While there is the benefit of sorting your accommodation during your camping safari by using a campervan, you’ll need to understand the regulations around where you can park your campervan in Kenya. Generally, it is illegal to camp anywhere without permission so make sure to check the local restrictions before pitching up for the night.
Some info about car parking in Kenya:
In towns and cities such as Nairobi, County governments collect parking fees which can range from 50 shillings to 200 shillings per day. In smaller towns such as Narok, it costs 100 while cities such as Nairobi charge 200 to park.
You can pay for parking using M-Pesa by following the USSD code which is different from one county to another. It will take you no more than 2 minutes to complete the payment for your car parking.
For private vehicles, you can park in specific private car parks and some hotels may allow you to park your campervan on their grounds. However, it is important to note that the parking regulations may vary from county to county and town to town, so it is always wise to check with the local authorities for any restrictions.
When you are outside of towns and cities, you can usually park your campervan in designated camping sites. These usually involve a fee and facilities such as showers, toilets and restaurants may be available too. Some sites also provide electricity for you to use if necessary.
7 Places to park your campervan in Kenya
1. National Park public campgrounds
If you plan to visit National Parks and Reserves, you can park your campervan in designated public campgrounds mostly located not far from the gates. Most of the public campgrounds will provide basic amenities such as toilets and showers. Fees for these campsites range from KES 500 to 1000 per night, depending on the location and type of service provided.
While parking your campervan within these parks is allowed, it does come with certain restrictions. You will need to apply for a camping permit from the park authorities before you enter, and there may be restrictions on vehicle size and/or the number of nights you can stay at each campsite.
2. Private Campsites:
You may also opt to park your campervan in a private campsite. These sites are located outside of national parks, often close to major tourist destinations or along popular travel routes. Most of these sites are well-maintained, offer a range of amenities and services, and come with fees ranging from KES 1000 to 2500 per night.
3. Wild Camping:
If you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-track experience, Kenya also allows for wild camping—though this does require permission from the local authorities. Wild camping is allowed only in certain areas and you should be aware of local laws as well as safety considerations before pitching your tent.
4. Gas Stations:
If you are in need of a quick overnight stay, some towns and cities will allow you to park your campervan at gas stations or rest stops. There may be additional restrictions on the length of time you can stay at these locations. You may need to pay the guard $1 to $5 to watch over as you sleep.
5. In select lodges and hotels:
If you’re looking for a bit more comfort, some hotels and lodges offer parking facilities for campervans. It is best to call ahead and enquire about availability before checking in.
6. Close to tourist destinations such as Mara River:
During the peak wildebeest migration season in July to October, some conservancies in the Mara Triangle allow campervan parking. This is usually limited to only a few sites, so it’s best to book ahead of time for these spots to avoid disappointment.
7. Kambu Campsites:
Kambu has a few campgrounds that you can use when you rent our campervan or safari vehicles. Depending on your destination and itinerary, you can park your campervan at one of our campsites for additional convenience and comfort.
In Nairobi, we have two campsites where you can park your campervan overnight without worrying about security.
What is the best place to park your campervan?
The best place to park your campervan for the night while on a camping safari in Kenya would have to be public campgrounds situated inside National Parks or Reserves. These campgrounds will only cost you as low as $2 and they offer basic resources, plenty of space and most importantly, security.
If you’re looking for additional comfort and convenience, then private campsites or Kambu Campsites are also great options. If you need a quick overnight stay, some askaris (guards) at gas stations or rest stops will allow you to park at their locations for a small negotiated fee.
When you rent Kambu campervans and need to park in a location we don’t have campsites, we often try to get you safe parking locations along your route. This is why we have prepared ‘road trip routes’ or recommended routes for a camping safari.
Can I camp anywhere with my campervan in Kenya?
If you are in towns or cities, you need to pay for parking before parking your campervan. If it is at night, you’ll need to talk to a security guard near any location where you need to park and they may allow you to park for as low as 100 shillings. The advantage of talking with a uniformed askari about parking at a spot such as a gas station or a shop is that they’ll be there at night and will offer you security. The guard can also suggest places to park your vehicle if the place you want to park overnight isn’t safe.