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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.

Practical information about Kenya

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.

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 always advise that you contact a specialist, your GP or an authorized vaccination clinic. You can also read more about the rules for travel & vaccinations at the central NHS Fit for Travel website: here

Please be aware of the rules about yellow fever – especially if you are entering via another African country.

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.

You can apply for a visa to Kenya either manually upon your arrival at the airport or online before departure.

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.

When you are travelling with minors under the age of 16:

Minors under the age of 16 are exempt from paying visa fees if they are travelling with one or both parents. However, this exemption only applies to manual application upon arrival. If you apply for an electronic eVisa, a fee is payable for children and adults alike.

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 are a British citizen and you have booked a combination tour with a safari in Kenya and/or a beach holiday in Zanzibar (Tanzania), you are required to have a visa for both Kenya and Tanzania. We refer to our Practical Information on Tanzania for information on how to apply for a visa to Tanzania.

You will need to apply for a single entry visa to Kenya, as this also applies when re-entering the country.

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 find any 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

The airline will assign you a seat on board the aircraft upon check-in. If you have specific wishes, you can make a seat reservation via the airline’s website. Most airlines have an area on their website named “manage my booking” or similar. Please note that most airlines require payment for a seat reservation, so it’s a good idea to have your payment card ready when starting a seat reservation. Airline seat reservations vary from company to company, but as a general rule, you can book seats from around 48 hours before departure.

Many airlines also offer upgrades with extra legroom or comfort seating, such as Economy Comfort with KLM and Premium Voyageur with Air France. You can check these details through the airline’s own website, along with payment information.

Please kindly note that airlines have full access to all seats on the aircraft and therefore always reserve the right to alter a reservation.

If you do not make a seat reservation before departure, the airline will issues your seating upon check-in at the airport.

9. Your 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.

We recommend that you pack your things in soft bags when going on a safari holiday. It’s easier to pack the safari cars with soft bags than suitcases. Hardcase suitcases are particularly difficult to fit in to the safari car. So, if possible, avoid using suitcases with hard edges.

You should also make sure you carry all your important and indispensable things in your hand luggage. This applies to items such as passports, visas, airline tickets, insurance documents, credit cards, money and cameras, as well as information about your health and vital medicines.

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

Please note that all use, import and production of plastic bags, such as those we know from supermarkets, etc., is prohibited in Kenya.

We therefore recommend that you avoid using plastic bags when packing your luggage. Use fabric bags instead, or bags made of a waterproof material other than plastic. If, for example, you are visibly carrying hand luggage in plastic bags upon your arrival in Kenya, you will be asked to hand them in. This also includes plastic bags from “Duty Free”, etc.

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

Nairobi – Amboseli: approx. 250 km, approx. 4–5 hours

Nairobi – Samburu: approx. 320 km, approx. 6 hours

Nairobi – Lake Naivasha: approx. 110 km, approx. 3 hours

Samburu – Lake Naivasha: approx. 340 km, approx. 6–7 hours

Amboseli – Lake Naivasha: approx. 350 km, approx. 6–7 hours

Lake Naivasha – Masai Mara: approx. 250 km, approx. 4–6 hours

Masai Mara – Nairobi: approx. 265 km, approx. 6–7 hours

Mombasa – Tsavo: approx. 120 km, approx. 3 hours

Tsavo – Amboseli: approx. 290 km, approx. 4 hours

Amboseli – Tsavo: approx. 110 km, approx. 2 hours

Tsavo – Mombasa: approx. 280 km, approx. 6 hours

Remember all distances and times are approximate and subject to weather and traffic conditions. Please note that the standard of roads in Kenya cannot be compared with the roads in Europe.

13. Safari in 4-wheel drive Land Cruisers

We continuously invest, together with our partners in Kenya, in new 4-wheel drive Land Cruisers, so all our guests can always enjoy the best safari experience in our African safari’s own cars.

All the cars are equipped with power outlets, so you can charge your phone or your camera while you drive (remember to bring an adapter), and Wi-Fi is available in each car as well. There are plenty of binoculars available in all the cars, letting you catch every detail of the many animals you see on your safari.

The cars have the option to open the roof for a better view of the exciting animal life. There can be up to 5-7 people in one Land Cruiser.

It is possible to reserve a private Land Cruiser for an additional fee. Contact us for more information on this.

To optimise packing and baggage transport, we recommend that you pack using soft bags, rather than hard suitcases.

See pictures of the new cars here.

14. Social responsibility

We work tirelessly to give something back to the continent and to the people who give us and our guests so many wonderful experiences on a daily basis. This way, we can help improve the conditions for people and wildlife alike.

And that is why we work with various organisations all over Africa which, in one way or another, strive to improve environmental conditions, living conditions, working conditions, etc. In fact, we often choose our business partners on the basis of their active efforts to improve social and environmental conditions locally. Some collect plastic from the sea, some work together with children’s homes and others plant trees, build schools or work actively to save endangered animals and plants.

In many of the places, you also have the opportunity to be involved in the work. It is, however, completely up to you whether you wish to support the projects.

Read more about the projects we are involved in here.

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 tip guides, waiters and other service personnel.
Tips are therefore expected, but it is, of course, up to you how much you wish to pay.
Give your tips personally and always have a little change in your pocket for tipping.

As a rule of thumb, you can reckon on the following:

  • 10-15 USD  / approximately £4-7 per person 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

We recommend that you tip your guide/driver at the end of your tour – preferably in a sealed envelope.

19. Public holidays

It is always special to experience the traditions and celebrations of other countries. Below is a list of public holidays, important festivals and other special occasions.

Please note that some museums and attractions may be closed on these days.

20. Time difference

Kenya is 2 hours ahead of GMT.

21. 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.

You don’t need to bring a mosquito net with you from home. In most places, you will find one hanging over the bed, but in some places the rooms are sprayed with mosquito repellent while you’re out on safari.

22. 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.

23. 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.

24. 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.

Please note that the hotels almost always ask to take a copy of your passport. They are required to do so by the national tourism authorities.

25. 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).
  • 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
26. 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 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
27. Travellers with reduced mobillity

Please note, our tours are generally not suitable for persons with reduced mobility. Please contact us for information about the possibilities according any specific needs.

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Contact travel consultant Neil Smith

Write to:
info@africasafari.co.uk

Call:
01279 704 135

Hours of opening:
Mon, Wed & Fri: 8 - 16
Tue & Thu: 8-21
Sat: 9-17

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