Kenya in East Africa has a stunning coastline along the Indian Ocean. It boasts diverse landscapes including savannahs, lakelands, the Great Rift Valley, and mountain highlands. Kenya is home to remarkable wildlife like lions, elephants, and rhinos.
Nairobi, the capital city, is a gateway to thrilling safaris in the Maasai Mara Reserve, known for its wildebeest migrations. Amboseli National Park offers mesmerising views of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Kenya is a dream destination for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers.
Situated on the equator on Africa's east coast, Kenya has been described as "the cradle of humanity".
Kenya - Top 100+ Cities by Population
Kenya is a linguistically diverse country with English and Swahili as its official languages. Swahili serves as a national language and is widely spoken, while English is commonly used in official and educational settings. Additionally, there are over 40 ethnic languages spoken by various communities, contributing to the cultural richness of the country.
Kenyans often grow up bilingual or multilingual, demonstrating the importance of language in their daily lives. Visitors can enhance their experiences by learning basic Swahili phrases and greetings, showing respect for the local culture and fostering better communication.
Like any other country, most foreigners require a visa in order to travel to Kenya. The Kenya eVisa is an electronic visa that allows visitors to enter Kenya for tourism, business, or medical purposes.
Consult with a healthcare professional to understand the recommended vaccinations and medications for your trip to Kenya, such as malaria prophylaxis. Kenya is a signatory to the Addis declaration on immunisation, that required counties to attain Universal Access to Immunization. In 2019, immunisation coverage was 82% (target >90%). In the last ten years, eight new vaccines have been successfully introduced into the national immunisation program.Approximately 77% of children aged 12-23 months are fully vaccinated with some districts reporting even lower levels of coverage. However, low immunisation coverage remains a challenge in low income and high population settings such as Kaptembwa Location, Nakuru district.
Stay informed about the current safety situation and travel advisories for Kenya. Take precautions by avoiding isolated areas, practising vigilance in crowded places, and securing your belongings.Exercise a high degree of caution in Kenya overall due to the high crime levels and the threat of terrorist attack. Higher levels apply in some areas.
Be especially careful when travelling after dark anywhere in Kenya due to crime. Terrorist attacks have occurred with little or no warning, targeting Kenyan and foreign government facilities, tourist locations, transportation hubs, hotels, resorts, markets/shopping malls, and places of worship.
Most parts of the country receive sunshine during the day and cold temperatures during the night. July and August are the coldest months while January to March are the hottest months.
Kenya experiences two rainy seasons each year. The long rains begin in March in most parts and end in June. Short rain showers are between October to December.
The local currency in Kenya is the Kenyan Shilling (KES). It is advisable to carry a mix of cash and credit/debit cards, and be aware of exchange rates and availability of ATMs. As the official legal tender in Kenya, the Kenyan shilling is officially recognized by the Kenyan government, meaning you can use it to settle all financial obligations in the country, including paying for goods, services, taxes, and debts. Besides the Kenyan shilling, no other currency is officially accepted in Kenya.
Currency exchange services are available at airports, hotels, banks, and authorised exchange bureaus. ATMs are widely available and accept major international cards, but it is advisable to inform your bank of your travel plans beforehand. Credit cards are accepted in upscale establishments, while cash is commonly used for day-to-day transactions. Mobile payments through M-Pesa are popular and convenient for local transactions.
Research and plan your transportation options in advance, whether it's domestic flights, public buses, or private transfers. Consider using reputable taxi services or pre-arranged transport for safety.
The form of transport mostwidely used by Kenyans is the “Matatu” which gets its name from “three” the original cost of three coins to travel by this form of transport. They are normally Nissan minibuses which have a board showing the destination they are travelling to.
Transport in Kenya refers to the transportation structure in Kenya. The country has an extensive network of paved and unpaved roads. Kenya's railway system links the nation's ports and major cities and connects Kenya with neighbouring Uganda. There are 15 airports with paved runways.
There are 9 SGR stations between Nairobi and Mombasa: Syokimau (Nairobi terminus), Athi River, Emali, Kibwezi, Mtito Andei, Voi, Miaseny, Mariakani, and Miritini (Mombasa terminus).
Kenya is famous for its diverse wildlife and stunning national parks. Respect wildlife, follow park regulations, and engage in responsible tourism practices, such as not feeding animals or littering.Within Kenya there are over 40 national parks and wildlife reserves which have been set aside for the conservation of wildlife and natural habitat.The Masai Mara is Kenya's best-known reserve, and for good reason too. Home to an abundance of big game, the Mara is excellent for predator sightings – cheetah, lion and leopard – with the open grasslands and far-reaching views making these big cats easier to spot.
Familiarise yourself with local customs and traditions to show respect to the Kenyan people. Greeting with a handshake, dressing modestly in certain areas, and asking for permission before taking photos are examples of cultural etiquette.The right hand or both hands are used to pass and accept items. The use of the left hand by itself to perform such tasks is considered improper. Taking photographs of another person without permission is frowned upon, particularly in rural areas.
It is highly recommended to have comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, trip cancellation, and personal belongings.What is covered by travel insurance. Most plans typically cover a range of trip protections, including accidental death and dismemberment, baggage delay or loss, emergency medical coverage and evacuation, trip cancellation, delay or interruption and more.On average, travellers should expect to pay 6.87% of their total trip cost for travel insurance. The minimum you might expect to pay is 4.15%, but it can go as high as 15.8%.7
Prioritise researching and planning your itinerary,including attractions, accommodations, and transportation logistics, to make the most of your time in Kenya. An itinerary is a plan of a journey showing the route and the places that the visitor will visit. Thus, it is a schedule or timetable produced in association with a package tour. A flight itinerary for a visa is a detailed route of your flight. It includes information such as flight name, departure/arrival timings along with dates, flight code, departure/arrival airport IATA codes and the flight reservation/booking numbers
By keeping these key points in mind, you can have a safe and enjoyable experience while exploring the beautiful landscapes, wildlife, and cultural heritage that Kenya has to offer.