So, this year I went for my winter vacations to Kenya for one-of-a-kind safari trip. Instead of visiting places like Malaysia, Srilanka etc. which are very popular with most Pakistani tourists, I went for a bit non-traditional tourist destination. I have always wanted to visit Africa and wanted to plan my first trip to another continent with a trip to either South Africa, Kenya, Egypt or Morocco. I narrowed down on Kenya out of these options because iits the most popular tourist destination which offers one of a kind safari experience and it is economically most feasibleas well in terms ofexperience vs. money.
Kenya is a terrific tourist destination which offers a unique safari experience which you cant find anywhere else in the world. Its a very popular tourist destination among Europeans and Australians. In order to keep it short, here’s everything you need to know if you want to plan a trip to Kenya.
Most popular tourist site in Kenya is the Masai Mara National Reservebordering Tanzania in South (contiguous with Serengeti National Park in Tanzania). From lions and cheetahs to leopards, giraffes, zebras, elephants and hippopotami, you can view all these and a lot more animals in all their natural glory. Its truly an incredibleand unique experience which you wont get anywhere else in the world.
This reserve is famous for its massive annual migration of animals in months of June & October between Masai Mara (Kenya) & Serengeti (Tanzania).
Best Time to Visit: August-September season is regarded as the best time to visit Masai Mara in view of massive animal influx from Serengeti. However, tourists also flock the region in profusion during these months and accordingly, the travel and lodging rates are at their highest. I visited Masai Mara in 1st half of December and I think Novto early December isan ideal time to visit. The rates are at their lowest as its between the October migration season & Christmas tourist rush and parks are not as populated with tourists so you can enjoy in peace and best part is that weather is at its best.
Hell’s Gate National Park:
Visiting Hell’s Gate National Park was one of the most wonderful experiences of my life. For starters, its a national park consisting of two parts: a scenic parkland with a cycling track & sights of variety of animals ranging from zebras to giraffes and 2nd part consists of beautiful gorges with a narrow pathway lined with red rocks leading upto hot springs.
Instead of boring you with cumbersome details, I will just say that cycling across the scenic par with wildlife grazing by your sides was an experience I will never forget.
One can rent bicycles at the park’s entrance and they also offer rock climbing experience if you are into that sorta thing.
Miscellaneous Tourist Sites:
– Lake Nakuru National Park:Its another popular tourist destination that we visitedbut I wouldn’t recommend it. This park didn’t have much to excite us having already visited Masai Mara.
– Lake Naivasha:Its a large freshwater lake which offers boat riding etc. Nothing to right home about. Wouldn’t recommend either.
– Mombasa:Mombasa is a beach resort townso we decided to skip it altogether since this trip was all about the safari experience and I have already visited some gorgeous beaches in Gwadar & Thailand and hardly doubt if anything can top that.
Expense & Budgeting:
Sounds like an accounting course title but it is the most important component of trip planning. I will do my best to give you a rough idea of total expenses incurred during the trip.
For the sake of clarity, my total trip duration was 05 days, however it can easily be squeezed into a 3 – 3.5 days trip by making minor tweaks.
Airticket will cost you between Rs. 50,000-75,000 depending upon you departure station, you can get an estimate from momondo.com.
Most feasible and hassle-free way to travel to Kenya is to get a tour package customized from anyone of the numerous local tour operators. I have managed trips on my own and been on pre-planned and curated trips as well but in my opinion, for the case of Kenya the best way is to have your tour customized and all planned by a tour operator.
This option’s not only tension-free and more economical as well.Tour rates range from $450->$1000/ person ( 45000-100,000) depending upon your customization. This cost includes:
– Travel to and from National Parks to Nairobi
– All meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
– All park fees
– Transportation between different park sites
– Tour guide for the reserve drives
I made a rough calculation at the end of my trip and I came to conclusion that this ~US $500/person cost is totally justifiable and economical considering all these expenses e.g. single entry fee to Masai Reserve for foreign tourist is $80 while stay at reserve will cost you $40-60/night. Multiply these expenses by 05 for each day and see where it takes you.
However, $450-$500/person cost is for the very basis package with mid-level travel & lodging, you can opt for the more expensive packages as per your liking.
We booked our tour with ACZ Safariswho not only had very good feedback and word of mouth but werevery hospitable as well.We had no issue whatsoever, would highly recommend. (not a sponsored mention, only giving them a shout-out because they have earned it :D)
Leaving you with some more pictures from the trip.