How Long to go on a Safari in Kenya to Maximize the Adventure?

Part of adequately preparing for a camping or regular safari is planning the details of the trip and the number of days you will be spending on your safari.

What is a Safari?

A safari is a long journey, usually on foot or by vehicle, to observe or hunt wildlife in East and Southern Africa. Generally, a safari vacation lasts between 8-14 days and involves game drives, visits to national parks and game reserves, camping and sometimes cultural activities.

Factors that impact the number of days to go on a Kenyan Safari

The number of days to spend on a safari is determined by several factors.

Availability:

The first factor is the time you have available for your safari. If you have only a short period such as 2 days, it may not be enough time to see all that Kenya has to offer and may limit the amount of time you can spend in each reserve or park.

Budget:

Your budget will play an important role in deciding the number of days to plan for your safari. A longer trip may be more expensive than a shorter one, so budget accordingly. Camping safaris are usually less costly but involve spending more time outdoors and using more resources such as tents and camping equipment.

Type of Safari:

The type of safari you choose can influence the number of days to plan for your trip. A regular safari typically involves game drives, cultural activities, and visits to national parks and reserves while a camping safari may involve additional activities such as hiking or mountain biking.

Time of year:

The time of year you travel to Kenya affects the number of days for your safari as different seasons bring different wildlife viewing opportunities. For example, during the dry season (June – October), animals tend to congregate around waterholes making it easier to see them. During the wet season (November – May), animals disperse more and are harder to spot. You may need to spend more days trying your luck sightseeing if you go on a safari during the low season.

Animal sightings:

Kenya has some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities in Africa. However, it’s impossible to predict when animals will be out and about, so you may need to spend more time waiting and watching for them.

The flexibility of your travel package:

Some packages are more flexible than others and allow for adjustments along the way, while some are rigid in their plans.

What is the ideal number of days to go on a Safari?

To get your money’s worth and to maximize the possibility of seeing all the Big 5 that Kenya is popular for, the ideal number of days to go for a safari experience ranges from 7 – 15 days. However, because every traveler is different, this may differ depending on each individual’s needs.

I found other experts recommending 2 weeks for a wholesome, well-rounded experience but I believe 7 days is actually enough. If you visit some Parks or Reserves such as Maasai Mara with high concentration of animals, you may be able to see all the Big 5 in 3 days.

So, is 7 days or 2 weeks too long?

The decision on what’s too long or too short for a safari is purely up to the traveler. There’s no single answer that will fit everyone. If you only have 7 days or just 1 week, then a trip of that length can still be rewarding and enjoyable. A 7-day safari will enable you to travel to at least 4 Parks, spending at least 2 or 3 days in one Park. I like this option as it gives a good feel for the flora and fauna of Kenya.

If you have 2 weeks, then your itinerary can be stretched a bit further in order to explore more reserves/parks or to spend longer in one particular park. This will give you more time for wildlife viewing and photographing animals. Two weeks also gives you more time for extra activities such as visiting a local community, hot air balloon rides, or cultural activities.

To lengthen your stay, I recommend adding activities to your camping/regular safari such as, spending the night in a tree hotel, or traveling to an exotic destination such as Lamu.

How long is a safari?

The length of your safari will depend on the type of safari, duration, budget and other factors. However, in general, a typical safari can be from 3 to 14 days.

You have the flexibility to decide on the number of days to go on the safari and the type of activities you want to do during your stay in Kenya. Just make sure that you plan ahead and keep the budget in mind.

Once you decide on the perfect number of days for your safari, it’s time to start planning out your itinerary and booking additional services such as transport, accommodation, food and drinks.

How long to on a safari?

Some top-rated safari packages last for an average of seven to ten nights, which leaves most travelers 11-12 nights total in Africa when including travel time. It is possible to take a safari for longer or shorter than this, but this is the average amount of time travelers spend on safaris.

According to some travel bloggers, you need a minimum of five days in order to have a full African Safari experience, beginning from the time you leave for your trip until the time you return home. This takes into consideration traveling from the airport to your safari destination and back, as well as going from the city to the national park. It also allows for some downtime so that you can rest.

5-day itineraries are ideal for travelers who are on a budget and want to experience the safari in a shorter amount of time, while 10-days+ itineraries are best suited for those who have more time to spend and want to explore several different parks.

How much with a Kenya Safari cost me?

The cost of an African safari depends on the type of experience you’re looking for. A budget-friendly safari averages $150 per night, while a mid-range option costs $350 and luxury experiences start at $750. If you’re looking for an ultra-luxurious safari, be prepared to spend upwards of $1,500 per night!

How long it takes to do different activities during a Kenyan Safari:

Game Drive (4 to 8 hours):

The game drive involves driving through the park in search of wildlife. It usually takes between 4 and 8 hours, depending on the type of safari you are taking. If you anticipate doing single drives daily, you’ll need up to 10 days to get a full experience.

Walking Safaris (3 to 4 hours):

The walking safari is an exciting and immersive way to get up close with nature. It takes around 3 to 4 hours, depending on the type of terrain you are trekking through and your own fitness level. It’s recommended that you have at least five days to dedicate to walking safaris in order to fully experience all of the different areas.

Balloon Safaris (2 hours):

A hot air balloon safari is the most luxurious way to explore Kenya’s natural beauty from a bird’s eye view. The flight itself lasts roughly an hour, but you should allow for a half day for the preparation, travel, and return.

FAQs

Q: How many days should I spend on a Kenya Safari?

A: The decision on how may days you should spend on a safari depends entirely on what type of experience you’re looking for, your budget and the amount of time you have to spare. Generally speaking, 5-7 days is enough time to get an overview of the country and its wildlife, while longer itineraries give you a chance to visit several different parks and have more time for activities.

Q: What’s the average cost of a Kenya Safari?

A: A budget-friendly camping safari averages $150 per night, while a mid-range option costs $350 and luxury experiences start at $750. If you’re looking for an ultra-luxurious safari, be prepared to spend upwards of $1,500 per night!

Q: What type of activities can I do on a Safari?

A: Activities that can be included in a Kenyan Safari include game drives, bush walks, hot air balloon rides, visiting local communities and cultural activities. Many safari packages include some combination of these experiences.

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