When volunteering in Kenya, it is compulsory to take a safari. It will be fine for you to take a safari over a weekend during your time volunteering in Kenya. It is suggested to take at least a 3-day safari, because it can take a day or two of searching the Masai Mara to see all of the animals. While in Kenya, Janet can help you communicate with several safari companies. Volunteers have used many different safari companies over the years, some good – some bad. It is recommended that you start researching several companies before arriving in Kenya and create a long list. Then, email these companies to request a quote and ask them for their contact information. NEVER, EVER, pre-pay for a safari from abroad or online. Always wait until you have arrived in Kenya and are about to leave for your safari.
Save the quotes and contacts in an email folder or on some form of cloud storage. This will allow easy access while in Kenya. After you are in Kenya, Janet will help you contact these companies to negotiate a lower rate. The quotes you will receive online will probably be significantly higher than you will actually pay while in Kenya. Tourism is Kenya’s #1 industry, which means it can be expensive. You should consider budgeting between $150 – $250 USD per safari days. If you are to take a 3-day safari, you should consider budgeting between $450 – $750 USD for a safari. The great wildebeest migration usually begins in July and is considered one of the “Great Wonders of the World”. It is also a reason for safari companies to charge more. Generally, safari’s cost around $150 USD per day. Once again, NEVER, EVER, pre-pay for a safari from abroad or online. Always wait until you have arrived in Kenya and are about to leave for your safari.
The ACF tries never to recommend a specific company and encourages volunteers to research and create their own list of safari companies to choose from. This is because the ACF has no control over your experience with that company. In addition, if the ACF did recommend a company, it could seem like the ACF is financially benefiting from that safari company, which it does not. The ACF will help you in every way possible and Janet will quickly advise you against a company if it seems untrustworthy. Ultimately, the decision should be yours, without third party influence.
Steps for booking a safari in Kenya
You should try to follow these steps when researching a Safari Company in Kenya:
- Perform an online search for Safari Companies in Kenya.
- Request quotes and contact information from as many companies as possible.
- After arriving in Kenya, have Janet reach out to the list of safari companies to negotiate a better rate. Chances are the quote you receive online will be much higher than you will actually pay once in Kenya.
- NEVER, EVER, pre-pay for a safari from abroad or online. Always wait until you have arrived in Kenya and are about to leave for your safari.
Questions for the Safari Company
When requesting quotes and information, be sure to ask:
- What are the pick-up and drop-off locations?
- What types of accommodations are provided and where are they located?
- What meals are provided (ex. Breakfast, lunch, dinner?)
- Will I be asked or required to pay for additional services or entries for accommodations or national park fees?
- Will I be expected to tip the safari guide/driver or is a tip provided to the guide/driver from the fees that are paid for the safari?
- Are there any unexpected costs I should be aware of before taking a safari?
When you are on a safari, you are in a van hunting down animals to view in their natural habitat. Because they are not contained in a specific area, you may have to travel many miles/kilometers into the wild to see them. Which is why you should consider bringing a few essential items with you on your safari.
- If possible, bring U.S. Dollars because the national park fees are in USD and the exchange rate is horrible at the parks
- Bring plenty of bottled water
- Bring several snacks
- Bring your own roll of toilet paper
- Bring plenty of batteries or a couple of fully charged power banks
- Dress in layers. The mornings will be colder than mid-day
- Dress in light color clothing
- Bring an external hard drive to transfer photos/videos from your SD Card
If you like the information or believe something was left out, leave a comment below. Thanks!