Best Budget Camping Safari
Discover Kenya’s top wildlife tour parks & reserves as you undertake the best budget camping safari package that visits Samburu, lake Nakuru, Masai Mara, lake Naivasha, Amboseli, Tsavo west & east for a span of eleven days. We organize daily departures from Nairobi with a minimum of two pax and a maximum of six pax in the group. We also craft private safaris on request for families, friends or colleagues.
Kenya Camping Accommodation
Our camps have beds, bedding’s, mosquito nets, flush toilets and hot water showers. We have a common dining area; where meals are served in buffet style. We also cater for special diets [Vegetarian/Vegan meals].
Transport and game drives are facilitated by 4×4 safari vehicles that are customized for the ultimate safariing experience. The vans/jeeps are accessorized with pop up roofs ideal for game viewing, hifi radio communication gadgets and comfortable seats.
Kenya Budget Safariing
While on your Kenya affordable safari you will enjoy the services of our experienced driver guides who have enormous knowledge on wildlife as well as different sceneries you will be visiting.
The thrill of touring various wildlife gems is an adventure that should be on every tourist’s bucket list. Our Kenya camping vacay gives you the opportunity to experience first hand the diversity in terms of culture as you socialize with the locals as well as epic game viewing encounters in this premium park.
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Eleven Days Samburu, Lake Nakuru, Masai Mara, Lake Naivasha, Amboseli, Tsavo West & East Budget Camping Safari. [Itinerary]
Day One: Nairobi – Samburu
A representative from Kenya epic safaris will meet you at your hotel or pick you up from the airport and after briefing you he or she will hand you over to your assigned driver guide to facilitate your Kenya budget camping safari.
You will be driven to the northern frontier by your driver guide who will keep you entertained and informed on different sceneries as you journey to Samburu. This area is a semi desert and thus very dry most of the year. Lunch en route arriving at Samburu game reserve late afternoon.
After settling in the camp; head out for the evening game drive. Game to view includes the Big five, antelopes, gazelles, beisa oryx, grevy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe, Somali ostrich, gerenuk and abundant bird life. Dinner and overnight at the Umoja campsite.
Day Two: Samburu
On this day you will have morning and evening game drives. A visit to the Ewaso Nyiro river is most rewarding because it’s the only source of water that sustains the wildlife in this reserve.
Wild animals converge at the river to quench their thirst. Samburu people and their culture is another attraction and on request the driver guide can take you to the samburu village to experience their culture. All meals and overnight stay at the Umoja campsite.
Day Three: Samburu – Lake Nakuru
Enjoy a delicious breakfast as the sun rises. Depart and hit the road; travel to Nakuru arriving in time for a hot lunch. Right afterwards proceed to Lake Nakuru for an evening game drive. Lake Nakuru is often referred to as a bird’s paradise because of the millions of pink flamingos found here.
The lake’s view from the baboon cliff depicts a pink color due to the feather coloring of the flamingos hence the name “Pink Lake”. The park hosts 450 million different bird species both migratory and terrestrial. The park is a world heritage site and recognized as a wetland of international importance. Lake Nakuru has over 50 mammal species and also serves as Black and white rhino sanctuary.
The park is home to the highest population of black rhino in Kenya along with white rhinos introduced from south Africa. There are no elephants at Lake Nakuru simply because of the size of the park, elephants require a large area with lots of vegetation to feed on. Dinner and overnight at the Chester Hotel.
Day Four: Lake Nakuru – Masai Mara
Depart after breakfast and travel to Masai mara, hot lunch en route at Narok town. Shortly afterward continue on journey arriving Masai Mara late afternoon. The world renowned Masai Mara is famed for the millions of wildebeest, gazelles and zebras that cross the Mara river forming the wildebeest migration spectacle.
You will be ushered to your respective tents and then head out for your evening game drive as the African sun sets, giving you a perfect setting to take amazing photos and selfies. Dinner and overnight at budget tented camp.
Day Five: Masai Mara
Today we will have a full day game drive; after waking up you will converge at the dining area for your full breakfast. Your safari guide will liaise with the cook so as to organize for your picnic lunches.
Head out in search of wildlife. Masai Mara has an exceptional population of big cats, herds of elephants, zebras, resident wildebeest, antelopes and gazelles can be encountered among others and bird life is also plentiful. Masai Mara game reserve offers a very high chance of spotting all the big five.
Spend the whole day game viewing which includes a visit to the Mara river where you will find crocodiles lazing around. One has the option to visit the Masai village or go for an early balloon ride at an extra cost. Another option is to return to the camp by four o’clock and after having a cup of coffee or tea head out for an escorted walking safari with a masai warrior. Dinner and overnight at budget tented camp.
