Kenya Travel Advice
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Kenya Travel Advice
Kenya is famous above all else for its incredible game viewing opportunities. Most game can be seen in Kenya’s savannah bush land. In Kenya there are 59 National Parks and Game Reserves which make up 11% of the country’s total surface area. They are administered by Kenya Wild Services (KWS). The largest National Park is Tsavo, which is made up of two Parks – Tsavo East and Tsavo West. The twin parks form 10 million acres of pure wilderness, incorporating savannah, ranges and hills, acacia forest and an extensive river system. This is home to over 8,000 elephants. The proximity of Tsavo to coast makes it an ideal safari destination for those wishing to combine safari and beach holiday. Masai Mara is the most popular Game Reserve.
Kenya is located on the east coast of Africa. It has an area of 582,644 sq kilometers of which 45,240 sq km is under wildlife conservation sanctuaries. The Equator runs straight through the middle of the country.
Kenya has two major cities, Nairobi, the capital city and Mombasa, the Coastal City and the largest port in East Africa.
Kenya is bisected by the Great Rift Valley which stretches 9,000 kilometers from Jordan north of Red Sea to Mozambique in south eastern Africa.
Kenya is famous above all else for its incredible game viewing opportunities. Most game can be seen in Kenya’s savannah bush land. In Kenya there are 59 National Parks and Game Reserves which make up 11% of the country’s total surface area. They are administered by Kenya Wild Services (KWS). The largest National Park is Tsavo, which is made up of two Parks – Tsavo East and Tsavo West. The twin parks form 10 million acres of pure wilderness, incorporating savannah, ranges and hills, acacia forest and an extensive river system. This is home to over 8,000 elephants. The proximity of Tsavo to coast makes it an ideal safari destination for those wishing to combine safari and beach holiday. Masai Mara is the most popular Game Reserve. It is an extension of Serengeti Plains in neighboring Tanzania. The annual wildebeest migration, which takes place between July and October involves nearly two million animals moving up from the dry, low-lying Tanzanian plains to the greener, wetter pastures of the Mara, nearly 2,000 meters above sea level. Kenya has 480 kilometers of coastline on the Indian Ocean. Her coral reefs are spectacular and are regarded by divers as one of the world’s top three diving destinations after Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and the Red Sea. There are numerous offshore islands including Kiwayu, Pate, Manda, Lamu, Mombasa, Chale, Funzi and Wasini.
Local time is GMT plus three hours (+3 GMT). Due to location at the Equator, days and nights are equal.
Kenya’s official languages are English and Swahili. Swahili is the lingua franca spoken by the largest number of people in Africa. French, German, Spanish and Italian are also spoken in tourism industry.
Kenya has a colourful mixture of people. The current population of 48 million is made up of 43 ethnic groups. The minority, Asians and Europeans live mainly in urban centres. This ethnic diversity has produced a harmonious mixture of people with rich cultural heritage. People live harmoniously with wildlife. This has given Kenya a unique identity. The rich cultural heritage is expressed through song, dance, art and handcraft.
Kenya is on the equator therefore we do not have seasons. The climate is very pleasant and variations in altitude and terrain can create contrasts. Generally in the highlands the climate is cool, elsewhere the temperatures can reach approximately 35°c during the day. The coast is humid and balmy.
Passport and Visa
Every visitor to Kenya must get a visa to enter. Your passport must be valid for at least six months from the date of your arrival in the country. It is now possible to get ‘eVisa’, the electronic tourist visa, but still the one can apply for a visa manually on arrival at the point of entry in Kenya. For manual application, you will need to complete an application form and pay a fee of USD 50. For electronic application, you will go to www.evisa.go.ke to do the application. You make the payment by Visa or MasterCard credit card. The visa processing fee is USD 50, and there is a service charge of USD 1. The minimum period you can apply for a Kenyan visa is three months before your travel date.
The visa application process involves uploading your passport picture along with your passport photograph. Your visa shall be issued approximately five days after you register. You shall be required to print a copy of your electronic visa, bring it with you for presentation along with your passport on arrival in Kenya.
Health and Malaria
Kenya is considered a generally healthy place to travel. Malaria prophylaxis is imperative and there are no necessary vaccines for visiting Kenya however we do recommend you contact your doctor for further advice. As with travel in any part of the world, it is advisable to know your blood type in case of an emergency. White Plains Tours clients automatically become members of the Flying Doctors Rescue Service for emergency evacuation. However, you should carry your own complete holiday/medical insurance. Please note that in Kenya we do have good medical facilities and good hospitals.
There is no national welfare scheme and visitors to Kenya are responsible for their own medical expenses. All clients are requested to leave a copy of their travel insurance with us at their briefing, along with copies of their airline tickets and passports.
Food and Water
Although tap water can be reasonably safe, whenever possible, we recommend you drink bottled water; this is available in all lodges and camps. Please advise White Plains Tours of any allergies, likes or dislikes before you embark on your holiday.
All camps and lodges have radio communication with Nairobi. Most lodges do have a mobile phone signal (Safaricom and Airtel are best) in the lodge or nearby which can be weak, so please do not always rely on it. Most lodges and hotels also have internet access in case of emergencies.