....Have fun!

Tips for creating the best Kenya self-drive itinerary