Travel Information

Airlines flying Into Kenya & within

Kenya Airways – flies to India, Europe, China, Thailand, Vietnam and Middle East plus all major cities in Africa

Emirates, Etihad, Qatar Airways, Oman Air, Air Arabia – from middle East

British Airways (daily), KLM (daily), Air France, SN Brussels, Swissair, Lufthansa

Ethiopian Airlines, Rwanda Air, Precision Air, South African Airways, Air Mauritius, Air Maroc – are the major African Airline companies

There are also several charter airlines operating weekly flights from Europe into Mombasa

Domestic airlines that fly to other cities within Kenya: Jambojet, Fly 540, Kenya Airways. Airlines flying to Game parks – Air Kenya, Safari Link, Mombasa Air, Fly SAX

Soft bags (that are lockable) are preferable to large rectangular suitcases. On the Safarilink and Airkenya light aircraft flights the weight of luggage that can be checked in is limited to 15kgs. We will be glad to store any excess luggage (bags must be locked) at our head office at no extra charge. The Safari vehicles have small space for carrying luggage at the back; if the number of guests are more than 4 per vehicle, we recommend one bag per person not more than 15 kilos in weight. Up to 4 people traveling in one safari vehicle can carry up to two bags per person weighing 15 kilos.

Comfortable safari clothes for day time, good walking shoes (closed) preferably water-proof, swimwear, leather shoes and semiformal attire for Mt Kenya Safari Club since their lounges, dining hall etc have restrictions like any colonial club, water and wind-proof jacket, full sleeve clothes for evening. Temperature goes down to 15 degrees in Mt Kenya in summer evenings. Hats with strings and sunglasses are necessary.

The list given below is a basic indication of what you should bring. We recommend that you bring khaki and green coloured clothing. Bright colors should be avoided while on safari (fine for the coast and Nairobi); camouflage clothes are illegal because they are worn by local soldiers.

Trainers
Flip flops
Hat
Windbreaker/Jacket
Pullover Sweater/Sweatshirt
2 pc. safari pants (or chinos)
2 pc. safari shorts
4 pair sport socks
3 short sleeve shirts
1 long sleeve shirt
2 t-shirts
Pyjamas
Swim Trunks
1 pair casual slacks (men) evening outfit (women) – for evening
comfortable undergarments – 6 pairs
Belt

Passports (with visa entries)
Health cards (vaccination certificate)
Airline tickets
Cheque book
Cash & Travellers’ Cheques
Separate record of T/Cheque numbers
Credit Cards (VISA, Mastercard and/or American Express),
Photo copy of passport/visas/Insurance papers

East African cuisine is healthy and mild. Maize meal and Chapatti (rolled white flour bread roasted and fried on a skillet) are eaten with spinach, potatoes, rajma beans or beef curry. Goat meat, lamb and beef is normally roasted with minimum marinade – the most common is Nyama Choma – where the meat is cooked on an open fire with only salt on it. Chicken is curried or fried. Fish is eaten in the coast and the lakes – cooked with coconut, or simply fried and curried. In Lake regions the common fish available are Tilapia and Nile Perch – both are consumed in curry form with onion and tomatoes, fried or grilled. Quality of vegetables, fruits and meat is excellent.

At the lodges, buffet meals cater to all tastes; chilies are not normally used in cooking. Meals include salads, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian choices of main dishes, dessert. Rare steak is normally medium grilled. Please let us know if you have any special meal requirements, and the lodges try to cater to this if informed in advance. Dinner is a sit-down affair in some lodges, while buffet or bar-be-que and pastas are also available frequently.

Dining out in Nairobi – Options are endless in Nairobi, where hotel stay normally includes only breakfast. Carnivore – the world famous restaurant for roast meats, also offers wonderful ala carte meals for everyone, and has a very popular discotheque. Seafood restaurants, Italian cuisine, Chinese, Japanese, Ethiopian, African, Lebanese, and French – the list is endless. We will provide you with the minivan and guide or with a taxi service from the hotel for you to go out for lunch and dinner. Safari Park Hotel and Casino also offers a fabulous Safari Cat Dance Show which can be viewed at their Nyama Choma Ranch restaurant, while you enjoy a meal.

