Going on safari is on anyone’s bucket list, it is definitely on mine and I have already crossed it off. Check out my bucket list post here.
Going on safari in Massai Mara, was a luxury experience it was reserved for the people who could afford the exclusivity of Mara. It was a luxury because the only way to go to Mara, was by flight because roads were horrible especially during the rainy season and also, they weren’t many budget hotels or camps, or even packages.
Over the recent years, you can experience Mara on different levels of your budget, you can go to the extreme and stay on the most expensive camps, or still experience it in the most affordable way.
Hotels /Camps in Mara range between $250 – $1200 or more per night. The prices do reflect the season, if it High Season (which is during the Migration) the prices will be higher, during Low Season the prices are relatively reasonable.
Tour agency do offer a wide range of packages, that are pocket friendly. It is because of these tour agencies that have made experiencing Mara accessible to everyone on different budgets.
How To Get To Mara
If you are an International,vistor you would need a Kenyan Visa, to enter the country, and also now you would need a Negative COVID test to enter the country.
They are two ways to get to Mara, which are you by air or road.
Using Road, you can either Self- Drive, use public transport or the travel agency will provide a tour van within the package.
I am going to breakdown the prices for each mode of transport.
By Public Transport: You would take a shuttle/matatu from Nairobi town center to Narok Town. The prices range according to the season of Travel so always budget high just in case.
The price is $6-$15, plus this also depends on where you board the shuttle. We got our shuttle in the Tea Room on Accra Road in Nairobi. You will find many shuttles heading to Narok. If you choose this option once you get to Narok Town, you would have to get another car to head to the Main Gate called Sekenani Gate so the hotel can pick you up from here. The price of a small car also depends on the time of travel $5 – $10 and also the budget high.
Self-Drive: You can rent a car but I would suggest if you easily get lost (like me), travel companies can sometimes rent out Landcruiser for $180 per trip if you have already booked your hotel. If You do drive you would have to leave your car inside the Main Gate of Mara in the Ranger/Ap Camp at a cost per night.
By Air: This is the easiest, convenient but also an expensive way to get to Mara. Flights are gotten from Wilson Airport, if you are afraid of small planes, I suggest take the road option. The prices are $160-$180 for one way. To get to Wilson you would need a Uber/Taxi from Jomo Kenyatta Airport (If you are coming from your international flight)
These are options if you are planning a trip to Mara yourself. The other option is travel agencies and they have packages that include hotel stays, transport from the airport to the hotel. You can also choose if you want to fly to Mara or use the road. Although the prices exclude park fees.
2. The Gate and Conservations Fees
They are 15 Conservations that are currently in the Mara. For Citizens of Kenya, gate fees are $10 (1000/-), per day. For International Citizens gate fees are $70 for adults and $40 for children.
Also to note that conservation fees, depending on where the hotel or camp is located, all have different prices, when I visit Mara last year, I stayed at Cottar’s 1920’s Luxury Camp, which is part of Olderkesi Conservancy, and I paid $22 per day.
It may seem expensive to pay conservation fees, but the money helps the Massai Communities that live within the Mara and also help to keep this natural habitat intact for future generations. Read my post about Conservation Safari, here.
Song Of Post: To Die For By Sam Smith