International airlines with regular flights to Nairobi include Kenya Airways, (twice daily) with once weekly flights direct to Mombasa from London, KLM, British Airways, Gulf Air, Emirates, Quatar Airways, South African Airlines, AirSwiss and SN Brusells.
There are also many European charter airlines that fly from Italy, Britain, Switzerland, Holland, Germany, France and seasonally from Czech Republic and Hungary to Mombasa, gateway to the playground of the Kenya coast.
LTU and Condor have the right to sell individual seats as does African Safari Club with their own Airbus departing seasonally from many points in Europe direct to Mombasa.
The Kenya Shilling is the currency of Kenya.
GBP1 = Ksh110 and the Euro Ksh95. Rates vary.
Other currencies are widely accepted including the US Dollar.
There are many reputable banks and foreign exchange agencies. Banks are open mornings and afternoons whilst exchange bureaus often stay open longer. Most hotels will exchange your currency but rates are higher than the banks or bureaus. Keep loose change ready for tips. Never leave cash lying around or in your room.
Kenyans are naturally friendly and Kenya is a mostly child friendly country and nearly all camps and lodges accept children. However a few small or remote camps and lodges may not on the grounds that small children do not always have the patience to remain quite and not disturb the wildlife whilst on safari or for other safety considerations.
Kenya straddles the equator and has a hot tropical climate with temperatures reducing at higher altitudes. The sea level coastal belt is always hot whereas Nairobi and up-country game parks have hot days and cooler evenings. The northern parts of Kenya have harsh arid conditions. Rainfall is monsoonal with long rains during the months April, May and June with short rains in the months of November and December. Safaris are more popular during the dry months but many visitors enjoy the cooler, albeit wet conditions during the rains.
Kenya is two hours ahead of Middle European Time in winter and one hour in summer and three hours ahead of GMT in winter and two hours in summer.
Main electricity is 240 Volts/AC. Plugs are square three pin but adaptors are available in stores, many hotels and camps.
It is wisest to leave valuables such as money, jewelry and travel documents in the hotel safe. Kenya is a developing country and poverty may lead to crime.
Traveling by car
Traffic drives on the left. To rent a car you will need an international or valid driving license from your country and a passport. Self-drive to the game parks is not advisable unless you are a very experienced traveler.
Taxis are readily available at the airport, hotels and in town. Avoid the older ones and be ready to ask the correct fare in advance.
If you are an addict bring your clubs. Kenya has many attractive golf courses and golfing holidays are on the increase.
Many Kenya hotels camps and lodges have invested in conference facilities in the past years and have gained considerable experience in professional hosting. Your group or corporation may consider a conference holiday combined with a safari.
Food in all Kenya's hotels and lodges is generally of a high standard and service is excellent. Many quality restaurants abound in Nairobi and at the coast. Indian, Italian, Brazilian, German, Chinese, Japanese, as well as specialty Meat Carveries and seafood restaurants are all are to be found.
Standards may not be so certain however at the lower end of the scale and much depends on the quality of the accommodation used and the price you pay.
If you are a back-packer and eat every meal you are offered, anywhere in the tropics, you risk tummy bugs. Be selective. Possible hazards range from minor bouts of travelers' diarrhea to dysentery and more serious parasitic diseases that may ruin your trip, so precautions are worthwhile.
Always choose food that has been freshly and thoroughly cooked and
served hot and avoid doubtful buffet food, or anything that has been re-heated or left exposed to flies.
Do not be afraid to reject food you consider unsafe, to ask for something to be prepared specially, or to skip a meal.
Kiswahili and English are the official languages however English is widely spoken. Some useful phrases are shown below.
How are you……………Habarigaini?
Good, Very well……..Muzuri
Thank you……………….Asante Sana
You travel to a photographer’s paradise. You may want to rent a powerful zoom lens for wildlife shots. 300 – 500mm is standard but for quality bird shots you need a steady support such as a tripod or beanbag and a 1000 mm lens. Use dust proof bags to protect your camera. Film is available at camps and lodges but don’t get caught short.
Use caution about photographing the military and police or at security conscious areas such as airports. Ask permission before taking pictures of local people and keep in mind that they may charge a fee.
Bargaining is expected at curio dealers. Do not buy ivory, hides or elephant hair bracelets as they are prohibited.
Kenya is part of East Africa and borders Ethiopia, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda, and Sudan with shores at both Lake Victoria and the Indian Ocean. Many outstanding features of Kenya are simply amongst the best in the world…..the glorious weather, genuine hospitality, fabulous beaches, amazing landscapes, beautiful lakes and magnificent wildlife.
There is a vast array of accommodation from luxury tented camps and lodges, private ranch stays, beach villas, city and beach hotels to suit every taste and pocket.
For the first time visitor, these delights can be disturbed by third world realities of poverty.
Villages made of sticks and mud, children surrounded by flies, street-boys begging next to buses belching black smoke or potholes in the road that grow to crater size and overloaded handcarts pulled by straining workmen. The rude fact is that Kenya is part of a developing continent.
Kenya, however, has a long history of tourism development with a sophisticated infrastructure of well maintained game parks and private conservation areas. Your holiday in Kenya will help government revenues through taxes and staying at a private conservatory brings direct improvements to local communities
In Kenya we say HAKUNA MATATA. No worries. The beauty of Kenya and its people rarely fails to charm. This page is to help you with your stay with us. Learn a few words of Swahili or just check the time zones. Please read carefully to get the best from your holiday.
The correct vaccines for your trip depends on many individual factors, including your precise travel plans. Vaccines commonly recommended for travelers to Kenya are extensive but are mainly intended for long term aid workers rather than short term visitors.
