Get to know Kenya

Welcome to Kenya – Where the Sun never sets on adventure

Kenya, a holiday destination is unrivalled, sitting astride the equator, halfway down Africa’s eastern coast; Kenya offers a world of attractions and opportunities for the discerning visitor – more than any other destination in the world. Visitors can expect to find stunning landscapes, a diversity of culture and myths, sandy beaches, a range of adventure sports activities, opportunities for bird watching and, above all, the chance to observe rare wildlife.

Kenya’s cosmopolitan capital, Nairobi, is the only city in the world with a national park attached to it. Maasai Mara is one of the world’s most magnificent game reserves while also being a wildlife habitat. The park is famous for the great migration from July to October each year. About 2 million wildebeest, accompanied by half a million zebras and thousands of gazelles, move steadily north from the Serengeti in search of the lush grass and water they need to survive. There they graze until about October, at which point the entire herbivore circus turns around and heads south again. And the lion, cheetah, and leopard in the months from December to February.

Amboseli national park gives a peak of the snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro – Africa’s highest mountain. Along with this, making it to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Lamu Old Town is Kenya’s oldest continually inhabited settlement, with origins dating back since the 12th century. Amongst other places to visit, you must not miss Lake Nakuru – renowned for its thousands of pink flamingoes and Mount Kenya – the second largest mountain in Africa. Kenya’s beautiful silver sand beaches lined with palm trees also entice many travellers.

After the wonders of a wildlife safari, Kenya’s beaches offer the ultimate in relaxation. With 480 kilometres of beaches – 50 per cent of them sheltered by an unspoilt coral reef – Kenya is the ideal destination for adventure and sports tourism.

Basic information

Capital City: Nairobi

Population: 54 Million

Government: Republic

Currency: Kenya Shilling (KES), however USD, English Pounds, and Euro also used.

Time – 3 hrs + GMT

Travel Tips

Health

Yellow fever vaccination is required if travelling from susceptible countries; Malaria endemic but is preventable. In addition, it is advisable to take malaria prophylactic. Kindly always consult your travel doctor for the latest health advice before travelling to Kenya.

Weather and Climate

Kenya’s climate is similar to its neighbouring country, Tanzania, with two rainy seasons from mid-March until June and October-November. The European summer and winter period are good for wildlife viewing since it’s generally dry then, but keep in mind that it’s a prevalent and busy time to travel.

Language

Kenya is made up of about 40 ethnic groups, making the country extremely multilingual. However, English and Swahili are the two official languages and widely spoken.

Security

Kenya is generally a safe country; however, use common sense. Keep an eye on your belongings. Don’t walk in the towns or cities at night – take a taxi instead. When you arrive, ask your hotel which areas are unsafe to prevent any potential problems.

Airports

Kenya’s main airport is Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO), located 15km southeast of Nairobi. Kenya’s second international airport is Moi International Airport (MBA), located 9km west of Mombasa, but this is primarily used for domestic and charter flights aside from flights to Zanzibar. Most domestic flights out of Nairobi depart from Wilson Airport (WIL), 6km/4mi south of Nairobi.

Getting There

International flights arrive at Jomo Kenyatta Airport, about 20 minutes drive from central Nairobi. A vast number of international airlines fly direct to Nairobi, including Air France, British Airways, Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, KLM, Kenya Airways, Lufthansa, Swiss International Air Lines, Qatar Airways, Turkish Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Korean Air, Etihad Airways, Egypt Air, Oman Air and RwandAir.

Domestic airlines include Airkenya, Mombasa Air Safari, Safarilink, Fly540, Kenya Airways, Jambojet, African Express Airways and East African Safari Air.

Luggage

Due to limited space available for storage in safari vehicles, we strongly recommend using soft duffle bags. Some air charters limit baggage to a 10 – 15kg maximum.

Insurance

Take out travel insurance to cover loss of baggage or valuables, personal accident and medical expenses

Tipping

Tipping is not obligatory but a tip for exceptional services.

Electricity

The power plugs and sockets are type G. The standard voltage is 240 V, and the frequency is 50 Hz. I recommend buying a universal adapter (ensuring it has surge protection) and using a converter for hairdryers and hot tools.

Cuisine

Local and international cuisine served in the lodge.

Visas

A single entry visa for Kenya is US $50 per person, plus US $1 for service charge and handling fee. Visas have to be applied and paid for online via the eCitizen portal before your arrival. A copy of the eVisa has to be presented upon immigration. Please take into account that the approval of your visa application may take up to one whole week.

Best time to visit

Also, in Kenya, the game parks are best visited during the dry season, especially between January and March. This is also the ideal period to enjoy Kenya’s fantastic birdlife. The wildebeest migration in the Maasai Mara Game Reserve can be witnessed in the period from July till October. If you plan to stay in the coastal area, it’s better to avoid them (long) rainy season.