Kenya Travel

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Home of the well-known Masai Mara, which together with its sister reserve in Tanzania (the Serengeti) is the location for the annual wildebeest and zebra migration. The Mara is also the location for the popular BBC Series, Big Cat Diary. The Mara is fringed with conservancies areas in which wildlife and domestic life and animals seek to cohabitate.

Of course there are reserves and National Parks other than the Mara, such as Amboseli at the foot of Kilimanjaro. There are also other places to visit such as Lake Nakuru.

Even Nairobi has its attractions such as the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, Karen Blixen Museum and Giraffe Manor.

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Travel Information

The main tourist season is in January and February, since the hot, dry weather at this time of year is generally considered to be the most pleasant. It’s also when Kenya’s birdlife flocks to the Rift Valley lakes in great numbers. June to September could be called the ‘shoulder season’ as the weather is still dry. The rains hit from March to May (and to a lesser extent from October to December). During these months things are much quieter – places tend to have rooms available and prices drop. The rains generally don’t affect travellers’ ability to get around. If you’re planning to visit Lamu, you might want to time your visit to coincide with the centuries-old Maulid Festival.

Kenya Travelling Advice

Kenya is divided into two almost equal parts by the equator. The region north of the equator is hot and receives comparatively little rain. The southern region falls into three meteorological zones; the coast is humid, the mean annual temp ranging from about 25ºC in June and July to about 30ºC in Feb, March and April. Generally warm days and cooler nights throughout the year. Long rains are from May to July/August while the short rains are generally in late November/early December. Nairobi temperatures range from 20ºC – 24ºC during the day, with chilly night temperatures.

Kenya Shilling. It is advisable to take US Dollars, Euros or British Pounds in cash or traveller’s cheques as these can be exchanged for Shillings at any forex bureau, all of which have competitive rates and no commission charges. Standard Bank are generally difficult when it comes to exchanging foreign money in any form; if you need a bank, use Barclays.

American Express, Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted at the main hotels and larger shops, although smaller remote camps may not accept credit cards. For cash, small US$ denominations are recommended. Kenya has strict exchange controls and visitors cannot import or export Kenya Shillings. Banks are open 09:00 – 14:00 from Monday to Friday and 09:00 – 12:00 on the last Saturday of the month.

We recommend you purchase your Kenya Shillings once in Kenya; US$ are widely accepted and you will only need local currency for market or street shopping.

Casual and informal. Cool summer clothes and beach wear for the coast plus something smarter for the evenings. Upcountry places are generally smarter and warmer clothes for the evenings. Hat and sunglasses are essential as are walking shoes if you are going on safari. During the winter months of June – August, warmer clothes are required for the evenings.

Kenya is in the yellow fever endemic zone, so check your itinerary carefully to find out if any countries you will be visiting or connecting through subsequently (such as South Africa) require you to show a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate. Similarly, if your route to Kenya takes you through another country in the yellow fever zone i.e. Tanzania, Zanzibar, Zambia and Uganda, you will need to show a vaccination certificate on entry into Kenya. Yellow fever vaccinations must be administered at least ten days before arrival (or re-entry) into Kenya.

Consult your doctor or a specialist travel clinic for further advice. The most commonly recommended vaccinations for travel to Kenya include typhoid, hepatitis A and yellow fever. We recommend that boosters of tetanus for children and adults are up to date.

Malaria prophylaxis is strongly recommended – there are several safe and effective options for adults and children alike. Malaria precautions are essential in all areas although the risk is small in Nairobi and the highlands (above 2500m), all year round. Avoid mosquito bites by covering up with clothing such as long sleeves and long trousers especially after sunset. You are advised to use insect repellents on exposed skin and, when necessary, sleep under a mosquito net. Prompt investigation of fever or flue like symptoms anytime within six weeks of travel is essential.

As with all travel to remote places in developing countries, it is worth spending a little time to make sure you are well prepared. Have a small supply of any medicines you might need to treat minor ailments.

English and Kiswahili are the official languages. The Kenya people are very friendly and service orientated – in fact they are part of what makes a holiday to Kenya so memorable and enjoyable.

Please note that all charter transfers are in light aircraft that carry between five and seven passengers. These planes are limited with regards to the weight that they can safely carry. It is therefore vital that all passengers adhere to the luggage restriction of fifteen (15) kilogram’s per person in a soft bag with NO wheels. This excludes a reasonable amount of camera equipment and carry on luggage (20 kilogram’s in total). In addition, please let us know if you are over 1.82 meters (6’2”) tall or weigh over 100kg (220lbs). Tickets are generally not issued tickets for charter flights; you will however, receive a voucher.

GMT + 3 hours

About thirty five million people from about forty-two ethnic origins.

British, Irish, Swiss, Australian, New Zealand, Japan, USA, Canadian, German and French passport holders do require a visa. South Africans do not require a visa to enter Kenya. Should you hold any other passport, please let us know. Visas can be issued on arrival at a cost of approx US$50 pp or at any Kenya High Commission worldwide. Please ensure passports are valid for at least six months after date of travel and that two clear pages are available for immigration stamps.

FOR SECURITY PURPOSES, WE SUGGEST THAT YOU CARRY A PHOTOCOPY OF THE RELEVANT PAGES OF YOUR PASSPORT AND ANY OTHER IMPORTANT TRAVEL DOCUMENTS WITH YOU. WE ALSO RECOMMEND THAT IN ADDITION, YOU LEAVE COPIES WITH SOMEONE AT HOME.

Tap water is generally not ideal for drinking. The hotels and lodges supply water either in a flask (boiled) or bottled mineral water, in your room. Bottled water is not necessarily provided for game activities and you will need to purchase additional water from the lodge or the local shops.

For those wanting ‘give something back’ can volunteer to assist underprivileged women and children and their communities in a tangible and practical way we can arrange 3, 4, 5 or 7-Day humanitarian itinerary: which give exposure to a different way of life, visiting (and volunteering at) a number of centres around Nairobi including:

  • an infant’s crèche and primary schools in the slums of Kibera and Kwangware
  • a refuge and retraining centre for HIV affected women in Ngong Hills.

Optional humanitarian and environmental activities

For those wanting to devote some time toward wildlife conservation as well as assist underprivileged communities we can arrange a 4-Day itinerary which includes visiting (and volunteering at) a number of community centres as well as de-snaring traps and releasing animals.

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