Kenya

The diversity of game in Kenya is simply astounding. From the big five to the small five, Kenya’s game parks, reserves and other wildlife protection areas host some of the wildest game thus the reason why this is home for the safari.

Kenya

Capital City: Nairobi

Kenya Key Facts

  • Flag

  • Size

    581, 309 km²
    49th largest

  • Population

    45, 010, 056

  • Kenya Location

    Africa

  • Travel Insurance

    For Kenya travel insurance, select Worldwide Region

  • International Calling Codes

    254

  • Cities

    Nairobi
    Mombasa
    Kisumu

  • Language

    English
    Swahili

  • Religions

    82.5% Christianity
    11.1% Islam
    2.4% No religion

  • Currency

    Kenyan shilling

    Get current exchange rates from

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  • Driving

    In Kenya they drive on the left side of the road

Tourism website: 

magicalkenya.com

When is the best time to visit?

The best time to see lots of wildlife in Kenya is between June and October, which is also the dry season. 

Transport Information

Airports (50 domestic, 2 international), bus, highways, ports and harbours, trains.

World Heritage Sites

  1. Fort Jesus, Mombasa, which was built by the Portuguese between 1593 and 1596 in the port of Mombasa
  2. Lamu Old Town, which is the oldest and best-preserved Swahili settlement in East Africa
  3. Sacred Mijikenda Kaya Forests, an area extending over 200km and containing fortified villages of the Mijikenda people
  4. Kenya Lake System in the Great Rift Valley, an exceptionally beautiful area that is home to flamingos, liosn, black rhinso, and 13 endangered bird species
  5. Lake Turkana National Parks, home to the most saline lake in East Africa and the largest desert lake in the world
  6. Mount Kenya National Park/Natural Forest, which is one of the most impressive landscapes in East Africa
  • Average Annual Temperature

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    22 degrees

  • Average Annual Rainfall

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    858 mm

Climate Information

Kenya is home to several distinct climatic zones: along the coast it has mainly a tropical climate, whereas inland areas, particularly to the north, are have an arid climate. While you can get by in shorts for most of the year, evenings and nights can be chilly, particularly in arid areas.  Kenya is also has two rain seasons: the short one, which lasts from October until December, and the long one, which lasts from March until June. Temperatures are still high though, and the rainfall can be described as pleasantly tropical. The hottest month of the year are February and March, and the coldest are the winter months of July until mid-August. 

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Official Holidays

  • January 1 - New Year's Day
  • March/April - Good Friday
  • March/April - Easter Monday
  • May 1 - Labor Day
  • June 1 - Madaraka Day
  • July 19 - Eid al-Fitr
  • October 20 - Mashujaa Day
  • December 12 - Jamhuri Day
  • December 25 - Christmas Day
  • December 26 - Boxing Day
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Why Visit Kenya?

Kenya has access to some of the best game viewing areas in Africa, such as the Maasai Mara and Lake Turkana. The famous Wildebeest migration happens in Kenya as well, which has been a major attraction for film makers and tourists alike.

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Things To Do In Kenya

  • Visit the old town in Mombasa
  • See Africa's big five in a game reserve
  • relax on the stunning southern beaches such as Diani
  • Go diving around Mombasa
  • See the famous Maasai Mara Game Reserve
  • Hike on Mount Kenya
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Travel Tips For Kenya

  • Make sure to bring a torch or headlamp, you will look like a travelling pro!
  • Bring a jacket for the evenings as temperatures tend to drop quite a bit with nightfall.
  • Haggle, haggle, haggle; seriously, it is a way of life in Africa!
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Kenyan Food

Traditional Kenyan food tends to be simple, but filling. The main staple in this region of Africa is maize flour, which is consumed in a variety of forms. Ugali, a famous Kenyan dish, sees maize flour cooked to a dough like consistency and served with vegetables or meat and sauce. Other staples include yams, sweet potatoes as well as chapattis, which is an Asian unleavened flatbread.

While traditional Kenyan cooking may not be the most exciting cuisine in the world, Kenya does offer some of the best selection of meats and tropical fruits you can find. It is well worth trying some of the local game meats, such as Kudu or Warthog meat, which tend to be a lot milder than European or North American game meats. The selection of tropical fruits available in Kenya is also noteworthy, with lots of avocadoes, mangoes, and passion fruit everywhere. As Kenya is the seat of most international aid organizations, you will also find a wide range of very good ethnic cuisines around Nairobi, raining from very good Chinese to Ethiopian to standard Western cuisine. 

