Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tips for Kenya

Here is a breakdown of the various costs and other info from our three weeks in Kenya:

Visa - $25 per person. 3 month, single entry visas available at land borders, all others at embassies. There is also the East African Community agreement which means with separate single entry visas from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania you are able to travel between the three countries as often as you like. If you leave these three countries then you will be required to buy new visas. Note, you still need separate visas for each country.

A bed at any of the filthy guesthouses in Moyale - 150Ksh
Ride on the back of a truck to Marsabit/Isiolo - 600/1000 Ksh, 9/18 hours
Cheap meal of Githeri (maize and beans) or Pilau - 70-100Ksh
Glass bottle of soda drinks - from 20Ksh (50-100Ksh in restaurants)
Dbl room at Lodge in Isiolo - 500Ksh
Minibus from Isiolo to Nanyuki - 150Ksh
Daily Nation newspaper - 35Ksh (40Ksh on Sat/Sun)
Sausage on the street - 20Ksh
Punnet of strawberries in Nanyuki - 100Ksh
500ml fresh Mt Kenya yoghurt - 35Ksh
Matatu (minibus) from Nanyuki to Naro Moro - 100Ksh
Camping at Mt Kenya hostel - 300Ksh p.p
Entrance fee to Mt Kenya National Park - $55 PER DAY!! Up from $15. We did not bother trekking in response to this increase.
Matatu from Hostel to Naro Moro -50Ksh
Matatu from Naro Moro to Nairobi - 400Ksh
Dbl room w/breakfast at Africana Hotel, Nairobi - 1200Ksh. It is a clean and safe hotel and the breakfast is excellent, however the noise from the surrounding bars goes on 24 hours.
Internet access in Nairobi - 0.5Ksh per minute. Reasonable connection.
Akamba bus from Nairobi to Mombasa - 1000Ksh, 9 hours
Dbl room w/bath at New Peoples Hotel, Mombasa - 700Ksh
Delicious meals at New Peoples Hotel, Mombasa - 80-180Ksh
Entrance to Fort Jesus, Mombasa - 800Ksh (we didnt bother!)
Walking around Mombasa old town - FREE
T.S.S. bus from Mombasa to Mokowe (Lamu) and v.v. - 400Ksh, 5-6 hours
Ferry from Mokowe to Lamu - 50Ksh, 30 mins
Dbl room w/bath at Bahari Hotel, Lamu - 700Ksh
Dhow trip from 9am to 3pm - 500Ksh p.p after bargaining. Including fishing, lunch and a trip to Manda beach.
6l tank of water - 120Ksh
Giant mango - 15-20Ksh
Fried sweet potato - 10Ksh
Delicious indulgent meal at Olympic restaurant, Lamu - 500Ksh p.p. Including fish, chips, rice, chapatis, dips, fruit and a fresh juice.
Maslah bus from Mombasa to Nairobi - 600Ksh, 7 hours
3 day safari with Big Time Safaris, 2D Masai Mara, 1D Lake Nakuru NP - $290 ($90 per day Masai Mara, $110 Nakuru). Although from July 2009 should be around $110 for Masai Mara as well due to increased fees. Included all meals, 1N in safari tent at Masai Mara, 1N in hotel in Nakuru, 2 game drives in Masai Mara and 1 drive in Nakuru (each around 4 hours) and drop off at Fishermans Camp, Lake Naivasha.
Camping at Fishermans Camp, Lake Naivasha - 500Ksh p.p. Nice place and has the attraction that Hippos visit in the night to eat the grass. Don't worry, you are protected by an electric fence. The restaurant is slightly expensive however so self-catering is the most economical option.
Bicycle hire at Fishermans Camp - 500Ksh per day.
Entrance to Hells Gate NP - $25 per day, up from $10.

***KWS, which controls Kenyas wildlife parks (except for the Masai Mara) have become very greedy. Most of the top parks now cost $60 per day, others $25 and as noted before, Mt Kenya costs $55. They do offer student discounts BUT you MUST have a letter from your institution stating the purpose (tourism is not valid), must be under 23, in a group of 10 or more and give two weeks notice. So they might as well not bother!***

Cup of tea at a cafe - 15-20Ksh
Tusker beer in touristic bar - 150Ksh
Sausage and chips from chip shop - 100Ksh
Tusker Lager T-shirt - 600Ksh
Akamba bus from Nairobi to Aruska (Tanzania) - 1000Ksh, 5 hours
Dbl at New Kenya Lodge, Nairobi - 1000Ksh. Terrible place, filthy dirty, no water, loud, shithole!
Akamba bus from Nairobi to Busia (Uganda) - 1250Ksh

Average daily costs per person - 1600Ksh (excluding the $100 per day safari. Our average per person for 21 days including the safari was 2400Ksh (about $30)

Exchange rate - 78Ksh=$1, 113Ksh=1GBP


  1. Wow, wow, wow! I admire your feat. Got here from thorntree forum in lonelyplanet, and yeah, I am impressed.

  2. Oops! This sounds grate i also did a 4 days trip in the year 2010 January and yeah i was impressed

    Big Time Holidays
    P.o.box 22884-00100 Nairobi - Kenya.
    Town House 9th flr.--Opp. Nairobi 20th century
    Off Kimathi street....Kaunda street.
    Tel: +254 [ 020]-2219940 | Fax:+254 [020]-2219982
    Mobile +254722570722 | wireless 0208086440 | info@bigtimeholidays.com:
    info@bigtimeholidays.co.ke | www.bigtimeholidays.com | www.bigtimeholidays.co.ke

  3. My friend and I were recently discussing about how modern society has evolved to become so integrated with technology. Reading this post makes me think back to that discussion we had, and just how inseparable from electronics we have all become.

    I don't mean this in a bad way, of course! Ethical concerns aside... I just hope that as memory gets cheaper, the possibility of downloading our memories onto a digital medium becomes a true reality. It's one of the things I really wish I could see in my lifetime.

    Indeed www.bigtimeholidays.co.ke are very professional tour operators.

    My contact person Allan +254722570722 made my long dream for Africa come true.

    Thanks Allan.

    Hui China

  4. I do agree with you Hui, i was in Kenya and i did book safari to maasai mara with another company i can remember it was kiri and i ended up landing in BIG TIME HOLIDAYS LTD www.bigtimeholidays.co.ke in the morning and our guide was milambo odingo George which i found very professional who knows what he is doing while the the guest in the jungle.
    I do recommend Big Time Holidays ltd too...

  5. can somebody help this tour company they promise you good things and they give you hell.Do not think money is every thing give good service and it will bring you more money shame on you (poor service rude guides cant recommend it to any one and never live your things in the van your money bag will not be yours)

  6. As a good tourist you are always advised to take good care of your personal items!! your comment seems to be very negative. were you problem with the your guide? pls do not air out your personal issues in public...
    concern tourist

  7. Hi i can read in the blog that you went with BIG TIME SAFARIS L.T.D How come somebody is bringing in the story of big time holidays ltd in the picture some people don't know how the blog works be real build your name you will go far stop being caning .

  8. I know BIG TIME SAFARIS L.T.D i traveled with them to masai mara,nakuru,and amboseli they are very good in there operations i will always recommend them. Address is
    P O BOX 7014-00300
    Webera st .Ellis House 7th Floor
    Nairobi Kenya
    Website: www.bigtimesafaris.com