|Travel Information on Kenya
Luxury Safari Camps in Kenya
Kichwa Tembo Bateleur Camp
East Africa Safari: Luxury Safari Lodges in Tanzania
Singita Sasakwa Lodge
Singita Sabora Plains Tented Camp
Singita Faru Faru Lodge
Ngorongoro Crater Lodge
Lake Manyara Tree Lodge
Grumeti River Camp
Mnemba Island Lodge
Traveling to Kenya:
Our national carrier Kenya Airways and other major international airlines such as British Airways, Emirates, KLM, Swissair and Sabena to name a few provide easy access to and from Nairobi. If traveling from Europe, most national carriers provide direct flights into Nairobi. Traveling from the United States of America often requires a stopover somewhere in Europe before continuing into Nairobi. British Airways and KLM usually have the most convenient flight schedules into Nairobi, especially from the USA. For details on the required documentation for travel please refer to your local Kenyan Embassy, preferred airline or travel agent.
Transportation on safari:
The most commonly used mode of transportation is in 9-seat minivans which are largely used for organized tour groups and Safari Prepared 4 wheel drive vehicles (often Toyota Landcruisers or Landrovers) seating capacities of which vary between 4 to 7 passengers seats depending upon the type of vehicle selected. When booking your safari please ensure that you book with a licensed tour operator or directly with the hotels and also make sure that your transportation vehicle is fully equipped with Radio Call systems (all major car hire companies, hotels and tour operators have implemented these in their vehicles) in case of emergencies.
For distances greater than 5 hours, it is advisable to fly because firstly, it greatly reduces the time spent traveling on the dust roads, which leads to exhaustion and wastes a lot of time getting to your destination, especially when limited time is available. Currently, flights within Kenya are mainly operated by two of the major local airliners Air Kenya Aviation [which handles most of the flights to major game reserves via lightweight aircraft as well flights to Malindi, Mombasa and Lamu] and Kenya Airways, which fly to all the major cities within the country by use of smaller Boeing aircraft.
Traveling with children:
Kenya is the perfect destination for your next family vacation. There are a lot of entertainment & educational programs available for your children. Some hotels even have kids clubs, which can organize daily activities for your kids such game trekking, environmental education programs, treasure hunts and interview sessions with the local Masaai people in a traditional village. The most famous clubs are run by the Heritage Hotels [Adventurers club] and Lonrho Hotels [Young Explorers club]. However, please note that during game drives it must be ensured that children are quiet as even the slightest noise could scare away the animals. It is therefore requested that if you are traveling with very young children you do not share a game drive vehicle with other guests as this may adversely affect their experience and enjoyment. You can rent an exclusive vehicle for your family or arrange to be part of a family tour through your travel agent. Also, please note that some game viewing lodges such as the Ark do not allow children under the age of 7 years due to the noise factor, except on specially designated children’s nights. Please consult your travel agent for full details when planning a trip with your children.
Food & Drink:
Drink only mineral or purified bottled water, this is widely available at all lodges, restaurants and supermarkets. Most chemist shops in cities and tourist stops/cafes en route to your destination also stock bottled water. Vegetarians will not have a problem in our country, provided you request for vegetarian meal plan when booking your trip so that the hotels or lodges may cater accordingly. Safari Lodges and Camps usually have a fullboard meal plan, which basically means 3 meals and an afternoon tea (or coffee). Most hotels along the beach, on the other hand have half board meal plans (two meals breakfast and: lunch or dinner). Some of the safari & beach accommodations offer ‘all-inclusive’ deals, which include unlimited local soft drinks & beer, three meals per day, and in some cases they may also include snacks.
Food in most hotels is served as buffet, especially when booked on full board basis. Most 5 star hotels have a variety of in-house restaurants offering different cuisines for different tastes. The most common International cuisines in Kenya are Indian, Italian, Chinese, Lebanese, Japanese and Thai.
