If you want the most memorable and perhaps an experience with the utmost adventure, then you should definitely consider safari camping in Kenya with Kambu’s camper vehicles – campervans and SUV campers.
We pride ourselves on being the only registered tour operator in Kenya that has successfully converted vans and SUVs specifically designed for safari camping in Kenya, allowing you to take your experience beyond the boundaries of a traditional campsite.
You can choose from long-base campervans converted from 14-seater vans – Toyota Hiace models and SUVs including a Landcruiser and a Ford Escape. All the converted campervans are 4WD.
What is a camper van?
A camper van is a vehicle that has been converted into a mobile home – it includes all the comforts of home, like beds, kitchen facilities, running water and electricity. As well as providing great comfort while traveling between safari parks in Kenya, these vans also provide a great way to explore the wilds of Africa at your own pace.
In Kenya, there are no fully-assembled campervans that you can purchase from a motor vehicle dealer the way you could in other countries such as the UK or Iceland. If you want a camping van to use, you’ll need to first purchase a long-base van and then go through the process of converting the vehicle into a camper van.
We have done the hard part of converting vans into livable mobile spaces for you to enjoy during your safari.
Our aim is to offer you exactly what you need to make your safari camping experience as enjoyable and stress-free as possible. We are the first company to convert a Toyota Hiace van into a livable space, not just a vehicle to transport you from one destination to the next.
Our Converted Campervans for Safari Camping in Kenya offer a number of benefits and features that will make your journey much more comfortable:
• Separate kitchen area with all the necessary cooking equipment;
• Spacious interior with plenty of storage space;
• Water tank and pumping system so you can enjoy running water;
• 12V battery for powering electric devices such as lamps and phone chargers;
• Air conditioning to keep the interior cool;
We also provide a range of optional extras including solar power, Wifi, an electric coolbox, and an awning.
About our converted Vehicles:
Before designing our first campervan model, we watched several Youtube videos of van conversions and reached out to several tour operators.
We were lucky to come across eastafricavanlife, a couple that converted a Hiace Matatu in Nairobi and are now traversing East Africa in the van.
From our research, they are the first to design and deliver a complete campervan in East Africa. They were very helpful when we started looking for suppliers of different items we needed to convert our SUVs and vans into campervans.
The most common means of public transport in Kenya is by use of 14-seater vans Commonly referred to as ‘matatus’.
Matatus are hardy, robust and can of course be modified. And this is exactly what Kambu Campers have done!
Alongside is an image of typical matatus.
Check out the image below picnicking while on a campervan safari;
The stack of stuff in the back of the top carriage panel is a 130-liter container of water. You’ll have access to 200 liters on Kambu’s camping vehicles.
The Instagram image below shows board games and drawers in a campervan similar to Kambu’s vans. After removing the backseats, we utilized the space for storage by installing a compact drawer that you can easily pull and access.
Check out the image below showing the kitchenette built to fit the space. Kambu camper vehicles use Koko gas cookers with two cooking platforms and with an additional backup mini tank. The regular 1-liter tanks can last for 14 days but prefer to have a backup in case of extended trips. Unlike eastafricavanlife, our vans use smaller gas tanks that helped us save on space and have apportioned the space we saved using smaller gas tanks for suitcases.
Our Campervans are getting converted now
We converted our first van before the Christmas Holidays and expect it to be ready for anyone to rent from mid-January 2023. The process has involved several steps to ensure that the vehicle meets all necessary safety requirements.
First, we removed the 9-seater bench and replaced it with an insulated wall panel to protect you from any outside noise. We then fitted out the interior of the van with a bed and two foldable chairs for seating. We installed a kitchen area with all you need for cooking, a water tank and pumping system, 12V battery and air conditioning.
The exterior has been given a facelift with a fresh paint job. And, of course, it’s fitted with all the necessary safety equipment required by law.
Our converted campervans for Safari Camping in Kenya provide you with the comforts of home at a fraction of the cost. They offer the perfect solution for exploring Kenya’s parks, beaches and other attractions in comfort and safety.