We recommend you to drink only mineral water. A few popular brands are Keringet, Dasani, Aquamist – mineral water is widely available here; so is coke, etc. Local packed fruit juices are available in supermarkets, and fresh juice at the lodges. South African wines are wonderful and a wide range is available. All popular brands of international liquor are available. The Kenyan tea / coffee is normally prepared with a lot of milk and sugar – it might be better to ask for the milk/sugar separately if you do not like your hot beverage that way. Quality of milk is good, and pasteurized. Tea is consumed widely in Kenya. Tea and coffee is grown for consumption and export in vast stretches of highlands. Salads and fruits are safe to eat in the lodges. Fruits are excellent here.

There are no compulsory vaccinations required for entry to Kenya unless you are arriving from an area infected with Yellow Fever, in which case a Certificate of Inoculation against Yellow Fever is required from travelers older than one year. Visitors coming from other countries in Africa where Yellow Fever may occur, including Tanzania and Zanzibar, require a Yellow Fever certificate. The other recommended vaccinations are Typhoid, Hepatitis and Polio, and anti-malarial medication is essential. Anti-malarial drugs should be taken prior to arrival and should be continued for 4 weeks after leaving Kenya. It is also advisable to try and avoid mosquito bites by using repellent and by wearing suitable cover-up clothes in the evening.

There are good hospitals in the main towns of Kenya while the rural areas have small health centres where one can get basic first aid. It is absolutely essential that all visitors carry some form of medical insurance to cater for any eventualities. There is an excellent Flying Doctor service in Kenya in the event of a medical emergency, while on safari away from the urban centres. Hotels and lodges supply clean drinking water but whenever in doubt, please drink only bottled mineral water (which is available in hotels and safari camps). Drinking water from the tap is not encouraged. For mountain climbing, please ensure you are in good general health and do not suffer from illnesses that prohibit you from undertaking a high altitude trek.

Yellow fever injection is compulsory. It must be taken ten days prior to journey. Though Malaria is not common in the area you are visiting, please do take preventive prescription as a precaution. Please bring with you any prescription medicines. If anyone suffers from Asthma, please carry emergency medication always. Medicines are not available on Safari. However all lodges offer emergency Medicare. Please take medical insurance cover for the trip duration. Kenya is good, health-wise, and normally common ailments do not happen if you stay warm and dry, and do not expose yourself to too bright sun, or insects.

Malaria prophylaxis
Prescription drugs (also bring the generic names for these drugs, good idea to pack 2 separate lots)
Motion sickness pills
Insect repellant (containing DEET for mosquito’s)
Sun Screen (SPF 15 or higher)
Lip Balm
Shampoo/Conditioner
Deodorant
Toothpaste / Toothbrush
Dental Floss
Hair Brush / Comb
Electric / Hand Razor
Emery Boards
Tweezers
Hand Lotion
Fem. Hygiene Supplies
Wear sunscreens and cover up during the hottest time of day – between 11H00 and 15H00.

Please avoid wearing precious jewellery. Carry binoculars, good camera, we use 220 volts here, with rectangular pin plugs. Most hotels provide you with three way plugs. If camera needs film and cells, please carry adequate quantity. While traveler’s cheques are accepted in Banks, charges are high. It is better to carry some cash (not too much), and credit cards. Sunscreen lotion, insect repellent lotion is needed. Please keep your expensive items, money and passports safely. Please do not leave handbags on chairs etc. In safari camps and lodges, your personal belonging is normally safe. Everyone in Kenya can speak English. On arrival in Nairobi airport, you are not allowed to purchase anything from the duty-free. Blackberry is usable in Kenya ; any GSM mobile phone can be used. You could also purchase local mobile connection at the airport on arrival – popular being Zain and Safaricom, both with country-wide coverage. Network can be difficult to get in game parks.

The hotels in Nairobi are fairly insect-proof. The safari lodges and tents also endeavor to protect you from them. Please do apply insect repellent lotion when you go out for game drives, and in the evenings – so that you do not get bitten.

