Visa requirements vary between countries and should be checked with the nearest Kenyan/Tanzanian High Commission/Embassy or a Kenyan Tourist Office or at an Airline office.
Personal effects like cameras and accessories (excluding slide and cine projectors) may be temporarily imported duty free.
Visitors are sometime advised although it is not mandatory, except in some instance (i.e. Far East, Central America, South, Central and West Africa), to have valid yellow fever and cholera certificates. It is advisable to check current health requirements with airlines and recommend that you take anti-malaria tablets before arrival in Kenya and during your stay. Kenya has excellent hospitals and doctors; in addition to a Flying Doctor Service who will fly you promptly to the nearest hospital should you fall ill on safari. There are pharmacists in all major towns, but as drugs are expensive it is advisable to bring ample supply of prescribed medication needed to cover the duration of your safari.
The basic unit of currency is the Kenya Shilling, used on the decimal system, and divided into 100 cents. Currency exchange rates can be checked at banks and foreign exchange bureaus (FOREX). Banks give slightly better rates of exchange than hotels. We strongly advise you to avoid street dealers.
In Kenya and Tanzania: GMT + 3 hours.
A number of major international banks have offices in Nairobi and branches throughout Kenya. Hours of business are between 9 am and 3 pm weekdays, (9am to 11am on Saturdays). A 24 hour banking service at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport includes Sundays and public holidays, and FOREX are open Mondays through Saturdays.
Hotels, restaurants and most shops throughout the country accept major credit cards such as MasterCard, visa, Amex and many more.
In general, the climate varies with altitude, but seldom falls below 24°C in the daytime and 10°C at night. There are two rainy seasons, between October and December and March to early June.
English is spoken and understood nearly everywhere. The national language is Kiswahili. Most hotels and lodges print their literature in English, French and German, and have multi-lingual staff.
Cotton and linen dresses, light slacks and short-sleeved shirts are essential, with pullovers for chilly nights at high altitudes. Some hotels require gentlemen to wear jackets and ties in the evenings. Flat, comfortable walking shoes or sandals are an asset, and sun hats and sunglasses give protection against sun.
Most parts of Kenya, including game lodges, can be reached quickly by using light charter aircrafts flying from Nairobi’s Wilson Airport. Some 30 international airlines serve Nairobi and Mombasa, Malindi and Kisumu. Kenya has comprehensive network of roads.
Nairobi and Mombasa have an abundance of various restaurants serving international cuisine. There are good cinemas and theatres in the main cities, and international-class casinos, nightclubs and discotheques.
Nairobi and Mombasa have excellent shopping facilities for almost everything you need, particularly souvenirs, and there are plenty of good shops in other major towns. Souvenirs and various basic necessities can be obtained from lodge and hotel shops.
As in all countries, security is basically a matter of common sense. Travelers’ cheques and valuables should be deposited in your hotel safe, not left unattended in a hotel room or tour bus and you should avoid carrying large sums of money around. Do not let handbags swing freely, and avoid walking alone at night.
Protect your camera & film with a plastic bag. A lens hood & ultra violet filter are also recommended. Films & batteries are available at the lodges but stocks may be limited so it is suggested you carry your own supply. A telephoto lens is & a pair of binoculars is invaluable for game viewing. It is prohibited to photograph the national flag, the President of the republic, the State House, State lodges, police, soldiers and prisons.
- Travel with as little luggage as possible – base hotels store suit cases.
- Dress for comfort, not for style.
- Hotels and lodges provide a 24hr laundry service.
- Always pack plenty of film, and a bathing costume, sunglasses, suntan lotion, flash light, hat, magazines and books.
- Binoculars are invaluable for game and bird watching.
- A telephoto lens of between 200 and 300mm is recommended for bird and wildlife photography.
- Protect camera and films from dust with a plastic bag.
- Carry spare films and batteries.
- Carry a bean bag in place of a tripod to steady the camera.
- Driving is on the left side.