Amboseli National Park, Kenya
Amboseli National Park, Kenya

Amboseli National Park

Amboseli National Park is in southern Kenya. It’s known for its large elephant herds and views of immense Mount Kilimanjaro.
Photo by Sergey Pesterev

KENYA

Africa

Kenya Travel Information

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Key facts

Capital:

Nairobi

Location:

Eastern Africa, bordering the Indian Ocean, between Somalia and Tanzania

Currency:

Kenyan shillings (KES)

Area:

580,367 sq km

Population:

54,685,051 (July 2021 est.)

Languages:

English (official), Kiswahili (official), numerous indigenous languages

Religion:

Christian 85.5% (Protestant 33.4%, Catholic 20.6%, Evangelical 20.4%, African Instituted Churches 7%, other Christian 4.1%), Muslim 10.9%, other 1.8% (2019 est.)

TimeZone:

UTC+3

Tel Code:

+254

Weather

Climate

Kenya is a country located in East Africa and it has a tropical climate with high temperatures and humidity throughout the year. The country has two main seasons: the rainy season (April to June and October to December) and the dry season (July to September and January to March).

During the rainy season, the country experiences heavy rainfall and high humidity, while the dry season is characterized by less rainfall and lower humidity. The temperature during the year ranges between 20°C - 30°C (68°F - 86°F)

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Kenya depends on the type of activities you want to do and your preferences. The dry season, from July to September and January to March, is considered the best time to visit as the weather is more stable and the chances of rain are lower. This is also considered the peak tourist season, and the prices for accommodations and activities may be higher.

The rainy season, from April to June and October to December, is considered the low season for tourism, but it's also the time when the nature is more lush and the wildlife is more active, making it a great time for nature lovers. The weather during the rainy season is still warm and tropical, with occasional rain showers.

It's worth noting that Kenya is a popular destination for safari and wildlife viewing, and the best time to see the wildebeest migration in the Maasai Mara is from July to October.

Transportation

Air travel

Kenya has several international airports including Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) in Nairobi and Moi International Airport (MBA) in Mombasa. From there, you can take a domestic flight to reach other destinations in Kenya. Most of the domestic flights are operated by Kenya Airways, and they connect the main cities and tourist destinations.

Bus travel

Buses are a popular and convenient way to travel around Kenya, with extensive networks of long-distance and local buses that connect most of the cities and towns. Bus travel is relatively inexpensive, safe, and comfortable.

Car rental

Car rental is a great option for those who want to explore Kenya at their own pace, it's widely available in most cities and towns. It's worth noting that the road conditions can be challenging in some remote areas and it's important to have a valid driver's license and insurance.

Taxis

Taxis are widely available in most cities and towns, and they are a convenient and safe way to get around. It's worth noting that it's best to use a licensed taxi and to agree on the fare before starting the journey.

Shuttle buses

Shuttle buses are a popular option for those who want to travel between the major cities, towns and tourist destinations. They usually run on a regular schedule and can be a comfortable and budget-friendly way to travel.

Accommodation

Hotels

Kenya has a wide range of hotels, from budget-friendly options to luxury resorts. You can find hotels in most of the major cities, towns, and tourist destinations. Many of the hotels in Kenya are eco-friendly and have a strong focus on sustainability.

Guesthouses

Guesthouses are a popular option in Kenya, as they offer comfortable and budget-friendly accommodations. They are typically run by local families, and they offer a unique way to experience the local culture and hospitality.

Vacation Rentals

Vacation rentals such as apartments, villas, and houses can be rented on a short-term basis. This is becoming an increasingly popular option in Kenya, and it can be a great option for those looking for more privacy and space.

Tented camps and lodges

Tented camps and lodges are a popular option for those who want to experience the natural beauty of Kenya, they are typically located in the national parks and reserves, and they offer comfortable and eco-friendly accommodations.

Homestays

Homestays are a great way to experience local culture and hospitality. They are typically run by local families, and they offer comfortable and budget-friendly accommodations.

Money

Money Tips for Travel

  • Research the currency and exchange rates of your destination before you depart.
  • Notify your bank and credit card companies of your travel plans to avoid any potential issues with international transactions.
  • Bring a mix of cash, credit, and debit cards--and possibly a travel money card.
  • Be aware of the fees associated with withdrawing money from ATMs and using credit cards abroad.
  • Make sure to have a backup option for accessing money in case your primary method doesn't work.
  • Consider using a card with no foreign transaction fees.
  • Be aware of the local customs and etiquette when it comes to paying.
  • Keep an eye on the exchange rate throughout your trip and try to make large purchases or withdraw large sums of money when the rate is favorable.
  • NEVER accept currency conversion at ATMs! Always get your home bank to convert at much better rates.
  • Think about getting a Wise or other travel debit card; these can provide much better rates and some free ATM withdrawals.

