Kenya is an easy country to travel, with a well-established tourism industry and lots of things to see and do: extraordinary number of safari options, beautiful beaches, rich culture and a striking geographical diversity. Kenya is an all year round safari destination and its coastline is bordering the tropical waters of the Indian Ocean. Wildlife is abundant, including the big 5 and known for its annual wildebeest migration.
Kenya has a total of over 50 National Parks and Reserves, including Marine Parks. There are also private sanctuaries and game ranches which form about 10% of Kenya’s surface area. The most popular Parks & Reserves are Maasai Mara, Samburu, Tsavo, Amboseli, and Lake Nakuru.
Kenya is not a country you can see all in one go. There are multiple destinations and experiences that will keep you coming back again and again. The safari destinations are spread across the country and each is dense with wildlife. Reaching the safari parks is done by vehicle or by a short domestic flight from Wilson Airport in Nairobi.
To the south of Kenya lies the Greater Masai Mara region, which comprises of the renowned Masai Mara National Reserve and adjacent Mara Conservancies. With its abundant wildlife, this is one of the best places in the world to see lion, leopard and cheetah. To the north lies the rolling high-altitude hills of Laikipia where you will find Ol Pejeta Conservancy. Also very worth visiting is the semi-desert of Samburu National Reserve; the country’s highest peak, Mount Kenya; and blissful palm-fringed beaches that extend along the Indian Ocean coast.
Kenya offers a very high level of service in the tourism industry. This is a destination of quality accommodation, varied and interesting excursions, and warmhearted people, in general. We work with well trained guides who have been qualified by the Kenyan Professional Safari Guide Association (KPSGA). There are things here for every taste and budget, and we will guide you through the plethora of choice to tailor your trip the best way. Nairobi is the starting point for countless safaris and the entry point into the country. There are a few specifics to keep in mind when going on a trip to Kenya and we have prepared a few tips to help you out.
Visa and Passport: Visas can be obtained online for ~50 $ for up to 90 days or less. One can also get an East Africa Visa which allows traveling to Uganda and Rwanda. All major currencies are accepted. A passport valid for at least 6 months is required. A return ticket is mandatory. UK Foreign Travel Advise to Kenya. If you are traveling from another country, please check the rules in your government website.
Kenya Covid rules: Upload your certificate of vaccination and negative PCR test certificate before boarding your flight. Register and retrieve your Traveller QR code which is mandatory for entering Kenya. List of approved PCR Testing laboratories in Kenya, which you will need for departure to show to airline staff at the airport.
Time Zone: GMT +3. Therefore – 7 hours in Canada and the United States, – 3 hours in winter and – 2 hours in summer for the UK, + 6 hours in Japan and South Korea, and + 8 hours in Australia.
Phone: + 254 Wi-Fi : Very good
Driving Side: Left (like in the UK)
Electricity: generator widely used in national parks. Plug type is G (like in the UK).
The official languages are English, which is widely spoken, and KiSwahili, spoken in most of East African countries. More than 60 different languages are indigenous to in Kenya, such as Kikuyu, Luo, Akamba and Maa.
A few words of Swahili are always helpful:
Hello – Jambo
Thank you – Asante
Excuse me – Samahani
Goodbye – Kwaheri
Kenya has plenty of accommodation types for every taste and budget.
Safari lodges are solid structures situated inside the wildlife parks and reserves, beautifully built to blend in with the surrounding wilderness and landscape. Rooms are large and have private en-suite bathrooms consisting of running showers, hot water tap and flushing toilets. Safari lodges consist of plenty of amenities in addition to rooms such as swimming pool, separate bar area, lounge, separate restaurant area, fire pits, libraries and gyms and spas.
Permanent camps are tented either with full canvas tent or structures with canvas walls and roof and floor. These have fewer rooms than the lodges and they feature walk in, exquisite furnishings, elaborated lighting inside the rooms, long decks for wildlife viewing, verandas and comfortable outside seating areas. The rooms have private bathrooms.
Bush camps are smaller in size, very private and designed to give an optimum adventure in the wilderness. Situated in the remote areas of safari destinations, sometimes they are built in locations which are inaccessible in some periods of the year most especially in rainy season and in this season they are broken down and rebuilt in the following season (dry season). Bush camps are typically surrounded by the wilderness offering a great deal of adventure, feature spacious and comfortable beds, a main area and an open private bathroom with showers (running or bucket) and flushing toilets.
Mobile tented camps are usually set up in a specific location for a specific event and the camps last for a longer period of time before moving to another location, they are best to use for wildebeest migration. Mobile tented camps are canvas and they can easily be moved from one place to another, the canvas tents consist of beautiful furnishings including squashy sofas, wooden table and solid beds. Mobile tented camps feature private bathrooms with bucket showers and flushing toilets.
