Family Vacation On A Budget Kenya

Family vacation on a budget? The phrase may seem contradictory, but for savvy travelers, it is not. This article explores how you can go to Kenya on a budget. A safari holiday is a rollicking adventure laced with adventure. Kenya is one of the most spectacular destinations in East Africa when planning for an unforgettably family vacation. There are lots of reasons for this, but I will give you the highlights here.

Would you want to visit Kenya? Absolutely! But the cost of a Kenya family holiday is always very high. This post tells you how to enjoy the beautiful nature of Kenya at a budget price. Family travel can be an expensive venture, but it doesn’t need to put a dent in your finances. Planning a family reunion will definitely attract cheap family vacation ideas by the boatload. From coast-to-coast and border-to-border, there are some pretty phenomenal family vacation spots across the country.

As a country, Kenya is enticingly diverse; from a snow capped mountain, to lush plains, rich savannah, the Great Rift Valley, impossibly arid deserts and white sandy beaches with palm trees that will take your breath away.

Family Vacation On A Budget Kenya

Kenya is a wholesome destination that has everything to offer any family vacationing together. That being said, here are 50 of the best family destinations that Kenya has to offer:

1. Malindi Marine National Park, Malindi

Malindi Marine National Park

This is a wonderful 6km2 National Park within the Malindi-Watamu biosphere which runs parallel to the shore. Here, you will find all sorts of kid-friendly activities that include; glass-bottom boat rides and tours; snorkeling lessons and trips; scuba diving and so much more. As a family, you will get to witness the marvels of Mother Nature together. Spot Mako and whale sharks, surgeonfish, Moorish idols and green turtles as you tour the clear blue waters of the Indian Ocean.

2. The Crocodile Farm and Snake Park, Malindi

Crocodile Farm and Snake Park, Malindi

As long as you are still in Malindi, you should treat your kids to fun filled day at the Crocodile Farm and Snake Park. Let them see how these, otherwise vicious creatures feed; let them hold a turtle in their hands as well as a host of other slither creatures as they learn more about nature.

3. Watamu Marine National Reserve, Watamu


Watamu Marine National Reserve presents a great opportunity for everyone to learn a little bit about the highly diverse fauna that this habitat has on display. With well over 600 fish species; 150 different types of soft/hard corals; mantra rays and twenty different dive sites, Watamu Marine National Reserve will give you a fun-filled day that you and your family will not forget.

4. Shela Beach, Shela

Shela Beach

This is a dune fringed beach that is very peaceful and calm for a family vacation. The best part about this region is that it is not as busy or as congested as other beaches in the area. Here, you can take leisure walks along the sand hunting for shells or take a fun-filled camel ride offered by the locals. It presents the perfect opportunity for spending quality time with the family.

5. Swahili Museum, Lamu Old Town

This newly restored museum depicts how the founders of Lamu lived and it showcases Swahili culture in a fun and educative manner. Taking a tour of this traditional stone house gives you a chance to learn little known secrets of ancient Swahili tribes. One such interesting fact appertains to what Lamu residents called the ‘Wikios’. These were covered walkways connecting several different homes which allowed the separate residents to move through the connected houses without ever setting foot on the streets outside.

6. Fort Jesus, Mombasa

Fort Jesus

If you are going to be touring Mombasa, you would be missing quite a lot of fun if you do not visit ‘Fort Jesus’. This ancient stronghold is as rich in history and heritage as it is in architectural marvel. Not only will you take your kids on a trip down memory lane, but you will also allow them to see firsthand just how slave trade worked, old weapons (canons) and have a wonderful view of the Indian Ocean while they are at it!

7. Old Town, Mombasa

Mombasa Old town

To complete your history lesson, take a stroll down the narrow alleys of Old Town, Mombasa. Here, you will find ancient Arabic/Swahili culture, architecture and atmosphere alive and well. There are eclectic shops at every corner selling everything from beautiful curios to exotic souvenirs. The kids will have plenty to see and do, and so will you.

8. Mount Kenya Safari Club

Mount Kenya Safari

This is an excellent club right at the foot of the majestic Mt. Kenya. If the sight of this snow-capped giant, which just happens to be Africa’s 2nd tallest mountain, is not good enough for you, then the surrounding greenery, the nearby animal orphanage and trips to neighbouring Nanyuki town will should give your family plenty to do and see.

9. Mawingu Estate

This is a little known estate neighbouring ‘Mt. Kenya Safari Club’. Mawingu Estate is as exclusive and as private as it gets. Most of the homes here are owner-homes and the activities are tailor made to suit families since their children also vacation here. Your kids will have a chance to help the handlers at the neighbouring animal orphanage feed and care for the animals; explore the tranquil environment on horseback and take drives to the neighbouring ‘Mt. Kenya Safari Club’ for more wholesome activities.

10. El Karama Eco Lodge, Laikipia


Laikipia environs in general have some of the most family-friendly ranches and lodges Kenya has to offer. El Karama Eco Lodge is one such destination that, besides being absolutely stunning, is family-centric. Not only will your kids get a chance to familiarize themselves with the Samburu culture, but they will also learn how to use termite clay to make sculpture, how to track wildlife, how fish using hand lines and receive a dairy to log all this in and store the precious memories.