• Hepatitis A
• Hepatitis B
• Yellow fever*
* However note that Yellow Fever is the only Certificate required for entry into Kenya.
Several of these vaccines require more than one dose, or take time to become effective. Vaccine shortages also occur from time to time – particularly with yellow fever. So it is always best to seek advice on immunization well in advance, if possible around 6 weeks before departure.
Malaria is a disease spread by mosquitoes that bite mainly at dusk and at night. Prevention consists of using effective protection against bites plus taking anti-malarial medication.
The most suitable choice of medication depends on many individual factors, and travelers need careful, professional advice about the merits of each option.
Effective antimalarial preventive drugs in Kenya change over time. Consult your doctor. Visitors to malarial areas are at much greater risk than local people and long term residents - do not change or discontinue your malaria medication other than on doctors orders.
Drink only water known to be safe. Don't drink tap water or brush your teeth with it, stick to bottled or canned drinks - well known brands are safe. Have bottled mineral waters opened in your presence.
If in doubt, purify water by boiling or with chlorine or iodine, or using a water purifier. Check that ice is made from pure water.
Careful precautions reduce the risk of insect-borne malaria by a factor of ten. At dusk, and at other times when insects are biting, cover up: wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers, socks, and pajamas at night.
Use an insect repellent on exposed skin and clothing.
If you are at a self-catering style camp-site then use both a pyrethrum-impregnated mosquito net and some form of insecticide during the night. Ask your hotel to spray your room each evening.
Other Tropical Diseases
Tropical diseases are relatively uncommon in travelers. Most of them tend to be food-borne or insect-borne, so the precautions listed above will prevent the majority of cases.
Bilharzia is a parasitic disease spread by contact with water from lakes, rivers and streams. Regardless of any advice you may receive to the contrary by local people, and even tour guides, no lake, river, or stream in Africa is free of risk. Contact should be avoided or kept to a minimum. Chlorinated swimming pools are safe.
In Africa, dogs are not pets. Avoid handling any animal. Rabies is transmitted by bites, but also by licks and scratches. Wounds need thorough scrubbing and cleansing with antiseptic, followed by prompt, skilled medical attention including immunization.
Heat & Sun
Use plenty of high factor sunscreen, wear a hat and shady clothing, and avoid exposure to direct sunlight - especially during the hottest part of the day. Do not expect that you will be able to acclimatize instantly to the heat as this can take up to 2 weeks and during this period, avoid hard constant physical exertion, keep cool and stay in the shade - especially during the hottest parts of the day.
Increase your salt intake by adding extra salt to your food.
Thirst is a poor guide to how much fluid you need. It is essential to drink plenty of fluids but not alcohol, coffee, or strong tea, which are diuretics and cause increased water loss.
Preventing HIV & Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Kenya regrettably has a very high risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. Condoms are widely available, but some travelers have found packs for sale beyond the sell-by date.
Accidents and Injuries
Accidents and injuries kill many more travelers than exotic infectious diseases. Be constantly alert! Risks arise not just from the accidents themselves but also from the scarcity of skilled medical care in remote areas.
Don't drive on unfamiliar, unlit roads at night.
Don't ride a moped, motorcycle or bicycle.
Don't drink and drive, and don't drive too fast.
Insist that taxi-drivers drive carefully when you are a passenger.
Use seat belts, and for children, take your own child seats.
Take special care at swimming pools: never drink and swim, and always check the depth.
Carry a small first aid / medical kit.
Minor wounds may easily become infected: look after them carefully and seek prompt attention if necessary.
Traveler malaria can occur if you stop taking antimalaria drugs as soon as you get home. Tablets should be continued as instructed at least 4 weeks after leaving a malarial area, except for Malarone, which can be stopped after 1 week.
Symptoms of malaria - and other tropical diseases - may not appear until long after your return home - you may not necessarily associate them with your trip. Always report any symptoms to your doctor, and make sure that they know you have been to Africa, even up to 12 months after
your visit. Demand a blood test for malaria.
Visas are required for most nationals and cost US$50. A visa can be obtained on entry, however we recommended one be obtained before arrival to avoid airport lengthy queues. Visa Application Forms are available online.
A visa is required by all visitors traveling to Kenya with the exception of those holding a re-entry pass to Kenya and citizens of Ethiopia, San Marino, Turkey and Uruguay.
Note that the reciprocal visa abolition agreements with Germany, Italy, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Spain, and Republic of Ireland no longer apply and nationals of these countries now require a Visa.
1.Valid passport with sufficient number of unused pages for endorsements abroad. Passport must be signed and valid for at least six months.
2. Visa application form duly completed and signed by the applicant.
3. Two recent passport size photographs attached to the application form.
4. Valid round trip ticket or a letter from your travel agent certifying that the applicant holds prepaid arrangements.
5. A self-addressed stamped envelope for express mail, courier, registered mail, etc., if the visa is urgently required. Metered stamps are not acceptable.
6. Home and work telephone numbers.
Please fill out the form correctly and enclose the photographs and payment to avoid delay and disappointment
Standard Visa fees payable by cash to the Embassy of Kenya.
Multiple entry visa (US$ 100)
Single Journey visa (US$ 50)
Transit visa issued at Entry (US$ 20)
Multiple Entry Visas are normally issued for a period of six months.
The following nationals pay a modified fee.
Country Single Entry Multiple Entry
Canada $51.00 $105.00
D.R. Congo $80.00 $230.00 (six months)
$400.00 (one year)
Iran $70.00 $200.00
Saudi Arabia $54.00 $200.00