Are you planning to go on a safari to Kenya? We have come up with some key factors to consider before visiting Kenya.
Essential things to consider before visiting Kenya: A checklist for tourists
From the scenic peaks of Mt. Kenya to the world-class wildlife encounters in the Maasai Mara or the classic palm-lined fine white-sanded beaches on the coast, Kenya is a vacationer’s paradise. We have come up with a few handy tips that will ensure you have an unforgettable vacation in Kenya, and in the best way.
An East Africa Visa is the ideal option since it grants you multi-country access (Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda), and it’s cheaper than acquiring individual passports for each country. You can apply for an e-visa via the online portal evisa.go.ke where approval is done real-time. It is important to note that the visa fee is non-refundable whether the visa is approved or not.
Kenya offers a safe and friendly environment for its visitors. However, security checks run high due to the threat of terror attacks. Heavy screening is mandatory at the entry points, especially at the Jomo Kenyatta International airport, where bags have to be screened, and you have to walk through a body scanner. It is, therefore, crucial to factor in time for this process along with the usual check-in procedures.
Health requirements and vaccinations
For travelers over one year arriving from a yellow fever risk region as advised on the CDC or NHS website, a yellow fever vaccination is compulsory. Anti-Malaria drugs are also highly recommended and should be taken two weeks before your arrival.
Health insurance is also essential. Ensure that your travel insurance covers any emergencies that may arise. Medical facilities around Nairobi and Mombasa offer quality health services. For the rest of the country, the quality of healthcare may vary.
While most safari packages are all-inclusive, you will need your money for other activities like purchasing local items and tipping. Kenya uses the Kenya Shilling as its currency. It is wise to carry some shillings along with your major credit cards. Most international hotels accept the US dollar, but due to increased counterfeits, most places do not accept dollar bills older than 2003. The prevailing Kenya shilling to US dollar exchange rate is $1 = 109.55 kshs.
Renting vans or jeeps might seem like a lot of fun to most people. It could be cheaper, and it would give you much freedom. However, driving around the Maasai Mara or any other national park is no joke. Hiring a van and a local driver is the best idea.
Most Safari operators offer two common modes of transport – minivan and 4*4 Landcruiser. Depending on your preference, I would prefer a land cruiser. It comes with an elevated sunroof that allows you to take amazing pictures of the diverse flora and fauna.
Kenyan law requires you to carry your passport at all times. You might be stopped by the police while on a night out in one of the local pubs as you enjoy Nairobi’s fascinating nightlife. You will be expected to produce it. Otherwise, you might find yourself in trouble with the Kenyan askaris.
Kenya is a multilingual country with Swahili and English the two official languages. While most Kenyans understand English, you may need to understand a few Kiswahili words that will endear you to the locals. For example, you can say ‘Jambo,’ which means ‘Hello’. Or ‘Habari yako,’ which translates to ‘How are you’.
What to Carry
The following are a few items that you may need to carry or you might likely need on your trip to Kenya:
- Camera and Lenses
- Adopter, Type B, or Type C for charging your electrical gadgets
- Extra batteries/powerbank
- Extra SD cards for your Camera
Planning is an essential element for any trip. Having these factors in mind as you prepare for a breathtaking safari to Kenya will make the experience more amazing. Head over to Destinations Kenya and look at the best destinations that you can visit and find out more about our amazing deals and offers.