In general, staying in Kenya is safe and comfortable. Every year, thousands of Europeans travel to Africa, including those with children. No vaccinations are currently required to travel to Kenya. Yellow fever vaccination has been recommended.
As in many other African and Asian countries, preventive measures against malaria are mandatory. There is no vaccination against this disease, so tourists should take special antimalarial pills (meflohim or lariam). Protection against insect bites is necessary: during trips to the savannah, open areas of the body must be covered, i.e. wear trousers, long-sleeved sweaters, use special ointments and sprays with an insect repellent smell, gauze canopy over beds, etc.
There is no official star rating for hotels in Kenya. The level of the hotel is determined by each owner independently, so it is not always possible to match the list of services in hotels of the same category. The stars indicated in the price lists are determined on the basis of the tour operator’s personal impressions after inspecting the estates and hotels. See Countryvv for labor market in Kenya.
Usually on a safari, tourists are accommodated according to the 4-5 * program in estates (lodges). The homestead is a large, guarded space, fenced with a net or rows of wire under low voltage, on which there are residential bungalows, a reception, bars, a restaurant, souvenir shops, an outdoor pool, a recreation area with free sunbeds and umbrellas. Bungalows – wooden or stone – built in African style; they are very beautiful and original, each has a separate entrance, a large bedroom, toilet, shower or bath, fan. Cleaning is done daily, the duty of the staff to enter is also the nightly treatment of the premises with anti-mosquito preparations.
In Mombasa, hotels are located on two coasts: southern and northern. It is believed that South Mombasa offers a more democratic form of recreation. There are mainly 3-4 * hotels and hotels of 5 budget options.
North Mombasa is considered a more elitist, aristocratic holiday destination. There are relatively small hotels, mostly 4-5 *.
All hotels on both coasts are located directly in front of the beach line in a palm grove with a swimming pool (or pools), free sunbeds and umbrellas, bars, open restaurants and other infrastructure (for example, a diving center, tennis or golf fields, souvenir shops, etc.) All hotels offer a nightly entertainment program: disco, acrobat performances, folklore ensembles or similar.
Food in hotels is of high quality and safe.
drink water from the tap, you should only use drinks from corked bottles or cans,
buy fruits from street vendors, use only shops, wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating, peel, in the area of Lake Nakuru and Baringo, it is advisable to wash your face and brush your teeth using bottled water.
In general, staying in Kenya is safe, however, there are some rules that you must know and follow:
During the safari you can not:
- to leave the estate without being accompanied by guards
- during trips to the savannah, get off the bus or car without the permission of the driver-guide
- take pictures of local residents without their consent; – on your own, without a guide, visit the dwellings of the Maasai
- in Kenya, there are laws on the protection of the environment and the prohibition of hunting all kinds of animals.
Numerous Kenyan restaurants primarily serve pork, veal and lamb dishes, oriented to the traditional tastes of tourists from America and Europe. It is impossible to immediately understand the variety of salads and sauces, so each time it is better to be specifically interested in what belongs to what. You can find a place that serves wild meat, but it’s worth trying it for the exotic, not to satisfy your hunger. Kenyan dry wines are very diverse and very palatable. In Kenya, there are two types of beer – “Taska” “Premium”, the first is sold in half-liter bottles and tastes like “Zhiguleskoye”, the second is sold in bottles of 0.33 and is stronger in taste
The national currency
is the Kenyan shilling. The exchange rate against the US dollar fluctuates constantly, but on average 1 dollar = 50 shillings. Officially, all payments in Kenya are made in the national currency; credit cards are also accepted in hotels and large stores.
Banks are open from 9.00 to 14.00 from Monday to Friday and from 9.00 to 11.00 every first and last Saturday of the month. Banks at the airport are open around the clock. Passport is required at official currency exchange offices. Remember that it is forbidden to change money on the street.
