Private tailor-made journeys of a lifetime

Search
Close this search box.

Kenya Travel Guide

Kenya: Know before you go

Kenya stands as a classic safari destination, renowned for its iconic landscapes and rich wildlife found in national parks, community-run conservancies, and private reserves. Moreover, Nairobi, the capital city, serves as a vibrant melting pot of cultural influences, reflecting Kenya’s diverse history encompassing indigenous communities like the Maasai and Samburu, as well as colonial heritage and immigration.

To assist you in exploring this captivating land, we’ve compiled a comprehensive Kenya travel guide, offering all the essential information you may require for your journey.

Kenya beckons with its iconic landscapes and abundant wildlife, drawing travelers from around the globe to experience its unrivaled safari adventures. Beyond the wild plains and national parks, Nairobi, the capital city, pulsates with a dynamic energy fueled by its diverse cultural tapestry. From the indigenous traditions of the Maasai and Samburu to the echoes of colonial history and waves of immigration, Kenya’s heritage is as multifaceted as its terrain.

In this comprehensive Kenya travel guide, we aim to equip you with all the essential information needed to navigate this captivating destination with confidence and ease. Whether you’re embarking on a thrilling safari, delving into the vibrant city life of Nairobi, or immersing yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Kenya, let this guide be your companion on an unforgettable journey through this beautiful land.

Travel Carefree Again

Book your private, custom tour of a lifetime with 100% confidence

Destination
  • STEP 1
  • STEP 2

Visa and entry

As of January 2024, Kenya has transitioned to a visa-free system, replacing visas with an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA). All travelers, including infants and children (except citizens of Kenya and East Africa Community partner states), must apply online for an ETA before arriving in Kenya from 4th January, 2024.

To obtain an ETA, you can apply through the official portal within 3 months of your planned arrival date in Kenya. Upon approval, the ETA will be sent to the email address provided in your application.

Additionally, visitors to Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda arriving from countries with a risk of yellow fever must have proof of yellow fever vaccination. The vaccination should be obtained at least 10 days before your trip.

Health information

Visitors to East Africa arriving from countries with a yellow fever risk must carry proof of vaccination. Malaria is prevalent year-round, particularly along the coast and during the wet season. Anti-malaria prophylactics are strongly recommended. To prevent mosquito bites, use insect repellent and wear long-sleeved clothing and socks in the evenings and mornings.

Medication can be purchased at pharmacies in towns, petrol stations, shopping malls, and hospitals. It’s essential to bring sunscreen (SPF 30-50), sunglasses, and a hat to protect against sunburn and sunstroke. A shade-providing hat or cap is crucial.

For emergencies, we offer evacuation services throughout East Africa, transporting guests from remote areas to the nearest high-quality hospital. Note: This service is for emergencies only. Cities boast high-quality hospitals staffed with professional medical personnel for non-emergency medical care.

Language and religion

Kenya, much like Tanzania, adopts English as its official language and Swahili as its national language. These two languages serve as the primary means of communication in schools, commerce, and government affairs. While there are approximately 42 ethnic languages spoken across Kenya, particularly in rural regions, the majority of individuals learn and utilize these languages from a young age or during preschool. However, this linguistic diversity may not be as prevalent among children raised in urban areas.

Kenya’s local languages are deeply rooted in both Bantu and Nilo-Saharan language families. Among the Bantu languages are Kikuyu, Kamba, and Kimeru, while Dholuo, Kalenjin, and Maasai represent a few of the Nilotic languages spoken in the country. This linguistic diversity reflects Kenya’s rich cultural heritage and contributes to its vibrant tapestry of traditions and customs.

Currency and cards

US dollars are widely accepted at most establishments in major cities and towns, although local currency is necessary for smaller shops. For up-to-date FX rates, visit www.oanda.com/currency/converter. ATMs are readily available in major towns like Nairobi and Mombasa. International credit cards, predominantly Visa and Mastercard, are commonly accepted at upscale lodges, hotels, restaurants, national park headquarters, and increasingly by retailers, though a 10% surcharge is typical.

When carrying US cash, ensure it consists of newer bills (from 2013 onwards). Exchange or use your local currency before departing, as changing it overseas can be challenging. Notify your credit card company and bank of your travel plans and ensure you know your Credit Card PIN for transactions and ATM withdrawals. Inquire about the fees for using ATMs abroad, as most banks impose charges. Additionally, be aware that many banks enforce daily withdrawal limits; consult your bank for details on these limitations.

