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Practical information about Kenya

On this page you will find answers to the practical questions that may arise in connection with your booking of one of our Kenya safaris, for instance about visas, weather and wildlife. If you have any other questions, you are most welcome to contact us.

1 Weather and wildlife in Kenya-monthly overview

You can go on safari in Kenya throughout the year.

January, February and March
All three months are good safari months, just after the short rain season, you can enjoy some species of birds that are winter visitors from Europe. The grass is not so high that it hinders your view of the animals. You will find great opportunities to see large herds of elephant.

April and first half of May

This period is usually the “big” rain season, this does not mean that that you should not safari. The rain does not fall in the same way as in the UK. It comes in bursts which last only a few hours and can very often add to the experience, freshening up the nature.

Second half of May and June
The end of June is a great time to safari after the long rain season. The large herds of zebra from Tanzania begin to arrive in the Masai Mara, situated in front of the large migration.  The zebra make their way to Masai to graze on the course grass.

July, August, September and the first half of October
The huge herds of wildebeest start to come in from the south, which in the old days you could almost set your watch by. Due to Africa’s changing climate, it is a little more difficult to count on their presence. Wildebeest start their return journey to Tanzania in September / October and here you can bear witness to the many dramas which unfold when they try to cross the Mara River, where crocodiles lie in wait. Nakuru is the perfect location at this time of year to find hundreds of pink flamingos.

November and December
Calm descends quietly across the savannah as we enter a small rainfall period, which freshens up the terrain after the wildebeest have left the area.  The grass starts to grow and the elephants return, bringing with them some amount of flies.

Statistics
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
Rain (mm)
58
50
92
242
190
39
18
24
31
61
150
108
Rain days
4
4
8
15
13
5
3
4
4
7
14
9
Day Temp
26
27
27
25
24
23
22
23
25
26
24
24
Night Temp
11
11
12
13
12
10
9
9
10
11
13
12
Sunshine hours
288
266
267
204
189
159
130
127
180
226
198
257
Statistics Rain (mm) Rain days Day Temp Night Temp Sunshine hours
JAN 58 4 26 11 288
FEB 50 4 27 11 266
MAR 92 8 27 12 267
APR 242 15 25 13 204
MAY 190 13 24 12 189
JUN 39 5 23 10 159
JUL 18 3 22 9 130
AUG 24 4 23 9 127
SEP 31 4 25 10 180
OCT 61 7 26 11 226
NOV 150 14 24 13 198
DEC 108 9 24 12 257

Weather in Mombasa

Mombasa is a coastal city and is characterised by its flat landscape. The city of Mombasa is centered on Mombasa Island, which extends all the way to the mainland. The island is separated from the mainland by two bays, Port Reitz in the south and Tudor Creek in the north.

Mombasa has a warm, tropical climate and the amount of precipitation depends on the season. The rainiest months are April and May, in comparison to January and February where rain is minimal.

Statistics
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
Rain (mm)
34
14
56
154
236
88
72
68
67
103
105
76
Rain days
3
1
5
10
14
10
10
8
9
9
8
7
Day Temp
33
34
34
33
31
29
29
29
30
31
32
33
Night Temp
22
23
23
23
22
20
19
19
20
21
22
22
Sunshine hours
270
255
270
225
205
207
211
245
246
273
264
260
Statistics Rain (mm) Rain days Day Temp Night Temp Sunshine hours
JAN 34 3 33 22 270
FEB 14 1 34 23 255
MAR 56 5 34 23 270
APR 154 10 33 23 225
MAY 236 14 31 22 205
JUN 88 10 29 20 207
JUL 72 10 29 19 211
AUG 68 8 29 19 245
SEP 67 9 30 20 246
OCT 103 9 31 21 273
NOV 105 8 32 22 264
DEC 76 7 33 22 260

2 Terms & Conditions

Please read our booking terms and conditions carefully. These terms and conditions constitute the basis of your package purchased from africasafari.co.uk.  Click here to read our terms and conditions.


All the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate

3 Travel insurance

We are an ATOL protected agency giving you complete peace of mind. It is a condition of booking that the sole responsibility lies with the guest to ensure that they carry the correct comprehensive travel and medical insurance to cover themselves, as well as any dependants/traveling companions for the duration of their trip.

In cooperation with our partner we can offer advantageous travel insurances. Learn more here.

4 Vaccinations

We advise you to contact a medical specialist or family doctor or even a licensed vaccination clinic.
You can read more information on vaccinations to Kenya here.

5 Visas

UK citizens must have a valid visa to visit Kenya. Remember that your passport must also be valid for at least six months after the date of your arrival in the country.

As of 1 July this year, Kenya introduced ‘eVisa’, the electronic tourist visa, although you can still apply for a visa manually on arrival at the airport in Kenya.

The authorities in Kenya are committed to having the new eVisa replace the manual application process on arrival at the airport, but the transition to the new scheme is taking longer than expected.

This means that you can still choose to apply for a visa in person on arrival at the airport in Kenya, or online before starting your journey.