Kenya Travel Safety and Warnings

Kenya does warrant a certain amount of attention when travelling, if only to keep out of trouble. The larger cities do have their share of muggings and robberies, and should you run into any trouble the best policy is to hand over your belongings. A good bet is to dress down a little bit and avoid carrying any fancy and expensive equipment of any sort. Also, make sure to keep your belongings on your person (this includes any backpack or travelling bags), even when sitting down in a cafe or restaurant.

Avoid walking around Mombasa or Nairobi at night. Kenyans are very friendly, however if someone starts following you must be firm and direct! The north of the country, which also happens to be one of the most beautiful areas in the world, is sadly unsafe for travelling, as Somalia is just next door and some of the resorts have reported seeing Pirate parties in this region. It is advisable to have travel insurance for Kenya.

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About Kenya

Widely believe to be the place where the human species originated from, Kenya offers spectacular wildlife viewing, beautiful beaches, and bustling cities. Kenya is one of the most powerful economies of Africa, and Nairobi is home to most international organizations operating in Africa, making for an interesting mix of different cultures. Make sure you have your safari hat ready, ensure your travel insurance for Kenya is up-to-date, and explore 'magical Kenya'.

With only two international airports, travellers either come into Mombasa or Nairobi. Both cities, especially if it is your first trip to Africa, can be a little bit of a shock at first. Kenya is marked by big contrasts:  you will find beautiful colonial houses next to slums and asphalt roads next to a barely-there dirt roads. In short, Kenya offers an interesting and educational travelling experience on many different levels!

Nairobi is Kenya's capital and its economic motor. Most major international aid agencies have their headquarters in this city, and you can hear an interesting mix of languages in many restaurants and bars. Nairobi is also home to many excellent ethnic restaurants, ranging from Chinese to Ethiopian, and these restaurants are worth exploring if you have a couple of days in Nairobi.

Mombasa is the other big city in Kenya and a very popular tourist attraction. Downtown offers nice walks, and the Old Town around Ft Jesus is fun to explore. Be aware that the locals like to attach themselves to groups and 'guide' them to various shops. In those cases it is best to be friendly but firm and let the nice person know that you don't need help. Mombasa is also known for its many beautiful beaches and lagoons: Diani beach, located in the south of Mombasa, is a popular tourist magnet and the famous '40 thieves' beach bar is quite a vibey place to hang out. For an amazing dining experience head to Ali Barbour's Cave, which is a restaurant built into a coastal cave that also happens to serve excellent food. It is advised to have Kenya travel insurance before embarking on any explorations!

Most travellers to Kenya however do not come to visit the big cities. Kenya is known for its many spectacular national parks and absolutely stunning nature sites. Between Nairobi and Mombasa you have Tsavo, made famous through the blockbuster movie 'The Ghost and the Darkness'. Tsavo is a spectacular sight, not only in terms of natural vistas, but also for the feat of railway engineering. 

The Masai Mara is probably one the most famous National Parks in the world and the game viewing here is absolutely amazing. With the right safari guide you stand a good chance of seeing Africa's famous Big Five (lion, buffalo, rhino, elephant, leopard) in one single trip. More than anything, this area is known for its many large cats, which are truly impressive to see in the wild. There are some operators offering walking safaris and they are a wonderful way of getting close to the wildlife. Make sure you have travel insurance for Kenya before starting any walking trips though.

Starting around march each year, the Masai Mara is also home to one of the biggest spectacles on earth, and one of the 'Seven New Wonders of the World': the Great Wildebeest Migration. Over the course of several weeks, approximately 1.5million wildebeest as well as 500,000 other antelopes and zebras, will set forth from the Serengeti and head north into the Masai Mara. If you are lucky enough to be in the region at just the right time, you truly feel as if you are in a nature documentary by the BBC, the only thing missing is David Attenborough. This migration is truly a once in a lifetime spectacle!

Siboli Natonal Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located in the north and offers amazing bird viewing around Lake Turkana. If wildlife viewing is not active enough for you, head to Mount Kenya National Park, located in the Southern Rift Valley. Mount Kenya offers some great hiking areas, challenging trekking, as well as some spectacular climbing routes. It is a common first stop for many people before they head to Tanzania to walk up Mount Kilimanjaro. Travel insurance for Kenya as well as medical coverage is a must before starting a trek up Mount Kenya.

Unfortunately, Kenya does have its fair share of crime and travellers are cautioned to be careful. In Nairobi and Mombasa it pays to keep more than just an eye on your belongings, make sure they are always on you, not next to you on a chair. Nairobi is also famous for night-time robberies, so it is best not to meander around the city after dark. The north of Kenya, with its proximity to Somalia, has seen pirate parties and should generally be avoided. It is best to have Kenya travel insurance before going to visit this spectacular country.

 

 
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