Kenya

Everything You Need to Know

Many people dream of embarking on a safari adventure in Africa with up-close observations of  majestic wildlife meandering across the grassy plains, breathtaking scenery, magnificent lakes and an ever welcoming people. If this remarkable and unforgettable journey is for you, then Kenya is definitely the place to go. It is the home of the African safari, boasting an abundance of amazing natural spectacles, animals, and activities.

 

With an organized expedition and an expert guide, there is plenty to see and experience throughout your stay in this beautiful country. Need to know more? Here is a quick Q&A rundown of everything you need to know about Kenya as an African safari destination:

Wildlife in Kenya

Where is Kenya?

Kenya lies on the east coast of Africa, bordering the Indian Ocean to the southeast. Its neighboring countries include Uganda, Ethiopia, Somalia, Tanzania, and South Sudan. With an area of 224,961 square miles (582,650 sq. km.), the country is about twice the size of Nevada in the US and somewhat larger than Metropolitan France.

Kenya has a tropical climate and an estimated population of 46 million people as of 2015. Official languages are Swahili and English, but there are a number of indigenous languages mainly Luhya and Kikuyu. Its national capital is the vibrant city of Nairobi, while its chief port is Mombasa.

See Top Parks in Kenya

How Do I Get There?

Most visitors get to Kenya by air. Several major airlines, including Kenya’s own, Kenya Airways offer flights from Europe, the United States, Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and of course other African countries.

Kenya Airways, Emirates Airlines, KLM, British Airways, and Qatar Airways. All flights go from the United States to Nairobi through Europe, so you will have to change planes. During the low season, return tickets from New York to Nairobi can cost as little as US$1100.

Kenya Airways, Swiss Airlines, Qatar Airways, Emirates Airlines, KLM, Virgin Atlantic, and British Airways are the most popular carriers. Most flights are non-stop and will land at either of the International Airports.

Kenya Airways, Qatar Airways, Air India, and Emirates Airlines, are popular airlines that fly Asia, Australia, and the Middle East.

The most common point of entry is the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi while flights can also come in at its second international Airport, the Moi International Airport located in Mombasa. On getting there, your local safari tour operator should have arranged pick-up and all further transportation as part of the safari-package.

Passport, Visa and Other Entry Requirements

Entry requirements are subject to change, so be sure to contact your local Kenya embassy for any updates. General requirements include:

 

  • A passport valid for at least six months.
  • Passports must have full visa page for endorsement — single entry visas are available on arrival for most nationalities.
  • Visas may also be obtained in advance from Kenyan high commissions and embassies, or through the online visa-application portal of the Kenyan Department of Immigration Services.
  • A yellow fever vaccination certificate is highly recommended from those coming in from a country with risks of yellow fever.

POSSIBLE TOURISM BARRIERS

  • Post-stigma of being an unsafe destination due to the widely-covered political unrest in the past
  • Huge crowds during peak seasons. Some travelers experience seeing more vehicles than animals at some point.
  • High malaria risk in all areas including game parks.

IS KENYA THE BEST PLACE TO SEE THE BIG 5?

The Maasai Mara triangle is one of the best places to witness up close the majesty of the Big 5 in their natural habitat. These are the lions, leopards, elephants, cape buffaloes, and rhinos (both black and white). Lake Nakuru and the Lewa conservancy also play host to these magnificent beasts.

WHY KENYA OVER THE OTHER SAFARI DESTINATIONS?

Africa is beautiful continent and is home to some of the best travel destinations in the world. Other countries like Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo DRC also have fantastic safaris, so here’s why you should  choose Kenya over them:

Affordability

A favorable exchange rate against many international currencies means your safari trip will be reasonably inexpensive.

STABILITY

Kenya is one of the most advanced East African countries in terms of infrastructure, economic and socio-political stability.

EASE OF TRAVEL

You can even get you visa when you arrive. Accommodation options are also plentiful, ranging from budget types to all out luxurious.

FAVORABLE CLIMATE

Kenya is a tropical paradise! It is sunny all year round with just the right amount of rainfall to maintain its lush landscapes and give water to its wealth of wildlife.

NATURAL WONDERS

Home to a couple of World UNESCO Heritage Sites, Kenya also hosts the Great Migration – the greatest spectacle on earth.

GRACIOUS PEOPLE AND A REMARKABLE CULTURE

Kenya is home to some of the most colorful tribes in Africa including the Maasai, Kikuyu, Turkana and Somali among others, bringing you a sense of authentic African culture.

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