Types of Camping to Choose in your Kenya Safari

If you’re considering a camping safari, you might be curious about the available options and what to anticipate. Fortunately, there is a wide range of camping experiences to choose from. This comprehensive guide offers detailed information for both novice and seasoned campers contemplating a Kenyan safari adventure.

Check out our camping safari packages in Kenya

Let’s start by defining what camping is:

Camping is the act of setting up camp in a remote location for an extended period of time. It’s typically done outdoors with minimal supplies, often using tents or other shelters. The meaning of camping has evolved with the rise of glamping and car camping but the essence is that you’re spending time in nature away from civilization.

The tenet of camping is staying outdoors and it is the perfect way to immerse yourself in nature and experience natural wonders. Depending on your individual desires, camping can be a day trip or an extended experience lasting a few days or weeks.

Backpacking/Hiking Camping

This type of camping is all about finding your own way and being self-reliant. You go lightweight with just a backpack and camp in remote areas, often without roads or established campsites.

Backpacking embodies the essence of self-sufficiency, requiring meticulous preparation for a long 10-day or 3-week hike in the mountains. However, an ultralight variation of backpacking allows for a shift away from traditional camping, affording the freedom to embrace alternatives like a tarp or a bivvy bag. This opens up new possibilities while maintaining the spirit of adventure and exploration.

Pros of Backpacking:

  • You can go further and explore more of nature.
  • It encourages self-reliance, as you must carry all your gear and supplies with you.
  • You gain an appreciation for the environment while being closer to it than ever before.
  • Great way to get in shape
  • Can be done anywhere in the world

Cons of Backpacking:

  • It requires hiking long distances, which can be physically challenging.
  • You need to bring all your supplies and gear, which can be quite heavy.
  • It may take you longer to reach destinations due to the terrain.
  • Can be a bit uncomfortable sleeping in tents or other shelters without modern amenities.

Tent Camping:

Tent camping is a more traditional version of camping, where you bring a tent, sleeping bag, and other gear to your campsite. It’s ideal for those just starting out, as it can be done relatively close to home with basic supplies. You’ll need a tent and some sort of shelter (rainfly or tarp) if you’re planning on staying outdoors when it rains.

In our Kambu Mara Camp, we allow anyone to bring their own tent and camp on our campground.

Pros of Tent Camping:

  • You can easily set up your campsite in just a few minutes.
  • You can still enjoy the outdoors without having to hike too far away from civilization.
  • It’s relatively affordable, as long as you bring all your own supplies with you.
  • Equipment and tents are widely available in specialty stores or online.
  • You can bring your whole family, as tents can fit a lot of people.

Cons of Tent Camping:

  • It can be uncomfortable sleeping on the ground for multiple nights.
  • Tents require more setup and takedown compared to other camping styles.
  • It takes up more space than backpacking and other lightweight camping styles.
  • You may have to compete with wild animals for food and other resources.

Car Camping:

Car camping or #vanlife is an emerging form of camping where you use your car or RV to access remote locations and set up a campsite. This allows for extended trips with all the comforts of home, such as a bed setup, electricity, and kitchenette. Check out the details of our rental campervan to get an idea of what car camping is like.

Pros of Car Camping:

  • You can bring more supplies and amenities than backpacking/tent camping.
  • It’s easier to carry heavier items, like a cooler and other camping equipment.
  • You can enjoy greater comfort, as you have access to power sockets and other amenities.
  • You don’t need to worry about setup and takedown times, since everything is already set up for you in the campervan.

Cons of Van Camping:

  • It requires more fuel than backpacking/tent camping since your transportation is heavier.
  • You may have to pay extra fees for parking and other amenities in populated areas.
  • Comfort can lead to overindulgence, which can detract from the natural experience of camping.
  • Your mobility is limited, as you don’t have the freedom to explore more remote areas like you would with backpacking or tent camping.


