Name The Republic of Kenya
Time Zone GMT + 3
Capital City Nairobi, meaning “place of cool waters” in the Maa language
Independence gained on 12 December 1963 (from Great Britain)
National Language Kiswahili
Official Language English
Currency Kenyan shilling (KES) and cents
Land Area Kenya covers an area of about 586,600km sq
Drives on the Left
Country Code 254
Location: Kenya lies in the East African region with a total area of 580,367 km2 borders Somalia to the North East, Sudan to the North West, Uganda to the West and Tanzania to the South. The country is named after Mount Kenya, a very significant landmark and second among Africa’s highest Mountain Peaks.
Diversity: The beautiful and wild, Kenya brings together diversity and contrasts in all senses. From its different landscapes to its mixed cultures, Kenya has long been a country for souls and those eager to learn about life on the African continent. Kenya has magnificent national parks and reserves with a wide variety of flora and fauna, lush breathtaking mountains, tribal cultures and an amazing quality and variety of birdlife which make it your dream destination. This diversity makes the country one of the best destinations to visit at all time in the world.
Nairobi National Park just next to the Capital city holds plenty of animals including members of the big five, like the buffalo, the Leopard, lion, rhino and elephant among many other breeds of antelope and birds. The dramatic wildebeest migration that takes place between Mid June and November has made Kenya more recognizable as this had been named one of the Seventh Wonder of the World.
Cultural diversity: Kenya is rich in the diversity of cultures which has got different customs and ways of lives. It is required that visitors respect the cultures and uphold moral values. It is not required that you dress with short clothes when visiting public places like markets, schools or even the villages. Do not take pictures of people without their consent as well.
Population & People
• The population is estimated at 43,500,000 as of 2013.
• There are about 52 tribes in Kenya.
Vegetation & Special Natural Features
• Kenya is home to the famous Masai Mara game reserve, Mount Kenya and Lake Victoria (the world’s second-largest freshwater lake).
• The Great Rift Valley, which runs from northern Syria in Southwest Asia to central Mozambique in East Africa, bisects the country from North to South and is dotted with lakes and extinct volcanoes, is one of Kenya’s most fascinating physical features.
• Kenya’s natural vegetation is diverse. Truly a ‘world within one country’. Tropical rainforests, sandy beaches, snow-capped mountains, desert, wide savannah plains teeming with wildlife, freshwater lakes and salt lakes.
Things to Know:
Climate: Kenya is an equatorial country and the weather is good all year round. January and February are the hottest Months, March – May are wet Months with Longest rains, July and August are the coldest ones, Short rains are October – December.
At the Coast, the weather is generally humid with Temperatures ranging between 21 0 C- 320C. Central Kenya including Nairobi is generally cooler with Temperatures ranging between 13 0 C – 25 0 C. Due to the imminent global warming, there could be changes at times during the year.
Transport: The road network in Kenya is well developed and most places connecting major towns are tarmacked. Major means of transport are the public service vehicles, Taxis which are found in most places in towns and cities. There are trains also which connect to major towns like Mombasa, Eldoret, Kisumu and Nakuru and is much cheaper though slower. Air transport is also well developed with the major airline Kenya Airways being the best in East and Central Africa and connects to many countries around the world. There are other airlines which connect other destinations in East Africa, like Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda. The major airports are Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and Wilson airport; others are Moi Airport Mombasa and Kisumu Airport. KSAE provides exceptionally good rates for road and air transport, always contact our transport desk if you require assistance.
Safety: Kenya is relatively a safe country and clients need not to worry. It is filled with very friendly people who will always show you where to be when you get lost. However it is recommended that you always take a taxi when you want to get somewhere further, also that you should not walk past 1830hrs in the down town alone. Always keep your valuables for safety at the Hotel and do not adorn expensive jewelry while walking in the streets.
Health: Before visiting Kenya, vaccinations against cholera, tetanus and yellow fever are required. In order to prevent Malaria, prophylactics should be taken two weeks before arrival and continued two weeks after departing. Although tap water is available in most places, it is recommended that you buy bottled water which is safer. KSAE will always provide bottled water each day of your safari. There are many hospitals and health Centers available country wide which you should visit in case of any illness. Sometimes it is important also important cover yourself as per directives given.
Visa Requirements: All visitors visiting Kenya from outside East Africa requires a Visa.
Visitors require a visa to enter Kenya, which they can obtain either online, at the Kenyan embassy in their own country, or at the airport on arrival.
• It costs US$50 per visa, and we recommend you have the exact change.
• Those requiring a visa (including all British citizens) are now advised to have at least two blank pages available in their passport on arrival; failure to meet these requirement could mean that entry may be refused.
• Kenya shilling (KES) & cents. The colloquial term for shilling is ‘bob’.
• There is no limit to the amount of currency or Travellers Cheques that you may bring into the country. Travellers Cheques can be difficult to change; please always carry your passport when you would like to change them though.
• Most of the hotels, lodges and shops in Kenya accept the major credit cards.
• Changing your Kenyan shillings back into hard currency is easily done at the airport, hotels and banks. It is recommended that visitors DO NOT change money on the black market as they are more likely to receive a lower rate of exchange or fake notes.
• It is illegal to destroy or deface Kenyan currency.
• There is no national welfare scheme and visitors to Kenya are responsible for their own medical expenses. We insist on our clients being covered by the Flying Doctors’ Service.
• Please leave a copy of your travel insurance with us at the beginning of your holiday, along with copies of your airline tickets and passports.
• Voltage is 220-240 AC. Most of the safari vehicles have a cigarette lighter socket operation on a 12-volt system.
• Please bring sufficient batteries for photographic equipment; most lodges have limited power supply but all are capable of re-charging your electrical items for you.
• Please also bring adapter plugs (square pin, English standard).
• All camps and lodges have radio communication with Nairobi.
• Most lodges do have a mobile phone signal (Airtel, Orange, Safaricom or Yu) in the lodge or nearby (under a tree or on a hill) which sometimes can be weak, so please do not always rely on it.
o Safaricom generally has the widest coverage.
• Most lodges and hotels also have internet access in case of emergencies.
• Please respect the local people with regards to photography and only use cameras if you have the permission of the subject/s to do so.
• Never try to “steal” a photo against the will of the person concerned. Let your guide help negotiate terms before you start shooting!
• If you are taking a local flight within Kenya, please ensure that baggage is packed in soft bags and should weigh no more than 14kg per person.
o The airlines will make you re-pack you luggage if your luggage is in hard suitcases or if it is over 14kgs.
• It is possible to store luggage not required during the safari with us or at your hotel if you are returning there after your trip.