The Ultimate Backpacking Guide to Kenya

The Ultimate Backpacking Guide to Kenya : Kenya is an incredibly diverse and great country with so much to offer that is it is listed among the best destinations of backpacking, Kenya has fascinating landscapes, hospitable people and cultural diversities which are a thrilling experiences for a back packer to encounter while on Kenya Safaris Tours.

If backpacking has been on your on-to-do list during your travel to Kenya, here is the ultimate backpacking guide to Kenya

How to enjoy it every step of the way

To enjoy a backpacking experience in Kenya, here are the steps to take along the way


As you head to Kenya for a backpacking experience, research is very important for a memorable experience. There is plenty of information online about Kenya and testimonies from several travelers who have carved out their own routes and very willing to share their experiences about backpacking in Kenya. However, you should not trust every information you read as you may not know what they did to have a successful experience.

Planning a successful itinerary for backpacking in Kenya, you need to have thorough information about the destinations. Note: accurate information  can be got from a trusted tour operator in Kenya and Focus East Africa Tours ( and

Some of the most important information to know are the routes because some routes pass through wilderness areas, this means you will need guides to help you. Another aspect to research about are the ways of communication in Kenya. There are several Telecommunication companies (mobile service providers) with SIM cards available for visitors.

The major language spoken in Kenya is English and Kiswahili, however you can also find French, German, Italian and Spanish speakers. In case you wish to learn more about the local language “swahili” and the best way to do it is by interacting with the locals who are more than happy to help you to your next stop or even escort you there.

Survival tips

Survival is very important most especially in a foreign country, like other countries crime in Kenya is what you expect it to be with the worst crime that could happen to you as a traveler being pick pocketed. As a traveler you are advised not to have your valuables out in the open, bag snatching is also common in Kenya most especially in big cities and towns such as Nairobi, Mombasa and Nakuru among others. Because of this, it is best to have a backpack with thick straps as opposed to a shoulder bag.

Instead of commuting while in Kenya’s cities and towns, take a public mini bus. The general fare is within a range of US$ 1 – $5.

Generally Kenya is a safe country secure for both the visitors and locals.

Food and accommodation

Kenya has plenty of decent accommodation facilities where you can stay cheaply during you backpacking safari, these include hostels, 2 star hotels and plenty of rental apartments almost in a very area of the country, For travelers looking for high standard accommodation facilities there are plenty of 5 star hotels, luxury resorts and lodges in every corner of the country.

In Kenya a choice of international cuisine or local cuisines are available, the local cuisine includes mutura, the famoys Nyama choma and Ugali or some bitter vegetables which are quite nutritious. Roadside food kiosks are quite popular and most of them are similar to the other, although some of them are clean and they maintain high sanitary standards, you should be care with which stall you eat from “just by glace, you will know the perfect stall to eat from.

Making friends

Local people in Kenya are very hospitable and welcoming people, from the local communities to the guides you are ought to meet during your Kenya Safari excursions. During your encounter with the locals you will be invited for a meal by the locals with a genuine smile and exceptional courtesy. In Kenya’s culture, offering food and drink is part of welcoming any visitor and giving then your very best is emphasized. During your encounter with the locals, make it a point to learn a few local language phrases it makes you feel more at home and the locals will be more than happy to add a few more to your vocabulary.

Money, money, money

Money is very important during your backpacking experience, in Kenya the local currency used is Kshs (Kenya shillings) and they are used in all the transaction. There are various spots (banks and fore bureaus) where you can change various currencies such as US dollars, pounds and others to Kenya shillings.

The use of credit cards is available within the big cities and towns of Kenya, your cards also work in every ATM Machine and banks.


  • 1 meal ($1-$100USD)
  • 1 beer ($2 for the local beer) $3-4 for foreign brands
  • 1 night at a backpacker hostel ($15-50 cheap hotel)
  • 1 cheap mode of transport for inner-city travel (less than 1$ for intercity transportation)
  • 1 hygiene/medical essential (at a local shop) ($20-$25)
  • 1 affordable experience such as average entry to visit a Temple coast $1 – $100 for entry fees to parks or sites depending on the place

Where to go

Knowing the right destination to go for backpacking in Kenya can save you a great deal of time, below are the ideal destinations to go to for backpacking


Naivasha is a backpacker’s paradise in Kenya, the area is a home to Hell’s Gate National Park one of the smaller national parks in Kenya and an incredibly scenic destin

The Ultimate Backpacking Guide to Kenya
Hell’s Gate National Park

ation. From Nairobi to Naivasha, it takes only 2 hours of commuting and it will cost you about US$ 3 – US$ 5.

Naivasha is popularly known as a camping destination with several camping facilities available in the area, while backpacking in Naivasha you will enjoy panoramic views of Lake Naivasha a fresh water lake, bird watching, hiking, rock climbing, cycling, wildlife viewing, fishing and canoeing on Lake Naivasha.

Hiking and rock climbing in the Naivasha area offers a close up encounter with geysers and hot springs in the area where you can boil eggs thus The Ultimate Backpacking Guide to Kenya.


Nakuru is another fascinating region in Kenya to go backpacking, Nakuru is located just two hour past Naivasha by vehicle, while in this region you will get an opportunity to visit is Lake Nakuru an alkaline lake with millions of flamingoes along the shores of the lake. You will also spot various wildlife species in the area such as rhinos, zebras and wildebeest among others. In the region, there plenty of Airbnbs and affordable small hotels found in Nakuru Town and on the edges of the town.


Eldoret is a beautiful small Town and a paradise for backpackers, the town is a gateway to spiritual home of running called Iten, from Iten it is a drive of roughly 1 hour from Eldoret and it costs about USD $3-USD $ 5. World class runners are made in Iten and the town is frequented by international athletes which are attracted to the area because of the terrain in the high altitude.

During you backpacking experience in Eldoret, you will be able to see groups of locals and foreigners jogging together on tarmac roads, the region has a scenic landscape with intensely rugged and moderate slopes perfect for backpacking.


Mombasa is a beautiful coastal town and the second-largest city of Kenya, the city is a wonderful place to go backpacking in Kenya. From Nairobi you can get to Mombasa either by road or by train which is an adventure of its own, using the Madaraka express it is a drive of about 4-5 hour from Nairobi to Mombasa running daily. Along the way you are likely to spot game such as zebras, giraffes and elephants among others roaming in the wild.

During back packing in Mombasa, make it a point to visit the neighboring towns of Ukunda, Mtwapa, Bamburi and Lamu for scenic landscapes which are old, rugged, serene and incredibly beautiful.

The Ultimate Backpacking Guide to Kenya
The Ultimate Backpacking Guide to Kenya


In Kenya, there are a number of experiences to enjoying while on a backpacking adventure.

Take the Mtongwe Ferry

Mtongwe Ferry is one of the oldest ferries in Kenya and it can easily be noticed, the ferry carries thousands of people and numerous vehicles. Riding on this ferry is a thrilling experience as you get to enjoy spectacular views of the Indian Ocean from, while on board, make sure you are close to the railing.

Go kayaking

Kayaking is an exciting experience you can do in Kenya during backpacking Kenya Safari experience, this activity is ideal for individuals looking for adrenaline-pumping rapids experience. Kayaking is done on the Ewaso Nyiro and Tana Rivers, during this activity you will be able to see crocodiles and hippos from a fair distance and watch them sinking into the river.

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