Manual application for a visa on arrival in Kenya:
On arrival at the airport in Kenya, you will need to complete an application form and pay a fee of USD 50. The process normally runs relatively smoothly. Remember to bring a pen with you! In the field where you are asked to state your address in Kenya, enter the name of the hotel/lodge where you will be spending your first night.

Electronic application for a visa prior to departure for Kenya:
You can use the website www.evisa.go.ke to apply for an electronic eVisa and pay for it by credit card. The visa fee is USD 50, and there is a service charge of USD 1.
The earliest you can apply for a visa for Kenya is three months before your date of departure.

When applying for a visa, you must upload a picture of your passport along with a passport photograph of yourself (max. 500 x 500 pixels). Your visa will typically be issued approximately five days after you register on the website. You will then need to print a copy of your electronic visa, bring it with you and present it along with your passport on arrival in Kenya.

If you have any problems or enquiries related to applying for an electronic visa, please contact the Kenyan Embassy in Stockholm on +46 8 21 83 009.

Other things you need to bear in mind with regard to your visa:

  • On entering Kenya, you will need to complete a landing card that will be issued to you on the plane, or will be available at the visa desk.
  • On leaving Kenya, you will need to complete an exit card, which you will find in the departure terminal.

To read the visa regulations in full, visit the Foreign ministry website.

If you have booked a combination trip including a safari in Kenya and a beach holiday on Zanzibar (Tanzania), UK citizens will need visas for both Kenya and Tanzania. You can arrange a visa for Tanzania on arrival on Zanzibar; make sure to bring USD 50 with you in cash to pay for it.

6 Flight reservations and airline tickets

We will send you your flight reservation as soon as you book your trip. You can see times and routes on the itinerary. It is important to check your name for spelling mistakes. The name on the reservation must be exactly as in your passport.  If you have any comments on the itinerary or find mistakes in the names, please contact us immediately.

Today, there are only electronic airline tickets (e-tickets), so you do not receive a physical ticket for use at the airport check-in. When you check in at the airport, you use your passport and a booking reference. The booking reference is on your itinerary.

7 Service letter

Once you have purchased a tour through us, you will receive our service letter before your departure. The service letter contains important information about online check-in, what to do in the event of a delay, our agreed guidelines for tips, etc. In addition, you will find important telephone numbers for our local agents as well as our emergency telephone number.

So it is important that you print out the service letter and bring it with you.

8 Seat reservation, upgrades and extra legroom

We recommend that you make a seat reservation on the plane. Many airlines also offer to upgrade reserved tickets for seats with extra space and comfort, e.g. Economy Comfort at KLM and Premium Voyageur at Air France. You can do this through the airline’s website. Most airlines have a point in the menu called “manage my booking”. Please note that many airlines require payment for seat reservation, so you should have your credit/debit card to hand when you get started.

Unfortunately, rules differ as to when seat reservation is opened. We recommend that you try to make a seat reservation as early as possible and you will then know when you can make a seat reservation if it cannot be done right away. It is very common for seat reservation to be opened between 72 and 24 hours before departure.

9 Suitcases and hand luggage

We use many different airlines to Kenya, therefore it may vary how much baggage and hand luggage you can carry on the aircraft. Find more information about this on your ticket or contact us if you have any questions.

You and your travel companions should pack so that you can each get by with the contents from each other’s suitcases.

Make sure you have all the important items and information in your hand luggage: passport, visa, airfare, insurance, credit cards, money and prescriptions if necessary.  You should carry information about your specific health condition plus malaria pills, any lifesaving medication (diabetics), anything used to treat allergies or a sudden stomach upset (maybe Imodium) and analgesic aspirin should all be kept accessible to you. Any expensive electrical equipment, such as a camera or computer should be well looked after.

The air-conditioning on board the aircraft can be cold, so maybe take a jacket inside your hand luggage.

10 Transfers to and from the airport

On arrival into Nairobi airport you will be picked up by our local representative.
Upon departure you will again be taken to the airport.

11 Transportation

Our skilled and knowledgeable driver / guide will pick you up at Nairobi Airport and remain with you for the duration of the safari. He will take you to the hotel, on safari trips, other sightseeing adventures and of course back to the airport on your last day.

12 Driving distances on safari

Driving Distances of the “Karibu Kenya” trips:

  • Day 2: Nairobi – Amboseli: 250 km, about 3 hours
  • Day 4: Amboseli – Lake Naivasha: 350 km, about 5 hours
  • Day 5: Lake Naivasha – Masai Mara: 250 km, about 4-5 hours
  • Day 7: Masai Mara – Nairobi: 265 km, about 6 hours

A total of approximately = 1115 km – without game drive

Driving Distances of the “Ha Kuna Matata” trips:

  • Day 3: Nairobi – Samburu: 320 km, about 6 hours
  • Day 5: Samburu – Lake Naivasha: 340 km, about 6 hours
  • Day 6: Lake Naivasha – Masai Mara: 250 km, about 4-5 hours
  • Day 9: Masai Mara – Nairobi: 265 km, about 6 hours

A total of approximately = 1175 km – without game drive

Remember all distances and times are approximate, being subject to changes in weather. The roads in Kenya are not like those of Europe.

