If you’re looking for an unforgettable outdoor adventure, consider a camping safari in Kenya. While there are many different ways to enjoy the country’s stunning scenery and diverse wildlife, camping provides a uniquely up-close and personal experience.
What is a camping safari?
A camping safari is a trip in which you camp out in Kenya’s National Parks, Reserves, or private campgrounds with minimal amenities compared to glamping accommodations. You’ll stay in tents (usually two-person dome tents or larger family/group tents) and it’s up to you to bring all your own gear including food, water, sleeping bags, and cooking equipment. You can expect basic facilities such as outhouses, showers and a campfire or barbecue at most campsites.
Should I go on a camping safari in Kenya?
A camping safari in Kenya is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts who are looking for an immersive and unique experience. You’ll have the opportunity to sleep under the stars, see wildlife up close, and explore some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country. It’s also much more affordable than a glamping safari, so it’s ideal for budget travelers.
Is a camping safari the same as a budget safari?
Yes, budget safaris usually include camping as a form of accommodation. However, budget safaris might also include other forms of accommodation such as lodges or guesthouses in addition to camping.
If you’re looking for budget safaris, you’ll find that most options on safaribookings.com have some form of cheap accommodation either public campgrounds in Kenya’s national parks or private campgrounds in conservancies or outside the parks.
A quick check revealed that there are 73 camping safaris with offers you can book on safaribookings site as shown in the snapshot below;
What do I need to bring on a camping safari?
When planning for a camping safari, you’ll need to make sure you have all the gear necessary for an unforgettable outdoor experience. Your safari operator should provide a list of what you’ll need to bring, but you’ll likely need the following items:
- -Sleeping bag and mattress
- -Clothing suitable for the weather (including rain gear)
- -Food and water
- -Cooking equipment and necessary toiletries
- -Repellents and first-aid kits
- -Torches, headlamps and spare batteries
- -Maps and guidebooks.
When packing for your camping safari, it’s important to keep weight and size in mind. You’ll likely be traveling by vehicle on rough terrain, sotry to pack as light and compactly as possible.
When you hire our campervans, you won’t need to bring any of the items above except your clothing (item #3). All the other camping gear is included in the price.
What are the best camping safaris to experience in Kenya?
Kenya is home to a diverse range of landscapes, flora and fauna, so there’s something for everyone when it comes to camping safaris.
Maasai Mara National Reserve(MMNR):
MMNR is my overall best destination for a camping safari in Kenya and several factors play a role to make Mara a great place to go on a camping safari. While it experiences short rains in December and long rains in April, the weather in the Mara is mostly hot and dry making it perfect for camping safaris.
The landscape is stunning and the wildlife is abundant – you can expect to encounter the Big 5, zebras, giraffes, hippos, and more. There are also plenty of private campsites that offer unbeatable views of the savannah.
Kenya Wildlife Service operated some well-equipped public campsites with running water and toilets and they cost under $20 for non-residents and only $2 for residents. In addition, a few conservancies in the Mara Triangle have private campsites that offer privacy but which are also considerably more expensive compared to public campsites.
Overall, I really like camping in the Mara and if you’re considering a camping safari, make sure you have a stop here.
Below are some safaris listed on safaribookings that include Maasai Mara;
- 3-Day Wilderness Joined Tour-Budget Offer – $255 per day
- 4-Day Masai Mara and Lake Nakuru Budget Safari – $855 per day
- 3-Day Masai Mara Wildebeest Migration Safari – $360 per day
- 4-Day Fantastic Masai Mara & Lake Nakuru Park Join Group – $430/day
Amboseli National Park:
My next top pick for camping safaris in Kenya is Amboseli National Park. Located right next to the Tanzania border and with views of Africa’s highest mountain, Mt Kilimanjaro, Amboseli offers a truly spectacular experience for campers.
The draw to Amboseli is the famous elephants that roam the park. In addition to elephants, you’ll also find zebras, wildebeests and other animals that make Amboseli their home.
It’s important to note that Amboseli is a dry area so it can get quite hot during the day which makes camping uncomfortable if you’re not sufficiently prepared. There are several campsites in the park ranging from public to private but all of them require a booking in advance.
Check out some packages on Safaribookings below;
- 6-Day Masai Mara-Lake Nakuru – Amboseli Adventure – $650 per day
- 6-Day Best of Kenya Maasai Mara-Lake Nakuru-Amboseli – $600/day
- 13-Day Kenya & Tanzania Budget Tour – $3000 per person
Lake Nakuru National Park:
My third recommendation for camping safaris is Lake Nakuru National Park. This park is located close to the city of Nakuru, about 2 hours away from Nairobi. It’s known for its vast flocks of birds – more than one million flamingoes and other bird species call the lake their home.