11. Malewa Ranch House

Malewa Ranch House
Photo Source:

Imagine walking freely among Zebras; horseback riding; mountain biking through the wilderness; strolling by the Riverside looking for indigenous birds, abseiling and river rafting together as a family. All that and more can be found at this beautiful and tranquil location, which lies lies in a private reserve between Lake Naivasha and the small town of Gilgil.

12. Solio Ranch Conservancy, Abardare

Solio Lodge

This grand place is perfectly situated between Mt. Kenya and Aberdare Ranges. It has a little something for everyone including game tracking lessons for the young ones; Maasai and Samburu style bead making; traditional hunting skills; and wonderful nature walks through the expansive wilderness around you. The staff is always around to take the kids off your hands and keep them well entertained while you have some ‘adult-size’ fun!

13. Go Karting, Next To Carnivore


Race around the tracks at neck-breaking, yet safe, speeds with Go-Karts in Lang’ata, right next to the Carnivore restaurant. This is a wholesome activity that the whole family can take part in. Book the tracks early and have a wonderful time racing against each other or the rest of the patrons. Give your kid the same starting chance that most Formula One greats like Lewis Hamilton had.

14. Splash Water World

Splash World

This is one for children! The pools, the water slides, face painting and everything else that comes with this festive arena will leave every child giddy with excitement. There are concession stands for the parents to hang out as the kids have a time of their lives.

15. Enjoy Game Meat at the Carnivore


Although the ‘Carnivore’ is primarily a restaurant of international taste and standards, it is not only built for adults. It has some kid-friendly grounds and activities within the same grounds. You can keep an eye on your kids as they have a whole lot of fun with the staff while you enjoy an ice cold beer and some game meat.

16. Panari Sky Centre

Panari Sky Centre

Be one of the very few families who can say that they went ice skating on the Equator. As improbable as that may sound, ‘The Panari Sky Center’ on Mombasa road has a beautiful rink that will have you and your kids panting away as you race around it. But if you are not one for skating, you can have the instructors take care of the kids while you enjoy some alone time at the spa or the Italian restaurant within the same facility.

17. Giraffe Center

giraffecenter, Nairobi

Very few things are as thrilling as getting a chance to come so close to one of nature’s most majestic creatures. At Giraffe Center, just off Lang’ata South Rd, you can hand feed a real giraffe. Get a chance to touch and interact with these towering beauties of the wild.

18. Karura Forest

Karura forest

Karura forest is famous for how bravely Noble Laureate, the late Prof. Mathai fought for it. One of the main reasons she fought so hard is because this is one of the most naturally beautiful places in Nairobi. You can explore this great forest on horseback as you and your family take a look at some of the enchanting flora and fauna within.

19. Shop at the Village Market


This is as kid-friendly as a mall can get. The village Market in Gigiri is not only a premium shopping mall in Kenya, it is also one of the most beautiful places you can go to spend a quiet afternoon. With an expansive outdoor food court, a movie theatre, a water slide, an arcade with Fuzzball tables, a bowling alley and a bar for the adults, the Village Market is where you go when you want everything in one location.

20. Nairobi Arboretum Grounds

Nairobi Arboretum

This has to be the most peaceful place so close to the city center. Only ten minutes away, the Nairobi Arboretum is a jungle in the middle of the city. There are dozens of nature walks, picnic tables and enough space to have a wonderfully peaceful family fun day.

21. The Black Cotton, Kileleshwa

Smack in the middle of the leafy suburb that is Kileleshwa, is a wonderful little establishment called ‘The Black Cotton’. A bar, a restaurant, a swimming pool and a kid’s playground, the Black Cotton was built for families. You can sit back and enjoy the tranquility as the staff takes you kids on boat rides in the pool and push them on the playground swings.

22. Oloolua Nature Trail

Oloolua Nature Trail
Photo Source: AIESEC Strathmore

This is an expansive piece of untouched land in Karen. With 661 hectares of pure nature, Oloolua Nature Trail is as relaxing as it is intriguing. Tour this beautiful land teeming with exotic birds, colourful butterflies, mesmerizing waterfalls, a swamp, natural caves and some of the cheekiest primates you’ll ever meet.

23. Nairobi Nv Lunar Park

Lunar Park
Photo Source: Lunar Park on Facebook

This is quite essentially a theme park straight out of a child’s dream.  That is not to say that adults cannot enjoy themselves as well. Located at the Railways Sports Club, the rides at Lunar Park will have every member of your family screaming their hearts out from excitement. Try the 360 degrees Banana Ride or the Dragon Boat. Visit: Lunar Park

24. Paintball Fury Limited


Who doesn’t like gun slinging cowboys/heroes who fear nothing as they shoot their way through life? Everyone wants a chance to feel like a gun toting movie hero every now and again. That is exactly what you will get at ‘Paintball Fury Limited’. Their banner says, ‘Only Heroes Allowed’. If that doesn’t get your blood pumping, nothing will. Visit: Paintball Fury Limited

25. Jolly Roger Theme Park And Restaurant

Photo Source:

Sit back at the restaurant and enjoy some refreshing drinks as your kids play around on the bouncing castles and the expansive playground at the Jolly Roger Theme Park. Right next to Mamba Village, on Lang’ata North Road, this place represents the best possible opportunity for parents to interact as their children have a blast nearby.

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