Travel Facts Kenya
Kenya travel facts
Got a question regarding travel to Borneo? We've got answers. Feel free to contact us with any additional questions you may have.
Do I need a Visa?
A visa is required for entry to Kenya and the latest information on the visa process and the requirements can be found here.
When is the best time of the year to visit Kenya?
Kenya can be visited all year round, although there are preferable times depending on your interests as the weather changes from region to region. Generally speaking January and February are relatively hot months, and the ideal time to explore Kenya’s coastline. March through to May are the long rains and the ideal time to avoid the crowds. June to October is the dry season and arguably the best time to visit Kenya particularly if you hope to see the wildebeest migration in the Masai Mara. Trekking on Mt Kenya can be done all year round, however is you are planning a climb during the long rains of March to May then expect muddy paths. November and December generally provide conditions suitable for all activities.
What vaccinations do I need?
You will need to check with your doctor or travel clinic as travel advice changes. You do not need a yellow fever certificate to enter Kenya unless you are travelling from a country where yellow fever is prevalent, but you will definitely need to take malaria tablets. We strongly advise people to take their anti-malarial medication regime seriously, cover up in the evenings, use mosquito repellent and sleep under a mosquito net.
What's the currency of Kenya?
The currency is the Kenya Shilling or in short KES, which comprises of 100 cents. Kenyan notes are available in 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 denominations. US Dollars are widely accepted in hotels and National Parks/Game Reserves, but you can change most currencies in most towns and cities.
What is the time difference and phone code for Kenya?
Kenyan time is GMT/UTC plus 3 hours and the international code for dialing to Kenya is +254.
Will there be any problems with communication in Kenya?
English is the official language in Kenya so there should be no communication problems across Kenya though it would be useful to have a basic knowledge of Kenya’s national language, Kiswahili.
Will my mobile phone work in Kenya?
Most mobile phones will connect to one of Kenya’s networks though you should confirm this with your service provider. Service in the cities and near major roads is generally reliable though in rural areas and inside national parks the signal can be weak. If your phone is unlocked then you can buy a local sim card, this will be a much more affordable option than paying the roaming charges and international rates with your service provider.
Are there ATM facilities in Kenya?
Yes, ATM facilities that accept international bank cards are available in most towns and cities across Kenya. If you are unsure consult with your bank to check whether your card will work. International credit and debit cards (Master Card, Visa Card, etc) are also accepted in all leading hotels, shopping centers, bars and restaurants. Travellers cheques are not widely accepted.
Will I need to bring a travel adapter?
Kenya uses the same three point square plug as the UK. The local electricity supply is 220/240 volts AC, 50HZ.
Are prices set in Kenya, or can we expect to haggle?
Shopping in Kenya is an experience, and haggling is part of Kenyan culture. Decide what you want to pay before you start and it becomes quite a challenge to get the best price; but enjoy, it is part of the experience!
Notes on local costs and safety around town
Average entry fee is around 600/- (Kenya Shillings) for a tourist.
Entry fees for a National Park vary from USD$40 to USD$60 per person, 1000/- for the vehicle and 200/- per staff member.
Lunches can be around 1000/- per person or you can arrange a picnic with the office.
Cash is needed in most places, take small denomination notes but do not carry too much.
Avoid opportunistic theft by keeping valuables, cameras etc very safe and out of sight in the vehicle.
Wear a money bag and have some loose change handy for small purchases.
Credit cards are accepted in most large places and there are many forex bureaux for exchanging any major currency.
Banks are open from 9am to 3pm.
Tips are generally 10% of the bill, although in many places a service charge is added.
It is customary to give your driver or guide a tip.
Always carry the office number with you, and the mobile number of at least one member of our staff
Scams are common in Nairobi, so be careful of people who approach you with deals or proposals, and best stay with one of our members of staff.
If you use taxis then agree a price before getting into the car and keep to it.
There are many bus services but please discuss with our staff about which is the better service available ,and be extremely careful in bus or matatu stops.
Matatus are also common, and our staff can advise where to catch one, since there are many routes
Avoid giving money to beggars, be polite but firm.
Follow the Wildlife Code of the Kenya Wildlife Service
Be respectful of people’s privacy when taking pictures, especially in slum areas