Banking Hours

Mon. – Fri: 0900 – 1600 hours
Sat: Some Banks 0900 – 1200 hours
Sunday: some banks stay open for 4 hrs.
NB: Banks at International Airports operate 24*7 service
Credit Cards

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Diners Club, and other well know cards are widely accepted throughout Kenya. Traveller’s cheques or hard currency is required in Tanzania & Uganda.

Currency

Currencies are based on the decimal system. The unit of currency is Shilling divided into 100 cents. Visitors are advised to check currency exchange rates regularly. It is illegal to enter or leave these countries with any local currency and visitors must exchange any remaining currency at their departure Airport or earlier on the day of departure at City and principal Town Banks. It is a serious offence to deface or knowingly damage such currency. Visitors are strongly advised to avoid street dealers and to transact all currency dealings through official dealers. UKL, USD, EURO can be easily converted at the hotels, forex bureaus and Banks. Kenya Shillings is currently valued between KES 75 – 85 = 1 USD approximately.

Customs

volume of personal effects can be imported together with cameras and any amount of film. Unused personal effects, unexposed film, cameras and accessories (except cine and slide projectors) may be temporarily imported free of duty. A visitor wishing to bring home video equipment in the form of cameras and cassettes should consult the nearest Consulate or High Commission as a Customs Bond is normally required for the period such equipment is in the country. Refundable deposits may be required for the temporary import of radios, tape recorders and similar equipment including musical instruments.

Courtesy Buses

Some out of town hotels provide a courtesy bus service (contact Reception for times).

Duty Free

Visitors are restricted to duty free items of 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars and one litre bottle of spirits. On arrival at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi, duty-free purchase is not allowed at the moment.

Sunglasses / Case Prescription glasses (and a spare pair) Flashlight (small with extra batteries) Batteries (for electronic equipment) Converter plug set if needed (the electricity supply is 240 Volt, 50 Hz). Sockets are usually 3 pin and are of the square variety. Alarm clock Money pouch Pocket Knife (not in hand luggage) Binoculars (very important, one per person) Day pack Favorite road snacks Books / Magazines / Journal Small Sewing Kit Small Scissors (not in hand luggage) Pen/paper

Kenya is a photographer’s paradise. Skies, animals, bird and people are wonderful to photograph. Please do stop whenever you want a picture. If you take a photograph of a masai, they often ask for money. Please be discreet while photographing them – they are sometimes sighted grazing their cattle within the game park too. You could also visit a Masai Village (optional – takes a while to get there from Mara Serena). You require powerful zoom lenses for wildlife photography. Special films are not very easily available, while 100 or 200 ASA is common. Please bring the cells, and chargers. Please carry enough film or your laptop – you might take too many photographs without realizing.

As a basic guide we suggest that each person have their own camera, a 35mm or 5+ mega pixel digital camera. Interchangeable lenses are recommended, with a normal lens and a telephoto of at least 200 mm, although a 400 mm or more is preferable for close-ups and for photographing birds. Other lenses e.g. wide angle, macro etc., may be brought. Cumbersome flash units and tripods are not generally recommended. Try to ensure that at least one member of the party has a video camera.

Film: With long focal length lenses, we suggest that you choose a film speed of 400 ASA. In the early mornings and late afternoons and in other low light conditions, you may wish to have some ASA/ISO 200, 400, or even faster film (bring some rolls of 1000 ASA for late evening and poor light conditions), but for good daylight conditions ASA/ISO 50 and 100 speed film is fine. Be sure to bring adequate quantities of film with you as it is more expensive here and you may not be able to find the film you normally use. For still photography, we suggest that you allow one or two rolls of 36-exposure film per day, per camera. For video cameras you should expect to shoot about 30 minutes of tape per day. You should bring several spare batteries for all your photographic equipment, especially video cameras. You should also carry a charger for the video batteries and a lead to operate the video from the vehicle cigar lighter when required. Bring camera and lens cleaning equipment for the dust (a blower brush and a soft chamois cloth work well). Another useful item is a small compressed air canister to blow dust off your equipment.

