Accommodation options in Kenya

Kenya offers the traveller a wide range of accommodation options.

From youth hostels to five star luxury suites, from pitching your own tent in the wilderness to relaxing in a private beachside villa, the possibilities are endless.

Your choice of accommodation for your stay in Kenya should be dictated by your personal travel budget, but also by your own interests. For some people, sleeping under canvas in the Kenyan bush, by an open fire and surrounded by the spectacular night noises of wild animals, is a once in a life time experience that has greater value than the most costly hotel or lodge.

For others, the experience of enjoying unparalleled luxury, fine cuisine and world class service while surrounded by the wonders of the wild makes Kenya the ultimate destination.

Whether you're looking to rough it or relax in style, Kenya can cater for every taste, budget and personal interest.

Here are some accommodation facts:


A camping safari in Kenya is one of the world's great travel adventures. Pitching your tent in the bush gives you the feeling of really living in the wild. The romance of an open campfire under a magnificent sky full of stars is undeniable, and night in the wild is a magical time, when the air rings with the whooping calls of hyenas and the dawn is heralded by the unforgettable sound of a lions roar.

This is truly a great adventure, and most of Kenya's Game Reserves and National Parks have campgrounds and some basic facilities. Clear tent space and long drop latrines are often available. In some campsites, water and rudimentary shelters are also provided.

Many safari operators offer camping safaris through one or more of the Parks and Reserves.Vehicles, guides, tents and equipment, as well as food and a cook are all provided.

If you are travelling independently with your own vehicle and camping equipment, then you should carry adequate supplies of fresh water, food, fuel and emergency supplies. Do not rely on local water supplies or rivers and streams for potable water. Any water taken from a stream should be filtered or boiled for several minutes before drinking.

If you are trekking and planning to wild camp outside of official or designated campsites, seek local advice in advance. The land on which you are planning to camp may be privately owned or be traditional lands under the control of a nearby village or tribe. In some instances, advance permission and/or payment is required. If camping in the vicinity of a village, as you may be asked to do, remember to practice culturally sensitive behaviour.

Camping should always have minimal impact on the environment. All rubbish and waste matter should be buried, burnt, or take away with you. Do not leave food scraps or containers where they may attract and harm animals.

Campers should also take care of wildlife. Do not leave fruit or other food inside tents, it can attract monkeys, baboons, and even in some areas elephants, resulting in destruction of tents and equipment.

Tented Camps

For those looking for the Camping experience without the possible discomfort, then a Tented Camp is an ideal option.

Tented Camps provide the visitor with large walk in tents, complete with beds and furniture. The tent often has its own private bathroom with supplied water, showers and flush toilets.

In some cases these camps are established on a mobile basis and fully stocked and equipped by a safari company.

In other permanent tented camps, tents are on large raised wooden platforms with private balconies and excellent views.

Most Tented camps have a central mess tent, or a fully stocked restaurant and bar.

Levels of luxury in tented camps vary from the functional through to five star, with tents offering the standard of accommodation one would expect from a top end international resort.

Tented camps can be found in many of Kenya's National Parks and Reserves, as well as on private game ranches and sanctuaries.


Safari lodges in Kenya offer hotel-style comforts and accommodation in the wilderness.

Standards vary from the rustic to the modern, from the simply appointed to the last word in luxury.

Efforts is usually made to design lodges that blend into their environment, with an emphasis on all natural local building materials and use of traditional art and decoration.

Most lodges serve meals and have lounges and bars, often with excellent views or overlooking waterholes or salt licks that attract game. Many have resident naturalists, as well as guides for organized walks or game drives.

Lodges are found throughout Kenya's National Parks and Reserves and other wilderness areas.


Kenya has a great variety of hotel accommodation to suit all budgets and tastes.

For backpackers and those looking for cheap lodgings, Nairobi has a YMCA, youth hostel and many budget hotels. Almost every town in the country offers basic budget hotels and lodgings. In many tourist areas, private campsites and small hotels offer budget rates for backpackers.

Nairobi has an excellent range of hotels, including many well appointed hotels of international standards with full facilities for tourists and business travellers.

Other Cities and large towns all have a good range of hotel accommodation.

Small boutique hotels are also becoming increasingly popular, in Nairobi, on the Coast, and in Wilderness areas.

Rental Homes, Apartments and Cottages

Throughout Kenya, it is possible to find excellent rental properties for short or long term lets.

These vary from rustic cottages in the bush to historic Swahili Mansions on the coast, from serviced city apartments to houses fronted by beautiful deserted beaches.

Renting a private property is a good way to gain a new perspective on Kenya and to get away from lodges, camps and hotels and relax on your own.

Most rental properties come fully equipped, and often staff and a cook are provided to help out with meals and cleaning.

Such properties can either be booked privately or through a travel agent or safari operator.


Homestays are an ideal way to experience Kenyan life.

In some areas, homestays with Kenyan families can be arranged that allow visitors to spend time in a local home and to discover the way of life in a typical household.

This kind of 'cultural exchange' tourism is popular with visiting student groups, and those with an interest in Kenyan culture.

At the other end of the spectrum, Luxury homestays on Private Game Ranches, Sanctuaries and Farms are also possible. These beautiful homes let the visitor enjoy Kenya in total luxury and privacy, with their own timetables and interests catered for by skilled an knowledgeable local guides.

The real advantage of a Kenyan homestay is the opportunity to spend time with Kenyans and their families, and to share the benefit of their many years of local experience and intimate knowledge of the country, its people and wildlife.
WildernessFrom five star suites to nights under canvas, the choice is yours...
CoastFrom luxury villas to thatch beach huts, the choice is yours...
MountainsFrom a Mountain lodge to climbers' huts, the choice is yours...
ForestFrom hotel suites to rainforest retreats, the choice is yours...
LakesFrom Lakeside luxury to a tent by the shores, the choice is yours...
DesertsFrom a desert lodge to nights under the stars with your camel caravan, the choice is yours...
CitiesFrom high rise hotels to nights under canvas within the city limits, the choice is yours... - the official destination website of Kenya Tourist Board
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