Vehicle hire on a self drive safari in Kenya
The thought of arriving in Kenya, renting a car and heading out on safari in Kenya can seem a little of a challenge to some, but most tourists wouldn’t think twice about doing the same thing on a beach vacation holiday to Spain or France for honeymoon of family tour.
So why is it such a big issue? Just the fear of the unknown, with a safari holiday in Spain you know the variety of vehicles for hire and the only issue you have to worry about is driving on the wrong side of the road. This familiarity has its advantages, you feel you are in control, but sometimes the unknown is what can turn a normal experience into a magical one, so if you enjoy adventure and you are not afraid of some unknowns, maybe a vehicle hire on a self drive safari in Kenya is for you? It is significant to stress that it is not for everyone and to assist you make a decision if it is for you we have compiled a car hire in Kenya fact sheet.
Car renting and driving on your own Kenya safari does not always translate to a cheaper holiday than a « packaged vacation » version, depending on what type of accommodation you decide to stay at, but then again sometimes it’s a plus to hire a vehicle in Kenya as the sense of freedom that you get is very liberating as you truly are on an safari adventure.
If all that organising makes you feel like packing it all in already, there are also Kenya tour operators, safari company, travel agents car hire companies and vehicle rental operators companies out there that can do all the hard work for you, they will provide you with a suitable 4×4 vehicle for hire and a recommended route, map and even book the accommodation for you, this obviously comes at a cost and takes away a little of that freedom we were cherishing a few moments before, but on the plus side someone else does all the leg work for you and they have the benefit of knowing the lay of the land and recommending places that you should go and see.
Once you rent a car the Africa continent is literally yours. You can rent a car in Nairobi (4X4), which is probably where your Kenya Safari holiday will commence and you can even get a car rental company right from Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. We advise booking the vehicle hire before arriving in Kenya. It is then a drive out of Nairobi which can be a little hectic, just to say the least! At this point it is essential to note that a quality 4×4 vehicle is essential and it is not only for all the pot holes in the roads of Nairobi as there will be more challenging roads ahead.
If you have a little time on your hands, you could hire a car and drive to The Giraffe Centre in Langata and not far from that Karen Blixen’s house in the suburb of Karen, both just outside Nairobi and both I highly recommend.
Masai Mara Self Drive Packages
To get to the Masai Mara, you need to head towards the town of Narok which will take you around three and a half to four hours, please note it will take at least five hours to get to the Mara itself. Along the way it is a good opportunity to see the Kenyan countryside and you’ll once again be grateful that you have sturdy suspension on your vehicle. Even though the main road has been repaired there are stilly some pretty nasty craters in the road before Narok and there are about 35km of untarred road to get through before you reach the main gate.
Masai Mara Camping!
There are quite a lot of campsites in the Mara reserve and many tourists are interested in camping safaris in Kenya. There is the pretty basic self catering Base camp which is close to the Talek Gate, then there is an eco-camp striving for sustainable tourism, with all the waste being recycled and has a « long-drop » for a toilet
The Spurwing camp which is not to far from the Sekenani Gate, Spurwing camp in Masai Mara has a kitchen and a dining room which are more than adequate and like any good campsite there were nice hot showers. From the larger camps in the Mara, you can hire a Masai guide for around 2000 shillings and with their experience not only will they be able to guide you towards the best sightings but will also give you some valuable information on what ever it is that you are looking at.
So, if you want to strike it out on your own and enjoy a self drive safari in a rental vehicle, a good starting point is Kenya and try one of the most famous reserves in all of Africa, the Masai Mara.
Camping Equipment Hire for a Kenyan Self Drive Safari
There are several places in Nairobi that hire out camping equipment if you need it, you would ideally leave a few days in Nairobi to get your vehicle and camping gear sorted. You may also want to test drive your choice of vehicle around Nairobi before taking it out on Kenya Safari. Some sort of identification is usually required (passport) and we recommend advance booking of a vehicle which will also save you time. You can expect to pay around 500 Kenyan shillings for a sleeping bag per day