Camping Safari in Kenya
Kenya as a whole does not have a huge amount of campsites, but the locations that you can camp at are truly out of this world and for anyone who enjoys camping, a camping safari holiday in Kenya is a must. In this Online Kenya Camping guide, I have placed what I think to be the best place to go camping in Kenya based on places I have been an the research I have done, I hope it helps you find what you are looking for.
Kenya Camping Holidays, what's available?
In Kenya there are basically two types of campsites, luxury ones inside national parks and luxury private campsites, these camps have almost permanent tents and come complete with en-suite toilets and showers with hot and cold water. Then you get budget (real) camping where you bring your own tent and sometimes all your own equipment, most of these campsites tend be pretty basic and you have to be very self sufficient with the only thing being provided is a shower (mostly hot), a long drop for a toilet and wood for the fire. Personally I love camping like this as you really do feel like you are part of the environment that you are in, but roughing it this much is not to everyone's tastes.
Within the budget (real) camping group there are private campsites and national campsites, which you find in some reserves. The private campsites tend to have better facilities and you often even get the luxury of a flush toilet! They also often have some sort of a resturant so being totally self-sufficient is not mandatory. You can also often hire tents at the private versions thus releasing you from either having to carry your tent from home or hiring one in Nairobi.
Rather oddly, the more basic national park campsites also tend to be more expensive than the private ones costing around US$ 7 - 10 per night, and don't forget you will have to pay for the park entry fees.
Camping in the Masai Mara | cheap camping package holidays in Kenya
There are actually a few places to camp in the Mara, but the only ones I know of are towards the more luxury end of the market where the tents are more permanent than transportable, no need to bring your own here. For a more budget option and if you want to bring your own tent, there are a few campsites outside the Talek Gate. A few that caught my eye:
New Crocodile Campsite
The New Crocodile Campsite is on the banks of the Talek River, just outside Talek Gate is managed by a guy called "Edward Lions" who says that he has worked on the BBC's Big Cat Diary
It costs around 250 Kshs per person per day and you can get firewood for 300 Kshs, 300 Kshs for a watchman per day and night he is an askari (Maasai warrior armed with spear and cudgel) and is there to guard against any unwelcome intruders, be they human or animal! You can also ask for goat or cow meat for a nyama choma. There is a Hot shower and a long drop toilet available.
Edward is also available as a guide if you don't feel like taking on the Mara alone and he charges about 750 Kshs for the morning and 1,500 Kshs for a full day (6am-6pm)
Contact: Edward Nailekae, Crocodile Campsite, P.O. Box 530, Narok. Tel: 254-050-22484
The Riverside campsite is opposite to the New Crocodile Campsite a little further along the Talek river and one of the most established. It is run by the Maasai and at the time of writing, a guy called Nixon. The campsite has also a permanent shelter which is very useful during the rainy season. Hot shower and long drop toilet available.
Here are some cheap camping package holidays in Kenya which you can book online.
Kicheche Camp Masai Mara
This campsite has a relaxed and laid back feel to it and you can be sure that it will never get too overcrowded as they limit the number of guests to 21. The campsite is located in the northern Koiyaki Lemek region of the Masai Mara. Kicheche camp be classed as luxury camping, as each tent has an en-suite bathroom complete with a flushing toilet. The tents also have electricity. The campsite is unfenced, so you never know what you'll find outside your tent in the morning.
The food is excellent and they have a full time cook with the eating done al-fresco. There is also a small fully stocked bar, perfect for those sundowners. A bonus is laundry is included in the rate, something you don't find very often in campsites in Europe. There is no mains electricity, although there are lights in your tent, the power being very ecologically sustained through solar power.
Guided walks can be organised from the campsite and you will travel with an armed ranger and costs around US$20
Base Camp Explorer
The Base Camp Explorer in the Masai Mara is located on the banks of the Talek river near the Talek entrance gate. Again it will never feel to overcrowded as it is limited to only 15 tents. Again it is extremely ecologically friendly and Winner of the Esok Eco warrior Award 2005, as both hot water and electricity are generated using solar panels. Each tent comes with a bed, your very own wooden bathroom with a shower and a private verandah complete with a hammock. They also have a Children’s Club.
The Main building has a lounge, bar, and the aptly named Migration Restaurant and above is a viewing platform which overlooks the Talek river.
From the camp you can organise both walking and game drive safaris, a local community visit, participate in an eco project like reforestation or just enjoy some peace and relaxation.
Self Drive Holiday
If you are the kind of person who like to do things when and where want, without having to keep to schedules. Taking a hire car and traveling around Kenya may be just your kind of Holiday >> DIY Safari
The Masai Mara National
One of the most famous national parks in Africa and Truly one of the greatest. Made famous by the annual Wildebeest migration, but become great for many other reasons, for an in depth guide to the masai mara follow this link >> Masai Mara
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After your camera, a good pair of binoculars is crucial in getting the most out of your Safari Holiday. So what is a good pair of binoculars? Here is my binocular guide and recommendations >> Binocular Reviews
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