The process includes of converting our van included these steps;
1. We reinforce the suspension & replace the brakes
2. Refurbish and repaint the exterior
3. Add curtains to plain-old car windows
4. Fit cupboards, a sink, a kitchenette/cooker & fridge underneath the bed
5. Add folding chairs & table
6. Design and install the bed and fitted it with a mattress and bedding
7. Fit a roof rack that can pop up and down, allowing you to sleep inside or on the roof
8. Add a solar panel and inverter
Borrowing from other designs in similar tropical climates, Kambu Campers engaged more than five people to discuss different suitable design models. After a rigorous process that involved close supervision by experts with advanced knowledge of vehicle camping models, we finally settled on a design that we’ll use for our vans and SUVs.
We anticipate tweaking the design to fit both van and SUV-vehicle models. We are in the process of stripping out all unnecessary fixtures and fittings, retaining the stylish shape of the vehicle, and converting it into a functional living space.
How do Kambu Campers Camper van rentals work?
At Kambu Campers, we make renting a campervan for Safari Camping in Kenya easy. All you have to do is select the vehicle of your choice from our selection of vehicles and fill out an online application form.
You can choose the van from the car option on the booking menu and then select the days you want to go on your self-drive campervan safari. We also have add-ons such as Wifi, a cooler box and an awning which you can add to your booking. We may also provide additional specific items that you think you will need if you communicate in advance.
We require that you be at least 21 years old and have a valid driving license of any country. Kenya allows foreigners visiting Kenya to drive their vehicles for 90 days without any further documentation.
We rely on a third-party booking platform called Pesapal that processes payments securely.
Once you book, we will confirm the reservation within 24 hours. And when it’s time to start your vacation, our experienced staff will be there to help you get out on the road with all the necessary items and information to make sure that your safari is an unforgettable experience.
Once the reservation is confirmed, you will receive info on the exact pickup and drop-off location and times as well as any other details related to the rental. We will also provide you with all the necessary information about how to drive and look after our vehicles while on your self-drive safari.
We may require that you put down a deposit if you do not have a credit card that we can use. When you return the van, we will refund the deposit if everything is in order.
Booking a Camper van in Kenya:
Once you’ve chosen the campervan of your choice, it is time to plan and book your Kenya Safari camping adventure. We suggest that you use our website to find all the necessary information about each vehicle such as price, features, rental period and availability. You can also check out our FAQs page if there’s anything you need to know.
Utilize our advanced camp finder to discover ideal campsites for self-driven campervans in Kenya. After selecting the perfect spots to stay at, book your van and start planning out your journey on the road!
When you’ve decided on the van you want, and how long your rental will be for, fill out the booking form with all the necessary details such as name, contact info and payment information. We accept payments using all major credit cards or a bank transfer.
Once the booking is confirmed and you’ve paid the deposit, we will send an email with all the necessary information regarding when and where to pick up and drop off your vehicle as well as any additional details about the rental.
For some people, we suggest that you give yourself a couple of days to get familiar with the vehicle before starting of on your safari so that you can learn how to use all the features to ensure a comfortable and safe journey.
You can design your own itinerary or hire one of our experienced tour guides who will be happy to help you plan the perfect safari.
We also offer special discounts if you are looking to travel with us for a longer period of time.
2 Types of Available Camping Vehicles You can Choose From:
Toyota Hiace – Our preferred long-base Van
We picked the 4WD Toyota Hiace with 3000 ccs for its reliable and spacious size. It is a 4×4 diesel vehicle that has five seats, as well as enough space to fit two double beds and all your camping equipment.
Below is an image of a Toyota Hiace, our preferred model of vans to convert into campervans;
How the interior looks like:
The interior of our camping vans has been designed with plenty of storage, a foldable double bed, and a kitchenette. There is also a fridge freezer to keep your food and drinks cold while you are on the move. Additionally, we provide blackout curtains in order to ensure privacy and reduce external light during the night.
You’ll notice that we made sure to save space to give you the most comfortable camping experience possible.
Converted Ford Escape:
We have also converted a Ford Escape (2010) SUV into a sleeper campervan with a kitchenette fitted into the drawers and spacious storage space underneath the bed to put the suitcase. Please check back soon for more pics of the conversion and the converted campervan.
You can rent Ford Escape for $100 per day for a self-drive safari or pay an additional $40 per day to get a driver. If you would rather rent a self-drive 4WD safari vehicle with a pop-up roof, you can also do that by booking on our website.
