How much should I budget for my safari in Kenya?
Kenya is a cash economy. Most restaurants, lodges or campsites do not accept cards, with the exceptions being the upmarket lodges and restaurants in Nairobi. ATMs are widely available across the country. KCB, Barclays and Citibank are among the more reliable banks accepting MasterCard, Maestro and Visa. We recommend that you bring additional Euros or US Dollars with you in cash, for unforeseen costs. US Dollars and Euros can easily be changed to Kenyan Shillings at any Forex Bureau in most provincial towns. Also, bring additional cards, as the daily uptake with a foreign card is limited at the ATMs.
- Petrol typically costs between $1.10 – $1.30 per litre
- National park entrance fees range between $25 - $95 per person, per day.
- The average price of a three course meal at a restaurant or lodge is about $15-20 pp.
- Budget accommodation ranges between $50 - $100 per night for a double, mid-range accommodation ranges from $100 - $200 per night, and upmarket lodges go easily beyond $200, up to a small fortune. There are hardly any budget places inside National Parks apart from campsites. For our recommendations, you can check our suggested accommodation.
Kenya is not a low budget destination. But it is possible to enjoy Kenya with a smaller pocket if you follow our budget travel tips...
- Go camping outside the national parks.
- DIY cooking. Hire camping gear from us and cook delicious meals yourself! Also great to share with locals and to make new friends.
- Work on your negotiation skills - Kenyans will often double the price because you're foreign.
- Travel in low season (March - May) when lodges are closed or empty and rooms can go for a fraction of the advertised rate.
- Go off the beaten track and visit less touristy parks such as Ruma National Park, Kakamega, Lumo Wildlife sanctuary, etc. to avoid the steep entrance fees.