Where to stay in Kenya
Hotels in Kenya vary from lavish 5-star safari lodges, beach hideaways, and international brands with a full range of facilities, to simple board and lodgings catering to local business travellers. Many of Nairobi's hotels are of top international standard. Some are still in the colonial style. Boutique hotels are becoming increasingly popular. In the tourist areas on the coast, are some all-inclusive resorts offering water-sports and entertainment. On Lamu, accommodation is in atmospheric restored Arabic houses. Safari lodges in the parks and reserves range from large blocks of rooms catering for tour groups, to intimate camps. Most small towns have at least one adequate mid-range hotel. Hotel bills must be paid in foreign currency or Kenyan Shillings; larger hotels, resorts and safari lodges take credit cards.
Grading: Accommodation in Kenya is divided into groups: town hotels, vacation hotels, lodges and country hotels. Within each group, grading is according to amenities and variety of facilities. For further information, contact the Kenya Association of Hotel Keepers & Caterers.
There are no restrictions on camping in Kenya but, wild animals and the possibility of robbery can make bush camping dangerous. It is best to stick to formal, secure campsites. Most game reserves and national parks have sites with long drop latrines and perhaps a cold shower. In many tourist areas private campsites offer budget rates for backpackers.
Budget: Almost all Kenya's towns offer basic budget hotels and lodgings. You should ensure that the sheets are clean and the door locks, and you may need to provide your own mosquito net.
Youth Hostels: There are several youth hostels in Kenya, but they are very basic and tend to be used by local student or church groups. For further information, contact the Kenya Youth Hostels Association (www.yhak.org).
Self-catering: Along the coast and on farms in the Rift Valley, there is a number of self-catering accommodation options to rent. These vary from rustic bungalows to lavish villas. Most have staff to help with cooking and cleaning. (www.holidayhomeskenya.com).
Lodges: Accommodation in safari areas ranges from large safari lodges, often overlooking a waterhole or in a prime game viewing region, to small camps with just a handful of luxury permanent tents erected on platforms under thatched roofs.