ATM and Credit Cards

  • Research the availability of ATMs and credit card acceptance at your destination before you depart.
  • Keep your ATM card in a safe place and be mindful of your surroundings when using it.
  • Try to stick to using ATMs that are affiliated with major banks.
  • Keep your credit card information safe and secure, and be aware of potential scams.
  • Make sure your cards have the necessary security features, such as chip and pin.
  • Be aware of the fees associated with withdrawing money from ATMs and using credit cards abroad.

Exchange Rates

  • Research the currency and exchange rates of your destination before you depart.
  • Consider using a card with no foreign transaction fees.
  • Be aware of the local customs and etiquette when it comes to paying.
  • Keep an eye on the exchange rate throughout your trip and try to make large purchases or withdraw large sums of money when the rate is favorable.
  • Be careful of places that may offer to exchange money at rates that seem too good to be true.

Mobile

When traveling, getting mobile access is very important these days. If you are working remotely, wanting to update social media, or need to access your banks SMS authentication messages having a reliable service is a must. At WhereNext we recommend:

eSIM

Services such as those offered by our partner, Airalo, allow you to easily order and install an eSIM for different countries or regions that you are traveling in.

Dual SIM phone

If you have a phone that supports dual SIM's then you can get a SIM on arrival for each country, this is probably better done at a telco store rather than at the airport.

Extend your home plan

Depending on where you live and your mobile service provider you may be able to extend your plan to cover mobile roaming at reasonable rates.

Keep your primary SIM

With the amount of accounts we all have that require two factor authentication via SMS, keeping a constant number for these accounts is a must.

Community

There are several online communities and platforms that you can use to meet people while traveling, both for making new friends or for networking professionally. Some popular options include:

Facebook groups

There are many Facebook groups dedicated to connecting people while traveling, from expat groups and travel communities to groups specific to certain cities or regions of the country. You can search for groups based on your interests or location and connect with others who share similar interests.

Meetup

Meetup is a platform that allows you to find groups of people that share your interests in your local area. There are Meetup groups all around the world, and they cover a wide range of topics, such as language exchange, sports, and cultural activities.

Internations

Internations is a social network for people who live or work abroad. It has a large community of expats and organizes regular events, activities and gatherings that allow members to connect and socialize.

Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing is a platform that connects travelers with local hosts, who offer free accommodation and a chance to experience the local culture. It's a great way to meet locals and make friends!

Reddit

Reddit has a large community, and there are several subreddits dedicated to connecting expats and travelers. You can use it to ask questions, get advice, and connect with others who are also living or traveling in the country.

Linkedin

LinkedIn is primarily a professional network, but you can also use it to connect with people who work in the same industry or have similar backgrounds. It can be useful to connect with people before you arrive and establish a few professional contacts to help you get started.

At WhereNext, we use Nomad List as a global community and then research more local ones for our destination. These are just a few examples of online communities you can use to meet people; please suggest any others that you think are appropriate for this destination.

Insurance

Travel insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind for travellers in the event of unexpected situations or emergencies. It covers a wide range of needs--even some you might not expect!

Medical Coverage

Travel insurance can provide coverage for medical expenses if you become ill or injured while traveling. This can include coverage for doctor visits, hospital stays, and emergency medical transportation. It's also a good idea to ensure that your travel insurance covers COVID-19 related illness and delays!

Trip Cancellation and Interruption

Travel insurance can provide coverage if you need to cancel or interrupt your trip due to unexpected events such as illness, weather, or travel bans. It can also provide coverage if your trip is delayed or if your travel provider goes out of business.

Lost or Stolen Luggage

Travel insurance can provide coverage for lost or stolen luggage, as well as personal items such as passports and electronic devices.

Emergency Assistance and Evacuation

Many travel insurance plans offer emergency assistance services, such as providing information on local hospitals and doctors, assistance with replacing lost or stolen documents, and help with arranging transportation in the event of an emergency. At WhereNext we have partnered with Global Rescue for evacuation services, which are highly recommended if you are undertaking dangerous activities or are travelling to dangerous parts of the world.

Liability coverage

Travel insurance can also provide liability coverage in case you cause an accident or harm someone while you are traveling.

Travel insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind for travellers in the event of unexpected situations or emergencies. It can help cover the costs of medical expenses, trip cancellations, lost or stolen luggage, and more. It's always a good idea to review the coverage and compare the different options available before making a decision. At WhereNext we both use and have partnered with Safety Wing for general travel insurance.

