Kenya — crazy roads to excellent safaris

Hey, this is a story how I wanted to celebrate my B-day somewhere not in Ukraine.

Tsavo West park — photo credits to Anya Kosareva

There is an excellent telegram channel called Veter Doit. I saw tickets to Nairobi, Kenya for around $650. Super deal, yay? And my B-Day is coming in 6 months. I wrote to my friend, and she was crazy enough to say “yes” to the idea. Finally, we spent nine awesome days in Kenya, and now I will tell you:

  • why visit Kenya (at least why I visited it)
  • How much does it cost and how to choose?
  • Where to go?
Lake Naivasha national park— photo credits to Anya Kosareva

Why visit Kenya?

I traveled a bit, and Kenya was my 24-th country. I love countries with totally different cultures that Ukrainian and European. I love when the places I go to make me think, make me shocked and amazed. This is all about Kenya. But there is also two things about this country: mount Kilimanjaro and giraffes (I madly love those Giraffes).

However, when I bought tickets and started planning the trip, I discovered awesome things about Kenya:

  • it has lots of national parks with Big 5 -the lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard, and rhinoceros
  • it has a raining period and animals migration period and you are fortunate to get at the right time (we were lucky)
  • the country is super huge
  • there is almost nothing to do in Nairobi, and this is the supercriminal city
  • Masai Mara people are living in one of the worst conditions I have ever seen, but they got used to it
  • children at Kenyan school learn English from the 1-st grade but don`t have computers
  • Kilimanjaro is amazing. Love it.
Masai Mara reserve — photo by me

How much does it cost?

Not too little and it was not a “student budget trip” as usual — I was too tired to sleep at the ground)

So:

  • return air ticket: $667, AirFrance
  • safari tour: $1530 for seven days
  • hotel in Nairobi: $60 per person
  • food/souvenirs/museums: $100

TOTAL: around $2,357

You can make it cheaper, and you can make it more expensive, how?

  • air ticket — I believe you can find it for about $500
  • safari: start from $700–800 for seven days (but the quality of lodges will below)
  • cheaper hotel in Nairobi and no taxi
  • less food and souvenirs)

So start from $1,300–1,400 for the minimum cost for nine days.

How to choose safari?

First, I tried to find safari via friends and decided to do the program on my own. Then I got lazy for the latter, and the friend`s friends had super expensive options, so I stopped by the site SafariBookings.com and stopped by several offerings and sent some requests. Finally, from all the safaris, I got three offerings. Only two were good by price and the program, and I selected the one with five parks. I send this program to the approval of an acquaintance who lived in Nairobi for two years, and she said this is a good one. But I expected nothing from the safaris (I checked the lodges before, but there were no super expectations about the places). However, the lodges were perfect, and every next one outperformed the previous one (I did not think it is possible). Finally, we have chosen RightChoiceSafari (aha).

So, my criteria for choosing the safari were:

  • program for the parks
  • price
  • lodges and their quality

I have selected the hotel in Nairobi via Booking.com.

What is in the price of the safari?

  • usually, it is a transfer from/to the airport (in case your safari is just for the time you visit Kenya)
  • accommodation with food
  • guide with the car
  • tips to the guide are not included, and it is usually no less than $10/per person per day

Where to go?

Our program was:

  • Masai Mara reserve park — where you can have an excellent safari and go to Masai Mara village
  • Lake Nakuru — one of the best parks in the world
  • Amboseli park — OMG, Kilimanjaro
  • Tsavo West park

I was soo impressed by everything. Love it and definitely will return there.

Tsavo West park — photo credits to Anya Kosareva
Lake Naivasha park and pink flamingo — photo credits to Anya Kosareva
Lake Naivasha park — photo credits to Anya Kosareva
Masai Mara reserve —photo credits to Anya Kosareva
Tsavo West park — photo credits to Anya Kosareva
Photo credits to Anya Kosareva

Passionate about IT and startups. Books lover. Made in Ukraine.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store