For many travellers, driving through the savannah in an open jeep and admiring the Big Five in their natural habitat is one of their dreams. Safaris can be very expensive, but with a little research and preparation, it is quite possible to go on a budget safari in Kenya. Preparing for a safari includes applying for a Kenya visa.
Safari originated in Kenya
The concept of safaris originated in Kenya, thanks to the 25,000 different animal species that live in the country. As a result, the tourism and safari industry in Kenya is highly developed, which means that there are many options to choose from when it comes to accommodation and transport. The tours and drivers have very competitive prices. In addition, Kenya has a generally stable political background and is considered one of the safest countries in Africa for tourists. It is now one of the most popular destinations for a safari.
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis in mid-March 2020, there has been a "baby boom" among the elephants in Amboseli National Park: no fewer than 140 baby elephants have been born. This is partly due to the absence of tourists because of the coronavirus, but also to the large amount of rainfall, which meant that the elephants had more food available.
Safari on a budget
A safari is never cheap; even at its cheapest, a safari will certainly cost much more than an average holiday in Africa. However, it is a priceless experience.
By arranging the accommodation and transportation yourself instead of booking an organised tour, you can keep the costs in check. There are dozens of campsites around Masai Mara, Kenya's most popular national park. The cheapest campsites are located outside the park and cost an average of 30 USD per night (or 15 USD if you have your own tent). The best option is to travel there on your own with a shared taxi ("matutu") for only 10 USD. Take note that these campsites are often fully booked.
All campsites offer “game drives”, which do not need to be booked in advance. For about 170 USD, you can rent a jeep that you can share with up to 6 people. This price includes a driver, a guide and a 4x4 jeep.
There are no supermarkets in and around the park and a meal at one of the cheapest campsites can easily cost 15 USD. If you are on a tight budget and want to save on costs, it is advisable to bring your own food on safari. You can already go on a safari in Kenya for a budget of between 180 and 250 USD per person.
Visa application for a safari in Kenya
The cost of the visa for Kenya is £74.95 per person. The visa can easily be applied for online, and the cost of the e-visa Kenya is lower compared to applying for the visa at the embassy. All consular fees, service charges and taxes are included; there is no administration fee, transaction fee or any other additional cost. Children up to and including 15 years old only need their own passport and do not need to apply for a visa if they travel together with their parents; families thus save a large part of the visa fee. The visa is normally granted after about a week and sent by e-mail.