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Top 10 Self-Drive Safari Destinations 2021

Top 10 Self-Drive Safari Destinations 2021

Kenya and Tanzania are well-known for their unique and serene landscape, clustered with diverse wildlife and exotic spots. If you want to embark on a self-exploration journey and drive through the unique countries, be ready for the drive of a lifetime.

Some Points to Consider

Before leaving your hotel, here are a few things to consider:

  • Drive vigilantly – Keep your eyes on the road at all times because the roads have potholes that can damage your vehicle
  • Do not drive on the roads after 6 PM because the roads are not well-lit
  • Keep a spare tire and all the required tools to change tires and make minor repairs
  • Take sufficient food and water for your journey
  • There are some areas which require vehicles with four-wheel drive, especially the wildlife and off-road areas. You will need to have the appropriate vehicle depending on your destinations
  • Download all the local maps for your favourite navigation app, so they are available offline
  • Do not embark on your journey if rain is expected. 
  • Keep in mind that your average speed may be 50 kph on the road and 30 kph in safari parks
  • Some roads to avoid
    • Kenya
      • The C107 
      • Roads to the Masai Mara National Reserve
      • A109 Nairobi – Mombasa highway
  • Tanzania – Areas that require special cars
  • Serengeti – you will need Land Cruiser to be allowed entry.
  • The road towards Lake Natron – Land Cruiser Required
  • Selous Game Reserve.  – Land Cruiser Required
  • Lake Tanganyika and Gombe Stream National Park – Land Cruiser Required


Now that you are prepared, let’s discover ten destinations to explore

Kenya Self-Drive Destinations

  1. Amboseli National Park
    1. Starting Point: Nairobi 
    2. Road to take: Nairobi – Mombasa Highway
    3. What to expect: Elephants, wildebeests, gazelles, zebras, and amazing backdrop view of Mount Kilimanjaro
    4. Drive: 4 Hours (160 KM)
    5. Driving Tips: Leave at 9 AM from Nairobi
  2. Tsavo West National Park
    1. Starting Point: Amboseli National Park
    2. Road to take: C103 or A104 
    3. What to expect: Considered the most significant wildlife park in Kenya, this wilderness provides a diverse experience. From rocky and dusty roads to rivers, it has everything. 
    4. Drive: Approx 130 KM (C103 will take 3.5 hours while A104 will take 4.5 hours)
    5. Driving Tips: Before taking the C103, consult with the locals to understand road conditions. 
  3. Tsavo East National Park
    1. What to expect: Check out the Galana River, where you will find crocodiles and hippos as well as the majestic Lugard Falls. You should also head on towards Mudanda Rock, where you can see a water hole from the top and, if you are lucky, spot leopards! 
    2. Drive: 120 KM (5 Hours) from Tsavo West National Park
    3. Driving Tips: The roads are extremely bumpy, so plan your trip and make sure you have sufficient time to get to the Sala gate. 
  4. Malindi
    1. What to expect: Sandy beaches, scenic waves, beautiful restaurants, and the perfect place to sit back, relax, and enjoy the beach.  
    2. Drive: 180 KM from Tsavo East National Park’s Sala Gate. (5 hours)
  5. Watamu
    1. What to expect: Another exotic beach location to have a laid-back day. The beach also offers a range of adventurous activities, including water sports and activities and the Watamu Turtle Watch. 
    2. Drive: 42 KM from Malindi
    3. Driving Tips: There are many sites to explore on the way to Watamu. Some of the exciting stops include the Arabuko Sokoke Forest (known for golden-rump elephants), the Gede Ruins, and Bio-Ken Snake Farm. 

Tanzania Self-Drive Destinations

  1. Tarangire National Park
    1. Starting Point: Arusha
    2. What to expect: A smooth and scenic drive to the park. Once in the park, you can watch the elephants and baobabs. 
    3. Drive: 150 KM (2.5 Hours)
    4. Driving Tips: The animals gather here from July to November. If you are planning a trip that does not fit in this time frame, skip this destination. 
  2. Ngorongoro Conservation Area
    1. Road to take: Take the road to Karatu. 
    2. What to expect: A UNESCO World Heritage Site 
    3. Drive: 130 KM (3 Hours)
    4. Driving Tips: On the road to Karatu, you will come across Mto wa Mbu, home to 120 tribes living together.  
  3. Serengeti National Park
    1. Road to take: NCA Lodura Gate to Ngorongoro Crater Road to Nabi Hill Gate to Seronera – total 5 hours
    2. What to expect: Known for the famous wildebeest migration and the hunting grounds for lions
  4. Foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro
    1. What to expect: Mountain biking, canoeing, and hiking 
    2. Drive: 350 KM (6 Hours)
  5. Mountain Meru 
    1. Road to take: USA River to Lushoto 
    2. What to expect: Day Hikes, biking, scenic views, and local markets
    3. Drive: 250 KM (6 Hours)
    4. Driving Tips: The roads contain speed bumps, and there are several unique destinations to check out on your way, including sisal plantations.

We have only covered some of the many exciting and adventurous places you can visit in Kenya. Be sure to check out our Tanzania Travel Guide for more travelling tips!