9 Things you Need to Know About Visiting Kenya

Kenya is, without a doubt, one of the most stunning African countries that you may ever visit. This land is genuinely unique due to its varied nature, incredible biodiversity, and welcoming people. 

It is also hard to resist its charm when either taking part in a wild safari trip or visiting the second-largest Kenyan city, Mombasa. Magnificent landscapes, wild animals, Masai culture, and amazing national parks – all of these attract plenty of foreign tourists hungry for exotic views and unforgettable jungle experience.

Kenya e-Visa

Most travelers willing to visit Kenya need a visa. Many countries can apply for an e-Visa, which is an electronic equivalent of a traditional visa. This electronic travel and entry authorization is issued by the Kenyan government and can be used for tourist, business or transit trips. 

The cost of an issued e-Visa to Kenya is 99 Euro, while the fee for an e-Visa to East Africa is 149 Euro. The processing time of your online application may take up to  72 hours so apply preferably at least 3 business days in advance! 

You only need your smartphone or any other electronic device to submit your application. Make sure you’re connected to the Internet.

Apply at least 3 business days ahead of the planned trip on https://www.evisa-kenya.com/ and receive the approved e-Visa at your email address in PDF form!

Arranging the ideal trip to Kenya can be challenging. Therefore, this article aims at making you a bit more aware and less fearful of your African wild trip. Don’t be afraid as Kenya is a safe African country to visit. Here are 9 things you need to know before you set off

  1. Health Safety

The fact that Kenya has two rainy seasons is one of the most important things to know before visiting it. The longer one usually runs from late March to early May, while the shorter one occurs in November. This is important because Kenya has malaria, which can be a dangerous disease for you, and rainy seasons are more convenient for malaria transmission. You’d better not plan a visit around these times or get vaccinated and take appropriate medication with you.

Another common medical problem is Yellow Fever. If you plan to travel across Africa, you must be vaccinated against this disease. You will be asked to show your Yellow Fever certificate upon entry into Kenya, so get one before you plan to travel to Africa. A ten-year vaccine must be given at least ten days before departure. This vaccine is safe for children aged 9 months and up.

  1.  Currency Used in Kenya

The Kenyan Shilling (KSH) is the country’s currency, and it’s a brilliant idea to carry some along with your main credit card. Although some international hotels and safari camps accept the US dollar, in some cases, it is needed for some activities around as well.

It is good to get some money exchanged at the airport upon your arrival in Kenya. There is a better exchange rate than within the city. You can always withdraw US dollars with your credit card in Kenya if needed. 

  1. Languages and People in Kenya

The nation is poor to the point of starvation. You must keep in mind that you may be very wealthy in comparison to some of the Kenyans you may encounter along the way, so be aware of this and make sure to follow your guide’s rules. Many beggars or tribesmen/women can approach you and offer to sell you souvenirs. Remember that they are only trying to make a living by selling those precious artifacts. Please be broad-minded and courteous to them. Remembering that negotiation while buying is essential!

Kenya is a multilingual nation with two official languages: Swahili and English. As you see, speaking English you will survive in Kenya. 

  1. Electricity 

Electricity is provided by solar power or a diesel generator since most Kenyan camps and lodges are located in remote areas. Most lodges and camps will have a central charging station in your room or in the common area where you can charge your electronic devices. Most centers have plug adapters for their visitors, but if you want your own, you’ll need to purchase a ‘G’ socket type that uses the universal plug adapter. You can keep a power bank just in a backup case.

Another issue you can face is internet connectivity issues. The further out you are from urban areas, the less available connectivity you can expect (in most remote destinations). In the southern part of Kenya, the entire coastal region, famous safari parks, and the long road between Nairobi and Mombasa, mobile networks usually are open. The northern half of Kenya, on the other hand, does not have network connectivity at all.

  1. How to get a SIM

Tourists in Kenya may choose from several low-cost data plans. You can purchase a SIM card from one of the vendors outside the arrivals hall until your flight arrives in Nairobi.

You can have one at one of the operator’s shops in Nairobi if you don’t have time to get it at the airport. You need to have your visa to arrange it, and the process will take no more than 10 minutes.

  1.  Food and water in Kenya

Nairobi offers a diverse range of cuisines to fit any appetite and diet. Many immigrants live in a civilized community, which is reflected in the city’s multicultural menu. It is not recommended to eat street food as it can be unhealthy and you may get sick. 

We recommend that you drink bottled water at all times in Kenya, particularly if you are coming from another African country. Clean, safe (filtered or bottled) water is given to all of our recommended safari camps and lodges. Kenyan tap water is unsafe to drink since the supply is not always good. Most hotels have a complimentary water dispenser where you can refill your reusable water bottle.

  1. Safari trips

Some of the best safari trips that you must keep in mind are as follows:

  • Masai Mara: The place of the iconic Wildebeest Migration.
  • Tsavo East: One of Kenya’s oldest national parks, Tsavo East, a less known safari destination.
  • Amboseli: National Park known for its elephants and stunning views of Mount Kilimanjaro.
  • Hells Gate: a short-day trip from Nairobi famous for its rock climbing and cycling safaris.
  • Lake Nakuru: a park with big flocks of flamingos that call Lake Nakuru home.

A highlight among Kenya’s remarkable destinations, Amboseli National Park beckons with its breathtaking scenery and captivating wildlife encounters. Nestled at the foot of the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro, Amboseli offers an unparalleled vista where elephants roam against the backdrop of Africa’s highest peak. This national park is renowned for its iconic elephants, which often traverse the open plains with an air of regal grace. As the morning sun bathes the savannah in golden hues, the sight of elephants, lions, and other wildlife against the backdrop of Kilimanjaro’s snow-capped summit is a photographer’s dream come true.

  1. How to travel within the city

Some people like to rent vans or jeeps and travel around Kenya. Even though it seems like a lot of fun and can occasionally save you money, it is not recommended. 

Hiring a car and driver for the whole trip is the safest option. Choose wisely!

  1. Packing essentials

While preparing for Kenya, the most important thing to consider is to bring stylish yet comfortable, neutral-colored clothing that will fit in with the African jungle. You don’t need to go out and purchase fancy safari clothes. Shorts, a t-shirt, and a cap would do!

Final words

Kenya is one of Africa’s most unique and amazing countries, and your trip with this guide will let you explore most incredible sights. 

However, before starting your trip, you must also consider some essential issues to avoid any hassle and enjoy your stay to the fullest! 

Don’t forget to obtain your Kenya e-Visa at least 3 business days in advance of your journey!

Last Updated on April 8, 2024

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