Many people prefer to lodge in hostels whenever they travel because they want a chance to live and communicate with people from around the world. The cheapest beds in Nairobi are in the hostels, and there are many hostels that provide accommodation per night in the city. Many of these hotels are affordable, located in accessible locations and are homely.
And to get a feel of just how popular hostels have become with students and budget travellers over the years, statistics and reviews show that some of these hostels are actually better than some chain hotels. They have better amenities, they are ‘homelier’ and best of all, they are affordable and often within city limits. For an unforgettable vacation in Kenya, here are 15 of the cheap Nairobi hostels for students and travellers:
1. Khweza Bed & Breakfast
Located just 5 minutes from the city centre, Khweza Bed & Breakfast is the ideal choice for a budget traveller looking for comfort and an homely place within close proximity to the city. The rooms are well maintained, clean, and decorated in an authentic African theme. Not only do you get to be in a wonderful location, you also get complimentary breakfast and Wi-Fi. Airport transfers can also be arranged on request. Visit: Kweza Bed & Breakfast
Rates: From $25
2. Nairobi Airport Stop Over House
Photo Source: Travelpod.com
This is a spacious 5 bedroom town house, located within about 4.8km from the city centre and very close to both Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and the most popular local airport – Wilson Airport. The location makes the guest house the perfect choice for students and travellers with a long layover or en-route to Mombasa or Tanzania. The house features facilities such as a lounge, a mini bar, a restaurant, Wi-Fi, smoking area and a well-equipped information centre. This is the perfect place for both the chronologically young and the young at heart!
Rates: Private rooms from $17 and dorms from $15
3. Cottage Nairobi
Photo Source: Realadventures.com
This is budget accommodation with a difference! There are two facilities here, the cottage and an apartment building, both of which are absolutely superb. The cottage is on Kitale Road, off Dennis Pritt Rd and has 3 bedrooms with the en-suite featuring a private bath and a whirlpool Jacuzzi. The apartment has 3 stunning bedrooms with a wonderful balcony overlooking a tranquil garden and a shared kitchen, bathroom and living room. This facility is a walking distance to the city centre and is built for the business travellers on budget. With free laundry, unlimited internet access ($10 for a week), airport transfers and international calls, you finally have a place that is both peaceful and homely for those on short business visits to Nairobi. The best part is it’s all very affordable!
Rates: From $35
4. Mdawida Homestay
Mdawida Homestay caters to students and travellers and offers a wide variety of accommodation options. The hostel features facilities such as lounge, luggage storage, linens and towels and many others. The hostel is owned and managed by the Mdawida family. The hostel is located within the city and it’s absolutely homely. Visit: Mdawida Homestay
Rates: From $15 for privates and $18 for dorms.
5. Hartebeest Camp & Guest House
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Hartebeest Camp & Guest House is renowned for their unmatched hospitality. It is located off Ngong road, Kibera road.The facilities are clean, spacious and well cared for. They have friendly staff to cater for every single one of your needs. Here, you will be treated like royalty. It is an affordable hostel for those who are on budget. Towels and breakfast are provided.
Rates: Private rooms from $30 and dorms from $20
6. Sabina Homestay Services
Photo Source: Sleepout.com
This is basically a ‘home away from home’ hostel. Sabina Homestay Services can host up to 6 people at any given time. The two double and one single rooms available are spacious and very clean. You will get complimentary breakfast and dinner and there is absolutely no curfew. The owner is also always ready to help the visitors and provide information about the local culture, transport and communication systems.
Rates: From $22
7. Manyatta Backpackers
Photo Source: Hostelz.com
Only 2 km from the city centre in the leafy Milimani suburbs, Manyatta Backpackers has single rooms, twin rooms, a 6 person and an 8 person dormitory. There is a common living room as well as dining area, both dormitories have their own shared bathroom and there is an information desk to help you map out your next travel routes. Just outside the compound, there is a restaurant that serves great Kenyan dishes, it has a bar and an open fireplace for chilly evenings. The facility also has free Wi-Fi, lockers and free breakfast. The bedrooms are very well maintained and clean.