Communication

Most city hotels in Kenya offer internet, telephone, and fax facilities, although these typically incur a charge. While having a SIM card and mobile phone can be helpful, it does not guarantee connectivity as some areas still have limited network coverage. European and American mobile phones with a roaming agreement will work, but the charges are significantly higher than using a local SIM card.

Kenya’s country code is +254, and the country is 3 hours ahead of GMT.

Getting Around Kenya

For safety and space reasons, the baggage allowances for flights with smaller bush planes are significantly lower than those of international airlines. Air Kenya permits 15 kgs of luggage per passenger, including hand luggage, while Kenya Airways allows one piece of checked luggage per person, weighing up to 23 kgs. Soft bags are recommended as hard-shell suitcases may not fit through the luggage hold of light aircraft. Please contact us for specific luggage restrictions imposed by your airline.

Safari lodges and camps in Africa provide daily laundry services, often free of charge. This convenience allows you to pack less, making it easier to adhere to the following luggage limits.

If your luggage exceeds the weight limit or is too large to fit into the luggage hold of light safari aircraft, you may be asked to re-pack or book additional seats or a private charter at extra cost to accommodate your luggage. Road conditions in the cities and major towns of East Africa are generally good and paved. Most roads from cities to national parks and reserves are also paved. However, roads in the bush are mostly gravel and can be bumpy, although they are well maintained in most national parks.

Popular Trips to Kenya

Kenya & Tanzania Luxury Safari

Kenya & Tanzania Luxury Safari

14 Days

  from

$14000

 / person

The 14-days Kenya and Tanzania Luxury Safari is a mesmerizing adventure blending wildlife exploration and cultural immersion. Beginning and…

Classic Masai Mara Safari

Classic Masai Mara Safari

3 Days

  from

$4500

 / person

Discover our 3-Days Classic Masai Mara Safari which featuring Masai Mara National Reserve. Discover Masai Mara the most famous…

Samburu - Aberdare

Kenya Off the Beaten Path

8 Days

  from

$6200

 / person

Go on for 2 nights in the Samburu and prepare yourself for a rewarding cultural experience with the local…

Kenya & Tanzania Big 5 Safari

Kenya & Tanzania Big 5 Safari

7 Days

  from

$8000

 / person

This 6-days Kenya and Tanzania big 5 Safari is the best choice for travelers who wish to visit these…

Highlights of Kenya & Great Migration Safari

Highlights of Kenya & Great Migration Safari

6 Days

  from

$6200

 / person

The perfect safari itinerary for all wanting to see the highlight of Kenya in less than a week, our…

Gorilla Trekking

Masai Mara & Gorilla Trekking Safari

9 Days

  from

$6500

 / person

Begin your East Africa Adventure with our 8-Days Masai Mara and Gorilla Safari, in the dense cloud forest of…

Best Places To Visit

Samburu National Reserve

Samburu National Reserve, located in northern Kenya, is a wildlife-rich area characterized by its stunning landscapes and unique

Learn More
Lake Nakuru National Park

Lake Nakuru National Park, located near the town of Nakuru in Kenya, covers approximately 188 square kilometers. It

Learn More
Nairobi National Park

Nairobi National Park, established in 1946, is a unique wildlife reserve located just 7 kilometers from Nairobi’s city

Learn More
Tsavo East & West National Park

Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks together form one of the largest protected wildlife areas in the

Learn More
Masai Mara

The Maasai Mara, located in southwestern Kenya, is a world-renowned wildlife reserve that spans about 1,510 square kilometers.

Learn More
Ol Pejeta Conservancy

Ol Pejeta Conservancy, located in Laikipia County, Kenya, is a renowned wildlife conservancy and sanctuary that spans approximately

Learn More

Things To Do

Live your safari dream on your Kenya tour with us – where the Masai Mara, the Great Migration, vast savannas, and untouched beaches await. Click the link below to explore our curated list of the top ten highlights, attractions, and activities to experience in Kenya.

Safety

While Kenya is widely regarded as a safe travel destination, it is advisable to travel in a group or with a local tour guide rather than independently. To ensure your safety during your visit, our experts have curated some essential guidelines for traveling in Kenya.

Animals

Kenya’s wildlife safaris offer an unparalleled opportunity to witness some of the most iconic animals in their natural habitats.

