10 Tips For Travel In Kenya
Kenya is a vibrant, affluent and colorful country. Visiting Kenya will be a fabulous and memorable experience as long as you heed the following travel tips. It is easy to get lost in enjoying yourself and to forget about your own safety when on vacation. Keep the following travel tips in mind when planning your trip and traveling in Kenya and you will have a safe trip.
- Make sure your immunization is up to date before you travel to Kenya. Immunize for cholera, yellow fever, typhoid, hepatitis A and diphtheria and, update your polio and tetanus shots. Take along Malaria pills and bug repellant to prevent contracting malaria. Do not forget diarrhea and nausea medications and keep a First Aid kit handy.
- Pack comfortable clothing. Pack shorts and summer clothing and a sweater for chilly nights. Dress casually during the day and a bit formal at night. Remember rain gear if you are traveling during the rainy seasons, November and March through May. Take along bed nets suggested as the bugs are persistent. A hat, sunscreen, sunglasses and comfortable shoes are absolute must haves.
- Tap water is okay, but drink bottled water just to be safe. While traveling in Kenya, you will find a variety of cuisines including, Italian, French, Mexican, Chinese, Indian, western and Malaysian. Seafood is plentiful, and beer is a popular beverage. Show your appreciation by tipping five to 10 percent of your tab.
- Keep in mind that, in Kenya, motorist travel on the left side of the road. Modes of travel available for your travels to Kenya are taxis and minibuses. Hire licensed taxis only and avoid unlicensed taxis, the ones with the yellow lines on the side. Locals and airport officials can give advice on reputable driver; when you find a reputable driver, negotiate your rate before your ride. Treat your driver well as roads are rough, hard to navigate, and are further complicated with a clutter of animals and people.
- Kenyan currency is not available internationally, so you will have to use cash or travelers checks to exchange to U. S. currency. Your credit cards are welcome at most tourist places. Do not stop, instead, walk past the ATM because the lines are usually down rendering them virtually useless.
- Take safety precautions. Avoid swimming in water other than hotel pools when you travel in Kenya. Avoid traveling alone and keep documents and valuables locked in the hotel safe. Carry purses and cameras close to your body and, if you must carry money, wear a money belt. Avoid wearing expensive looking jewelry and note that thieves may pose like police. Remember you are in Africa, and the animals are wild, so make no sudden movements and remain calm.
- Learn some Swahili phrases. In Kenya, there are over 62 languages but Swahili and English are the official languages. Prepare to barter for goods and services.
- Take your mobile phone. Email and Internet access are available and you will even find a few Internet cafes. Airmail to international areas takes about a week, and surface mail to Europe takes about six months. Phone service is fair to decent and you will be able to use your mobile phones. Public pay phones are also available.
- You must have a valid visa and passport to travel in Kenya. Tourist visas, valid for 30 days cost $50 U. S, to travel in Kenya and $100 for multiple country visits. Keep copies of your visa in the hotel vault, in addition to the one you carry with you.
- Take lots of pictures. Always ask permission before taking pictures of people. Do not take pictures of military and government officials as this practice is unlawful. A telephoto lens is perfect for safaris and close ups and a waterproof bag will protect your photography equipment.