Kenya is one of the most stunning and sought-after travel destinations in East Africa. Electrifying safari trips, a thrilling encounter with wildlife, peaceful woodlands, gushing waterfalls in Aberdare foothills, and pristine beaches, Kenya is not short of exciting travel treats to add to your bucket list.
With such a diverse landscape and endless activities, one cannot help planning an extensive itinerary.
STOP! You might end up breaking your travel budget as your desire to cover the maximum of the hot spots of Kenya. You do not want to go over budget, right? How can you plan a trip to Kenya on a budget?
Do not overthink it, as I am here to resolve your worries. This short and simple guide can be your key to a thrifty glide through Kenya. Sit tight, grab a pen and paper, and get ready to plan Kenya’s itinerary on budget!
Get a Kenya e-Visa
The first step is obtaining your visa. But how can you do that in the most cost-effective way possible? The best option is applying for your Kenya visa online. Save not only money, but also a lot of time and energy that you would spend on visiting the Embassy.
The Kenya e-Visa is obtainable entirely online, eliminating the costly and time-consuming Embassy visits. Apply three days ahead of the planned trip at https://evisa.express/en/kenya using your phone, laptop, PC, or any other device.
Applying online takes just minutes to complete and the approved entry permit arrives directly to your email!
Find a cheap flight
This is the biggest unsolved mystery since something that works for one traveler might fail for others. Here are some secret tips can help you unlock a cheap flight when planning your trip to Kenya on a budget.
First, always go for incognito browsing to avoid saving cookies and search history. It often happens that when you search extensively for a flight, then the sites bring up progressively higher fares to lure you into booking right away.
The next tip is to use flight search engines that offer a comparative fare chart. Skyscanner and Google Flights are good choices. Be flexible with your dates as some times are busier than others in each tourist spot. So, if you are tight on budget, then an off-season trip might help to save some cash.
Last but not least, budget airlines will prove to be your best friend. You might have to compromise on legroom, luggage limits, food, and drinks, but true travel buffs don’t care about that. Right? Kenya Airways is one thrifty option for local and international flights.
For more great ideas, check out Lisa’s Travel Tips.
Roam around in town
Local travel options prove to be the cheapest. Travel to Mombasa from Nairobi on the train that costs $11 for economic class.
Choose local Matatu for Intracity travels ($1-$6) or use TukTuks as shared rides is another favorable option that costs far less than private taxis. The fare starts from $0.5 per ride and goes up as high as (or low as) $3!
Pay in Local Terms
Everything in Kenya deals in Kenyan Shilling (KES). Therefore, it is wise to draw the maximum amount of Kenyan Shillings via your debit card in one go. It will save repeated international transaction charges. Withdrawing money, choosing the ‘without conversion’ option charges you the lowest transaction cost possible.
Buy a local SIM card (for about $1-100KES) and sign up for M-Pesa (Online payment App) that allows you to book local trips conveniently. Safaricom is an excellent data service. Buy their SIM card and enjoy amazing discounts as a first-time user. The SIM cards are readily available at Nairobi and Mombasa airports.
Food in Kenya
Kenya is known for its cornmeal staples (Ugali), Mashed Peas and Potatoes (Irio), and Roasted Meat (Nyama Choma). The average eating cost is estimated to be $23 per person per day based on experience shared by other travelers. Breakfast ($2-3) is usually cheaper than dining out or having lunch ($8-10).
The most budget-friendly way to ease your taste buds is to cook food by yourself. Cereal ($6-8) and Pasta ($1-2) are available at an economical price. So why not try some local cuisine while being pocket thrifty.
Don’t feel up for it? Check out some mouth-watering eating corners of Nairobi that offer the original taste and flavors of Kenyan food at a low price. Stop by RoadHouse Grill in Nairobi for their sizzling Barbeque, or check out Mama Oleich Restaurant for their world popular Ugali. If you want to go all-vegetarian, then Maharaja Restaurant needs to be at the top of your list.
Nothing can beat the comfort and pocket-friendly nature of apartment rentals and Airbnb homes. Check out Uptown Studio in Nairobi that rentals at an economical price of $30/night. Stilts Backpackers by Diani Beach offer a room for $10/night. Private apartments are available for $25/night.
Do some research and choose an apartment and an itinerary that suits your budget. Kenya is quite budget-friendly, so it shouldn’t empty your pockets.
Use our suggestions in planning your itinerary and enjoy the authentic vibe of Kenya without breaking the bank. Just don’t forget to get your e-Visa which allows you to spend up to 90 days in Kenya enjoying all of its beauty and culture!