Traveling solo is always a thrill—and that’s never truer than when you’re zipping along the savanna on a solo safari in Kenya, with a local expert at the wheel and fellow safari-goers in the seats beside you. If you dream of seeing Africa but have nobody to go with, read on to find out why our new Kenya Wildlife Safari for Solo Travelers should be the very next trip you take. (Dreamt-of-this-forever views and heart-expanding friendships await.)
1. You’ll have quality group time in a 4x4 land cruiser
If you think spending a few hours in a car sounds like a drag, then you’re in for a welcome surprise during our solo safari in Kenya. One of the top things to know before your Kenyan safari is that you’ll spend some of the most exciting hours of your life in a 4x4 land cruiser, rumbling along on daily game drives. There’s a lot to be said for the warm friendships you’ll forge as you spend 10 thrilling days looking for wildlife alongside other solo travelers. So, one of our tips for traveling alone on a safari is to get comfortable in the car—and to leave your misconceptions behind.
“A big benefit of a solo safari in Kenya is that you travel in the same Jeep the whole time with the same six people, including your guide,” said staffer Megan. “You really get ample time to talk to that group and can easily leave the tour with six new travel friends! It can make it more natural to talk to people versus having to take the step to ask other travelers to go do things, get food, etc.”
Tip for traveling alone on a safari: Chat with your Jeep-mates. One moment you’ll be pointing out the animals you see in the distance, and the next you’ll be fast friends. (It’s one of the best parts of solo travel to Kenya.)
2. Easy friendships are made during free time at your lodges
On a solo safari in Kenya, the day’s adventures don’t end when you pull up to your lodges. These are spectacular spots in the middle of the amazing Kenyan landscape, and you’ll often feel like you’re still on a game drive as you look out from the deck and see animals at nearby watering holes. (In fact, getting the chance to practically hang out with wildlife at your hotels is one of the best-kept secrets on our Safari Tours!) So, one of our solo travel tips for a safari is to make yourself at home during your downtime.
The best part? Your fellow solo travelers will be at the lodges, too—the remote locations mean it’s not as simple for people to take off and do their own thing like they might easily be able to in Europe. So, most travelers are likely to stick around, and free time can naturally be spent together at the pool, on the deck, and in the on-site restaurant.
Solo travel tip for a safari: Share a sundowner at the end of the day. This traditional happy hour is the time to enjoy a drink as the sun sets over the African bush, and is common at safari lodges. It’s a great chance to bond with your fellow travelers while taking in the scenery and spotting animals. In fact, safari lodges are some of the best sunset spots in the world. “One of my favorite memories is of sitting with my group members at the end of each day,” said staffer Jamie. “We’d chat about the amazing things we’d seen and enjoy a Tusker lager while looking out at the landscape.”
3. An expert safari guide will lead the way
Going on a solo safari in Kenya doesn’t mean walking through the bush all by yourself. (In fact, one of our tips for traveling alone on a safari is to not do that—you know, because of all the lions.) On each day of our Kenya Wildlife Safari for Solo Travelers, you and your tourmates will be led by an expert local guide who will also drive your safari vehicle. That means you’ll have the solo safari experience of your dreams, with none of the intense planning that comes with organizing game drives by yourself.
“This tour exceeded all of my expectations!” said solo traveler Debbie after her Kenya safari. “I cannot speak highly enough of my tour guide, Daniel. He went above and beyond to ensure every need was met, and always did it with a smile on his face. Daniel was so knowledgeable about culture, tradition, history, geography, ecology, conservation, and animal behavior. He also had a great sense of humor. I saw the Big Five and much more! I even saw wildebeests cross the Mara River, which was incredible.”
Tip for traveling alone on a safari: Don’t hesitate to ask your safari guide questions. They’re experts about Kenya’s wildlife and landscapes, and are happy to share their beautiful country with you.
4. You and your fellow travelers will be on the same travel level
It’s wonderful to travel with all kinds of people, and one of our top solo safari tips is to embrace that. There’s always something to learn from your fellow travelers, whether they’ve been around the globe or are on their first-ever trip. But if you’re worried about feeling like a travel rookie, don’t fret—even the most seasoned travelers need guides while exploring Kenya! If a few of your fellow travelers have been on a safari before, it won’t change the fact that the only expert on your safari will be your guide. You’ll all be experiencing the same life-changing moments for the first time, and you’ll all have stars in your eyes.
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5. The thrill of a solo safari will create lifetime bonds
Have you ever experienced something amazing and wished somebody else had been there to see it? You won’t have to wish on our Kenya Wildlife Safari for Solo Travelers. Whether you’re feeding rescued giraffes at the Giraffe Centre in Nairobi, gazing at Mount Kilimanjaro from Amboseli National Park, or meeting members of the Maasai tribe, you’ll be able to turn to the solo traveler next to you and say, “Isn’t this amazing?”
It’s special to soak in wonder-filled moments alongside people who have many of the same safari dreams as you. When you look back on your solo safari memories, the people you shared the journey with will always be part of them, too. “Our group was a lot of fun and a big reason we travel with Go Ahead—the people we meet are always a big part of the trip,” said traveler David after his Kenya safari.
Solo travel tip for a safari: Ask your fellow travelers what they’re looking forward to experiencing most. If you all have your heart set on meeting members of the Maasai tribe, for example, it will be a bonding moment when you do. (Psst… if meeting the Maasai isn’t already on your Kenya bucket list, now’s your time to add it—it’s one of the top things to do in our Kenya Travel Guide!)
6. Solo travel to Kenya invites self-reflection
If sitting quietly in the middle of a national park in Kenya isn’t the perfect time to take stock of your travel dreams, we don’t know what is. Our Kenya Wildlife Safari for Solo Travelers will be full of dazzling, exciting, can’t-get-your-camera-out-fast-enough experiences, but one of our solo travel tips for a safari in Kenya is to find a moment to sit back and truly revel in the moment.
“Experiencing Kenya as a solo traveler helped me connect more with the country, people, culture, and even myself!” said staffer Lori after her Kenya safari. “The game drives had a lot of quiet downtime—driving around looking for wildlife, keeping our eyes peeled for lions, wildebeest, giraffes, zebras, and more. You need to be quiet during the game drives so that you don’t scare the wildlife away. This quiet time was very peaceful, and almost meditative. It really makes you feel present in the moment, and leaves a lot of space for self-reflection and gratitude. I thought to myself, ‘I cannot believe how lucky I am to be here’ over and over again, and I look back on that trip with so much appreciation.”
7. It’s a transformative experience
There’s nothing quite as life-changing as taking a leap of faith as a solo traveler and having it pay off as grandly as it will on our Kenya Wildlife Safari for Solo Travelers. From the new friendships you’ll make, to the breathtaking things you’ll see, to the feeling of accomplishment you’ll return home with, taking a solo safari will add so much to your collection of life experiences.
“This was my first solo trip and I was nervous, but from day one, I was welcomed and embraced by everyone on the tour,” said solo traveler Debbie after her Kenya safari. “If you are thinking of taking a solo trip, just do it! You will have no regrets. I highly recommend this tour! After traveling to Kenya, you will never be the same.”