Features of customs control:
Personal property, such as a camera and its accessories (slides and film projectors) can be imported duty-free. Duty-free import is allowed: cigarettes – 200 pieces; alcoholic beverages – 1 bottle; perfumes and toilet water – 600 g. The import of fruits, seedlings and seeds is prohibited; drugs; explosives, firearms and toys imitating them. The export of gold and diamonds is prohibited; ivory products. The export of animal skins is allowed under a special license from the customs authorities. There are no restrictions on the import of currency in this country, but if you want to export more than 500,000 Kenyan shillings, you will need permission from the Central Bank of Kenya.
Car rental :
Driving in Kenya is on the left. The maximum permissible speed on asphalt roads is 100 km/h, on country roads – 70 km/h, in settlements – 55 km/h, in nature reserves – 25 km/h. Due to the poor condition of the roads, it is safer to hire a car with a driver; local drivers are able to cope with any surprises. If you want to drive your own car, you need an international driving license.
In Kenya the voltage is 240V, British standard sockets, if the plugs do not match, you can ask the hotel reception for adapters. In hotels in national parks (lodges), electricity is obtained from a thermogenerator and turned off at night – there are candles in the rooms, but now lodges are everywhere switching to energy from solar panels.
Shops in Kenya are open from 8.30 am to 12.30 pm and, after a break, from 2 pm to 5 pm (Monday to Friday). On Saturdays, shops are open only in the morning, from 8.30 to 12.30. As for the tourist shops, they are usually open without breaks and close late in the evening. On the streets of the cities there are many small shops and souvenir shops, where, like in the markets, you can bargain.
Tips are given in local currency, which is approximately 10 percent of the total cost of the service. The porter is supposed to give the amount equivalent to 1USD; maid – about the same, but every day. In restaurants, they make up 10% of the total order value. If you decide to go on a safari, remember that during this trip the tip is the equivalent of 5 US dollars.
Malaria is a disease common in the Indian Ocean and Western Kenya. Therefore, everyone who comes to Nairobi is advised to carry out prevention. Treatment begins a week before entering the country, continues throughout the journey and six weeks after it. The causative agent of yellow fever is also a permanent inhabitant of these places, so vaccination is a must when traveling to Kenya. One vaccination will last you 10 years. If you want, get vaccinated against cholera, you will feel calm for half a year. As for malaria, you can drink dilagil or chloroquine, but this must be done regularly and started a week before the trip, otherwise the desired effect will not be.
Make sure that you do not have mosquitoes in your room, try to avoid mosquito bites in every possible way, sleep with the air conditioner on and under a mosquito net. Large cities have modern hospitals, Nairobi has excellent medical facilities. If you get sick, the so-called flying doctor will take you to Nairobi from anywhere in Kenya. It costs $25.
It is recommended during the safari to cover open areas of the body and use special means against insect bites. It is not recommended to drink tap water and buy fruit from street vendors. It is better to drink drinks only in bottles and cans, and peel or wash fruits and vegetables before eating.
The water in Nairobi is clean, and many hotels advertise that you can drink the water straight from the tap. However, we recommend that you do not do this, but drink mineral water, soft drinks or excellent Kenyan beer.
Holidays and non-working days:
- January 1 (New Year),
- May 1 (Labour Day),
- June 1st (Madarana Day)
- October 10 (my day),
- October 20 (Kenyatta Day),
- December 12 (Independence Day),
- December 25-26 (Christmas).
There are also holidays with an unfixed date: Good Friday, Easter Monday and Muslim holidays – the end of Ramadan (Idul-Fitr), the birthday of the Prophet, New Year.
The country’s main seaport is Mombasa. The country has two international airports – in Nairobi and Mombasa. Buses and fixed-route taxis operate in Nairobi. Driving in Kenya is on the left. The maximum permissible speed on paved roads is 100 km/h, on country roads – 70 km/h, in settlements – 55 km/h, in nature reserves – 40 km/h. Due to the poor condition of the roads, it is safer to hire a car with a driver; local drivers are able to cope with any surprises. If you want to drive your own car, you need an international driving license.