Day Six: Masai Mara – Lake Naivasha
Depart after breakfast and drive to Lake Naivasha lunch en route arriving hell’s gate national in the afternoon. Collect your bikes and in the company of our guide begin cycling amidst wildlife to the rangers post where we will have lunch.
After lunch we will leave the bikes and start a walking safari. Enjoy the spectacular views of the gorge including the central tower. The volcanic activity is very evident from the hot water streaming on the walls of the gorge. The guided gorge walk takes two hours.
The hot springs and a fabulous scenic landscape besides the diverse wildlife are just incredible. Walk back to pick your bikes and cycle back to the park entrance and transfer to Fish Eagle Camp for dinner and overnight.
Day Seven: Lake Naivasha – Amboseli
After a scrumptious breakfast transfer to lake Naivasha for a boat ride. The lake is at the highest point of all the lakes within the Rift valley, stands at 1800 meters above sea level and it is a freshwater lake. The lake has schools of hippos and abundant bird life most notably the fish eagle.
Depart and travel to Amboseli arriving at Kimana Camp in time for a hot delicious lunch. On arrival the camp staff will usher you to your respective tents. Enjoy your afternoon at leisure or interacting with the locals; later head out for the evening game drive.
Amboseli has a wide variety of wildlife ranging from the Big five, cats, plains game and birdlife. Dinner and overnight at Kimana Camp.
Day Eight: Amboseli
Wake up bright and early to the most intoxicating view of Mt. Kilimanjaro, which sits majestically as the backdrop of this amazing park, on a clear day the snow peaks are visible. After breakfast head out for the morning game drive which provides the opportunity to see the most since wild game come out to hunt or browse/graze very early before the sun becomes too hot.
Amboseli has the highest population of elephants and has been the centre for elephant research for the last thirty years with each individual known by name. The game drive will include a visit to the outlook post which gives you the opportunity to have an aerial view of the Amboseli plains.
Return to the campsite for lunch and spend the afternoon at leisure or take a walk around the camp making friends. Head out for the evening game drive; large herds of elephants can be encountered. Amboseli has a variety of bird life both migratory and terrestrial. All meals and overnight at Kimana Camp.
Day Nine: Amboseli – Tsavo West
Enjoy your breakfast followed by a morning game drive. Hit the road; you will be driven to Tsavo West arriving at the camp well in time for lunch for hot lunch. You will be assisted to pitch a tent while the cook prepares lunch. Spend the afternoon at leisure and later go for the evening game drive.
Tsavo west which is also known as “Land of lava, Man eaters & Springs” is famous for the man eating lions that preyed on workers building the railway line to Uganda. Tsavo is equivalent in size to Israel covering 4% of Kenya land mass. Mzima springs a wetland is so lush and green and serves as a water tower that gushes out 450 million litres of clean water every day.
The walk around the banks springs of Mzima offers the opportunity to marvel at schools of hippos lazing around. The observation Chamber sank below the waters enable tourists to view marine life. The game drive includes visit to the shetani lava flow and the five sister hills. Dinner and overnight at the campsite.
Day Ten: Tsavo West – Tsavo East
An early breakfast followed by a game drive. Depart and head to Tsavo East N/P arriving in time for lunch. Tsavo west and Tsavo east combined are the biggest parks in Kenya. Tsavo East is also known as the “Theatre of Wild”. Spend the afternoon at leisure and later go for the evening game drive.
Visit the Galana River and Rhino sanctuary created to protect rhinos from poachers. Tsavo is a vast flat plain broken by the long length of the Galana river. This is one of the areas elephants have been able to follow ancient migratory routes as they have for a millennium.
Elephants of Tsavo have a distinctive brick red colour shade of dust that elephants like to wallow and bath in. Tsavo East has vast amounts of diverse wildlife that can be seen, including the famous ‘big five’ consisting of lion, black rhino, cape buffalo, elephant and leopard.
The park also is also home to a great variety of bird life such as the black kite, crowned crane, lovebird and the sacred bird. Dinner and overnight at the campsite.
Day Eleven: Tsavo East – Nairobi
Pre breakfast game drive; depart the camp by 6:30 A.M and this will give you the opportunity to view the African sunrise; a perfect setting to take amazing photos and selfies. You will also get the chance to spot any game species you might have missed on our previous game drives.
