Kenya

FOR COVID ENTRY AND EXIT REQUIREMENTS PLEASE LOOK UNDER THE HEALTH AND MEDICAL TAB

Resting in the magnificent Great Rift Valley and presided over by the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro, Kenya is characterised by hauntingly beautiful natural landscapes of forested hills, patchwork farms, wooded savanna and vast forests brimming with an extraordinary abundance of wildlife. The nation’s diverse range of traditional African cultures is influenced by over 70 unique ethnic groups from the Maasai, Samburu, Kikuyu, and Turkana tribes to the Arabs and Indians that settled on the coast. Add to this: an exquisite tropical coastline fringed with breathtaking golden sand beaches; gorgeous coral gardens providing excellent snorkeling and diving opportunities; and a slew of lively beach resorts, and it is easy to see why so many visitors flock here from around the world to experience a truly unique African adventure in one of the world’s most pristine safari destinations.


Entry Requirements

VISA

It is the responsibility of the client to obtain their own visas.  Please apply for the online visa between 1 – 3 months before departure (not earlier).

All passengers traveling to Kenya are required to obtain their visas online via https://evisa.go.ke/evisa.html at a cost of US$51 per visa. Once you apply for your visa, in 48 hours please revisit the site to check on your visa application. Please print your online visa in colour and keep the visa with your passport to hand to immigration on arrival.

Please Note:

  1. Evidence of Yellow Fever immunization will be requested to enter Kenya – please ensure you have had the inoculation at least 14 days prior to travel and are carrying your Yellow Fever card. 
  2. It is a requirement that you have a validity of 6 months on your passport at the time of travel and at least 4 blank pages in order to gain entry


Banking and Currency

CURRENCY

The currency in Kenya is the Kenyan Shilling (KES; symbol KSh). 1 Kenyan Shilling = 100 cents.

BANKING

Banking hours: Monday-Friday 09h00-16h00, Saturday 09h00-12h00.

CASH/CREDIT CARDS

Personal expenses such as purchases from the camps curio shops can be paid for with Visa and MasterCard, or cash. There is no need to have local currencies on hand. US$ are accepted in markets and for tipping (per the suggested guidelines) and it is useful to have a quantity of smaller denominations for tips.

Travelers cheques are no longer accepted in Kenya.

 


Travel, Transport and Getting Around

AIR TRANSFERS

Baggage is limited to 15kg/33 lb per person in soft sided bags including carry-on and camera equipment. PLEASE DO NOT USE HARD SUITCASES OR BAGS WITH WHEELS as bags need to be maneuvered in and out of light aircraft holds.

DRIVING

Kenya has an extensive network of paved and unpaved roads,  driving in Kenya is very scenic, however the distances are vast and could take up to six hours a day. Therefore flying is the most popular mode of transport in order to reach your lodge early to start game viewing.  Combining driving and flying can also be arranged in your private vehicle with a driver/guide.


Health and Medical Information

COVID REQUIREMENTS - Please contact your consultant for updated information regarding Covid.

Other Medical requirements:

Please consult your General Practitioner or nearest Traveller’s Medical Centre for advice on medical issues relevant to your destination. For additional information please consult the website for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list


Safety Notices

COMMUNICATION

All camps have 24 hour radio contact with their base support headquarters, and each game-drive vehicle has radio contact with camp. In the event of a medical emergency evacuation will be arranged. Daily camp tariffs include an amount for emergency evacuation insurance.

CELL PHONES

Quad-band cell phones on global roaming generally work from all major urban centres. They do not, however, work from many of the safari camps.

WI-FI / INTERNET

Internet access is limited throughout Africa and varies from camp to camp. Please refer to the camp information for specific details.

TRAVEL ADVICE & WARNINGS

We strongly recommend you review the current travel advice for your country/countries of destination before booking and ensure you remain up to date with this advice before travelling.

Australia: http://smartraveller.gov.au/countries/Pages/default.aspx

UK: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

USA: https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings.html

REGISTER YOUR TRAVEL

We recommend that you register your travel with your local authority. These services are free and help locate you in case of an emergency. Updates to travel advice are also provided through the subscription service.

Australia - Smart Traveller service - https://orao.dfat.gov.au/pages/

USA - Smart Traveller service - https://step.state.gov/step/


Food, Drink and Cuisine Advice

Meals are best described as wholesome home style cooking at elegantly set dining tables (under the stars, or under thatch or canvas). Meal times are geared around the best game viewing times and activities, and vary from season to season.

