Finding affordable accommodations is a major challenge for backpackers. While sites like Airbnb and HostelWorld help in some places, many budget lodges and campsites are not listed online. Backpackers often have to search for places upon arrival at their destination.
Kenya is a top backpacking destination globally due to its incredible nature, wildlife, beaches and ecosystems. Key spots like Nairobi, Mombasa, Kilifi, Lamu and Kisumu receive many backpackers seeking cheap deals.
The high demand for budget lodging has led hospitality investors to establish quality, low-cost hostels in key areas. Mombasa and the North Coast specifically have adapted to backpackers' needs by providing excellent, affordable hostels, which are a boon for budget travellers.
Though finding inexpensive accommodations can be tough for backpackers initially, Kenya has developed a thriving network of high-standard, economical hostels in key destinations to meet the needs of budget-conscious travellers seeking to explore the country's natural beauty and wildlife.
Below is a budget- friendly list of best Backpackers Accommodations in Kenya
Embarking on an enriching and budget-friendly adventure in Kenya is made seamless with this curated list of the best backpackers' accommodations. From the coastal allure of Kilifi and Diani to the cultural vibrancy of Nairobi and Lamu, these hostels offer a diverse range of experiences, be it relaxing by the beach, engaging in water sports, delving into city exploration, or immersing in local culture. Each establishment promises not just affordable lodging, but also an avenue to connect with fellow travellers, uncover Kenya's natural wonders, and forge lasting memories without breaking the bank.
Distant Relatives Ecolodge & Backpackers in Kilifi is a community-oriented accommodation known for its commitment to sustainability. Nestled in a lush environment, the lodge offers a range of accommodations, from dormitory-style rooms to private bungalows. The focus on eco-friendliness is evident in their practices, such as recycling and using renewable energy sources. The communal spaces encourage interaction between guests, fostering a sense of community. Cultural activities and events are often organised, providing travellers with a chance to learn and connect.
Kidogo Nyumbani is a small, family-run backpacker hostel set in a mango orchard just 150m from Watamu's beach, which offers simple dorms, rooms, and camping in a peaceful natural setting, along with budget meals at its restaurant, shared kitchen access, hammocks, free WiFi, and bikes for rent, providing an affordable, local homestay experience ideal for backpackers and budget travellers looking to enjoy Watamu's unspoiled beaches and marine park.
Merry Crab Cove, also located in Kilifi, offers a tranquil coastal retreat. This budget-friendly accommodation is a great choice for those seeking a direct connection to the beach. Guests can unwind by the sea, engage in water activities, and bask in the beauty of the coastline.
Diani Backpackers is a hub for travellers looking to experience the vibrant Diani Beach area. The hostel provides dormitory and private room options, catering to different preferences. The atmosphere is lively and engaging, making it easy for solo travellers to make friends.
This popular hostel in the beach town of Diani providing easy access to the Indian Ocean, with accommodation in dorms, private rooms and self-catering cottages, as well as amenities like a poolside bar, lounge, and organised excursions, offering backpackers a social atmosphere to enjoy Diani's surf, sand and sun.
Merry Crab Cove is a laidback beachfront hostel in Kilifi offering budget dorms, tents, bandas and rooms, with an onsite restaurant and bar, activities like dhow trips, fishing, and cooking classes to experience coastal Kenyan culture and cuisine. With its beach bonfires, music events, watersports, and family-friendly vibe, Merry Crab Cove provides backpackers and groups a fun, social atmosphere amidst Kilifi's idyllic palm-fringed beaches and tranquil creeks.
Bidi Badu is a lively beachfront hostel in Diani providing easy access to the beach and watersports, with accommodation options like dorms, camping area, private cottages suited for backpackers, along with a pool, bar, volleyball court and pool table onsite. It organises activities like watersports, safaris and cultural visits for guests to experience Diana's adventure tourism offerings in a social atmosphere.
Milimani Backpackers is a popular, centrally located hostel near downtown Nairobi offering shared dorms and private rooms with a communal kitchen and helpful staff, providing an affordable, secure base for backpackers to explore the city's top attractions, as well as arrange onward travel around Kenya.
Backpacker's Den is a small, cosy hostel located in a residential neighbourhood of Nairobi, which offers female-only and mixed dorms along with private double rooms, a communal lounge, garden and complimentary breakfast to provide backpackers a homely, budget-friendly experience in the city.
Manyatta Backpackers is a hostel located next to the University of Nairobi campus providing simple dormitory accommodations with shared bathrooms, a communal lounge, kitchen, outdoor area, travel desk, laundry services, and 24-hour security, offering an affordable, convenient base for backpackers and students to explore lively Nairobi and arrange onward travel around Kenya.