Return to the camp around mid morning; your full breakfast will be served and afterwards depart and journey back to Nairobi; lunch en route arriving late afternoon. Drop off at a hotel or the airport where the best Kenya budget camping safari ends. You can opt to be driven to Mombasa for an extended beach holiday.
End of services.
- Transport in a customized safari van with a pop up roof ideal for game viewing .
- All park entrance fees.
- Meals as described in the itinerary.
- Budget accommodation.
- Game drives and other activities as described in the itinerary.
- Services of an English speaking driver guide.
- Complimentary Bottled water 1 Litre per person per day.
- All government taxes.
- International airfares.
- All expenditure of personal nature such as telephone calls, hard drinks, soft drinks and laundry.
- Travel Insurance.
Kenya Affordable Accommodation
We provide permanent erected tents for Samburu camping safari. Our tents have beds, a bathroom with hot water, flush toilets incorporated within the tent.
Within the campsite we have a common dining area where meals are served and a bar. Fresh food is prepared in the camp site in a buffet style. In the evening there is a bonfire and the Masai warriors entertain you unwind.
Most campsites use generators as the source of lighting and the generators are turned off at 1000 – 1100 hrs. Most preferable is Umoja Campsites which is built along the river thus one can view game from the campsite.
Lake Nakuru is a relatively small park and thus has limited camping facilities within the park. However there are optional campsites around the park and budget hotels located in Nakuru town.
Ground camping is very popular and enticing for that tourist who loves the outdoor camping adventure. The campsites are spread out within the park and close to the lake offering panoramic views of the park’s vistas, i.e Makalia falls.
The famous Masai mara has a lot of options when it comes to budget camping accommodation. We have many campsites located within the reserve and others are right adjacent to the reserve.
The campsites offer permanent erected tents which have beds, beddings, mosquito nets, flush toilets and hot showers. Beddings are changed every morning and you are also provided with a towel. A tent can accommodate one, two or three people. You can opt to pitch a tent within the campsite ground.
The campsites have dining areas where meals are served and a bar. Fresh food is prepared in a buffet style by our cook. We also cater for special dietaries. In the evening there is a bonfire and the masai warriors entertain you as you socialize and unwind.
Lake Naivasha has a wide selection of campsites and budget hotels. Some of the campsites are adjacent to the lake while others are at a close proximity to both the lake and hell’s gate game park. You can opt for budget tented camps or ground camping within the campsite.
We recommend Cray fish camp, Fish Eagle cottages, Fishermans camp and Camp Carnelley’s. All this facilities are at a close proximity to the lake.
Campsite facilities at Amboseli national park are limited and located outside the park's perimeter but a short driving distance to the various park entrance gates. The campsites offer tented camps or you can opt for the ground camping experience.
The tented camps have beds, beddings, mosquito nets, flush toilets and hot showers. Beddings are changed every morning and you are also provided with a towel. A tent can accommodate one, two or three people.
The campsites have dining areas where meals are served and a bar. Fresh food is prepared in a buffet style by our cook. We also cater for special dietaries. In the evening there is a bonfire and the masai warriors entertain you as you socialize and unwind.
Tsavo West accommodation includes self catering bandas, guest houses, public campsites or budget hotels near the Mtito Andei Gate.
Public campsite include Kamboyo campsite 8 km from Mtito Andei Gate, Chyulu Campsite 1 km from Chyulu Gate and Lake Jipe Campsite on the lake shore.
Tsavo East accommodation includes ndololo public campsites or budget hotels near Voi Gate.
Know Your Parks / Reserves
Samburu game reserve is the most popular wildlife gem of the northern frontier. The Reserve occupies an area of 165 km2. The driving distance from Nairobi is 350 km. The reserve lies on the northern bank of Uaso Nyiro River, which flows from the Kenyan highlands to Lorian swamp, the river serves as the only source of water that sustains wildlife.
Samburu game reserve was one of the two areas in which conservationists George Adamson and Joy Adamson raised Elsa the lioness, made famous in the best selling book and award winning movie “Born Free”.
Samburu’s topography is composed of river Uaso Nyiro, scattered acacia, riverine forest, thorn trees and grassland vegetation.
There is a wide variety of animal and bird life seen at Samburu National Reserve. Several species are considered unique to the region, including its unique dry-country animal life.
All three big cats, lion, cheetah and leopard, can be found here, as well as elephants, buffalo and hippos, Olive baboon, gerenuk, warthogs, Grant’s gazelle, Kirk’s dik-dik, impala, waterbuck, Grevy’s zebra, Beisa oryx, reticulated giraffe and over 350 bird species.
