Home of the classic 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. Our travel advice will ensure that you get the most out of your safari to Kenya.
Bear in mind that the Equator divides Kenya and the weather tends to be hot and humid, especially in summer.
Best time to travel to Kenya
Kenya is a year-round safari destination with excellent game viewing throughout. Guests wanting to witness the famous Great Migration must plan their travel to Kenya well in advance, as the migration path does vary from one year to the next depending on rainfall.
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.
It is highly recommended that you take out adequate travel insurance at the time of confirming your booking. This should cover any medical situation (such as hospitalisation), as well as cancellation or curtailment of arrangements and loss of your baggage. When you travel with &Beyond, you are automatically covered by our emergency evacuation insurance. This provides emergency medical services/evacuation to hospital should you suffer either severe illness or an injury whilst travelling with us. As this is for emergency evacuation only, it does not cover the cost of treatment once in hospital and in no way replaces your normal travel insurance, which must be purchased prior to travel.
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.
The use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (Drones) is not allowed in any of the conservation areas we manage until such time as their impact on wildlife and anti-poaching initiatives can be assessed. This rule will apply throughout Africa, as our partners in various countries and regions have adopted a similar stance.
Passport & Visa Requirements
As of 02 July 2015, anyone who requires a VISA to enter Kenya must apply for an eVisa via https://immigration.ecitizen.go.ke/index.php?id=5
This includes visas previously obtained at port of entry into Kenya. Processing time is 1 week and after 01 September 2015 travellers may be denied boarding of their flight if not in possession of a valid eVisa.
Passports are required by all foreign visitors and must be valid for 6 months after the intended length of stay. Please ensure that you have at least 2 consecutive blank visa pages (not endorsement pages) in your passport. Our recommendation is 3 or even 4 blank pages if you are travelling through more than one country. If there is insufficient space in the passport then entry could be denied.
Where visas can be obtained at port of entry (excluding Kenya), fees are payable in US dollars cash only; we recommend small denominations as officials are not in the position to give change.
It is recommended to obtain visas prior to arrival as there is a likelihood of long queues at all airports.
Guests travelling from Tanzania to Kenya must obtain a valid Kenyan visa before travel in order to confirm domestic flights between Nairobi and the Masai Mara National Park. This is due to the delays in the processing of visas for guests connecting between Arusha, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya and the knock on effect on domestic flight schedules.
Guests arriving at Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro Airports (Tanzania) and subsequently traveling to Kenya are required to obtain a Kenyan visa before travel.
Depending on nationality and country of origin, visa requirements may vary or change without notice. We advise checking with the appropriate consular authority prior to departure. Should the appropriate authority confirm that visas can be obtained on arrival, please ensure you have the applicable fee available.
Officials may not have sufficient change – it is recommended that all fees be carried in small-denomination US Dollar bills issued after 2008.
If connecting between Kenya and Tanzania in particular it is advised to obtain visas before travel to save connecting time.