Road trips in Kenya are often an exciting way to explore different destinations around the country. They give you the freedom to travel at your own pace, make stops to explore off beaten tracks and truly immerse yourself in both the journey and the destination. When planned out well, they can be a thrilling and enjoyable adventure for travellers, so in this article, we’ll highlight 5 tips to help you plan and enjoy your next road trip.
Decide on your destination and plan your route
Choosing your destination is the first step to planning a road trip adventure that you would enjoy. Luckily, Kenya is an amazing country for road trips and there is no shortage of places to choose from. Your destination will depend on how much time and resources you have to spare and once you have picked out a place, you would need to plan out your route to get there. Your planning can be done by using a web mapping platform or the good-old asking-a-friend or someone who is familiar with the terrain.
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Prepare your vehicle for the road trip
If you would be travelling in your vehicle, be sure that everything is in order, from the state of the vehicle to the necessary paperwork you might need. It is advisable to get your vehicle serviced and checked properly before embarking on any road trip in Kenya, especially if it would involve long hours of driving. In addition, having the necessary tools to help in case of a breakdown and an updated emergency contact list can put you more at ease to enjoy your road trip.
Plan, but do not over plan
In Ralph Pott’s book, Vagabonding, he observes: “The secret of adventure, then, is not to carefully seek it out but to travel in such a way that it finds you”. Keep in mind that road trips are about adventure. You do not need to plan out where you’ll be every hour. It is good to have a general idea of the activities you’re interested in and stops you would be making but remember to leave room for spontaneity. This way, you are guaranteed to discover more wonderful places and people.
Make your road trip more budget friendly by camping
“My greatest skill has been to want little” Thoreau famously pronounced. If you are trying to build this skill (and your savings account), camping can be a great way to do so. There are great places to go camping across Kenya and you would find good resources to map out where to camp on the Kenya Wildlife Service’s site and other internet resources.
Some great campsites include Sabache, Samburu National Park, Ol Pejeta, Castle Forest Lodge, Camp Carnelly’s in Naivasha and Nakuru National Park
Select good travel companions
A good travel companion is key for enjoying your road trip. There are a few common denominators between you and your travel companion to check for: similar budget, similar open-mindedness about food and lodging, and similar interests. It’s wise to discuss these openly and honestly before committing to a road trip with someone. Bonus qualities for a good travel buddy include the ability to stay positive when things go wrong, the ability to seize the day, and the ability to take amazing photos.
Another tip to enjoying your trip is to give yourself or your group a variety of interesting or funny tasks to complete during your journey. Here are a few examples:
- You are only allowed “Hello, how are you?” and “Please” and “Thank you” in the mother tongue of where you are (Kenya has 68 languages!)
- Identify 30 different birds during your trip
- Get a photo of you doing a handstand on top of a mountain…
This is a sure way to pass the time and to have a memorable trip.
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Don’t be in a hurry
Lastly, give yourself permission to not be in a hurry, resist FOMO (the fear of missing out), and enjoy the best part of a road trip: the trip itself.