Hello there!! 😀 Does the idea of traveling solo to a new place and possibly dining by yourself make you anxious? You are not alone… I compiled these travel tips for traveling solo in Kenya with just you in mind!
As we dive in, I invite you to come along with an open heart and a dash of good humor to boot! 😀
Your Best 11 Tips For Traveling Solo In Kenya!
Before You Visit: Research!
One of the things that might make you nervous about traveling solo in Kenya is the fear of the unexpected… And while you can never fully prepare for eventualities, it helps to do your research in advance!
Find out the best routes to take, costs you might incur, whether there are hospitals close by and so on…
Prior research will show you for instance, that it’s safer to go to Lamu by plane, because the route by road is not fully safe.
Tip>>Check out Trip Advisor Discussion Forums… There, you’ll find other travelers’ real-life experiences and tips for visiting different parts of Kenya.
How To Get Around…
If it’s your first time traveling solo in Kenya, I would suggest using Uber to get around within the main cities.
Our public transport system is best-suited for when you have a local with you…
However, some towns in Kenya don’t have Uber services yet, but you’ll find local taxi apps like Bolt and Little Cab. And in the rural areas, boda bodas (motorbikes) are available.
>> Talk to a local for recommendations on the best mode of transport.
Kenyans are friendly people, and we’ve long gotten used to having tourists in our country. Even so, it helps to blend in… 🙂
If you don’t wish to stick out like a sore thumb, avoid wearing those wide Safari hats and khaki outfits, in the city. Also, nothing shouts- tourist, like saying ‘Jambo?’
Instead, try picking up the local lingo, and being cultural-sensitive… For instance, in the rural areas people are more conservative, so try to dress modestly.
>> Check out my post on The Best Travel Apps for language learning tips.
Where to Stay? Trust The Reviews…
Before you book a stay, check online reviews and pick a place that has a couple of good ones from guests.
Moreover, check how they handled issues with past guests. Some places favor group bookings, so find out if you are paying a higher rate for being solo.
For most people, safety is a concern- whether traveling solo in Kenya or around the world…
While traveling solo in Kenya, it’s wise to always keep your smarts about you. Plan your tours during the daytime and avoid deserted areas at night.
Share a copy of your travel itinerary, like flight times, reservations and your host’s contacts, with your friends and family. Furthermore, update the Emergency contact information on your phone.
>>You might also want to get travel insurance, just in case.
Going On Safari? Join a Group Trip…
Going on Safari is one of the few things that doesn’t favor people traveling solo in Kenya.
Most Tour Operators organize group Safaris, because of the operational costs… It would be far too expensive to go on a solo safari, unless of course, cost is not an issue for you. 🙂
It helps to plan your Safari well in advance, before you land in Kenya… Check out travel forums on Facebook, like Nairobi Expats Travel, where Tour operators post about Group Safari options.
Plus you might end up making friends who’ll make your trip all the more livelier! 🙂
Tour Like A Local: Get a City Pal!
Perhaps you don’t have the time or patience to do all the research or join a group tour… Well, that’s where City Pals comes in!
City Pals allows you to travel with a local, like a local, on a customized tour- just for you!
>>Check out my City Pals profile HERE to book a tour with me. 🙂
Keep Your Possessions Close
You’ll encounter amazingly beautiful souls along your journey here in Kenya… All the same, stay mindful of your luggage and trust your gut if something doesn’t feel right.
>>Also, always carry a copy of your passport, in case cops stop you to check your identification.
>>Before locking your valuables in a safe, check whether it works at least once or twice… My friend once had trouble retrieving his items because the thing got stuck!
Kenya has largely gone cashless, and most payments are made via MPESA.
MPESA is a mobile money transfer service that enables you to buy goods and services. So it might be a good idea to purchase a Safaricom sim card, and register for an MPESA line.
If you need to book something before you arrive, you can use Western Union or World Remit to make MPESA payments outside Kenya.
>>Carry some cash on you just in case.
Meet New People!
While traveling solo, meeting new people can be a challenge. So why not connect with people who share similar interests?
I recently discovered Meetups Nairobi where you’ll find meetups for nearly every interest under the sun! Be it music, food, dancing, tech, fitness- you’ll find it there! 😀
You can also sign up for Airbnb experiences, that’re also organized around various interests.
Ask Before Taking Pictures
Before you take pictures of locals, be sure to ask if it’s okay, particularly with Maasais. You might need to pay a small fee for them to let you take a picture…
Davis (Pilmax Photography)
Thank you for reading! I hope you found this post useful… Be sure to bookmark it for your solo travels in Kenya and share with your foreign visitors too! And feel free to add more tips on the comments section 😀
I would love to hear from you, leave your feedback/questions down below!
<<Stay. Inspired. Always.>>