It is strongly recommended that each person has his/her own pair of binoculars. These need not be of an expensive make, but on safari they are essential for seeing birds and animals in the distance. The ideal size is 7 x 42 . Bird watchers will want to bring a Spotting Scope.

Please make sure that you are thoroughly familiar with all your equipment before starting your safari. If the equipment is new, please give yourself time to shoot at least one roll of film and have it developed before departure

Camera (with extra batteries)
Camera Bag
Telephoto Lenses (200 -400 mm)
Lens Cleaning Equip.
Film (double the amount you think you need)
Extra Camera Batteries
Lead Bag for Film
Battery Charger (12V or 220A for video cameras)
Beanbag
Zip Lock Bags
A notebook or journal to record your day’s adventures while they are still fresh in your mind!

Photography Tips –

When taking close-up shots with a long lens set the aperture at f8 and focus on the animal’s eyes. This ensures most of the face will be in focus.
Have your camera set up, so you prepared for those fleeting moments. A good place to keep it is at f8, servo mode with aperture priority.
Bracket your shots. For example, when taking photos of an elephant, take one portrait shot, another with the environment in view, then another shot with close-up detail, such as mouth and tusk.
Use low contrast film when the sun is bright and high contrast film when it’s cloudy or dull.
Vary shots in vertical and horizontal modes.
When the animal is moving you will need a shutter speed of at least 1/125, unless you are using a panning technique. Birds in flight require speeds of 1/500 or more.
If you have time, do not take a photo at the earliest opportunity. Look out for background and foreground distractions, which seem to appear out of nowhere.
A lens of 300mm in focal length is the minimum for mammal photography. If your interest is in taking photos of birds then 500mm is a good starting point
Try not to centre all your shots, leave room for the animal to walk into. Otherwise, all your photographs will appear static.
If you are on a safari, don’t take all your photos from the roof hatch of the safari vehicle. Better photos can be had when you make use of the windows. Photographs taken at the animal’s eye-level will appear more dramatic.

While they are the drivers of the Safari Vehicle, they also double up as information base, and game spotter. They are certified by the Tourism department. They speak English, and are quite knowledgeable about the country and its flora and fauna Often they carry information books with them for you to read and clarify details on flora and fauna on safari. We also provide guides with special language requirements.

Tips and gratuities

The guides expect tips from the clients – anywhere within $5-10 per person per day. But this is only an indicative figure – we leave it to your discretion. The porters/waiters expect about $2 -5$tip at the lodges.

Please note the safari lodges have buffet meals, fixed meal timings, and do not provide room service unless requested specifically at an extra levy. Tea/coffee is served in the main lounge areas. The rooms/tents are spread out. Since the lodges in Game Park are designed to blend with the surroundings, they have a central reception, lounge and dining area and accommodation is often a brisk walk away! Most do not have tea-coffee maker in the rooms. They keep 500ml mineral water per person per day, in the rooms, inclusive. Lodges provide hot water, lights by timings, all linen, umbrellas, torchlight, basic toiletries, and insect repellant. You might need to bring your own too. We use rectangular pin plugs here, with 220 volts. Lodges also provide you with ice cubes to chill water/drinks in the vehicle’s cool box. The guide, when told, organizes this.

Safety

The lodges and camps are protected and we take every precaution to avoid any animal-human conflict. But please do abide by the rules of safari land however – never wander on your own away from designated areas, do not get off the safari vehicle unless the guide tells you to. Animals look very tame, but they are wild after all! Please ask each lodge or camp for their safety rules and regulations. Please do not take undue risks. East Africa is exotic, and adventurous. Please do not allow children move around alone at anytime of the day and night.

Security

The Kenyan tourist circuit tends to be very safe for tourists. This has been due to concerted efforts by stakeholders to ensure that visitors enjoy their stay without any security concerns. There was however a period 3 to 4 years ago when insecurity on some of the circuits was of concern, but the underlying factors have since been effectively addressed.