From the Blog

Mackinders Camp - Point Lenana-Chogoria Bandas

When is the Best Time to Climb Mount Kenya?

Climbing Mount Kenya is an adventure that promises breathtaking views, diverse wildlife, and a unique alpine experience in the…

Mt. Kenya Naro Moru Route

What Should I Pack for a Mount Kenya Climb?

What Should I Pack for a Mount Kenya Climb? Climbing Mount Kenya is an exhilarating adventure, offering trekkers stunning…

kenya

Kenya or Tanzania: Which Wilderness Safari is the One for You?

Imagine venturing into the heart of Africa, where the vast savannah stretches out before you and the silhouettes of…

What Our Guests Say

Dzigbordi A
Dzigbordi A
2024-05-27
Unforgettable trip to Serengeti with African Diurnal Safari It was a fantastic trip especially with my escort driver. He’s very patient and makes sure I see what I want. It interesting see these wild animals in their own habitat. I was able to see big 3 out of the big 3; Elephants, lion and buffalo. I saw cheetah too so that will replace my leopard, unfortunately I couldn’t see Rhino. There were numerous animals at Serengati aside the big 5.
diakiss d
diakiss d
2024-04-06
During our trip, we saw many famous animal, like chiter, elephants, lion, zebra buffalo, giraffe and many others animals The trip were really amazing and took many pictures and videos and we enjoyed a lot it was a great experiences that we are not going to forget.
Alessandro S
Alessandro S
2024-04-03
Absolutely recommended Great experience absolutely recommended! Great driver too 💪🏻 we saw all the animals we wished to see! Everything was planned by African Diurnal so we could enjoy the most without any stress in planning
Deogratias E
Deogratias E
2023-10-11
The fabulous African Safari Tour in Northern Tanzania it was an African safari that included my wife and I and another couple (our friends). We started in Arusha city, went to Seronera, Ngorongoro Crater, Olduvai Gorge, Serengeti, and then ended in Mwanza city. It was a very wonderful experience. My wife and I and our two grown sons did almost a very similar safari tour in June 2019 by the same company and we also experienced the same excellent/superior service. From hotel choices, services in the tour vehicle, meals, etc., it was fabulous
Rachael p
Rachael p
2023-09-12
Remarkable Lifetime Safari Experience! I had an unforgettable safari with Lameck's team. The tailored made itinerary for me as solo woman traveller, quick and easy communication and well controlled within my budget with quality accommodations! My driver Samson was a great guide and he knows everything about wildlife and parks, within five days I was lucky to see all the big five up close. I would definitely recommend African Diurnal Safaris to anyone looking for remarkable lifetime safari experience.
Alexandra T
Alexandra T
2023-05-19
Best experience ever This was an amazing experience! Our guide knew exactly where all the animals are and we were very lucky to see all of them! We will never forget this trip. What a beautiful region. Long way to drive from kilimanjaro airport to seregenti park.
Grace P
Grace P
2023-05-07
Amazing! Wonderful experience! My tour guide taught me so much about the Serengeti and the animals that live inside. We had an amazing picnic lunch under a tree in the Serengeti while watching animals graze in front of us. This was one of the best experiences of my life and I highly recommend!
Cfbaur
Cfbaur
2022-12-16
A great experience. I only had one day to do a safari. This company did a great job in providing a wonderful Serengeti experience. Lameck, the guide was very good at finding most of the big five animals including getting about 6 meters (20 feet) away from three lionesses feeding on a recent kill.
Brendkay
Brendkay
2022-11-16
Amazing 7days luxury Safari with great Safari Company Me and my husband had the best times and best organised safari from the beginning when arranging the trip as well as payments. Everything was great and our guide Lameck was the best ever, he is very skilled and well informed. He showed us the most incredible places and gave us great information about every animal, birds and plant we saw. He knew the roads very well and took very good care of us. When it came to lunch he knew how to set a wonderful table and pampered us well enough. We had a very exciting adventure with Lameck. Wonderful trip that I recommend to all who love to see the fascinating wildlife in Tanzania. Thank you African Diurnal Safaris and thank you so much Lameck for this great wonderful experience. Will definitely recommend this trip to my friends.
David M
David M
2022-11-15
Sensational safari We enjoyed a great 4 day Safari. Our friendly drivers were knowledgeable and helpful. Starting from the western side meant that our first day was extra special as we did not see any other vehicles but very many animals.