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Kenya safaris: price vs. wildlife

Going on a wildlife safari holiday can be an exciting, but expensive experience. However, by choosing to visit wildlife reserves with cheaper entrance fees, you can dramatically reduce costs (especially for those in large groups) and still see some awesome wildlife and have a great time!

Kenya is not only home to some of the most amazing National Parks in the world, but also to some of the most breathtaking mountainous and lake-rich landscapes. It is the wonderful mixture of beautiful scenery and vibrant wildlife that attracts over a hundred thousand tourists who flock to Kenya annually.

Many people choose to visit the more expensive parks as they believe they will not be able to spot much wildlife at the cheaper parks. This may be true in terms of spotting large predators in numbers, but the cheaper parks are also inhabited by some wildlife that may not be spotted in the more expensive parks. To compare, here is a list of National Parks with their entrance fees (high to low) and some of the wildlife that can be seen in them.

*FYI: The ‘Big Five’ consists of black rhino, Cape buffalo, elephant, leopard and Masai lion.

Amboseli National Park

Adults: $60

Children (Age 3-17): $30

Students: $20

Wildlife: ‘Big Five’, crocodile, cheetah, Masai ostrich, plains zebra, Masai and reticulated giraffe.

Lake Nakuru National Park

Adults: $60

Children (Age 3-17): $30

Students: $20

Wildlife: black and white rhino, Cape buffalo, leopard, Masai lion, cheetah, black and white Colobus monkey, hippo, jackal.

Aberdare National Park

Adults: $50

Children (Age 3-17): $25

Students: $15

Wildlife: ‘Big Five’, black leopard, bongo, giant forest hog, olive baboon, warthog, serval cat.

Tsavo East National Park

Adults: $50

Children (Age 3-17): $25

Students: $15

Wildlife: ‘Big Five’, African hunting dog, cheetah, crocodile, Grevy’s zebra, hippo, Somali ostrich.

Tsavo West National Park

Adults: $50

Children (Age 3-17): $25

Students: $15

Wildlife: ‘Big Five’, gerenuk, hippo, cheetah, Masai giraffe, plains zebra, wildebeest.

Meru National Park

Adults: $50

Children (Age 3-17): $25

Students: $15

Wildlife: ‘Big Five’, beisa oryx, eland, Grevy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe, lesser kudu, gerenuk.

Chyulu National Park

Adults: $50

Children (Age 3-17): $25

Students: $15

Wildlife: leopard, elephant, Cape buffalo, cheetah, gerenuk, Masai giraffe.

Hell’s Gate National Park

Adults: $25

Children (Age 3-17): $10

Students: $10

Wildlife: Cape buffalo, impala, eland, reedbuck, steenbok, plains zebra.

Shimba Hills National Park

Adults: $20

Children (Age 3-17): $10

Students: $10

Wildlife: Cape buffalo, elephant, leopard, Masai giraffe, sable, duiker, Syke’s monkey, hyena, bushbuck.

Adding Lake Naivasha to your itinerary can make a huge difference to its cost. Due to it not being a listed National Park, it is completely free to enter. As well as the beautiful scenery on display and the magnificent lake that offers boating tours, there is also a great range of wildlife that can be spotted, including; Cape buffalo, hippo, Masai and Rothschild’s giraffe, hyena, jackal and impala. Lake Naivasha is a bird watchers haven with various species of heron, pelican, flamingo and stork being present amongst the soaring birds of prey such as fish eagle, Verreauxs eagle and Rueppell’s vulture.

Although it may sound strange, not all safaris need to be focused on the immediate gratification of spotting wildlife. There are also cultural experiences to be had, beautiful landscapes to see and hiking trips with local guides to participate in. The beauty of going on a private safari is that you can choose what you want to do.

So now you should have a better prospective of which animal inhabitants demand the higher park entrance fees. This should give you some ideas to add your own customised safari itinerary. If you are interested in more information about safaris in Kenya then contact Ziara Safaris. Ziara are specialists in private and custom safaris around East Africa’s greatest National Parks and Game Reserves, and can work flexibly with you to put together a suitable safari itinerary depending on your preferences.

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