General tips for travelers to Kenya
All tourists to Kenya require a tourist visa which costs USD 50 per person and can be obtained on entry (visa fees must be paid in USD only) or in advance from Kenya embassies abroad. A transit visa is available for a USD 25 fee.
It is advisable to check with your doctor at least a month before your travel to get recommendations and advice. Anti malarial drugs are strongly recommended.
It is most recommended that all travellers arrange their personal travel insurance to cover medical, property and other personal risks for the duration of their holiday and safari.
Temporary membership of the Flying Doctor Service, based in Nairobi and providing cover in Kenya and northern Tanzania can also be arranged at a modest cost.
The official languages of Kenya are Swahili and English. Most of our driver guides, hotel staff, etc. speak also German, French and other languages. Moreover, 42 tribal languages are spoken all over Kenya.
Currency and Exchange
The Kenyan currency is Kenya Shilling (KSh). Payments for safaris can also be made in EUR, USD, GBP and others. There are numerous banks and bureau de change in towns, and most lodges and hotels will exchange currency or travellers cheques at reasonable rates. Items or services are priced and paid in aforesaid currencies, so there is no need to convert more funds into the local currency than you need for incidental expenses.
Travelers cheques are widely accepted.
Credit cards are accepted in some establishments. The use of credit cards in banks gives only KSh.
The power supply is at the UK/European standard voltage of 220/240, and power sockets are the U.K. square pin type. To use U.S. appliances a voltage convertor and a plug convertor will be needed. Mains power supply is subject to cuts and voltage fluctuation.
On safari, most lodges’ power supplies are from generators, and these are often turned off during parts of the day and night to reduce noise and fuel consumption.
It is recommended to drink only bottled mineral water which is available everywhere.
Kenya is an equatorial country, hence little seasonal variation in temperature which is experienced between coastal and low lying regions, and the high plains and mountain regions.
There are two seasons: dry season and rainy season with long rains in April and May, and short rains in November. In practice, the rainfalls are unpredictable. Generally, during rainy seasons, the rain often falls in heavy but brief tropical downpours during the evening or night with pleasant sunny days in between.
There are local buses and minibuses which are likely to be uncomfortable, overcrowded and potentially dangerous.
Better hotels generally have a superior selection of taxis available, and it is suggested that you obtain one of these, particularly for longer journeys.
There is a railway link between Nairobi and Mombasa just on specific days, i.e. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and these are night journeys.
Generally, there are no restrictions on the sale or consumption of alcoholic drinks, however, in some areas like Muslim villages alcohol is restricted.