It is also a great spot to see wildlife such as lions, rhinos, giraffes, baboons, zebras and hippos. There are several campsites located around Lake Nakuru where you can stay and get up close to the animals.
What types of camping safaris are there in Kenya?
Game viewing camping safaris:
The most popular type of camping safari in Kenya is a game viewing safari. This is where you will spend your days out in the savannah and bush, on the lookout for animals that call this place their home.
With this kind of safari, you’ll be picked up or you get your vehicle in Nairobi and drive to the nearest National park or reserve such as the Mara, and camp there for the night. You can choose public campsites with some utilities or opt for private campsites that may or may not have basic utilities.
Mountain climbing camping safaris:
For those looking for a more adventurous experience, Kenya also offers mountain climbing camping safaris. This type of safari will take you to some of the highest points in Kenya and Tanzania such as Mt Kilimanjaro or Mt Kenya.
You’ll be able to enjoy breathtaking views and maybe even spot some wildlife along the way. You will be camping along the way and be provided with meals and basic amenities. This kind of safari can last from 3 days to a few weeks depending on how long you want to stay.
Below are some packages I found on safaribookings.com site;
- 7-Day Mount Kenya Camping Adventure Safari – $1487
- 8-Day Mt Kenya Climb Trekking Masai Mara Joining Safari – From $1100
- 5-Day Mount Kenya Climbing Sirimon – Chogoria Route – $800
Beach camping safaris:
For those who just want a relaxing getaway, Kenya also offers beach camping safaris. These trips take you to some of the most beautiful beaches in Kenya such as Diani and Watamu. You can choose to stay in public campsites or rent out a private beach camp where you will get basic amenities like toilets, showers, electricity and meals.
These safaris usually last 1-2 nights but if you want a longer stay, you can find packages that last up to 4 nights.
How Kambu Campers Can making your camping safari memorable, fun and exciting:
Sort out the booking for the campgrounds:
Booking the campsite can be a hassle if you’re doing it yourself. Kambu Campers services make it easy for you by taking care of all the bookings and reservations.
We take care of finding the best campgrounds, making sure there are no surprises when you arrive and ensuring that all your needs are met while on your camping safari.
Organize fun activities:
We can also plan and organize exciting activities for you to do while on safari such as horseback riding, mountain biking, kayaking, game drives and even hot air ballooning.
Provide transport to get you there:
Rather than having to worry about finding transportation, Kambu Campers can provide you with a variety of vehicles for your safari. We have 4x4s, minivans, and even buses (soon) depending on how many people are going.
You can also book our campervans equipped with all the amenities you need for your camping safari.
Provide all necessary equipment:
We provide all the necessary camping gear such as tents, sleeping bags, chairs and cooking utensils so you don’t have to worry about bringing your own.
Organize airport transfers:
We can also arrange airport transfers so that your arrival in Kenya is easy and stress-free. We’ll pick you up at the airport and drop you off at your campsite.
Provide expert guides:
Our team of experienced and knowledgeable guides will be with you throughout your safari, giving you the best advice on where to go and what to do while on safari. Our guides are also skilled in wildlife spotting so you can get the most out of your game drives.
Work out all the logistics including park entry fee payments:
We take care of all the logistical details such as booking the campsites, arranging transport and organizing activities so that you can enjoy your safari without any worries. We also handle all park entry fee payments so you don’t have to worry about those either.
Making sure you’re safe:
At Kambu Campers we take the safety of our clients seriously. Our guides are trained in first aid and we can provide you with a 24/7 emergency contact during your safari.
We also have an extensive network of contacts throughout Kenya so that if something unexpected were to happen, we would be able to help you out quickly and efficiently.
Making sure you’re comfortable:
At Kambu Campers, we understand the importance of comfort when it comes to camping. That’s why we provide high-quality camping gear and comfortable accommodations so that your safari is enjoyable and relaxing.
How our camping safari works:
Once you book your safari with us, we will take care of all the details from start to finish. We pick you up at the airport and drop you off at your campsite. From there we handle all logistics such as booking the campgrounds, arranging transport and organizing activities.
If you hire our self-drive vehicles such as the campervan, our team will provide you with detailed instructions on how to operate the vehicle and get around safely. For those that are used to driving on the right side of the road, the instructions are quite helpful.
Once you arrive at your campsite, our local guides will be there to answer any questions and make sure you have everything you need for a comfortable stay.
At the end of your safari, we will drop you off at the airport for your return flight home.
At Kambu Campers, we understand how important it is to have a safe and fun camping safari in Kenya. That’s why our team is committed to providing you with the best experience possible. We make sure all your needs are taken care of so that all you have to worry about is enjoying your trip. If you’re looking for an unforgettable experience in Kenya, book a camping safari with Kambu Campers today!
Thank You! We look forward to having you join us on your Kenyan camping Safari!
Happy and safe travels!
Kambu Campers Team.