In most camps your day starts with a continental breakfast of juices, tea or coffee, cereal or porridge and toast, prior to the morning activity. Following this a large brunch is served, with high tea served before the afternoon activity. Dinner is served after the evening activity.

The camps can cater to specific dietary requests. Please advise special requirements at time of booking and we will ensure your needs are met.

In most camps alcoholic beverages are included in the daily tariff. Bottled water is available at all times. Many people inquire whether they can eat salads (as ingredients have been washed in water), brush their teeth with the tap water and have ice in their drinks. In the camps we use there are absolutely no concerns in this regard.


Climate and Weather

Kenya has a mild temperate climate with dry winters and warm summers. The area within 25 miles of this station is covered by grasslands (53%), forests (33%), and croplands (12%).

SUMMER: November to March
• Average Minimum: 13C / 55F
• Average Maximum: 28C / 82F

AUTUMN: April to May
• Average Minimum: 14C / 59F
• Average Maximum: 26C / 78F

WINTER: June to August
• Average Minimum: 12C / 53F
• Average Maximum: 24C / 75F

SPRING: September to October
• Average Minimum: 12C / 53F
• Average Maximum: 27C / 81F


Clothing and Dress Recommendations

Comfortable, casual clothing that is lightweight is the best bet while on safari. While on a game viewing safari, avoid brightly coloured clothing, stick to whites, beige's, khakis and browns.

It can be quite cool in the early mornings, so you'll want to dress warmly in layers, until the sun has a chance to warm up the air. "Kenya Convertibles", khaki pants with zip-off legs, are perfect for cool early morning game drives that turn warm before you're back in camp. Walking shorts, long pants, cotton shirts and tees are just right. A cotton bush jacket or wind-breaker will be useful along with a warm sweater or fleece jacket for the cool nights. And, a hat that ties on is a must. There is not a good deal of long walking or hiking on most safaris, so a comfortable pair of walking shoes or tennis shoes and a pair of sandals should be adequate. You will need thorn-proof soles.

In Kenya's major cities the dress code is conservative but not overly formal – jeans and decent tops for women are fine. Swimsuits are acceptable on the beach but you’ll need to cover up in public places.

PACKING GUIDE

The following is a guide to clothing and personal items:

  1. Safari:
  • 2/3 pairs of long trousers or shorts, 3 shirts, preferably long sleeved and collared. Clothing should preferably be khaki or neutral colour’s.
  • At least four neat casual clothes for evening wear.  Long-sleeved shirt and trousers (and the female equivalent) are recommended for keeping mosquitoes at bay in the evenings
  • A light fleece for morning and evening game drives.
  • 3 pairs of socks (cotton)
  • A lightweight waterproof jacket (preferably GORETEX or the equivalent) in case of rain
  • Comfortable closed footwear plus a pair of runners/strapped sandals (in case your regular footwear gets wet).
  • 1 pair of flip flops/sandals for the afternoons and evening
  • A wide brimmed hat or cap
  • 2 Pairs of light pants/jeans
  • 2 T-shirts
  • Underwear (sports bras recommended)
  • Swimsuit
  • Fleece and Tracksuit pants for the morning and evening game drives
  • Belt
  • Scarf & beanie

ii.      Sundries

  • Sunglasses and an extra pair of prescription glasses
  • Binoculars and Camera
  • Cash for curios and tips (smaller denomination notes for tipping)
  • Travel Insurance information kept on hand

iii.  Toiletries:

Toiletries as appropriate - soaps, shampoos and body lotion are provided in the camps however some guests like to bring their own.

  • Plenty of max factor sunscreen
  • Lip balm with sunscreen
  • Moisturiser or Vaseline as the air is very dry
  • Shampoo, conditioner and liquid soap of your choice (smaller bottles recommended)
  • Deodorant
  • Toothpaste and toothbrush
  • Wash cloth
  • Gloves/Hand warmers (optional)
  • Razor and Tweezers
  • Hairbrush
  • Hand/body - face lotion
  • Small insect repellent (the camps do have these, but if you want your own)
  • Antihistamine cream and tablets
  • Paracetamol in case of a headache
  • Rehydrate salts
  • Hairbrush
  • Hand/body - face lotion
  • Small insect repellent (the camps do have these, but if you want your own)
  • Antihistamine cream and tablets
  • Paracetamol in case of a headache
  • Re hydrate salts

As a final comment a daily laundry service is provided in most camps (except smalls), and is included in the tariff, so there is no need to pack too much


Internet Availability

Wi-Fi is readily available in major cities and hotels, as well as in luxury game lodges.


