AFRICA TRAVEL TIPS AND INFORMATION
Please select your destination country and read the following guidelines and information carefully as pertains to your upcoming trip with us:
KENYA TRAVEL TIPS
FIRST THINGS FIRST
- it is important to secure trip protection to protect your investment as well as travel medical insurance for unforeseen emergency situations
- Consult your physician about your travel medical needs and vaccinations.
- Malaria prevention is highly recommended when visiting most parts of Kenya, consult your doctor. Visit the Center for Disease Control for important information.
- make 2 copies of your passport, 2 copies your medical travel insurance policy coverage and of your itinerary. Leave one set of copies with your emergency contact person or a loved one before your departure. Carry the other set of copies with you while you travel. Keep original documents in a safe place during travel.
- Visit The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) for the free service for U.S. citizens and nationals traveling abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
- Be aware of travel advisories for Kenya
ARRIVING IN KENYA
- Kenya is 7 or 8 hours ahead in time from US Eastern Standard Time, depending on daylight savings. Kenya does not alter time for daylight savings
- The national languages are English and Kiswahili (or Swahili)
- The currency, Kenya shillings, is currently at an estimated exchange rate of USD $1 to Kenya Shillings 124 (updated January 2023)
- tourist visas are no longer issues at the port of entry, apply for a visa prior to departure using this website: http://evisa.go.ke/evisa.html
- do not carry large sums of cash; most major credit cards are accepted in the towns and cities you are visiting. It is easy to use an ATM in most areas to withdraw cash in Kenya shillings from your US bank account. Be sure to notify your bank of your travels and inquire about any international transaction fees.
- You may exchange currency at a forex bureau but this tends to be less convenient and sometimes more costly than using your ATM card and bank's exchange rate.
POWER & CONNECTIVITY
- In Kenya the power plugs and sockets are of type G. Pack a universal or global adapter, (the kind rated for use in the UK). In Kenya the standard voltage is 240 V and the frequency is 50 Hz. An adapter like this or better, with surge protection is recommended. Ensure anything you intend to plug into the walls in Kenya is rated for the given electrical specifications. It is advised you leave your hair blow dryer at home, it will especially not work in the tent power outlets while on safari and at some hotels
- Wifi is typically included while staying at most city and town hotels booked through us. Many public places such as malls and restaurants also offer free wifi. Please note that the wifi in Kenya may not be as fast as you like or have in your home area. It may also be intermittent or not work for extended periods of time for technical reasons.
- Cell phone service requires a local SIM card which only works on a carrier unlocked cell phone. SIM cards are inexpensive, you then buy airtime (talk time) and data bundles according to your communication needs. Both are readily available at most shops and vendors. Cell service from the major carrier is very good through most parts of the country. This is a prepaid service with reliable internet once you buy the data. It is also fairly inexpensive to call the United States with a local Kenya line. This option tends to be the best and least expensive way to have continued wifi and cell service through most parts of the country.
- You may use your US line on roaming or extended service. Check with your cell service provider and note the costs for this international service. This tends to be quite pricey for most but some find it worthwhile to use the international roaming and data provided by their home base or US service provider.
- power outages and electric surges are common throughout the country, do not leave tools and any devices plugged into the walls when not charging, always use surge protection.
- Download Whatsapp on the phone you plan to use in Kenya. This is a free (or just about), convenient and real time way to communicate important news, advisories, updates and any other information including photos and videos between travel group members and also with family in the USA who can stay in touch while you travel. The app works wherever you have access to wifi or internet data.
- there is a strict limit of 15kg of luggage (approximately 33 pounds) per person, in soft bags, for most internal flights within Kenya. Storage of any excess luggage can be arranged with our partners and team on the ground.
- We suggest ‘layering up’ for game drives as it is cooler in the early mornings and much warmer through the day, you can remove the layers as the day heats up. The temperature also drops in the evenings, bring a warm jacket and covered shoes for nights. Comfortable walking shoes or light-weight hiking boots are appropriate for all safari activities. For protection against the sun, a brimmed hat, sunscreen and sunglasses are recommended
- Some safari camps we work with are typically not fenced, wildlife roam free, please follow all safety guidelines provided by the camp staff without exception for a safe and great experience
- There is wifi at most main areas of a safari lodge, sometimes it will reach your tent depending on signal strength and location of your tent. Electricity and wifi go off after 11pm and back on in the early hours of the morning
- You are encouraged to pack your own water bottle which can be refilled while on safari using the reverse osmosis filtered water dispensers if staying at any of the Governors Camp Collection camps. This would help the camps immensely to reduce plastic waste in precious wildlife environments
- Governors Camp Collection camps offer complimentary laundry services with 24 hour turnaround time
WEATHER & CLIMATE
- On average, temperatures are generally warm during the day, highs can range from 75 to 90 degrees, lows at night will be anywhere from 55 to 65 degrees depending on region of the country.
- The air generally tends to be dry.
- Hydration and sun protection are important given the altitude and climate
- Plan for the expected weather:
WHAT TO BRING
- leave all valuables especially jewelry and expensive electronics at home
- Casual comfortable clothes are recommended throughout your trip
- quick-dry, comfortable sneakers or walking shoes are recommended
- Essential items while visiting Kenya are: light, washable, quick-dry clothing, including long sleeves for sun protection a light jacket or sweater for cooler evening weather, insect repellent, lip balm or salve, flashlights, earphones, wipes, hand sanitizer, water bottle, light scarf (or anything you may want to use as a face cover for dust protection while on safari), sunscreen, antihistamine/anti-itch or any regularly used medications, travel pillow, power bank or portable charger
- plastic bags are banned in Kenya, do not carry any plastic bags while in Kenya
- some standard meals are included in your package, discuss any dietary concerns with your travel consultant prior to travel
Safari Packing List? Click here to get a comprehensive packing list for your safari designed by experts
- click here to view expert advice on what to pack for your safari
- For any safari accessories or necessities, consider The Safari Store. Use the coupon code sanguinetti to get an additional 10% off your purchase
- A pair of binoculars is recommended for use on game drives
- Bring a camera, your zoom lens and enough memory storage for your photos.
- The use of drones is not allowed in the national game reserves.
- For recommended reading before or during an African safari, see this Conde Nast list: Books to Read Before You Go on Safari
- For recommended books by celebrated African authors consider:
A Grain of Wheat by Ngugi wa Thiong’o
Unbowed: A Memoir by Wangari Maathai
Long Walk To Freedom By Nelson Mandela
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe