Kenya National Park Fees & Permits
Ever found yourself lost in a maze of confusing online information about Kenya's national parks? The country has over 23 national parks, 15 national reserves and 140 private conservancies, and we noticed that there is a lot of old data out there regarding fees, permits and practical information.
To shed some light on it all, we have collected all the necessary information about the current situation in Kenya's most popular parks. Ready to dive in? Enjoy the read and start planning your self-drive in Kenya!
*Sidenote: This article focuses mainly on Kenya's parks' fees and permits. If you're looking for more activity-based information, we recommend you to read our Kenya Travel Blog instead.
National Park fees for KWS areas
Most of Kenya's wildlife areas in Kenya are managed by the Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS). The most visited parks are Amboseli, Hells Gate, Lake Nakuru, Meru, Mount Kenya, Nairobi National Park
and Tsavo East & West National Park. An overview of all KWS park fees can be found on their website, here.
Nowadays, you can only obtain your permit through KWS' online portal. Simply select the 'National Park Entry' option and apply for a permit. To access the portal, you need an eCitizen account (the same one you need to apply for a tourist visa). Creating an eCitizen account can be done via this link.
There is no limit on the allowed amount of visitors in KWS parks, so you won't have to worry about being denied at the gate. We recommend purchasing each permit one day before entering a park. This allows you to adjust your itinerary on the go, and remain flexible in case of travel delays.
Some further guidelines for paying your permit fees at KWS National Parks:
- Vehicle selection: On the online portal, select a vehicle with 6-12 seats.
- Vehicle registration: Our Roadtrip Africa team will provide your vehicle registration number two days before the start of your rental. Unfortunately, this cannot be done earlier due to logistical considerations. If you need to arrange permits in advance, you can use 'KWS000' as the vehicle registration number. Note that the registration number on your permit does not have to match your actual vehicle.
- Driver-guide inclusion: When travelling with a driver-guide, add them as a resident to your permit application, along with any other park activities you may book.
- Payment process: The permit fee is calculated in both Kenyan Shillings (KES) and USD. To complete the payment process, settle the KES payments first. After settling the KES payments, visit your 'History' page to find a separate invoice for the USD fees.
- Payment methods: Payments are accepted through credit cards (Visa/Mastercard).
While the process of arranging permits ahead of time may seem complicated at first, it will speed things up significantly once you enter the national parks.
National Park fees for Masai Mara
The greater Masai Mara ecosystem includes three expansive sections and several smaller private conservancies:
- Masai Mara National Reserve: Accessible through gates such as Sekenani (most used), Oloolaimutia, Talek (east), Musiara (north), and Purungat Mara River (south). Permits can be arranged at any of these gates upon arrival, with payments accepted through credit card or MPESA Mobile Money.
- Mara Triangle: The primary entry point is Oloololo Gate, where payment is made. However, a transit permit must be requested at Sekenani Gate.
- Mara North Conservancy: Borders the northern side of the Masai Mara Reserve and is home to upscale camps offering all-inclusive game drive packages, less suitable for self-drivers.
As of January 1st 2024, the entrance fees for the Masai Mara Reserve and Triangle are US$100 per day for non-residents, potentially increasing to US$200 per day from July 1st 2024 (subject to confirmation). Day permits for overnight stays outside the Reserve are valid from 6 am to 6 pm while staying inside the Reserve requires you to exit by 10 am. Late exits incur additional fees. For detailed fee structures and entry requirements, refer to the Masai Mara National Reserve and the Mara Triangle websites.
Bordering the main three sections are various private conservancies, of which Naboisho is the largest. Should you stay in one of the lodges inside a private conservancy, then conservation fees will be added to your hotel bill automatically. Should you camp in one of the conservancies, then an entrance fee is still required when visiting the National Reserve or the Triangle, where most of the wildlife is found.
National Park Fees for Ol Pejeta Conservancy
Permits for Ol Pejeta Conservancy are now exclusively available through their online portal and can no longer be obtained upon arrival at the gate. This includes not only the booking of your entrance permit, but also any desired activities and experiences within the Conservancy, as well as your campsite permit. The entrance fee for Ol Pejeta currently is US$100 / day.
For up-to-date fee information and activities on offer, we recommend checking their excellent website here.
Entering Tanzania's National Parks from Kenya
Planning to cross the border to Tanzania? Rest assured that when entering the National Parks of Tanzania with a vehicle from our Roadtrip Kenya branch, registered in Kenya, there's no need to prearrange any park permits. All necessary permits (even for Ngorongoro Conservation Area) can be efficiently arranged upon arrival at the park entrance gate.
For a better understanding of the entry requirements and park fees applicable to the National Parks in Tanzania, we invite you to check out our Tanzania page here. Do note that some parks charge a higher fee when travelling with a foreign plated vehicle (such as the Ngorongoro Crater).
We do our best to keep the information on this website accurate and up-to-date. However, please be advised that no claims or rights can be guaranteed or derived from our website's content. We encourage you to verify any details independently to ensure accuracy. Please be aware that the information on our website may be subject to change.