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Kenya Travel Information

Kenya is situated right along the equator, on the eastern coast of the African continent. Its coastal region is on the southeast, and to the east lays Somalia. Ethiopia is to the north, the Sudan to the northwest, and Uganda directly to the west. The southwestern border of the country is marked by Lake Victoria, and southward lays Tanzania. Kenya's geography is marvellously varied. While much of northeastern Kenya is a flat, bush-covered plain, the remainder of the country encompasses pristine beaches, scenic highlands and lake regions, the Great Rift Valley, and the magnificent Mount Kenya.

Population: 44.35 million

Capital: Nairobi

Visa and Passport: A visa and a Canadian passport valid 6 months after return are required to enter Kenya - SUBJECT TO CHANGE - For detailed information, please visit www.travel.gc.ca and www.kenyahighcommission.ca.

Time Zones: GMT + 3

Language: Kenya is a multilingual country. Its official languages are Swahili and English. There are a total of 62 languages spoken in Kenya, most being African Languages with a minority of Middle-Eastern and Asian languages spoken by descendants of settlers.

Money: The unit of currency is the Kenya shilling (KSH). Each shilling is divided into 100 cents. Notes come in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 500 KSH. Coins come in 5, 10, 50 cents and 1 KSH. Foreign currency or travelers checks must be declared on a declaration form when entering the country. You are not allowed to take out more foreign currency than you bring in. Foreign currency can be exchanged at banks and many hotels.

Electricity: The electricity in Kenya is 220/240 Volts, alternating at 50 cycles per second. If you travel to Kenya with a device that does not accept 230 Volts at 50 Hertz, you will need a voltage converter. The plugs are 3-point square.

Climate: Kenya enjoys a tropical climate. It is hot and humid at the coast, temperate inland and very dry in the north and northeast parts of the country. There is plenty of sunshine all the year round and summer clothes are worn throughout the year. However, it is usually cool at night and early in the morning. The long rains occur from April to June and short rains from October to December. The rainfall is sometimes heavy and when it does come, it often falls in the afternoons and evenings. The hottest period is from February to March and coldest in July to August. The annual migration of wildlife between Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and Maasai Mara National Park in Kenya takes place between June and September. The migration of almost two million wildebeest, zebras and other species is nature's greatest spectacle on earth.

Clothing : Clothing should be comfortable and casual on safaris. Light weight and light color clothing is suitable for the bush. We recommend long sleeves for protection for mosquitoes in the evening and sun protection during the day. Certain restaurants and hotels may require smart casual dress and a tie for the men. At high altitudes, where early mornings and evenings can be chilly, warm sweaters, socks and comfortable shoes are recommended. Most hotels and lodges offer laundry services, therefore limit your luggage to a soft, and preferably water proof duffel bag for safari. We strongly recommend that luggage is limited to one piece per person. All city hotels provide secure storage for left luggage.

Food: The multicultural heritage of Kenya is the basis for a wide range of gourmet foods. Traditional African dishes are supplemented by English and Indian fare. Kenya offers an assortment of quality beef and seafood dishes, supplemented by an array of tropical fruits and vegetables. Portions tend to be generous, and elaborate buffets are common at hotels and lodges. Even the more expensive restaurants are reasonable by American and European standards.

Tipping: Tipping is not included and is completely at your own discretion. Our general recommendation is to tip moderately. Below is just a guideline for tips per person:

  • 10% of your bill at restaurants
  • $USD 1 to porters
  • $USD 7-10 per person / day for driver/guide

Health: The Public Health Agency of Canada strongly recommends that your travel plans include contacting a travel medicine clinic or physician six to eight weeks before departure. Based on your individual risk assessment, a health care professional can determine your need for immunizations and/or preventive medication and advise you on precautions to avoid disease. Travelers are reminded to ensure that their routine (childhood) immunizations (e.g., tetanus, diphtheria, polio, and measles) are up to date.

Created for information purpose only. Information is subject to change at anytime. For additional information, visit the, official tourist board website of Kenya: www.magicalkenya.com .