The most preferred local food is usually barbecued meat also known as Nyama Choma. Kenyan beer Tusker is perhaps the best beer in the world, and almost impossible to find outside the country, so if you’re a beer lover make sure you sample a bottle…or two!
Basic facts on Kenya
Total area: 582,650 sq km.
Coastline: 536 km
Capital City: Nairobi
Kenya is easily accessible by most of the world’s major airlines via the countries two international airports the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi and the Moi International airport in Mombasa. Visa is required for most nationalities. Information and current charges can be obtained from any of your local Kenya Tourist Offices or the Kenyan Embassy.
The Three major airports are Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (International & Domestic), Wilson Airport (Domestic only) and Moi International Airport (International & Domestic). Most Reserves and National Parks have airstrips and flights are operated by means of lightweight aircraft.
Mornings are usually cool and afternoons are sunny throughout most of the year. At the coast, the weather is tropical & often humid. Kenya has two Rainy seasons the long rains which fall between April and May and the short rains during October and November. Evenings are chilly in some parts of the country.
Casual lightweight clothing is recommended. Since mornings and evenings can be cold, it is advisable to carry some moderately warm clothing and sweaters. Comfortable walking shoes and a hat are essential items. There are plenty of shops available within Nairobi and Mombasa to buy any extra clothing during your visit and most lodges and hotels have safari boutiques where it is possible to purchase some safari gear. Casual wear is acceptable in most restaurants.
International and domestic telephone and fax services are widely available and direct overseas dialing is possible from most centers. Where there are no telephone lines available such as within far off safari lodges, radio communication is possible with the hotel / lodge’s head office. E-mail services are becoming increasingly popular in all major cities & most other areas.
The Kenyan Shilling (KES or Kshs.) is widely exchangeable and most major credit cards are accepted. VISA & MASTERCARD are widely accepted, American Express however is not too popular. Most establishments have a surcharge on the bill for credit card transactions. (Normally, shops, restaurants and supermarkets do not bill you the surcharge).
Swahili is national language & English is the official language.
On safari, whether by road or air, it is advisable to carry a soft duffel bag packing only the necessary items as most hotels can store the extra luggage for you while you’re on safari. The baggage allowance on local airlines is usually 20 kg’s per person however this may be reduced to 10-15 kg’s if a lightweight aircraft is used.
Varies from Campsites to Luxurious 5 Star Resorts. Food in almost all the hotels is Pan African cuisine.
Shops: 0900hrs to 1700hrs, Banks: 0900hrs to 1500hrs.
Though most hotels, lodges and restaurants include the service charge in their billing, it is customary to tip waiters and safari guides/drivers. In restaurants, a tip of 5% - 10% of your bill is appropriate. For Safari driver/guides USD15 USD20 is appreciated.
Health & Security:
Drink only bottled (mineral or purified) water, which is widely available in supermarkets, restaurants & hotels. Kenya has excellent medical and evacuation facilities. Precautions as in all other destinations should be taken & as in all major cities walking in the streets at night should be avoided.
Taxi services are widely available. It is possible to rent a car and copies of your passport and international driver’s license will be required together with a deposit for the vehicle. However, if you were travelling to Kenya as a tourist it would be a great inconvenience travelling back and forth around the Lodges and despite a map it would be easy to get lost. Always let a safari operator or domestic airline arrange your transfers between lodges.
VAT (Value Added Tax) is charged for meals and drinks taken in restaurants also charge a catering levy to support the local hotel and tourism training.
220/240 volts 50HZ.
Please seek the permission of local people before photographing, in many cases you may be requested to pay for it. When on safari please always remember that the animals are not tame and it is not advisable to get out of the vehicle to take pictures. A camera bag is essential to protect your camera and equipment from dust.
Advance booking is advisable if you plan to visit Kenya during the high season, which takes place between December to March and July to September.
Appropriate insurance cover is strongly recommended before you travel into the country.