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Planning a 1 wk solo trip to Kenya, no idea where to start!

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Planning a 1 wk solo trip to Kenya, no idea where to start!

Hey folks,

I'm looking into doing a trip to Kenya but not quite sure what sorts of things there are to do and where! I understand that a Safari would certainly have to be included but I'm wondering what else I should do for a whole week. I usually spend about 4 days per location and travel around quite a bit once I get overseas (I'm from the US--hard to get away), but I have the rest of my trip planned except for a week and I thought Kenya would be a good place to see. I get kind of bored doing the same things over and over so doing just trekking and safaris would get tiresome for me after a while. I like doing adventure things (Have gone kayaking, white water rafting, caving, etc. but am open to a lot of things), culture, and am not squeemish in the slightest (except for a bit of car sickness on super windy/bumpy roads going fast). I'm a 26 y/o solo female traveler with a around a total of 2 months in SEAsia and Europe travel experience but almost always with others. I've only had 1 solo week before but was CouchSurfing. I can afford around $100USD/day but would much prefer to spend less...

What are your suggestions? Any experiences/travel blogs I should check out?

Thanks so much!

posts: 43
reviews: 3
1. Re: Planning a 1 wk solo trip to Kenya, no idea where to start!


its good to do a safari when you arrive ,visit parks like masai mara lake nakuru and lake nakuru.you will be able to see a lot of animals and you can see a good scenary of the great rift valley and mount kilimanjaro when you are in amboseli.if yuo like you can also proceed to mombasa for the beach holiday.thanks in advance.

Nairobi, Kenya
Destination Expert
for Nairobi, Kenya
posts: 2,677
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2. Re: Planning a 1 wk solo trip to Kenya, no idea where to start!

How about combining a safari with beach holiday ?

Head off to either Watamu or Malindi by luxury bus from NBO, then book a 2N/3D safari to Tsavo thro' a local operator.

posts: 24
3. Re: Planning a 1 wk solo trip to Kenya, no idea where to start!

may be hire a guide and travel at your own pace, just my thoughts! And this mean you might not be able to visit some premier parks since in most parks like Lake Nakuru, Amboseli, Maasai Mara, the park entry fee alone is about $80 per day.

posts: 13,337
4. Re: Planning a 1 wk solo trip to Kenya, no idea where to start!


To include: hotel, meals, local transport... and also safari even the minimum # of days? Doubtful.

Sure you can find low-cost hotels (not always in good areas, many with shared facilities, possiby lack of hot water), and relatively inexpensive meals... but that's not leaving much for anything else.

Even the 'usual' tourist sites will cost and then that's it for the day.

Safari, you can do this at the National Park right in NBO, but there is a cost associated with. And, iif you can hook up with a group and even if only to the Masai Mara, the daily park fee is at minimum $80/pp... doesn't leave much for a tent or meals. And as a single even with a group might incur the dreaded single supplement. Believe there are some 'group' safaris at average $150/pp/day and likely you'll have to participate with camp set-up and meal preparation.

If you wished to go out to the coast, there is an overnight train 12/hrs at about $70/pp each way that doesn't run daily, believe only 3x week, and then it would be finding cheap lodging, need to eat, entry fees to some sights.

You don't indicate when you wish to travel. Prices even at the low-end are seasonal.

So would suggest you post on the Thorntree forum site, where backpackers or those with iddy-bitty budgets might be able to assist.

Good luck!

posts: 13,337
5. Re: Planning a 1 wk solo trip to Kenya, no idea where to start!

OH, and if traveling anywhere, always a good idea to pick-up a guidebook so you know where it is that your going, what the country/place has to offer - history, culture, the people, places to visit, accommodations, prices, transport, Visas, health, safety, and on and on. Try the Lonely Planet Kenya guide.

Edited: 1:01 pm, January 18, 2013
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reviews: 41
6. Re: Planning a 1 wk solo trip to Kenya, no idea where to start!

You also have to budget for your anti mossie medication which is not cheap

Destination Expert
for Malindi, Ukunda, Kenya
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7. Re: Planning a 1 wk solo trip to Kenya, no idea where to start!

With only $700 to spend for a week in Kenya, you'll really struggle to do much at all. It's not just the money, there just isn't enough time. Kenya is a big country and not cheap (much more expensive than southeast Asia, and pricier on many levels than parts of Europe). You can get a *very* basic Maasai Mara group camping safari, including three nights away and two 24-hour reserve entry fees, for about the entire sum of what you plan to spend in a week, but if you don't have any time to shop around in advance, you'll have to book it to set off more or less immediately on arrival. So I would forget that.

If you're determined to visit Kenya, then I would get out of Nairobi, and go to the Rift Valley, stay at Carnelly's backpackers on the shores of Lake Naivasha (allow 3-hours by bus and matatu from Nairobi), hike into Hell's Gate National Park (walking allowed, no large predators, low-ish entry fee) and visit Crescent Island and Green Crater Lake. You'll see a fair bit of plains wildlife and get a good feel for the country. I don't think you really have time to go to the coast (a whole day's bus travel ($20–25), or an overnight on the train (departs Tues, Thurs and Sun at 7pm, ticket office price 2nd class is just under $40), but there are cheap backpackers at Mombasa and Diani Beach if you do decide to.

Good luck with the trip, but overall it would be much better to defer your first visit to a time when you can come back with $2–3000, which, with some budget travel and cheap backpacker stays on the coast and one or two places up-country could last you the best part of a month.

Richard Trillo

posts: 23
reviews: 1
8. Re: Planning a 1 wk solo trip to Kenya, no idea where to start!

You can do Maasai Mara 3 days 2 nights for USD 450 in a budget tented camp plus food, game drives and shared return transport to Nairobi plus park fees then relax in a guest hse in Nrb for the two days.

Houston, Texas
posts: 12
reviews: 26
9. Re: Planning a 1 wk solo trip to Kenya, no idea where to start!

when are you planning your week in kenya? i am also traveling to kenya/tanzania solo and am looking for some people to join in and share the costs of a safari. i will be in kenya in march. if you are interested, send me a PM.

Lamu Island, Kenya
posts: 276
reviews: 34
10. Re: Planning a 1 wk solo trip to Kenya, no idea where to start!

Well, you could fly to Mombasa, go for a two day/one night safari to Tsavo NP, stay at Diani Beach/Mombasa South Coast. Cheaper options to stay there are Stilts Backpackers or South Coast Backpackers (around 30 US $). Or you go to Bamburi Beach/Nyali Beach (Nirvana Backpackers) on Mombasa North Coast. The beach is not so nice as Diani Beach but Mombasa is easy to reach in less than half an hour by public transport, lots of nightlife. From Malindi you could also go on game drives to Tsavo NP but as you don't have much time I guess Mombasa is better. The overnight game drive from Mombasa should be around 300 US $, accommodation around 30/35 US $ per day, plus personal spendings.