Kenya Safari Travel Information

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All You Need To Know When You Are Planning A Kenyan Safari Holiday

 

Why Visit Kenya?

Kenya is one of the leading luxury safari destinations. At Cheetah Safaris, we will make sure your expectations are met and go over board. 

Visit the 7th Wonder of the world, Masai Mara National Reserve and witness the Wildebeest Migration, go to Lake Nakuru for the Lesser and Greater Flamingos, Go to Amboseli National Park for the Hug Jumbos and Mt. Kilimanjaro.

There is nothing that beats our service delivery, from our Professional Safari Guides who you spend your time with on safari, or the Safari Expert you get in touch with while planning your dream safari.

What To Expect When You Arrive In Kenya

Once you land in Kenya, A Cheetah Safaris Representative, Will be waiting for you at the Main Airports, Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, or Moi International Airport. This is accompanied by a brief introduction and a small welcome gift to Kenya, and a cold drink to Quench your thirst after a long haul flight. You will be transferred to your Nairobi Hotel and Have dinner with our representative as they brief you in detail on what your safari entails.

To get more details, please reach our Safari Expert who are available 24/7

Kenya Is Home to Astonishing Diversity

There are over 70 distinct ethnic groups in Kenya, ranging in size from about seven million Kikuyu to about 500 El Molo who live on the shore of Lake Turkana. Kenya's ethnic groups can be divided into three broad linguistic groups Bantu, Nilotic and Cushite. While no ethnic group constitutes a majority of Kenya's citizens, the largest ethnic group, the Kikuyu, makes up only 20% of the nation's total population, The five largest - Kikuyu, Luo, Luhya, Kamba and Kalenjin- account for 70%. 97.58% of Kenya's citizens are affiliated with its 32 major indigenous groups. Of these, the Kikuyu, who were most actively involved in the independence and Mau Mau movements, are disproportionately represented in public life, government, business and the professions. The Luo people are mainly traders and artisans. The Kamba are well represented in defense and law enforcement. The Kalenjin are mainly farmers. While a recognized asset, Kenya's ethnic diversity has also led to disputes. Interethnic rivalries and resentment over Kikuyu dominance in politics and commerce have hindered national integration.

Meet The Maasai, Samburu & More Locals While on Safari

You Will Mostly be interacting with the Maasai, Samburu, Kalenjin and Kamba People, as they occupy areas close to Kenya's Major Parks and Reserves.

Sopa Amboseli Lodge

Kenyan Immigration has instituted a strict visa policy whereby all visitors are strongly encouraged to obtain visas by using website: www.evisa.go.ke, though visas are available upon arrival at international ports of entry including Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

  • A passport with at least two blank pages, six months’ validity, and a visa are required to enter Kenya. 
  • Single-entry visas are available online and upon arrival at Kenyan airports; however, Kenyan Immigration plans to end visas upon arrival in the future.
  • Multiple-entry visas must be applied for prior to traveling to Kenya.
  • Obtain the latest information on visas, as well as any additional details regarding entry requirements, from the Kenyan Visa Website, or Kenya Embassy or Consulate of your Country 
  • You should have proof of yellow fever immunizations, or you may be denied entry.

Mobile Phones and Internet Services

Kenya is among the leading countries in Africa in terms of connectivity and communication. It has the fastest internet services, putting Kenya at an 80% connectivity level. When you visit Kenya, there are some of the best communication companies that we recommend you buy your mobile phone sim card for easy communication. See below: 

  1. Safaricom is ranked the best with high connectivity 
  2. Airtel is ranked 2nd in Kenya 
  3. Telkom Kenya ranked 3rd 

Language

Kenya is found in East Africa where Swahili is the prominent official language. Although English is spoken widely, Swahili is widely known and spoken by many people in Kenya. The literacy rate in Kenya is high making it easy to communicate. 

Our Professional Safari Guides are conversant with Swahili, English, French, Italian, Spanish.

