Kenya Tours and Safaris丨10 Best & Budget Packages
Kenya, one of Africa’s top safari destinations, is home to a diverse collection of wildlife. It’s most famous for the Great Migration that takes place annually within the Rift Valley. However, there is more to this country than safaris and wildlife. Kenya is the land of the Maasai people, giving it a rich cultural heritage. It has incredible mountain ranges, geological sites containing fossils, and gorgeous coastal regions.
Many people get side-tracked, spending their time in Kenya on safari, and miss out on the country’s other natural and cultural attractions. This guide has some of the top Kenya tours and safaris to go on to ensure an unforgettable experience.
With such diverse wildlife across several protected reserves, one is spoilt for choice. It’ll be harder to choose where not to go on safari in Kenya!
Maasai Mara National Reserve
The Maasai Mara National Park makes up the northern section of the Mara-Serengeti ecosystem. This top African safari destination is best known for the great wildebeest migration which takes place annually between June and November.
The park is also home to lions, leopards, gazelle, hippo, and cheetah. There are various options to view wildlife, such as game drives, hikes, and bushwalking safaris. A unique and ideal safari in this reserve is to float above the Serengeti in a hot air balloon.
Because the park is situated on tribal land, it is also possible to take a cultural tour through the villages of the Maasai people.
Lake Nakuru National Park
Lake Nakuru is one of the most well-known soda lakes in the Great Rift Valley. During January and February, the dry-hot season, this lake becomes a pink mirage. Millions of flamingos flock to the alkaline water before moving on to other soda lakes in the area. Besides the flamingos, there are over 400 other bird species to be spotted in the surrounding bush.
The northern section of the lake is populated with hippos. Within the park are a host of different animals. Warthogs, waterbuck, rhinos, and eland are just some of the wildlife to view when taking a game drive here.
Generally, Lake Nakuru forms part of a Kenya safari package that includes other reserves such as Aberdare National Park and Lake Naivasha.
Samburu National Reserve
Although this reserve is not as well known as some of Kenya’s other national parks, it doesn’t mean that it’s not worth visiting. On the contrary, Samburu National Reserve offers one of the best safaris in Kenya.
The reserve has its own ‘Samburu Special Five’ which includes the beisa oryx, Somali ostrich, grevy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe, and long-necked gerenuk. These animals are well adapted to the dry environment found in this reserve. Lions, leopards, and elephants are some of the other game to be found here. More often than not, animals are spotted in clusters along the Ng’iro River, cooling off in the water.
Tsavo National Park
One of the oldest parks in Kenya, Tsavo still remains largely undeveloped in comparison to other Kenyan reserves. This ruggedness only contributes to its authentic safari experience. A railway track divides the park into Tsavo East and West. Despite these sections sitting adjacent to one another, the terrain couldn’t be more different.
Tsavo East remains one of Kenya’s most sizable national parks. It’s renowned for its resident herd of elephants who enjoy powdering themselves in the fine, rusty-red earth of the reserve. Other wildlife includes hartebeest, gazelle, and warthog. Tsavo East also contains the longest lava flow in the world! The Yatta Plateau is around 185 miles (300km) in length and attracts various flocks of migrating birds. A one-day safari trip here generally costs $200-$230 per person.
Then there is Tsavo West with its undulating, wooded topography. This terrain makes it far harder to spot even bigger game such as elephants, giraffes, and buffalo. So, Kenya safari tours to this reserve are better suited to game viewers with a well-trained eye.
There are also 2-3 day safari trips that cover both parks. These generally cost around $620 to $660 per person.
Amboseli National Reserve
When on safari in this park, one will not only have the opportunity to view game but also Mount Kilimanjaro. This smaller reserve is situated on the border of Tanzania and is a great choice for those going on their first safari in Kenya. This is because the park’s smaller size makes it far easier to spot wildlife.
Although game viewers may not be able to see all of the Big Five, they will be able to see animals such as the bat-eared fox, giraffe, non-migrating wildebeest, zebra, and spotted hyena.
While in the reserve, one can also visit the baboon research center where scientists attempt to understand more about these primates.
A unique excursion is that of the Amboseli horseback safaris. These safari trips span around 11 days and cost, on average, just over $8000 per person.
Kenya Budget Safari Packages
Instead of doing separate safari trips in Kenya’s various reserves, one can opt for a safari package. These range in duration, the number of reserves visited, and price, so there are packages that cater to everyone’s needs.
- There are 10-day safari packages, covering about seven parks, which cost $4100 to $5000 per person.
- This 6-day safari package costs between $2600 – $2700 per person. The trip takes safari-goers to Maasai Mara, Lake Nakuru, and Amboseli Reserve.
- Other packages that are 2 or 3 days in length can cost anywhere from $300 to $900 per person. This depends on how luxurious the accommodation is as well as the number of reserves that will be visited during the safari trip.
Kenya’s position on the African continent has gifted it with incredible wildlife, reserves, and a gorgeous coastal region. These Kenya tours will highlight some of the other adventures to be had in this African country.
Hiking Mount Kenya
Enjoy spectacular scenery while hiking up Africa’s second-highest mountain. Along the hike are waterfalls, views of Lake Ellis, and plenty of wildlife.
There are one-day guided trips that cost about $320 and take hikers up to a meteorological station. Then there are five-day excursions where a tour guide will take hiking groups to the mountain’s summit. This costs $1100 to $1300 per person.
The Island of Lamu
This ancient island town is one of the oldest preservations of Swahili settlements. Lamu can only be reached by ferry and once on the island, the only modes of transport are donkeys or your own two feet.
In Lamu, there are tours that will educate tourists about the city’s heritage while guiding them down the winding streets of Lamu’s Old Town to the Port of Lamu. Dhow safari tours allow visitors to discover the Indian Ocean that encompasses the island.
A full-day tour of this white and blue coastal city includes, amongst other attractions, the Mombasa Old Town. This ancient town holds a majority of the city’s heritage, as well as Fort Jesus, a 16th-century Portuguese Fort.
Day tours from Mombasa include:
- Day trips to Watamu Marine National Park where visitors can have a private tour of the Gede Ruins.
- Diani Beach – tourists can have a scenic tour from the air, travel to Kisite Mpunguti Marine Park and go on a scuba safari or take a boat tour to Wasini Island.
Hells Gate National Park
This park is filled with gorgeous caves and volcanoes. It was aptly named “Hell’s Gate” due to the powerful geothermal activity that takes place there.
It’s close proximity to Nairobi makes it an ideal day trip. Hell’s Gate day tours include nature education, walks, wildlife viewing as well as the options of going hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing.
General entry for non-residents into Hell’s Gate costs $20 for adults and $15 for kids.
Lake Turkana National Park
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is made up of three parts, namely Sibiloi National Park, the South Island, and Central Island National Parks. It’s the site of many palaeontological findings such as Homo Habilis and Erectus.
Turkana Lake is commonly referred to as the Jade Sea due to the blue-green hue of its water. It’s home to numerous crocodiles, hippos, and bird colonies.
The entrance into the park costs $25 for adults and $15 for children. Many safari packages also include Lake Turkana as a stopping point.
Thinking of an African safari in Kenya?
This guide is the perfect starting point for planning an African safari in Kenya. From spotting the Big 5 to discovering Kenya’s other natural and cultural wonders, these safaris and tours will ensure the most memorable and unique experience. Thinking of going on safari in Kenya? Read this article on the best time to visit Africa.