A Kenya safari will immerse you into the animal kingdom in the various game parks and game reserves. This tour cuts across amazing fauna and flora that gives visitors a real African experience.
Kenya safari is the best option if you want to have an experience of Africa. This is because there is a wide variety of wild animals, bird species, and marine life.
Get informed how to organize a safari, the types of Kenya safari and the expected costs. You will also get tips on how to choose the park to visit.
The Meaning of ‘Safari’
‘Safari’ is a Swahili word that means ‘journey’. During the colonial rule in Kenya, Europeans used ‘safari’ to mean a tour to the bush to hunt wild animals. Ever since safari was adopted in game parks to mean going for a tour in the bush. This time not to hunt, but to see animals. The spirit of safaris lives in Kenya to date.
Kenya national parks are well established, making even remote game parks accessible. Some roads to certain parks are tarmacked, others are not. So during your safari, you will go for hours on the rough road to get to some parks. However, even on the rough road, it is always exciting to see the natural beauty of the country’s nature and landscape.
If you can afford to use the small airlines available in Kenya, then go for air travel. These airlines fly between Kenya cities and wildlife parks.
On Arrival at the Park
On arrival at the park, you will start another safari, now inside the game park.
Visitors are not allowed to get out of their vehicle while within the park. Reason being, it is very unsafe due to the high risk of attack by wild animals.
Kenya wildlife parks usually organize two safaris – one after sunrise and another before sunset. However, you will be advised at the park on when to go, especially if you plan to use a private vehicle.
Various wild animals in Kenya usually come out of their hideouts in different times of the day. This also depends on the season and weather in the region. So liaise with the park personnel. They can best advise you on how and when to have a great safari experience.
How to Organize a Kenya Safari
If you want to have an authentic game park experience, plan with 5 or more days. This will give you a bigger chance to catch on the bigger animals. You will have enough time to spend at game parks, know more about local people, their customs and way of life.
Kenya has many parks and thus you need at least five days to visit several of them.
You can organize your own Kenya safari tour because almost all Kenya national parks are accessible by road. In fact, this implies that you can use your own or hired vehicle.
During the dry season, it is not strictly necessary to use a four-wheel-drive in most parks. However, during the rainy season, it is a necessity though not in all parks. To be safe, always find out before you go.
You may also get into any park and join an organized group safari. Most tour companies use minivans in game park safaris. These minivans have roofs that can open for visitors to watch animals.
The fees payable at each park varies from another. Thus inquire at the park’s main gate.
Types of Kenya safari
There are two main types of Kenya safari. The camping safari and the tented or lodge safari.
1. Camping Safari
A camping safari involves sleeping in tents at night. This may be just outside the park, or in fenced or open campsites within. This safari will give you the real bush experience. A camping safari is cheaper and a pretty exciting experience to sleep in the bush.
However, you need some tangible courage, especially if you choose an open campsite. Animals enter at night, unlike the fenced camps. This means you only have a canvas between you and the animals. Be extra careful if you have to leave your camp at night.
2. Tented or Lodge Safari
Tented or lodge safari involves sleeping in comfortable and luxurious tented camps or lodges. You will enjoy services from restaurants and of course a hot shower. Real bed linen is available plus as you relax, you can enjoy a wildlife video.
You have plenty of staff to serve you here. All this implies that tented or lodge type is expensive compared to the camping type.
Various lodges like Voi Wildlife Lodge have waterholes that lure animals around. You can spot the animals as they drink water- usually after sunrise or before sunset.
The exciting bit of this Kenya safari is that you enjoy a hot bath. Meals will always be ready for you after a long day drive, or tour in the park.
Apart from these two safaris, there are other special interest safaris. Just as the word special, you want your trip to be organized the way that best suits your interest. Just talk to your tour agent on the kind of safari that you want.
Kenya Safari Packages
Most Kenya safari companies prefer to be paid in US dollars. A camping safari will cost between $100 to $120 per person per day. This includes park entry fees, a car with a driver, a cook and 3 meals per day. In some places, sleeping bags are included in this package. Otherwise, there are extra charges for hiring the sleeping bags.
The prices for tented camps and lodges range between $250-$350 per person per day. You enjoy all the services of the lodge plus staff are all around you to cater for your needs.