Lake Nakuru is one of the alkaline lakes of the Great Rift Valley. The lake is also known as “Pink Lake” or Africa Bird’s Paradise. It is ideally located in central Kenya within Lake Nakuru National park. The park occupies an area of 188 km2 while the lake occupies an area of 62 km2.
The lake is famous for the millions of flamingos that flock the lake although flamingos are unpredictable birds and are not always to be found in such vast numbers. From the baboon cliff the lake looks pink in color due to the flamingos. The topography at Lake Nakuru consists of grasslands alternating with rocky cliffs and outcrops, acacia woodlands and a forest made up of euphorbia trees.
There are two species of flamingos namely lesser flamingo and greater flamingos, they feed on algae, which flourishes due to the warm alkaline waters of the lake. Apart from flamingos other bird species include ducks, pelicans, cormorants, plovers, vultures, eagles, and buzzards.
Lake Nakuru has over 50 mammal species which include hippos, reed bucks, water bucks, rothschild giraffes, baboons, black and white colobus monkey, hyenas, cheetahs, leopards, lions, gazelles and impalas among others.
The world-famous Masai Mara National Reserve is the best game-viewing reserve in Kenya. It has been voted two years consecutively as the best game reserve in Africa by the world travel awards. This reserve offers you the best chance to view the big five.
The “Big Five” (lions, leopards, buffaloes, elephants and rhinos) may be spotted here, and more than a million wildebeests and zebras migrate annually to Masai Mara from the parched Serengeti plains of neighboring Tanzania (The Great Migration). Large numbers of ungulates are also easily visible; they include the wildebeest , thomson gazelles, grant gazelles, buffalo’s, rhinos, impalas, topis, elands, zebras, giraffes and duikers.
They camp at the river bank for weeks just waiting for one of them to have the courage to jump into the river and cross over and they all follow suit. The river is infested with crocodiles where many wildebeest perish and also big cats place themselves strategically so that they can pounce on young and weak wildebeest and make a kill.
The common predators include the lions, cheetahs, leopards, hyenas, jackals and foxes. Masai mara has over 450 identified species. Some common birds include the common ostrich, secretary bird, Kori bustard, hornbills, storks, eagles and vultures.
The masai mara game reserve is owned and run by the county government of Narok which is the richest county council in Kenya due to the revenue collected as park entrance fee. Part of the masai mara which is called the mara triangle is contracted out and privately run. Park fees are paid by the number of nights one spends in the mara conservancy.
Hell’s gate is famous for its natural hot geysers, eagle and vulture breeding grounds, visitors have the choice of driving, walking, camping, cycling and rock-climbing within the park. Horseback safaris can also be arranged. The landscape has several iconic vistas which include Fischer’s tower, formerly a volcano’s plug, the central tower and Njorowa gorges.
Two extinct volcanoes: Olkaria and Hobley’s are worth a trip. Natural steam vents rise from fissures in the volcanic rock. Obsidian, a striking black glassy rock formed from cooled molten lava is a feature of this landscape. Game to view includes: buffalos, Masai giraffes, elands, coke’s hartebeest, gazelles and antelopes
A haven for ornithologists and rock climbers, the cliffs of hell’s gate are breeding grounds for vultures, verreaux’s eagles, augur buzzards and thousands of swifts; 103 species of bird have been recorded in the Park.
Lake Naivasha is at the highest elevation of all the Kenyan Rift valley lakes standing at 1,890 meters (6,200 ft). The lake is fed by two rivers namely Malewa and Gilgil rivers, and has no visible outlet. The lake covers an area of 140 km² but this varies annually due to the rainfall. The lake has an average depth of 8 meters and it is a freshwater lake.
Much of the lake is surrounded by forests of the yellow barked Acacia Xanthophlea, known as the yellow fever tree. These forests abound with bird life, and Naivasha is known as a world class birding destination.
The lake has schools of hippos and many bird species are found here. The most common is the fish eagle. A wonderful way to spend the afternoon or morning is to take a boat ride.
Amboseli National Park is located south of Nairobi; 140 kilometers which is a four hours drive from Nairobi. The park occupies an area of 392 km2. The ecosystem is made up of a seasonal lake called lake Amboseli where the park derives its name from, swamps, open plains, acacia woodland, rocky out crops, thorny bushes and marshes.
The landscape is dominated by the backdrop of the majestic snow-caps of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa. The snow capes are visible when the clouds are clear mainly in the early mornings and late evenings. The scenery gives you the opportunity to capture wonderful memories on camera for friends and loved ones back at home.
