1. Know Exactly Where you Want to Go
Please understand that backpacking is not only for those on a budget but also for travelers who seek the unbeaten path.
Do a little bit of research about little known destinations, such as Hell’s Kitchen in Malindi, as well as the major places to visit like the Nairobi National Park, and prepare your road map according to them. It is even possible to go right across the country, from Mombasa to Kisumu, depending on how much time you have to spend in Kenya.
2. Travel by Bus
Whether your plane lands in Nairobi or Mombasa, it is inevitable that you should hire a cab to take you to your hotel. A good night’s rest in a proper bed is important after your flight, so that you can start backpacking feeling refreshed and energetic.
However, if you will have any long distance journeys, say, from Mombasa to Nairobi, or Nairobi to Kisumu, or even across borders to Tanzania and Uganda, do travel by bus.
3. Travel by Matatu
For short distances, a matatu ride is ideal in Kenya. Matatus are public transport vehicles, mainly minivans and minibuses, that plow the numerous routes across Nairobi and its environs.
For example, if your hotel is in Nairobi and you want to go to the Rift Valley, where all the spectacular lakes are, it will cost only a few hundred shillings and in about an hour or so, you’ll be there!
4. Eat Local Food
Of course, one major concern for travelers in Kenya, and indeed anywhere across Africa, is the individual’s reaction to local food. Some restaurants serving local cuisine are very popular with tourists, such as the G&R Restaurant in Nairobi that offers good servings, including vegetarian options, at an average of Ksh. 200 per plate.
However, if you have tried Kenyan food before and didn’t quite enjoy it, or if you’re apprehensive, you could opt to stick with the known restaurants like Java, KFC and Dormans for your meals.
5. Sleep in Campsites
There are numerous campsites to choose from in Kenya, so it all depends on the attractions you will be visiting. Some places along the Kenyan coast allow for camping right on the beach, while a good number of national parks have their own tented camps and spaces right inside the parks, too.
Book your camping space independently to avoid the surcharges of tour companies and save money.
6. Avoid Carrying Expensive Gadgets
This is more of a precaution that will save you money eventually- keep to the basic gadgets on your backpacking trip: a cell phone, a camera, and maybe a small laptop.
Doing this will prevent any significant losses should you get mugged, which is always a possibility wherever you’re backpacking. These three devices will also keep you well connected if you want to send emails or make video logs during your trip.
7. Join Tour Groups
In the major national parks in Kenya, it is possible to join a tour group that are arranged by the Kenya Wildlife Service. This can be done in advance or even at arrival, and it is an excellent opportunity not just to save money but to meet new people.
All these tips combined can save you a pretty penny and give you an unforgettable experience of Kenya.
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