Fly camps or mobile walking camps are set up for a short period of time often 2-3 nights. Fly camps are very simple, but they are an adventure characterized of walk in, no frills tents, modest beds raised from the ground, a main area and bedroom tents with private bucket showers. The main areas in the fly camps are usually a canvas shade tent featuring cushions, colorful rugs and camp chairs. Fly camp in Kenya are organized while on a sleep-out expenditure, on this experience you sleep on a bed roller under the mosquito net and the meals are enjoyed around a camp fire or in the bush.
By Air: The most convenient way to travel within Kenya is by air. Both scheduled and charted flights are widely available and there is an extensive network of airfields in every corner of the country.
Road Transport: The road conditions in Kenya are good, but it can often get crowded and turn into a cumbersome experience, due to large lorries. Self drive is not recommended in the national parks and a 4×4 is indispensable there. Having a driver and a guide is the best way to travel comfortably and safely.
By train: Madaraka Express offers a reliable service between Nairobi and Mombasa. One can book tickets online paying by m-Pesa. The website is often down and booking in advance is highly recommended. There is an express train and a slow train stopping at the following stations: Mariakani, Miasenyi, Voi, Mtito Andei, Kibwezi, Emali, and Athi River stations. The national parks of Tsavo and Amboseli are on this train route.
The local currency is the Kenyan Shilling – KES (US$1 = 112 KES). VISA credit/debit cards are accepted and having some cash with you is always a good idea. Often USD are accepted in cash as well. m-Pesa is widely used in Kenya and it might be worth getting a local Safaricom sim to use it. You can pay practically for anything with m-Pesa, from restaurant meals to train tickets, from park entrance fees to souvenir shopping and tips.
Tipping recommendations for guides: 10 EUR per person per day.
Please do consult your physician or specialist travel clinic before departure. A full medical insurance is highly recommended. Protect yourself from mosquitoes, as they carry numerous diseases such as dengue fever, malaria and yellow fever. Guard against mosquito bites. Wear long sleeves and long trousers and apply an effective insect repellent. If travelling to other East African countries, you should have a yellow fever vaccination so as to prevent complications. These can be administered at most reliable Nairobi clinics and hospitals. Don’t drink tap water, you can buy bottled water at the restaurants or shops. If you have sensitive stomach pleas avoid taking ice with your drinks unless in a place where the water is boiled and filtered. This includes Nairobi as well as rural areas.
Kenya is not one of the countries at high risk of insecurity but like everywhere “prudence is mother of safety”. As with any developing country petty crime does exist, particularly in the large urban areas, this is generally opportunistic. We recommend that clients leave valuables in their hotel safe and be vigilant in markets or busy places. Incidents of violent crime against tourists are rare and in general Kenya is a country in which visitors rightly feel very safe. In Nairobi, avoid walking after dark and it is best to have a guide with you, especially when going to markets.
Sustainable Tourism and responsible travel are our concern. Our programs always respect the cultural characteristics and local customs of the many different ethnic groups of Kenya. We work fairly with our local partners and always employ local guides. In this way, you can have your own picture of life in Kenya – at the same time the communities in the regions visited are strengthened by the interest and the additional source of income in their assessment of their traditions and their original way of life.
A ban on use of plastic carrier bags came into effect in 2017 in Kenya. Also, we recommend having a non-plastic refillable water bottle with you, as many parks will forbid entrance with plastic water bottles.
We support the basic tenets of Sustainable Tourism and will endeavor to:
We encourage guests not to give sweets or money to local children. If you feel you wish to help local schoolchildren, you can donate school materials, note books, pens, pencils, colouring equipment, sports equipment, etc.
Each of our safaris differ by the personalities of the participants, the wildlife viewing experience and the types of safari chosen.
Shared safaris: good for solo travellers or couples, as it gives the opportunity to meet other travellers. Starting of game drives are at a fixed time.
Private safaris: start times of game drives are flexible and tailored to your needs.
Fly-in safaris: short flights in a 12-13 seat Cessna Grand Caravan. Luggage allowances on these flights are generally limited to a maximum of 15 km in soft sided bags. Vehicles are use for transfers from the strip to the lodge and during the game drives.
Fly-drive safaris (by air & road): a combination of driving and flying in or out and use of vehicle during the game drives.
Road safaris: transfer and game drives entirely by road
Rail safaris: first class rail coaches for travel between destinations and then use of vehicle during the game drives and transfer from the train station.
Walking Safari: mostly done in conservancies and private reserves with a ranger, where rules allow walking and non-vehicle safaris.