The space you’ll have on Ford Escape to store your stuff is considerably smaller compared to what you get with converted Hiace vans. If you are carrying a lot of luggage during your safari, make sure to indicate that so you’re booked with a Hiace van with a lot more storage.
Converted Hiace vans are, however, more expensive compared to SUV campervans as they have a lot more storage and utilities such as an advanced sound system.
The exterior of your campervan
We have made sure that the exterior of our vehicles is as impressive as the interiors. With a spare wheel and winch mounted on the back of the van, you can be sure that you are prepared for any off-road conditions. We also added roof racks that come in handy when you’re packing up your camping equipment.
Specs of our campervans for Rent
- 4-Wheel Drive: Yes
- Engine: 2.4L D-4D diesel
- Fuel Economy (mpg): 34 mpg
- Maximum Speed: 80km/hr in line with Speed limit set by the Kenya National Transport and Safety Authority
- Length x Width x Height: 5,100mm (16ft 9ins) x 1,700mm (5ft 7ins) x 1,950mm (6ft 5ins)
Our converted safari camping vans are extremely reliable, they are comfortable and spacious without being too large and cumbersome. They have been designed with reliability in mind yet still maintain an aesthetic appeal while providing all the necessities needed for a comfortable living while on safari.
Whether you’re planning a week-long safari, or a weekend camping trip – our converted campervans are the perfect way to experience Kenya and go beyond the boundaries of traditional campsites. With Kambu Campers, you can trust that your adventure will be one to remember!
What to expect camping with our campervan:
Campervans do not have showers and toilets fitted:
The van does not have a toilet fitted, which means you will need to plan ahead and make use of public restrooms or campsite facilities. If you book a safari with us, we ensure that you’ll be in campsites with toilet and shower facilities.
You can use public restrooms when traveling from one destination to another and with many commercial centers along most of our routes, you’ll have access to restrooms when necessary.
Kenya’s infrastructure is good but the Parks have unpaved roads and some can be quite rough. If you are planning on going off-road, then you want to make sure that you get a 4-wheel drive campervan that is equipped with the necessary tools to get through those conditions.
Our campervans come standard with a 4×4 diesel engine, reinforced suspension, replacement brakes and winches so you can safely navigate the Kenyan terrain.
Cost of Hiring our Campervans
At Kambu Campers, we make sure to provide the best value for money. Our campervans are priced competitively and come with all the necessary items required for a comfortable camping experience in Kenya.
Our aim is to offer better prices than those you can get independently by booking accommodation and transport using other services.
Depending on the season, our campervans are available for as low as $200 during Jan – May season and as low as $300 during peak seasons in June to October.
What our fee includes;
- Driver-provided or self-drive option
- Includes full camping package including bedding, kitchen utensils, cutlery, etc.
- Cleaning before and after the trip.
- Pop-up roof to be able to view animals
- Easy to book online with 24-hour customer service support
Advantages of Self-drive camping vans – 5 key benefits:
1. More freedom and flexibility – When you’re driving your own campervan, you have the power to choose where you want to go and how long you stay.
2. Cost savings – With a self-drive camping safari in Kenya, you can save on accommodation costs by sleeping in the van or pitching a tent in a campsite.
3. Quality time with friends and family – Self-driving camping safaris are great for creating lasting memories with your loved ones by disconnecting from your daily lives and immersing yourself in nature.
4. Unique experiences – With a campervan, you can access remote places that most other tourists would not be able to get to.
5. Safety – When you’re self-driving, you don’t have to worry about other people or animals coming into contact with your vehicle as security is taken care of for you. Unlike tents pitched on the ground, our campervans provide you with a secure and private living space for the duration of your safari.
Campervans vs RV Rental in Kenya:
A search for RVs for hire in Kenya revealed that there are virtually no RVs to rent in Kenya. No company is currently offering RV rental services.
The other closest thing you can rent is a campervan which is smaller but has the advantage of being affordable, consumers less fuel and offer more compact sleeping space.
Our campervans have some similarities with RVs such as the pop-up roof, which allows you to view animals without leaving the safety of your vehicle.
Campervans are also lightweight and can easily fit on small roads, allowing access to remote villages and wilderness areas.
You can also opt for a roof-tent vehicle which is a combination of an off-road vehicle and a roof tent similar to the one below;
It is affordable, comfortable, and perfect for adventurers who want to explore Kenya in luxury.