Glamping is a luxurious take on traditional camping; it combines elements of luxury and nature in such a way that allows campers to enjoy the best of both worlds. In our Kambu Mara Camp, we offer custom-made luxury tents with king-sized beds and plush linens. You can enjoy all the amenities of a hotel, such as hot showers and delicious meals cooked by our private chefs.

Pros of Glamping:

  • You get to experience nature without sacrificing comfort or convenience.
  • You don’t need to worry about setup/takedown, as your glamping experience is already setup for you.
  • All the amenities of a hotel are available to you, such as hot showers and delicious meals cooked by our chefs.
  • Perfect for those who want to camp but are not confident in their camping skills yet.

Cons of Glamping:

  • It’s more expensive than traditional camping.
  • You may not be able to explore remote areas like you would with backpacking/tent camping.
  • Some amenities that come with glamping can be difficult to find in remote areas.


Overlanding is a unique type of camping, blending elements of off-roading and backcountry exploration. Instead of relying on trails or roads, overlanders use their 4WD vehicles to navigate remote terrain, taking them beyond what’s accessible by car. This allows for an incredible adventure in some of the worldโ€™s most remote locations. While it does require specialized gear and skills, overlanding can be done with any type of vehicle–from trucks to motorcycles.

Pros of Overlanding:

  • You get to explore remote areas that are inaccessible by car or foot.
  • It encourages self-reliance, as you must bring all your gear and supplies with you.
  • You gain an appreciation for the environment while being closer to it than ever before.
  • You can explore off-the-beaten-track destinations with an incredible sense of adventure and freedom.

Cons of Overlanding:

  • It requires specialized gear and knowledge, which can be expensive or difficult to acquire.
  • It may take longer to reach destinations due to the terrain.
  • You need to be prepared for any situation, as you may not have access to modern amenities or services in remote areas.
  • It can be dangerous without proper preparation and safety precautions in place.

Which type of Camping can I do in Kenya?

Glamping, tent camping, car camping and backpacking are the 4 main types of camping you can go for during your Kenya camping safari. If you are booking your safari with a tour operator, you are most likely getting glamping accommodation with some touch of luxury and convenience.

When you book your camping safari with Kambu Campers, we give you the freedom to choose the type of camping you want to do. Whether it is glamping, tent camping, car camping or backpacking; we have packages that suit your desired needs.

Car or RV camping is minimal in Kenya and Kambu is perhaps the first company to offer rental camping vehicles. We hope the market will continue to grow with more companies offering rental camping vehicles to give travelers a chance to explore Kenya’s remote places.

Backpacking and tent camping are the most popular forms of camping in Kenya. Whether you want to camp close to Nairobi or explore more secluded areas, there are several places with spectacular views that will leave you in awe. You can also join an organized safari that will give you a chance to immerse in the Kenyan culture and get an authentic experience.


Q. Where can I go camping in Kenya?

A. You can camp anywhere you choose in Kenya, but if you are looking for a secluded spot with spectacular views, then some of the best places to camp include Lake Nakuru National Park, Masai Mara National Reserve and Amboseli National Park. We have made an interactive map with more than 200 camping locations in Kenya. You can also go on our Masai Mara Camping safari.

Q. What should I bring on a camping safari?

A. There are several items that you need to bring on your camping safari. Here is a list of some essential items you need: tent, sleeping bag, air mattress, water bottle, cooking equipment and utensils, firewood, flashlights/ lamps and insect repellent. Make sure to pack enough supplies for the duration of your trip.

Q. What type of camping is best suited for families?

A. Glamping and car camping are best suited for families since they provide more comfort, convenience and amenities than backpacking/tent camping. You can bring heavier items like a cooler and other camping equipment without worrying about setup or takedown times. Families can also keep their children safe and have access to more resources in populated areas.

Happy camping! ๐Ÿ™‚

Remember, safety always comes first when camping, so make sure to check your gear before heading out and take all necessary precautions to stay safe while enjoying the outdoors. Have fun!