Amboseli national park is considered Kenya second best wildlife gem after Masai Mara game reserve by many tourists and is the only national park in Kenya that has the highest population of elephants. The ecosystem of Amboseli, though small compared to other parks, sustains a large number of bird species and game.
The locals are mostly the Masai but other Kenyan tribes have moved to Amboseli in search of greener pastures. Beside game viewing and the ecstatic views of Mount Kilimanjaro one can visit a local Masai village to learn their way of life and to interact with the locals.
Tsavo West National Park covers an area of 9065 Km2 and is located South Eastern Kenya, 240 km from Nairobi or 250km from Mombasa to Mtito Andei Gate. The park has magnificent scenery, Mzima Springs, rich and varied wildlife, good road system, rhino reserve, rock climbing at Kichwa Tembo Cliffs and guided walks along the Tsavo River.
Tsavo West National Park has a variety of wildlife, such as black rhino, cape buffalo, elephant, leopard and masai lion. There are also other smaller animals that can be spotted in the park, such as the bushbaby, hippo, hartebeast, lesser kudu and masai giraffe.
Mzima springs is a natural reservoir under the chyulu hills to the north. The Chyulu range is composed of volcanic lava rock and ash, which is too porous to allow rivers to flow. Instead, rain water percolates through the rock, and may spend 25 years underground before emerging 50 kilometres away at Mzima Springs.
The spring produces 450 million liters of water in a day that serves the Tsavo eco system and some of the water serves the coastal region through a pipe. At the spring you will find schools of hippos, crocodiles, fish and water birds like cormorants. During the night hippos come out to grave and during the day they just laze in the full or half submerged.
The Shetani Lava flow, a black lava flow of 8 km long, 1.6 km wide and 5 meters deep, is the remain of volcanic eruptions which were subject of tales among local communities who named the flow “shetani” meaning evil in Kiswahili after it spewed from the earth 240 years ago. Climbing the flow is not an easy task as the thick black soil is composed of uneven chunks of solid magma.
The cave, located near the center of the outflow, has two large opening and one ancient tree is growing between them. Although the cave is only few meters long, the exit is not accessible (although it can be seen) as the place is too narrow.
The Roaring Rocks will give you magnificent panoramic views, usually only seen by the eagles and buzzards that fly around these cliffs, over the plain called Rhino valley and the Ngulia Hills (1,821 m – 5,975 ft.). The Roaring rocks, located near the Rhino Sanctuary, has been for long an observation point for the protection of black rhinoceros and the fight against poaching.
The eerie roaring rocks are named after the buzz of cicadas that inhabit them and the howl of wind that hits the bare rocks by producing a roaring sound.
Tsavo East National Park is one of the oldest and largest parks in Kenya covering an area of 11,747 square kilometers. The park is located near the village of Voi in the Taita-Taveta District of Coast Province and is divided into east and west sections by the A109 road and a railway.
The park borders the Chyulu Hills National Park, and the Mkomazi Game Reserve in Tanzania. The climate in this area is warm and dry. One requires a smart card to access the park and the card can be topped up at Voi gate.
Attractions of Tsavo East National Park include “The Red Elephants”. This effect is achieved from the wallowing and rolling in the galena river and spraying of the red soils of tsavo.
The beautiful Aruba dam located on the north bank of the seasonal Voi River, is visited by thousands of animals and a great game viewing point.
The Mudanda Rock
The Mudanda Rock is a 1.6 km inselberg of stratified rock that acts as a water catchment that supplies a natural dam below. It offers an excellent vantage point for the hundreds of elephants and other wildlife that come to drink during the dry season.
The Yatta Plateau, the world’s longest lava flow, runs along the western boundary of the park above the Athi River. Its 290 km length was formed by lava from Ol Doinyo Sabuk Mountain.
Lugard Falls, named after Frederick Lugard, is actually a series of white water rapids on the Galana River
Tsavo East has vast amounts of diverse wildlife that can be seen, including the famous ‘big five’ consisting of lion, black rhino, cape buffalo, elephant and leopard. The park also is also home to a great variety of bird life such as the black kite, crowned crane, lovebird and the sacred bird.
- Do not Litter the park/reserve.
- Do not feed the animals, i.e. monkeys or baboons.
- Do give the animals the right of way and do not disturb wildlife.
- Do not take any plant or animals remains, dead or alive.
- Do not start fires or throw cigarettes in the parks/reserve.
- Do stay in your vehicle except at designated viewing points.
- Do not shout, laugh loudly, honk or play loud music as this will keep away the animals.
- Do not provoke any animals; it’s dangerous.