Area: 581,309 km2
Population: 43 million approx.
Country Tel Code: +254
The official language in Kenya is English and it is spoken at all hotels, banks, shops, etc. Kiswahili is the National language.
Kenya Shilling. Available Notes are 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 and coins are 1, 5, 10, 20 & 40. Major Credit Cards are widely accepted in Kenya and in some of the larger hotels in national parks and reserves.
ATM’s are widespread in major towns. Please check with your bank to confirm that you have access to this service in East Africa. We recommend some sort of back-up funds in case an ATM is out of service when you need it.
We suggest that you carry some US$ in cash, as it is possible to use US$ cash to buy things in many places; for tipping and also to negotiate with locals while shopping. Please do not bring in any US$ bills dated before 2000, as they are not accepted by banks
Anti-malaria precautions are highly recommended and Insect repellent is recommended for use in the evenings.
Yellow Fever: Visitors arriving or planning to re-enter from countries where yellow fever is prevalent – Please ensure you carry your vaccination certificates.
Water: Do not drink or brush your teeth with tap water. Bottled mineral water is available at all hotels and lodges.
Drink plenty of water when staying outside in the sun, during the day.
Travel & Medical Insurance: We recommend that you travel with the necessary Insurance documents.
WEATHER & CLOTHING
East Africa enjoys pleasant year round climate. Dress should be comfortable, casual clothing that is easy to care for and earth colors are most practical. The climate in Kenya is mainly characterized by warm days, but early mornings and evenings can be cool, so dress in layers. You may want to carry a sweater for the cooler nights. If you plan to do a walking safari, make sure you have comfortable closed walking shoes. Allow for more conservative dress when walking in towns. Dining is usually smart casual.
The sun is strong so sun block is recommended. A hat and sunglasses would also be a good idea. Also, with the changing climate, and you may even encounter some rain, so do carry something for this. Most hotels have a laundry service; however, please check to ensure that it can be delivered before your check-out time.
The electricity supply is 220/240v 50 Hz. Plugs are usually 3 point square. Please ensure you have voltage and plug adaptors where necessary. Some lodges and camps only have power in the early mornings and evenings. Batteries may be recharged in camps but it is wise to double check with the camp staff.
Kenya has a good network of telephone, cellular and satellite connections. If you plan to use the hotels telephone service, always check the rates with the hotel before making a call. If you have a mobile phone with a roaming connection, Please check with your service provider about coverage and charges or you could purchase a local SIM card (with a suitable phone) and use pre-paid top-up cards which are inexpensive and widely available.
Internet network is available through most of the tourist areas in East Africa, and Wi-Fi is available in many of the hotels, lodges and camps. However, connections can be slow in some areas.
This is a photographer’s paradise. If taking photographs of local people, always ask their permission beforehand. They may ask for payment. As in most countries, do not take photographs in airports or airport buildings, military or police buildings and of uniformed personnel.
If you are travelling with digital photographic and/or video equipment, ensure you have the specific charging apparatus for each piece of equipment (as well as the appropriate socket plug adaptor and voltage converter if required).
Ensure you have enough memory cards before you head off for the bush – people usually end up taking more pictures then they thought they would!
In East Africa it is customary to tip as a way of expressing gratitude. Below is a general guideline, however this is just a guideline – tipping is at your discretion:
Porters US$ 1 per person per day.
Waiters US$ 2 per person per day
Driver guide US$ 8-10 per person per day
East Africa is no different from any other destination in the world. Common sense should prevail and precautions should be taken as in any major city. Use hotel and lodge safety deposit boxes where possible. If walking in towns or cities only carry small amounts of cash and do not wear obvious jewellery or display expensive possessions. Rather than walk in cities at night, we recommend that you ask the hotel to arrange a taxi.
The total baggage allowance for each passenger on light aircrafts is usually15kgs, preferably in soft-sided luggage. Please check with us if you are not sure of luggage restrictions on your itinerary. Please check with us if you would like to store excess luggage in Nairobi.
If you visit a village where there are children, we ask you not to give them sweets. If you wish to give them something, we suggest items like stationery, books, clothing, etc.
We are “guests” in the National Parks. The wild animals have right of way all the time. It is important to respect them and not try to touch them or make any noise to attract their attention.
Smoking in enclosed areas and public places including restaurants is prohibited.