Wildebeest Eco Camp is a budget-friendly campground on Nairobi's outskirts with tents, dorms, and lush gardens, that offers guests a tranquil nature experience with bird watching, farm walks, and bonfires, along with sustainable practices like rainwater harvesting, making it a unique backpacker haven to experience Nairobi's wilderness.
Khweza Bed & Breakfast is a family-run guesthouse located downtown Nairobi that offers budget private rooms and dorms for backpackers seeking convenient access to the city's attractions, along with amenities like free WiFi, breakfast, laundry and 24-hour front desk service, providing a homely stay in the heart of Kenya's capital.
Mara Explorers Camp is a small, intimate tented camp in the Maasai Mara National Reserve that offers budget camping in the wilderness, along with game drives and bush walks led by Maasai guides to provide backpackers an authentic, eco-friendly experience of Kenya's iconic safari destination.
Mombasa Backpackers, also known as Tulia House, is a hostel located in the heart of Mombasa Old Town offering simple dorms and private rooms, along with a rooftop lounge, communal kitchen, walking tours and sailing trips for backpackers to immerse in the port city's multicultural heritage and coastal life.
Backpacker's Nirvana is a relaxed, family-run hostel located near Mombasa's beaches that offers multi-bed dorms and private rooms, communal lounge areas, outdoor BBQ, and arranges affordable excursions for backpackers to experience Mombasa's unique blend of coastal culture, history and marine activities.
Baitul Noor House is a traditional Swahili style guesthouse in historic Lamu Old Town, offering simple, inexpensive dorms and private rooms for backpackers looking to immerse in Lamu's rich multicultural heritage and experience the unique architecture, festivals and timeless island lifestyle.
Savannah Cottages is a cluster of self-contained cottages and rooms located near Shelly Beach in Mombasa, managed by a local family, which provides backpackers clean, affordable accommodation with a homely atmosphere to relax by the beachside and experience coastal Kenyan culture.
The Beach Africa is a laid back hostel in Mombasa with dorms and private rooms, located right on Nyali Beach and offering guests amenities like watersports, dive centre, infinity pool, volleyball and evening bonfires, providing backpackers a fun, social atmosphere to enjoy the sun, sand and surf.
Kisumu Backpackers Club is a long-running backpacker inn based in the port city of Kisumu, overlooking Lake Victoria, which offers inexpensive dorms, bandas, camping and private rooms, providing a base for budget travellers to explore the region's natural attractions, culture and bustling local life.
Dudu Villas and Lamu Backpackers is a traditional Swahili house in Lamu Old Town offering budget dorms and private rooms to experience Lomu's unique culture and island lifestyle, along with amenities like traditional home-cooked meals, an Arabic lounge, and boat excursions to surrounding villages.
Jambo House is a family-run guest house situated amidst Lamu Old Town's historic architecture, offering inexpensive dorms and rooms, rooftop breakfasts, boat tours and traditional home cooking, for an authentic backpacking experience of Lamu's unique multicultural heritage and relaxed island lifestyle.
Duara Flamingo Camp, located by the picturesque Lake Elementaita, provides an affordable and immersive experience for budget travellers seeking to connect with nature. With its serene lakeside setting and budget-friendly accommodations, the camp offers a gateway to explore the lake's diverse birdlife, stunning landscapes, and the surrounding natural wonders, making it an ideal choice for those looking to experience Kenya's wildlife and scenic beauty on a budget.
Remember to verify the most up-to-date information and make reservations directly through the hostels' official websites or booking platforms before your trip.
What are budget-friendly backpacker accommodations?
Budget-friendly backpacker accommodations are lodging options that offer affordable rates for travellers seeking comfortable places to stay without overspending. These accommodations cater to the needs of budget-conscious travellers, providing a place to rest, socialise, and explore their chosen destination without straining their finances.
Where can I find budget-friendly backpacker accommodations in Kenya?
Kenya offers a variety of budget-friendly backpacker accommodations across different regions. From the coastal towns of Kilifi and Diani to the bustling city of Nairobi and the cultural hub of Lamu, there are numerous hostels and lodges that provide economical stays for travellers.
What types of accommodations are available for budget backpackers in Kenya?
Budget backpacker accommodations in Kenya encompass a range of options, including dormitory-style rooms, private rooms, guesthouses, and eco-friendly lodges. These accommodations cater to different preferences and group sizes, ensuring there's something for everyone.
Are budget backpacker accommodations safe and clean?
Yes, many budget backpacker accommodations prioritise safety and cleanliness. While standards may vary, reputable hostels and lodges maintain a clean environment and often implement security measures to ensure the well-being of their guests. Reading reviews and checking ratings can help travellers gauge the quality of accommodations.
What amenities can I expect in budget backpacker accommodations?
Budget backpacker accommodations typically offer essential amenities such as bedding, shared bathrooms, communal kitchens, and common areas for socialising. Some accommodations might also provide free Wi-Fi, organised events, and assistance with booking tours and activities.