Entry Requirements

Here are some general travel tips regarding entry requirements that apply across all countries:

Passport

Make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months from the date of your arrival in the country you are visiting. Some countries will not allow you to enter if your passport is set to expire within a certain period of time.

Visa

Check with the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting to see if you need a visa. Some countries require a visa for entry, while others do not. Make sure to apply for a visa well in advance of your trip as the process can take several weeks. Check the latest Visa requirements and if necessary get an online Visa with our partner iVisa.

Health Requirements and COVID-19 Rules

Check with the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting to see if there are any health requirements for entry. Some countries require vaccinations or proof of medical insurance. Check the latest health requirements and if necessary get an online Visa with our partner iVisa.

Travel Insurance

Consider purchasing travel insurance, especially if you are traveling internationally. Travel insurance can cover you in the event of trip cancellation, medical emergencies, and other unexpected events. Our travel insurance partner is SafetyWing. For dangerous activities and/or countries consider a rescue service like those offered by our partner, Global Rescue.

Customs

Be familiar with the customs and laws of the country you are visiting. Some countries have strict laws regarding drug possession, alcohol consumption, and dress codes.

Currency

Check the currency exchange rate and make sure you have enough local currency for your trip. Some countries may not accept credit cards or travelers cheques, so it is always good to have some cash on hand. At WhereNext we recommend use a Wise debit card, which provides low cost currency conversions and ATM withdrawals.

Research the country

Research about the culture, customs and laws of the country you are visiting. It will help you to understand the place more and also prepare you better for the trip.

Contact Information

Make a copy of your passport and keep it in a separate place from your passport. Also, leave a copy of your itinerary and contact information with a friend or family member at home.

COVID Status

I am vaccinated 
Kenya Closed
Test
Required
Quarantine
Not required

Check Visa Requirements

      Things to Do

      Kenya is a land of incredible natural beauty, with a vast array of activities and experiences to enjoy. From the famous wildlife and wilderness of the Maasai Mara and the Amboseli National Park, to the white sandy beaches of the Kenyan Coast and the towering peak of Mount Kenya, there's something for everyone in this East African country. Here are some of the top things to do in Kenya:

      1. Safari in the Maasai Mara

      The Maasai Mara is one of the most famous wildlife destinations in the world, and for good reason. The reserve is home to an incredible array of animals, including the Big Five (lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard, and rhino), as well as large herds of wildebeest and zebras.

      2. Explore Amboseli National Park

      Amboseli National Park is located in southern Kenya and is known for its large elephant herds and views of Mount Kilimanjaro. The park also offers a chance to spot a variety of other wildlife including big cats, primates, and antelopes.

      3. Visit the Masai Mara National Reserve

      The Masai Mara National Reserve is an expansive wildlife reserve in southwest Kenya that borders Tanzania's Serengeti National Park. The reserve is known for its large herds of wildebeest and zebras, as well as the annual wildebeest migration.

      4. Visit Lake Nakuru National Park

      Lake Nakuru National Park is a popular destination for wildlife viewing, known for its large flocks of flamingos and other birdlife, as well as large numbers of Rothschild's giraffe, black and white rhinos, and lions.

      5. Relax on the Beaches of the Kenyan Coast

      Kenya's coast is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, known for its white sandy beaches, turquoise waters, and exotic culture. The coast is a perfect place to relax and unwind after a busy safari or climb.

      6. Climb Mount Kenya

      Mount Kenya is the second highest mountain in Africa and the highest in Kenya. The climb to the summit is a challenging but rewarding experience, offering stunning views and the satisfaction of reaching the rooftop of Kenya.

      7. Visit the Samburu National Reserve

      The Samburu National Reserve is located in the northern region of Kenya, known for its diverse wildlife and scenic landscapes. Visitors can go on guided walks and safaris to see elephants, lions, leopards, and a variety of bird species.

      8. Visit the Meru National Park

      Meru National Park is located in the northeastern region of Kenya, known for its diverse wildlife and scenic landscapes. Visitors can go on guided walks and safaris to see elephants, lions, leopards, and a variety of bird species.

      9. Visit the Nairobi National Park

      Nairobi National Park is located just a few kilometers from the city center and offers visitors a chance to see a variety of wildlife including lions, leopards, giraffes, and more than 400 species of birds.

      10. Visit the Lamu Island

      The Lamu Island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the oldest towns in East Africa. The island is known for its traditional Swahili architecture, winding streets, and rich cultural heritage. Visitors can explore the island's many historical sites, relax on the beaches and enjoy the local seafood.

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