Kambu Campers offers unbeatable prices on these options and you can book online or contact us for more information.
Are there Campervans for Sale in Kenya?
Unlike other countries with a robust market for players to design and convert regular vans into campervans, the Kenyan campervan market is still in its nascent stages. If you want to get a campervan in Kenya, you’ll have to hire an expert, get architectural drawings of the interiors from conversion companies abroad, and top-class carpenter to execute the vision.
You are unlikely to get a completely assembled campervan with a fitted bed and kitchenette. You’ll have to do the conversion yourself which could cost you upwards of $20,000.
Tips when using a campervan for a safari:
1. Start with a list of items you need and research the best options available
2. Invest in protection measures such as fire extinguishers, bear spray, first-aid kits, etc. You won’t need to do this as we have fitted our vans with these items.
3. Make sure your campervan is reliable and safe to drive in different terrains. Kambu campervans are 4×4.
Make sure you have the right camping supplies such as tents, sleeping bags and utensils
5. Pack for your trip accordingly. It’s a good idea to take plenty of snacks and drinks that don’t require refrigeration
6. Check out the campsites in advance – Kambu campers offers easy online booking of campsites and other safari facilities
7. Make sure you have the right insurance policy in place – Kambu Campers provides comprehensive policies that cover damages to vehicles, personal injury, etc.
8. Have a plan for emergency situations- like getting a flat tire or having car trouble on the road
3 tips when getting & using a rental Campervan:
- Plan your route – Research beforehand to find the best routes and roads for your campervan. This will help you avoid bad roads that could cause damage to your vehicle. We provide camping support services that will assist you to get acquainted with the country. Familiarize yourself with the basics of the country’s geography before the trip and when you meet our team, we’ll hand you physical maps to use. Our vehicles are also fitted with GPS and you’ll have on-call support to guide you with any issue you experience.
- Fill up your tanks – Take the time to fill up your tanks before you leave. You don’t want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere without any fuel. If you are driving into a large Reserve such as the Mara, the drive within the Reserve could be as long as 200 miles and it is important that your fuel tank is filled when getting admission to the Park.
- Remember your items – Make a list of all the essentials you will need while camping and make sure they are packed in advance. When you book a Safari with us, we’ll guide you on all you need to bring. You may not need to bring some items such as the First-Aid kit or bedding as our campervans come with them.
Are there motorhomes in Kenya?
Motorhomes are relatively rare in Kenya and you’ll be hard-pressed to find one. However, Kambu Campers offers alternative campervan rental services that allow you to explore the country without worrying about renting a car or finding accommodation in remote areas. Our campervans come equipped with all the necessary amenities such as kitchenettes and beds, so you can enjoy your journey without worrying about the logistics.
Are there campgrounds in Kenya?
Yes, Kenya has several stunning camping spots located inside or outside/near National Parks and National Reserves. You can choose to camp on KWS-operated campgrounds or opt for private campgrounds located in conservancies or just outside the Parks. When you hire our vehicles, we will work with you to find the best spot for your camping needs in the circuit you choose. The cost of KWS-operated campgrounds cost as low as $2 (about Kes. 220) per night while Private campgrounds operated by some conservancies can cost upwards of $300 per night. Note that most private campgrounds located within conservancies such as the Mara require you to make a refundable deposit as high as $500.
Check out our page with an interactive map showing all the campsites in Kenya
Where can I park my campervan in Kenya?
You can park your campervan at any designated campsite or on the side of the road. However, keep in mind that certain areas like national parks require you to have a KWS permit and make a refundable deposit when parking within the Park’s boundaries. A review of parking regulations by the local governments that impose parking fees revealed that you won’t be charged to park your campervan anywhere after 6 pm. Before this time, daily parking fees may apply depending on the region. We provide full support to our customers and will assist you to find parking spots, get KWS permits, or pay any dues required.
Read this post with 7 places you can park your rental campervan.
Where to shower when using a campervan in Kenya?
Most of the public campgrounds in Kenya offer bathroom facilities with hot water and showers. Some private campsites may not have shower services so it is important to check beforehand if you need that service. We also provide a mobile showering setup with our campervans, so you won’t be left without a way to take care of your hygiene.