Things you need to know about travel in Kenya

Travel in Kenya – Kenya, nestled along the Indian Ocean in East Africa, boasts diverse landscapes characterized by thorn bushes and grasslands, with expansive forests spanning approximately 13,000 square kilometers in the southwestern region. The country experiences a tropical climate along its coastal areas, influenced by monsoon winds, while its lowlands endure hot and predominantly dry conditions. Conversely, the highlands offer cooler temperatures and feature approximately four distinct seasons.

Renowned for its rich wildlife, Kenya is home to a wide array of animals, including primates, big cats, birds, and aquatic species. The country offers an abundance of activities for tourists, ranging from thrilling game viewing and camping to invigorating hikes, water surfing, diving, birdwatching, and access to world-class beaches. Visitors can also enjoy unique experiences such as glass-bottom boat rides, among many other attractions waiting to be explored.

Below are some of the things you need to know as you plan to travel to Kenya in Africa

1. Safety

Ensuring safety is paramount when planning any journey. While Kenya has encountered isolated incidents of terrorism in the past, the country has significantly bolstered its security measures. Travelers need not be deterred by past occurrences, as Kenya has taken proactive steps to enhance safety for tourism.

2. Welcoming Hospitality

Kenya is renowned for its hospitable and amiable locals who readily extend help when needed. Visitors will find the people friendly and approachable, fostering a welcoming atmosphere throughout their travels.

3. Transportation

Kenya boasts excellent transportation networks, offering high-quality road and air travel options. Numerous flights connect various destinations across the country, and well-maintained roads link cities to major tourist attractions.

4. Ethnic Stability

Although ethnic tensions have occasionally caused disruptions, particularly during elections, Kenya remains a safe destination for travelers. Even during election periods, tourists are generally unaffected by these tensions.

5. Visa Options

Travelers have multiple visa options for entry into Kenya. Applying for a visa online is recommended, whether it’s an East African visa granting access to Rwanda, Uganda, and Kenya, or obtaining a regular entry visa at border posts. Transit visas are also available for layovers.

6. Affordable Airlines

Kenya boasts numerous budget airlines that operate safely, efficiently, and affordably. The presence of carriers like Kenya Airways, operating both internationally and domestically, makes air travel more accessible and cost-effective.

7. Mombasa Train

For a cost-effective alternative to flying, travelers can opt for the comfortable and high-speed train to Mombasa. Departing daily at 9 am, booking tickets in advance is advisable, with payments made conveniently via mobile payment services like M-Pesa or at the station.

8. M-Pesa:

M-Pesa is a convenient mobile payment service in Kenya, simplifying bill payments through a voucher system that allows users to load money onto their mobile phones for online transactions. To utilize this service while in Kenya, acquiring a local SIM card is necessary.

9. SIM Cards:

Obtaining a local SIM card in Kenya is a straightforward process. With your passport, visit any nearby shop for registration. After this, loading credit onto the card enables access to various services.

10. Transport Options:

In Kenya, “matatus” refer to minivans providing short-distance transport, offering lively experiences with vibrant African music. Additionally, “Boda Bodas” and tuk-tuks are available for travel within smaller towns, all at affordable rates. Longer journeys, such as Mombasa to Nairobi, can be conveniently undertaken using buses.

11. Local Cuisine:

Kenya’s staple meal is “ugali” served with beans and steamed greens (Sukuma wiki) or chicken. Ugali, made from maize flour, is eaten traditionally with hands. Coastal regions offer wheat-based foods like samosas and chapatis.

12. Currency:

Kenya uses the Kenyan shilling, where one US dollar equals approximately one hundred Kenyan shillings. Money exchange can be done at banks, as ATMs dispense only Kenyan shillings.

13. Supermarkets and Markets:

While supermarkets mainly sell staples and dry goods, markets are ideal for fresh fruits and vegetables. Kenya has banned plastic bags.

14. Passport:

Carrying your passport at all times is advisable as it’s required for identification, especially when interacting with law enforcement.

15. Accommodation:

For budget travelers, Kenya offers backpacker trails and hostels. Recommended places include Distant Relatives, Milimani Backpackers, and Diani Backpackers.

16. Language:

Kenya’s official languages are English and Swahili, with a blend commonly used in conversation.

17. Health:

Malaria is prevalent; precautions such as covering up at night and carrying anti-malaria medication are recommended. A yellow fever certificate is required before entering Kenya.

18. Safari Destinations:

Kenya boasts numerous safari destinations, including Maasai Mara, Amboseli, Hell’s Gate, Tsavo East and West, Lake Naivasha, Mount Kenya, Lake Nakuru, and more. Kenlink Tours in Uganda offers excellent safari deals, professional guides, and unforgettable experiences to explore Kenya’s wildlife and nature.

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