First trip to kenya
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Nov 4, 2012 10:13 PM Last Post By: carlmel
Oct 30, 2012 12:57 PM
First trip to kenyaSo decided I don't want to be in england for xmas so looking at kenya as I have heard really good things but know very little. Im thinking Mombasa and found a reasonably priced hostel a few things I am looking into are safaris Im on a budget but I want to see the wildlife in national parks not zoos, can I book from Mombasa?
Also what is the cost per day for food maybe a few beers I will be eating in local type restaurants public transport, the usual budget stuff. Is it safe like will I be ok with a laptop? Im used to travelling in dodgy countries but have no idea about Kenya.
one last thing I have just over a month I really would like to do some sort of tour to see gorillas which is Uganda? how hard is it to get from Mombasa to where I can get on a tour and what sort of time scale am I looking at
Oct 30, 2012 1:24 PM
1Make sure you do a lot of research. Mombasa isn't that nice, many people don't like the place and it doesn't sound like it's the correct city for you to be given your interests.
Nairobi would make a lot more sense as a place to begin your trip. If you want to visit Mombasa for a couple days once you've done the other stuff on your list you can do so.
Oct 30, 2012 1:38 PM
here are a few ideas to your queries but I am sure many more people will add to it......
- from what I have seen, safari prices are typically $120-$150 per person / per day. i won't speak to whether you should book before arriving but a lot of people on the forum seem to suggest booking upon arrival. having said that, i would still read peoples reviews on the forum to know companies with good or bad reviews.
- Train ride from Nairobi to Mombassa is a long 14-15 hour ride but what an adventure (I would probably only ride one way, then if you have to return, I would suggest bus or flight). see website for great info: http://www.seat61.com/Kenya.htm. I really enjoyed Mombassa but I would say it is a day or two trip at most.
- re laptop, i would carry a netbook or tablet but find the weight of a full size laptop cumbersome. also netbook is much cheaper if it does get lost or stolen. i carry a portable hard disk drive and plug it into the USB so all my important data is on the drive (which I keep close) and if the netbook disappears at least i don't lose my data.
- if you are staying in hostels, I would put valuables in my pillow case under my head but this is true anywhere in the world (not just Kenya). if staying in hotels, maybe a little different. New Palm Tree hotel in Mombassa is great balance between nice stay vs cost (obviously still more than a hostel would be).
- i don't know much about Uganda or Gorilla tours but the main lonely planet site had a story (just read it today) about congalese tour guides funding insurgency (link below) so hopefully you can make an informed decision.
- as for food costs, average local restaurant in Kenya should cost 200-500KES not including alcohol per person per meal. having said that, Mombassa is far more tourist oriented and it is really not difficult to pay 1000-3000KES for a meal depending on the establishment.
good luck hope you get lots of help.
Oct 30, 2012 2:26 PM
3Hey thanks for the info, I was thinking Mombasa as a base for beaches am I way out there then where would be good with some nightlife maybe a hostel kind of vibe I dont mind been on my own at xmas but would like somewhere at least a bit lively.
the gorilla thing while i do have a conscience i prefer animals to people and think that if the tours are going the animals are going to be kept around I could be wrong and will read into it.
Oct 30, 2012 5:45 PM
4There are beaches north and south of Mombasa, though not in the city itself. The city is not terribly pleasant (see my trip report a few posts down.) From there you can do safaris to Shimba Hills, or further afield to Tsavo or even Amboseli. Be aware that Christmas time is the peak season and prices will be at their highest.
I saw plenty of people with laptops, but I wouldn't want to leave one in a hotel room or carry it on a bus or matatu.
Oct 31, 2012 8:52 AM
Oct 31, 2012 9:14 PM
6Yo Chrisbatski ... if you want somewhere lively around Xmas time with a backpacker vibe try "Mombasa Backpackers". Just google it, they're on trip advisor and other touristy sites. The guy who owns is is literally the most knowledgeable guy about tourism in East Africa, if he doesn't have the answer to your question he'll ring somebody in Uganda or whatever and get you the answer. Anyway, if you want to chillax with beers on the beach for xmas, head there. Plan tourist stuff later!
Nov 1, 2012 10:38 AM
Nov 1, 2012 12:11 PM
8thanks for the replies, I am just about to book the flights will leave 6th december and return 30th december as i want to goto a nye party, anyway the hostel mentioned is one I was looking at for a bit of hostel life i miss from travelling south america but I really want to goto safari are all the reserves pretty much the same or are some better as I would like to goto the best place as I wont get back for quite some time.
In all honesty with that amount of time could I do a Gorilla tour in uganda or am I pushing it
My laptop isnt just for internet I want to write some music over there which is why I need to take it
Edited by: chrisbatski
Nov 2, 2012 12:11 PM
Nov 4, 2012 1:21 AM
10If you want to see gorillas in Ug, Nairobi-Kampala is a 12hr bus ride. If you want to see them in Rwanda, add another 10hrs for Kigali. I think DRC is a little iffy right now.
I would consider the train from Mombasa to Nairobi as dgreensl suggested. I've never taken it but it goes through Tsavo so you should probably be able to see some animals. Beats taking the bus anyways.
One of the cheapest national parks you can visit on your own steam (and is conveniently located only 1.5hrs from Nairobi) is Hell's Gate. You can bike around Hell's Gate and then pop down into the gorge for a bit. No large predators though (unless you count hyenas). You could also go to Nairobi NP for half a day.
Beer: around Ksh150 per bottle for local brands
Food: local is cheap, cheaper away from the cities. I don't think much of East African food in general, but outside of Nairobi, the coast has better food because they use more spices. I don't think you can spend more than Ksh100 on ugali, beef and kale/beans.
Transport: Short matatu rides (~Ksh50). Matatu ride between towns (few hours) - several hundred shillings. Long distance buses - pricier. (Nairobi - Kampala is about Ksh2000 I think)
Nov 4, 2012 10:13 PM
Trip to Kenya
No need to book in advance.
In september We made it to Masai mara with every thing booked on arrival
From Nairobi we booked a 4 wheel drive with adriver to masai mara. We spent around 135USD per day.
-Avoid moving to big gatherings
-Do not move with your valuables on the streets of Nairobi
Kenya is a nice country and you will love it.
Trip to Uganda
Book your gorilla permit in advance. Book through UWA or any Ugandan based tour company preferreably an AUTO member.
(3 star Hotel)
From US$104.54 per night
(0 star Hotel)
From US$16.67 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$275.00 per night