Kenya Travel Advice
Best Time to Visit Kenya
With a diverse geography, Kenya is considered a year-round destination for both safaris and beach holidays. Should you want to visit Kenya for the Great Wildebeest Migration then you would need to go between late July to October, before the herds return to the Serengeti.
Majority of Kenya destinations are at their best between January and March, due to the mild, dry climate and excellent game viewing opportunities. But should you wish to avoid the peak season travelling crowds, it is worth visiting during the rainy season of March to June and October to December. Accommodation prices also drop substantially during this period.
Although Kenya's Indian Ocean coast is hot and humid all year round and rain can fall at any time, it is recommended to avoid the coast from March - May when temperatures and rainfall are at their highest.
Summer temperatures average 20°C to 34°C
Winter temperatures average 18°C to 29°C.
Rainy season: mid-March to June ("long rains") and October to December ("short rains")
Flights & Getting Around
Kenya has good connections to destinations throughout Europe, the Asia- Pacific region, USA and Africa and consists of 3 major airports:
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport: Located a short distance from Nairobi, Jomo Kenyatta is the main arrival point for visitors flying into Kenya. There are excellent flight connections to major tourist destinations such as the Masai Mara, Amboseli, Mombasa and Kenya's beaches as well as Zanzibar and Tanzania. There are also good connections from here to Uganda, Rwanda and the Seychelles.
Wilson Airport: Situated approximately 90 minutes’ drive from Jomo Kenyatta, Wilson Airport is a regional airport and is the hub for most of Kenya's internal flights and fly-in safari locations. Ensure you have time between your international flight and domestic flight to make the 90 minute transfer between the two airports.
Moi Mombasa International Airport: This airport, situated close to Mombasa town is the gateway to the Kenyan coast.
Due to the country’s bad roads, charter flights are the easiest way to get from one destination to the next in Kenya. Should you wish to self-drive, 4 x 4 vehicles are advised.
Visa & Passport Requirements
Visas are required by most visitors to Kenya including British, American, Canadian, European, Australian and New Zealand passport holders. Citizens from some smaller Commonwealth countries are exempt.
Visas are valid for three months from the date of entry and can be purchased upon arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. Visitors can pay for their visas in local currency and they must possess a passport that is valid until six months after the initial date of travel. Make sure you have enough cash when arriving at the airport.
If you plan on travelling onwards from Kenya, visas for other East African countries such as Tanzania and Uganda can generally be obtained in Nairobi. It's advisable to obtain a visa from the Kenyan Embassy/High Commission in your country prior to departure.
It is recommended that malarial prophylaxis are taken when visiting Kenya. No vaccinations are currently required for entry into Kenya if arriving directly from North America or Europe. If you are arriving from a country where yellow fever is endemic, then you are required to have a yellow fever vaccination. Do not drink or brush your teeth with tap water. Mineral water is available at lodges and we advise you to purchase water for drinking. It recommended that you contact your doctor or travel Clinic at least 6 weeks before departure date as they will be able to give you up to date information on the health requirements.
Kenya's national currency is the Kenyan Shilling and it is advised that you carry some local currency for purchases such as restaurant and bar bills, curios and gratuities even though foreign currencies such as US Dollars are widely accepted across the country.
Banking facilities and ATMs are found throughout Kenya's major travel destinations and all major credit cards are widely accepted, in particular MasterCard, Visa and American Express.
Tipping for good service is customary in Kenya although it is of course at your discretion. Tipping is dependent on the size of your group as well as the service received. Please check whether your hotel has added a service charge onto your bill. A 10% tip is customary in city restaurants and bars.
What to Pack
Should you be visiting Kenya for safari, pack light casual wear in neutral colours and a warm jacket for early morning and evening game drives. Sunblock is a must as the African sun is very strong.
For the winter months, bring a warmer jacket and closed shoes as it can get quite cold in the evenings. Kenya is a rather conservative society, so the dress code in Kenya's major cities needs to be conservative (not entirely 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.
When wanting to photograph the local people, especially the Masaai or their surrounds, it is always best to ask permission before doing so, as the people expect courtesy and manners. You will notice that some areas have been marked, not allowing photographs to be taken in those areas, please pay close attention to this. Generally speaking, the people of Kenya are easy-going, friendly and helpful.