The tourism industry in Kenya takes visitor safety very seriously and considers all aspects of the tourist’s stay in Kenya. For this reason, the industry created a Safety and Communication Centre under the auspices of the Kenya Tourism Federation (KTF), which is operated 24hrs a day to monitor visitor safety. The Kenya Tourism Federation represents the leading tourism trade associations comprising the Kenya Associations of: Tour Operators (KATO), Hotelkeepers and Caterers (KAHC), Travel Agents (KATA), Budget hotels (KBHA), Air Operators (KAAO), Ecotourism Society of Kenya (ESOK), as well as Mombasa and Coast Tourism Association (MCTA).

The KTF Safety Centre is the brainchild of these Associations.

The Safety and Communication Centre is manned by well-trained staff who are at hand to attend to any issues of concern to tourists. These include security, health, road conditions, travel advisories and updates etc.

There is a 24hr TOURIST HELPLINE (020 – 604767) where one can seek assistance in case of need.

East Africa is famous for its woodcarvings, including furniture, masks, etc. Cities have many outlets for curios, fabrics, carvings, paintings, etc. Apart from the stores and supermarkets, there are interesting handicraft bazaars where bargaining and window shopping is also a lot of fun. Hotels and Lodges have lovely shops selling curios and jewellery (both junk and precious).

Things to buy: Masks, Carvings, Beads and junk jewellery, Kikoy, Masai Blankets, Tee shirts and African clothing, Paintings, Bags, Baskets, Etched glassware, Tea and coffee, Tanzanite stone, Trade and Samburu Beads set on gold and silver.

Luxury Suv’s are not recommended for safari’s because they come with or without sun roof. They are two types. One is a 7 + 1 seater minivan, not air-conditioned, with pop-up roofs for game viewing. The storage space for luggage at the back is small. The other is a safari land cruiser, with similar capacity and roof hatch. They have larger leg space. All vehicles are fitted with radios, and carry cool boxes, first aid kits and small handbooks on fauna. Luxury SUV’s are not recommended for safari, as the roof hatch is very small.

Roads And Traffic Nairobi city has become extremely prone to traffic jams. A new phenomenon – pollution – is also being felt. Roads in Kenya are getting better. Many parts have been completely re-done, and the route to Masai Mara is under repairs, with some dusty stretches. Game parks only have murram roads.

Visa information on all countries is available upon request. Contact us at…….

Information On Visa To Enter Kenya

Kenya Online Visa Application Procedure

Travel within East Africa

If you are intending to have a multiple destination tour within East Africa, please request for the “Visitors Pass” upon arrival at the Airport. The Visitors Pass allows free RE-ENTRY to Kenya if you are travelling WITHIN East Africa (Uganda/Tanzania/Zanzibar). You will however be required to pay the normal visa charges for the other countries but may re-enter Kenya freely.

The Visitors Pass is stamped on the passport free of charge for full visa holders.

Most of East Africa is cool throughout the year, with rains during October, /November (short rains), and April – June (long rains).Kenya’s climate varies across the country, from the tropical humidity of the coast, the dry heat of the savannah or semi-arid areas and the cool air of the highlands. Temperatures in these areas are fairly constant year round with an average of 27 degree Celsius (80 degree F) at the coast, 21 degree C to 27 degree C (70-80 degree F) in the hinterland. Nairobi and the highlands are over 5,000 ft above sea level, and the daytime temperatures normally range between 19 degree C and 24 degree C (66 degree F to 75 degree F). Most parts of the country experience two rainy seasons: the ‘long rains’ falling over a ten week period between April and June, and the ‘short rains’ over a five week period between November and December. The rain tends to fall mainly at night and is usually a short and heavy tropical downpour. Rain may occasionally fall outside of the normal rainy seasons. In the highland areas north of Nairobi it may get chilly at night or in the early mornings – especially June, July, and August when temperatures are cooler – so it is recommended that visitors pack some items of warm clothing. Average Monthly Temperatures

 

J F M A M J J A S O N D
Nairobi Temp C 25 26 25 24 22 21 21 21 24
Book your tour!

Book your tour!