Electricity and Plug Standards

Electric Power is 220V - 240V running at 50Hz. The Plug type used in Kenya is the 3 large flat prong (UK). If your appliances are compatible with 220V-240V electrical output, an adapter is all that you will need, if not a voltage converter will be necessary.

POWER IN CAMPS

Most camps have no access to regular electrical power as they are located in such remote areas. Camps are solar-powered or have generators on site that produce 220V electricity. These run for between 4-6 hours per day, when clients are out on game drives. There is ample electricity for charging batteries for video cameras/iPods etc. and most camps have adaptor plugs.


General Guidance

TRAVEL INSURANCE

Epic highly recommends that clients obtain comprehensive Travel Insurance cover. Please furnish Epic with a copy of your insurance policy prior to travel.  

  • Hospitalisation and Repatriation
  • Cancellation and Missed flight connections
  • Loss of baggage and loss/breakage of valuables en route
  • Loss/breakage of valuables such as cameras

PHOTOGRAPHY/BINOCULARS

Digital cameras are the best for wildlife, with a good zoom up to 300mm or more. If you have an SLR it is a good idea to bring a point and shoot as back up. Remember to bring plenty of memory cards, spare batteries and battery chargers (Please check that you have all your chargers for cell phones, iPods, kindles, camera and video batteries).

Binoculars are very useful when looking at wildlife in the distance. We recommend 7 x 35mm or 8 x 32mm as these are a good size with great magnification. If size is an issue then 7 x 25mm or 8 x 25mm are compact and can be put into your pocket. Nikon & Canon are great options. Have a look at the following website for further ideas - www.consumersearch.com/binoculars

ECONOMY
• Industry: Small-scale consumer goods (plastic, furniture), agricultural products processing; oil refining
• Agriculture: Tea, coffee, corn, wheat; dairy products
• Exports: Tea, horticultural products, coffee, fish

LANGUAGE
The national language is Kiswahili, with English also in everyday use.

POPULATION
The current population is estimated at 47,56 million

RELIGION
Protestant, Roman Catholic, indigenous beliefs, Muslim

GRATUITIES

Although tipping is not compulsory, if service expectations are exceeded, we recommend the following:

  • Airport/Hotel/ Porters carriers – USD2.00 per porter
  • Professional Guides/Tour Leaders – USD20.00 per group per day
  • Safari Driver/Guides – USD15.00 per group per day. This should be handed to the guide personally
  • General Camp Staff – USD10 .00 per guest per day. This can be placed in a communal tip box or handed to the camp manager.

RECOMMENDED READING

  • Scramble for Africa -Thomas Pakenham
  • Origins Reconsidered - Richard Leakey & Roger Lewin
  • The Shackled Continent -Robert Guest
  • Into Africa: The Epic Adventures of Stanley and Livingstone - Martin Dugard
  • Being Maasai - Edited by Thomas Spear & Richard Waller
  • The Worlds of a Maasai Warrior: An Autobiography - Tepilit Ole Saitoti
  • Safari – A Chronicle of Adventure - Bartle Bull
  • Flame Trees of Thika - Elspeth Huxley
  • White Mischief - James Fox
  • The Tree Where Man was Born – Peter Matthiessen
  • Lunatic Express – Charles Miller
  • Barefoot over the Serengeti — David Read
  • Africa Adorned - Angela Fisher Elephant
  • Memories - Cynthia Moss
  • Serengeti Shall not Die - Bernhard Grzimek
  • Kingdom of the Lions - Jonathan Scott
  • The Hadza - Hunter-Gatherers of Tanzania - Frank Marlowe

Animals - Conservation - Reference:

  • Almost Human – Shirley Strom
  • Elephant Memories – Cynthia Moss
  • Natural Connections – Dr David Western
  • Wildlife of Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda – David Hosking
  • Mammals of East Africa – Chris Stuart
  • Field Guide to the Birds of East Africa – Stevenson & Fanshawe
  • Behavior Guide to African Mammals – Richard Despard Estes
  • Field Guide to the Reptiles of East Africa – Stephen Spawls
  • Safari Companion, A Guide to Watching African Mammals - Richard Estes

Movies & Documentaries:

  • Born Free, 1966
  • Out of Africa, 1985          
  • The Ghost & the Darkness, 1966
  • Echo and Other Elephants, 1966
  • To Walk with Lions, 1999
  • Nowhere in Africa, 2001 
  • The Constant Gardener, 2005
  • Born Wild, 2011
  • African Cats, 2011
  • Planet Earth Live, 2012

Apps:

  


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