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Ten years ago it was very difficult to backpack around Kenya due to a lack of good public transport links and budget places to stay, however over the years public transport has improved and is continuing to improve, especially with the development of the SGR train.
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In that time an increasing number of independent travellers have forged backpacking routes around Kenya and in the process have written travel blogs and started backpacking forum groups online, especially on Facebook. This offers an invaluable support network to independent budget travellers, giving advise on how to travel around on a budget with public transport and gives recommendations on where to stay and what activities to do.
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This in turn is creating a new market for accessible budget camps and backpacker friendly places to stay, although it is still a new emerging market in Kenya and finding great places to stay is not always easy, hopefully this will change and new properties will continue to spring up across Kenya and East Africa.
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In the mean time, below is our top 5 backpacker friendly and budget camps that we know of around Kenya. Feel free to drop us a message if you know of others we’ve missed and we’ll continue to add more as we find them!

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CAMP CARNELLEY’S – NAIVASHA
With accommodation from dorms, to budget rooms, to en suite bandas and a beautiful shady campsite overlooking the lake. Located on Moi South Lake road it is accessible via the regular matatus which run between Naivasha town and Kongoni.
There are cooking shades for those travellers with their own kitchen equipment but no self catering kitchen although their bar restaurant has a varied menu of really good and reasonable priced meals :)
www.campcarnelleys.com

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KAMBI AMANI – NAKURU
Kambi Amani is located in a quiet area just outside of Nakuru town. It would be easily and cheaply accessed by a tuk tuk or boda boda motorbike for those travellers who don’t have their own vehicle.
They provide beautifully furnished tented accommodation with separate outside shared toilet and solar heated hot shower facilities and a also have a large campground. There is no kitchen shade or self catering area but good and well priced meals also are available in the bar restaurant area. They also have a great fireplace area at night and a lookout point over Lake Nakuru.
www.kambiamanicamp.org

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ROBERTS CAMP – LAKE BARINGO
In recent years Robert’s Camp has sadly lost a lot of their campsite and accommodation to flooding after a huge rise in water levels, however it is still a beautiful, peaceful place to spend some time.
Located on the shores of Lake Baringo it is a haven to a huge variety of different and unusual bird life and you ay also encounter some Hippos at night.
It has some budget bandas and also a large camping area. There is no self catering kitchen but it’s small bar restaurant which overlooks the lake does some great reasonably priced meals, you can also walk out to some of the surrounding local bar restaurants and camps from here.
Roberts Camp is accessible via matatu from Nakuru, you need to travel first to Marigat and then from marigat the destination is called Kambi ya Samaki.
www.robertscamp.com

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MARA EXPLORERS CAMP & BACKPACKERS – MAASAI MARA
Located just 3km and less than a 10 minute drive from the Sekenani gate of the Maasai Mara, Mara Explorers has budget and en suite accommodation as well as a large campground. There is a small self catering kitchen as well as a kitchen shade for those with their own kitchen. The bar and restaurant also have freshly prepared and reasonably priced meals available.
There are a variety of activities available to book from here and the property is accessible via public transport. From Narok, opposite Naivas supermarket, you just need to book a seat in a shared taxi coming to Sekenani and let the driver know you are alighting at Mara Explorers.
www.maraexplorers.com

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KIDOGO NYUMBANI BACKPACKERS- WATAMU
Kidogo Nyumbani has it all for backpackers; camping, dorms and a variety of other accommodation. They have games, a swimming pool and organise various activities.
They have a backpackers self catering kitchen and also a bar restaurant with reasonable prices food and drink, whats more their website has all you need to know about how to reach them, including via public transport!
www.kidogonyumbani.com

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