Top hotels survey
However, Tanzania has more expensive lodges in the region especially in Serengeti and Ngorongoro National Parks, according to travel experts. The quoted costs exclude fees for travelers booking accommodation through travel agents.
A report released by the US-based property advisory firm, Jones Lang LaSalle in 2016 shows that Kenya’s hotel industry is saturated with 4 and 5-star hotels especially in Nairobi.
This is because it is a regional headquarter of numerous multi-nationals and non-governmental organisations and an entry point for leisure travelers to the region.
“The 4-star segment is the largest supply segment in the market with 3,993 rooms followed by 5-star at 1,340 rooms as the end of 2015, with 4,354 rooms poised to enter the market by 2020,” the report says in part.
Dar es Salaaam, which is a corporate hub of Tanzania is said to be a home to 35% of the country’s hotel rooms providing at least 2,430 rooms, with more rooms expected to be added on the market starting this year.
According to the ministry of tourism’s National Tourism Sector Development Plan 2015-2020, Tanzania has the highest number of international hotel chains standing at 18 compared with 14 in Kenya and seven in Uganda. Rwanda has three.
However, the most represented international hotel chains in all the four countries in the region (Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda) are Serena Hotels (19 establishments) and PROTEA (6 establishments), both majorly operating in Southern and Eastern Africa.
Kenya has the highest number of rooms by international hotel chains, while Tanzania leads in the number of establishments because it has several small high-standard tented camps and lodges located in the country’s national parks.
The Ugandan international chain hotels are almost all located in Kampala and Entebbe.
For Kampala, the high cost of hotel accommodation appears to be a dumper on an otherwise fair priced city.
According to the latest data from the US-based Expatistan Cost of Living Index, for example, Kampala is 16% cheaper compared with Nairobi in many aspects including low costs of food, housing, personal care, and transport.
The Expatistan survey tracks prices of food, housing, transport, personal care, and entertainment to compare the cost of living in cities; serving as a guide to expatriates and tourists.
It says to keep the same standard of living that would require Ksh390,625 in Nairobi you would need just about Ksh327,104 in Kampala, a cost difference of Ksh62, 521.
Kampala is 6% cheaper compared with Dar es Salaam but 17% more expensive compared with Kigali.