13 Safari 4-wheel drive Land Cruisers

We have teamed up with our partner in Kenya to invest in a number of new 4-wheel drive Land Cruisers, so that as from the start of November 2016 all our guests can look forward to an even better safari.
These vehicles let you roll back the roof during the safari for an unobstructed view of the fascinating animals.
Each Land Cruiser can seat up to 5-7 people, and you can reserve a private vehicle for an additional fee. Contact us for details.

In order to optimise the packing and transport of your luggage, we recommend that you pack in soft bags rather than hard-shell suitcases.
If you are continuing on to Mombasa or Zanzibar, you can store surplus luggage that you need for your beach holiday at Fairmont Norfolk Hotel in Nairobi, and then collect it again after your safari.

on-safari-with-logo on-safari-with-logo3

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14 Golf in Mombasa

You can play golf at Nyali Golf & Country Club located approximately 10 minutes’ drive from the hotel on the North Coast.

15 Masai Visit in Masai Mara

If you wish to visit a Masai village, please agree this with your safari guide. It costs 25 USD / approximately £17 per person and is paid directly to the Masai.

16 Lunch and drinks during safari

All meals including picnic lunches are included in the price. Drinks you pay for yourself.

17 Currency

Kenya’s currency is the kenyan shilling (KSH). Check Google for the current rate. You will be able to change your dollars to shillings and will probably find the best rates at the airport. Make sure you have a small amount of cash in small denominations on you things such as tips and the like. You can also withdraw money from Visas and Master Cards at the ATM and pay by card in some places. There is also the option to pay with USD (most used), Euro and British pound in Kenya.

18 Tipping

In Kenya, it is customary to provide guides, waiters and other service personnel a tip.
The personnel expect a tip, but it is of course up to you how much you will give.
It’s a good idea to give the guide a regular tip, so he feels that his good work is appreciated.
Give the tip personally and always have a little change in your pocket.

As a rule of thumb, you can expect the following:

  • 10-15 USD  / approximately £4-7 per night or day to the guide
  • 2 USD / approximately £1 for the porter who carries your baggage
  • 10% in bars and restaurants
  • 2 USD / approximately £1 per day for the maid

19 Time difference

Kenya is 2 hours ahead of GMT.

20 Mosquito Net

Mosquitoes appear when the sun goes down and the temperature drops. It is in the evenings, when most people get bitten, so it would be wise to wear long pants and maybe a long-sleeved shirt. It would also be wise to make sure any exposed parts of the body are protected with spray.

All of our accommodation in Tanzania has mosquito nets over the bed. Therefore, it is not necessary to buy any such item.

21 Language

Kenya has many different dialects and local languages. English and Kiswahili are the two official languages, providing a common identity in the vast country. In schools all children learn English from the first class.

22 Charging of mobile phones and other electrical items

Most hotels and lodges generally have their electricity from generators switched off after midnight. Remember to take a small flashlight with you. The sockets are 240 volts and 3 pin plugs as used in the UK.

23 Check in/check out of the hotels

After a warm welcome, always fill out one of registration cards at the front desk before key collection. Check in after 11am and check out before 10am. When checking out you pay the extra bills for drinks from  the restaurant and bar.

24 Luggage which is important to bring

  • Bright summer clothes for safari trips (Strong colours can attract unwanted attention from flies found in certain areas of the parks). It is cheap to get clothes washed, so do not bring much with you
  • Nicer clothes for evenings at the hotel and lodge, such as long pants and long-sleeved shirts to protect you against mosquitoes after sunset and, if necessary, against the sun
  • A good jacket, as it can be cool in the morning and evening
  • Summer Footwear (e.g. sports shoes and cotton socks). Avoid bare feet and legs at night due to mosquitoes
  • Power adaptor with 3-4 sockets – this enables a shaver, trimmer, electric toothbrush and any batteries to be charged via a single adapter
  • Small flashlight and extra batteries
  • Hat that shields against the sun
  • Sunscreen and lip balm
  • A mosquito repellent for example
  • Nail clippers and file

25 Important items to have in your hand luggage

  • Passports, money, tickets
  • Sunglasses
  • Medication you use at home (always in your hand luggage, just in case you lose your suitcase!)
  • Hand Medicine: analgesic, allergy pills, remedy for diarrhea (maybe Imodium), malaria pills, plasters and disinfectant wipes
  • Binoculars (so you get to see the leopard way out there in the tree!)
  • Camera and memory cards more than you expect to use, including battery charger and a plastic bag to protect the camera from Africa’s fine, red dust
  • Shoulder bag with sturdy strap and zip.  A money belt or good inside pockets that
    can be zipped up
  • A few photocopies of all personal documents such as passports, visas, flights, travel insurance, vaccination card, international debit cards, (Master Card, Visa credit cards etc.) driving license
  • Telephone list for immediate blocking of lost debit card and insurance
  • Mail addresses of those you wish to send postcards or send messages too.
  • Notebook and pens
  • A good book or something to keep you entertained on the flight