Some Frequently Asked Questions
Visa prerequisites and fees
Upon arrival at their port of entry, all tourists must provide a passport. This must be valid for at least 6 months after the end of their intended stay and contain at least two blank pages for entry and departure stamps.
Technically, visitors should also have a return or onward ticket, as well as adequate means to pay day-to-day expenses for the duration of their stay, but these requirements are rarely enforced.
Most travelers must obtain a visa to enter Kenya. This comprises people from almost every European, Asian, Middle Eastern, North or South American country, as well as Australia and New Zealand. For single-entry tourist stays of up to 90 days, eVisas can be purchased online if purchased at least two days before departure, and visas can also be obtained on arrival.
Multiple-entry and non-tourist visas must be obtained from a Kenyan embassy or high commission in another country.
Passport holders from some African and Caribbean nations, including South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana, Malawi, and Zimbabwe, do not need visas for stays of up to 90 days.
A tourist visa for East Africa enables multiple entrances into Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda, but not Tanzania or Burundi.
Medical requirements for Kenya
Malaria is the most serious medical concern for Kenyan travelers. It is present in most sections of the country throughout the year, while the danger of transmission is much more serious at low elevations and during the rainy season. There is no vaccination, but several different oral prophylactics are available, and it is important to seek advice from a travel clinic or other adequately competent medical practitioner regarding the choice best suited to your needs. Because no prophylactic is 100% effective, take all reasonable efforts to avoid getting bitten by the nocturnal Anopheles mosquitoes that carry the disease.
In the evening, wear a long-sleeved shirt, pants, and socks, and apply DEET-based insect repellent clothing to any exposed body. Always sleep under a mosquito net, or if that isn’t possible, in an air-conditioned room, with a fan, or with a mosquito coil blazing. Malaria usually appears two weeks after being bitten, but it can take months, so if you notice any symptoms after returning home, see a doctor right once and ask to get tested. Travelers with small children or who prefer not to take medicine might consider visiting malaria-free safari destinations in Africa rather than Kenya.
Health care in Kenya
It is strongly advised that you obtain full medical travel insurance, which includes air evacuation from distant places. Be aware that some insurance policies may not cover paragliding or scuba diving, or other dangerous sports, and it may also be null and void in regions subject to travel advisories issued by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office or the US State Department.
When you arrive at the airport, our guide will be waiting for you. During the safari, we use specially designed safari vehicles that allow us to have the best possible view of the wildlife. Luggage space is limited in safari vehicles (and small planes). It is therefore advised to travel with light bags, as heavy suitcases would overburden the plane and may be difficult to transport.
Money can be withdrawn from an ATM in the majority of cities. Travelers Cheques are not generally accepted, and paying by credit card is difficult or impossible outside of cities. The US dollar has typically been the preferred hard money. We recommend that you carry some US dollars with you for everyday costs and tips. Dollar banknotes should not be more than ten years old.
The Kenyan Shilling is the country’s currency. Please check the most recent exchange rates before traveling to your destination. This will be a guideline. Please keep in mind that the exchange rate will be better in larger cities.
AMREF Flying Doctors
We recommend that you apply for a Flying Doctors membership. If necessary, the membership enables a speedy and dependable air evacuation as well as medical assistance.
AMREF Flying Doctors provides two covers (Annual and Tourist). You can pick from Maisha Silver (Kenya, Tanzania, and Zanzibar), Maisha Gold (Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi), and Maisha Platinum (Kenya, Tanzania, and Zanzibar) (Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and Ethiopia).
Please visit the AMREF Flying Doctors website for additional information.
Language in Kenya
Kenya’s national language is Kiswahili, but English is widely used and is the primary language in tourist regions.
What Should You Wear in Kenya?
Daytime temps range from pleasant to hot, so pack plenty of light clothing. Evenings are cooler, especially at higher elevations, so bring a few light sweaters with you. Mountain hikers will be exposed to alpine temperatures and should dress appropriately.
Remember to pack a hat, sunglasses, and a waterproof jacket. We recommend that you avoid wearing black or dark blue clothing on safari (because they can attract tsetse flies). Walking safaris and hiking safaris Solid walking shoes, and durable clothing are ideal for forest hikes, and if you plan on doing a community walk or visiting the locals, we recommend that you dress appropriately. Women, for example, may wear long skirts and a blouse that conceals their shoulders.
If you have electrical equipment, we recommend bringing a plug adaptor. Kenya uses a British system. The majority of lodges allow you to charge your batteries.
Driving in Kenya
Driving in Kenya is done on the left. Visitors who are unfamiliar with African roads are encouraged to travel in a 4WD vehicle driven by a knowledgeable driver/guide rather than self-drive, and all of our guides are properly educated in “Defensive Driving.”
Please keep in mind that washrooms along the road are not always up to European standards, such as squatting toilets, no flushing toilets, or a lack of toilet paper. T.I.A. stands for This Is Africa, as the people say.
Facilities and accommodations
When traveling on a medium to low budget, bathroom facilities and accommodations may be more basic. Keep in mind that water reserves in eco lodges are limited, and in most cases, there are no plugs in the room, but you can always charge your electronics at the reception.
Tipping is always graciously accepted. In hotels and restaurants, it is customary to leave a tip of 5-10%. Tipping guides, drivers, and carriers is always appreciated. Indication: USD 1-3 for carriers and USD 5-15 for your driver/guide each day, depending on group size, number of days, and your pleasure.
Need More Information ?
The Lonely Planet and Bradt Travel Guide are the most detailed guidebooks for Kenya. For wildlife, the best guidebook is ‘Watching Wildlife East Africa’ from the Lonely Planet and The Bradt ‘East African Wildlife’. For birding, the best guidebook is ‘birds of East Africa’. It is advisable to get the most updated copy.
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