Rates: Private rooms from $20 and Dorms from $15
8. Sadili B&B
Sadili B&B has everything a traveller could want. It is located off Kitengela Rd and is an initiative of ‘Sadili Oval Sports Academy’, an award winning non-profit organization that is committed to developing sports among talented youths across the continent. By staying here, not only will you be staying in a comfortable, well-furnished room that has a TV, free Wi-Fi and a direct dial phone, but you will be contributing towards a worthy course.
Rates: From $27
9. Flora Hostel
Photo Source: Flora Hostel
Flora Hostel is a beautiful; facility located on 5th Ngong Avenue, just 15 minutes from the city centre. It is run by the the ‘Consolata Sisters’ and caters to missionaries, families and friends of the Catholic Church. It has single, double as well as triple rooms that are well maintained, clean and spacious. The hostel provides a tranquil environment that presents the perfect getaway from the hectic city and ‘on the road’ life. You will also get three complimentary breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Rates from $35
10. Milimani Bed & Breakfast
Photo Source: Travelpod.com
Just 20 minutes from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and less than 10 minutes from the city centre, Milimani Bed & Breakfast provides a combination of bespoke services and convenience within a clean, well maintained facility. Guests who lodge here get great value for their money. The rooms are spacious, well lit and clean. Here you will find like-minded travellers ready to have a good time. There are double and twin rooms, 4 and 8 bed dormitories and an environment that caters for both leisure and business travellers alike.
Rates: Private rooms from $45
11. Mkenya Camp
This is a hostel that takes into account the ‘Safari’ aspect of your travel to Kenya. No, they do not provide game drives, but they do give you a chance to camp on their grounds. They even provide you with a sleeping bag. But just in case sleeping under the night sky is not your idea of comfortable accommodation, then Mkenya Camp has dormitories with comfortable bunk beds for both men and women. Located on Ngong road Oloolua Ridge, Kephis Road, this facility also has furnished apartments that are all en-suite and have wonderful beds. Visit: Mkenya Camp
Rates: From $6 and $12 for the private rooms and dorms
12. Fortmount Apartment
Photo Source: Hostelworld.com
Located on Lang’ata Road, just under 10 minutes from the city centre, Fortmount Apartment is perfectly situated for those using Wilson Airport for their local travels. It is also right next to a wonderful shopping mall that has restaurants, a supermarket, a bar and ATM machines. The rooms are wonderful and spacious. They also have balconies that look out into the surrounding neighbourhood. You will get a chance to experience life as the locals do in this hostel.
Rates: From $14 for the private rooms and $7 for the dorms
13. Godials B&B
This is a B&B that is determined to give you a homely feel and service. The rooms are stylishly designed and offers more than the hostel basics. In fact, that is the main aim of this facility, they intend to make you forget that you are on the road. All the rooms have comfortable beds draped with high quality linen. Besides a warm and homely welcome, you will also get complimentary towels and bathrobes, free Wi-Fi, Satellite TV and a portable fan should you require it. Visit: Godials Bread and Breakfast
Rates: From $48
14. Kenya YMCA
Photo Source: Friendgotrend.com
The ‘YMCA Nairobi Central Hostels’ is situated along State House Road. It is within walking distance of the city centre and a stone throw away from the lush tranquillity of the Nairobi Arboretum. In keeping with the illustrious tradition of the establishment, the YMCA here has accommodation facilities that are unmatched. Perfectly equipped for housing budget travellers looking for a stand-up facility that takes their comfort, both physical and spiritual, into account. The rooms are clean, well maintained and very secure. Visit: Kenya YMCA
Rates: From $20
15. Downtown Backpackers
Photo Source: Sleepout.com
This hostel not only has clean rooms, but it is also situated right within the CBD (Central Business District) on Dubois Street. It has a comfortable lounge with a TV and the latest local newspapers and magazines. While here, you can simply walk out and explore the city. You will get a first-hand experience of Nairobi’s nightlife with many popular bars and clubs within walking distance.
Rates: From $10
These facilities are some of the best accommodation options you have as a traveller on budget. Not only are they homely, but they are also brimming with travellers, who like you, want to make most of their visit to Nairobi. One of the main advantages is that the owners and on-site staff will ensure that you experience Kenya just like a local would. And that really is the best way to visit and explore any country – through the eyes of a local!
Have you lodged in any of these hostels? Share your experience with us in the comment below: