5 of the Best Kenya Camping Safaris

by Oliver Stallwood  |  Published January 24, 2024

A camping safari in Kenya is not just a way of saving money, it’s a unique experience in itself – and you might just feel closer to the wildlife too. 

Nakuru Lake (Photo: . Ray in Manila via / CC BY 2.0)

Even if saving money isn’t strictly necessary on that dream safari, there is something about camping, rather than lording it up four or five star, that just feels right. The fact that camping safaris often also save plenty of bucks just feels like a bonus. Kenya is an iconic destination for safaris and there is a ton of camping options, usually with top notch food and facilities, alongside the back-to-basics feel of sleeping under canvas. You’ll feel even closer to the animals and the long days will end with sharing stories around the campfire – it’s a timeless experience and one to consider even if the trip isn’t on a tight budget.

7-Day Mara Nakuru Lake Naivasha & Hell’s Safari

When you get a quality safari for just over 100 Euros a day, it’s seriously good value. The tour heads through the spectacularly scenic Great Rift Valley to Lake Nakuru, a bird lover’s paradise, then to Naivasha Hells Gate Park. There will be plenty of time to search for the Big Five, as well as wildebeest in Masai Mara, a park which also boasts the highest population of Elephants on earth. From Masai Mara, the tour heads to Amboseli National Park, lying in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro – a place that lions, cheetahs, elephants, zebras and hyenas call home. Proof that safaris can be done on even the tightest budget. From €704.

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10-Day Kenya and Tanzania Exciting Safari

Amboseli National Park (Photo: . Ray in Manila via / CC BY 2.0)

Considering this is a ten-day safari that traverses into Tanzania too, a price of just over 1500 bucks is pretty good going. The key to saving that cash is of course the camping element, with around half the accommodation being in tents, including Ngorongoro Simba Campsite on the crater rim of Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania. The tour has a real sense of adventure, with the Big Five almost a certainty, plus the opportunity to get up close to herds of elephants in Amboseli National Park. From €1.656.

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3-Day / 2 Nights Maasai Mara Safari

For anyone who is short of time, this is a great trip. It’s not the cheapest in comparison to longer camping safaris, but the main thing is that there is a lot of focus on seeing wildlife. The price  includes one full day game drive inside the Maasai Mara National Park and half day game drive twice on day one and day three. All meals are also included, plus camping equipment and the guides are extremely friendly and professional. Camping is simple and inside Masai Mara Nature Reserve, known for its epic wildlife, rolling hills, sprawling savannahs and wild river crossings. From €854.

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8 Day Masai Mara, Lake Nakuru, Naivasha, Hells Gate, and Amboseli Joining Groups Kenya Budget Safari

Another really good value trip is this eight-day tour taking in Masai Mara and Hell’s Gate National Park. It is a pleasing mix of camping and accommodation, you know, with walls. Ultimately it’s perfect for anyone who wants to experience the thrill of camping on safari but doesn’t want to do it for eight days straight. Along with the big national parks there is also a visit to Lake Nakuru and the rhino sanctuary plus as many flamingos and pelicans you can fit on your Instagram reel. It’s paced for everyone, so there is no rushing from point to point, and the result is a relaxing way to enjoy the best of Kenya’s wildlife. From €499.

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3 Day the Great Tuskers Elephant Watch Safari Amboseli National Park

If elephants are on top of the list, then Amboseli National Park, with a backdrop of the snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro, is the place to head. Not only is the location stunning, it has hundreds of elephants, as well as lions, zebras and hyenas. The tour includes three game drives, with a particular focus on seeing elephants, as well as an opportunity to see the Big Five. Accommodation is at Kibo Safari Camp, a tented camp in Amboseli National Park, at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro. The camp has self-contained tents with custom-designed and locally-made beds using bush logs. From €1,412.

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