Home of the classical safari, Kenya has been a prime safari destination for many years. Undoubtedly its most famous attraction is the renowned Masai Mara, home to rich resident wildlife and magnificent Maasai warriors. However, Kenya also has a range of other wildlife attractions, ranging from perennially popular and easily accessed reserves to more remote and secluded retreats that will capture the heart of even the most rugged adventurer.
Kenya is a well-developed safari destination and most of its attractions are relatively easy to get to. There are regular flights into even the most remote destinations, although some isolated reserves may be hard to reach if you are hoping to travel by road and self-drive adventures are best left to experienced travellers who are familiar with Kenya.
Bear in mind that the Equator divides Kenya and the weather tends to be hot and humid, especially in summer.
- Banking hours at most commercial banks are Monday to Friday from 09h00 to 15h00 and on the first and last Saturday of the month.
- ATMs are found throughout Kenya’s major city centres and shopping complexes.
- The currency is the Kenyan Shilling, where KES1 is made up of 100 cents. Please check with your hotel for daily exchange rates. Foreign currencies such as the USD are widely accepted. However, please note that dollar bills printed before 2003 are not accepted in Kenya, as there was a large amount of illegal processing of dollar bills in the country at that time. High denomination notes may also not be accepted.
- Visa, MasterCard, Diners Club and American Express are accepted by most restaurants, shops and hotels. Proof of identity may be requested, so be sure to carry a passport or some form of photo identification at all times.
- The usual safety guidelines apply – don’t leave your luggage unattended and always keep your valuables close by or locked away. It is advised you check with your tour operator or hotel concierge - they will know if there are any potentially unsafe areas along your travel route.
- It is wise to avoid deserted areas, particularly at night. Dress-down (i.e. don’t wear excessive jewellery) when exploring Africa’s diverse cities. Concealed travel wallets are recommended.
Please be sensitive when photographing people. Kenyans are renowned for being friendly; however it is courteous to ask permission before snapping away.
Passport & Visa Requirements
Guests visiting Kenya must be in possession of a passport that is valid for at least six months from the date of travel and should have two blank pages available in their passport. Some nationalities may need to acquire a visa before they travel, while others will be able to obtain it on arrival. Please check with your local Kenyan embassy or consulate before you travel, as regulations may change. Visitors who intend travelling to Kenya’s neighbouring countries and back are advised to apply for multiple entry visas.
What the Experts Say
- While the Masai Mara boasts incredible year-round wildlife, the Great Migration is invariably a huge draw card for visitors. The peak season for Migration sightings in Kenya is considered to be between June and October and you are more likely to see river crossings during this time. However, the Migration is a year-round phenomenon and you are likely to see large herds of wildebeest at any time of year. There are far fewer visitors outside of peak season and sightings tend to be more leisurely and exclusive.
- Please remember that the movements of the Migration are affected by the weather and may vary widely from year to year. The movement of the herds depends on the arrival of the rains and the animals may cross back and forth between the Serengeti and the Masai Mara a number of times in any given cycle. As it can be difficult to pinpoint specific times and accommodation tends to book up quickly for peak season, we recommend that you plan well ahead of time if you are travelling specifically to see the Migration. However, no matter what time of year you travel, the wildlife experience in the Masai Mara is guaranteed to be extraordinary.
Nairobi is the main airport for international flights. From Nairobi local carriers connect to the major tourist destinations in both National Parks an
Kenya offers something for every taste. There is fantastic game viewing in the Masai Mara, Amboseli, Tsavo, Samburu and Shaba Game Reserves.