Kenya has won many awards for having some of the best accommodations in Africa and the world. Kenya has some of the best Luxury Camps, Lodge, Beach Houses and hotels, and Hotels.

Ask for our Exclusive Bush Accommodation 

Most of our Bush Accommodations are exclusive and small giving you intimate exposure with nature. The rooms are well furnished with queen and king size beds. Some have normal solar-powered showers and others are bucket showers. Most accommodations in African bushes are temporary and that makes them tented camps. 

Kenya Local Times 

Kenya is located +3 hours from the Greenwich Mean Time, East of the African Continent. It Borders Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Somalia, and South Sudan.

Daylight Hours

Sunrise is around 06:30 hours and sunset at about 19:00 hours. This varies slightly, depending on the location within Kenya and the time of year.

 

Seasons in Kenya

 

Jan to March (High Season)

It's one of the most preferred season for guests to visit Kenya for Safaris. Best time to spot the big cats, and other wildlife in Kenya. Its also known to be a bit dry and hot, but perfect for summer visits. At this time wildlife are somehow equally distributed in the major parks, and easy to spot them.

A visit to the Samburu Region will expose you to the elephants of the North, the Special Five, and other wildlife and bird species. Also, it's the best time to visit Amboseli National Park and witness the beautiful backdrop snow-capped Mt. Kilimanjaro, as you enjoy your game drives sporting the huge jumbos of Amboseli.

A Combined Kenya Tanzania Safari is the best combo to add more of your experiences. Tanzania, in the South of Serengeti and Ngorongoro, A conservation Region Called Ndutu, hosts millions of Wildebeests that come to give birth. This season is called Calving Season. Later Enjoy your holiday of 5 days at the Kenyan or Zanzibar Coast.

April to June (Green / Low Season)

The long rains in Kenya Start in late March to June. Followed with cold-weather mostly during the month of June. The season is best to sight a lot of wildlife in Kenya, seeing big cats, special five, and the Big Five. There are less people during this time and convenient for your exclusive treatment in the wilderness.
Some of our Best safaris during this season include: 
8 Days Cheetah Kenya Safari
12 Days Pumba Kenya Safari 
4 Days Masai Mara and Lake Nakuru Safari 

July to October (Peak Season, Wildebeest Season)

One of the best season is when you know the 7th wonder of the world is happening in the Masai Mara, the Wildebeest Migration. The wildebeest migrate every July to October in huge numbers crossing the great rivers of Mara, Sand River, Talek. This season starts cold in the month of July, and Aug gets so hot and dry till September and short rains start in October.

Spot the best of the big five, big cats in action, and the special five from Samburu. The big cats such as lions hunt in plenty and crocodiles feed on crossing wildebeest in the Mara River.

Its high in guests visits here in Masai Mara but can be extended to Serengeti Tanzania. It can be joined with other major National Park in Kenya such as Amboseli National Park, Samburu National Reserve, Lake Nakuru National Park among many. Spotting the Greater and Lesser Flamingos in Lake Nakuru and Lake Bogoria Parks.

Our Experts advise you book safaris as early as 6 months or beyond if you are looking to travel within these months due to the high demand for witnessing the wildebeest crossing.

Some of the Tours you can enjoy during this season are: 
12 days Kenya Tanzania Combined Safari
17 Days Kenya Tanzania Combined Safari
11 Days Kenya Safari

November to December (High Season)

As Christmas approaches, most people find it easier to travel this time of the year. Although the short rains always extend to Christmas and New year. Best season for family safaris and beach safaris. 

Visiting the major parks with beach complimentary visit extends your experiences with a lot to spot and indulge with. 

Explore some of our Safari with beach extensions:
12 Days Kenya Safari
11 Days Classic Kenya Safari
5 Days Kenya Masai Mara and Lake Nakuru Safari

There's much more you can experience while on safari, including some of the best safari activities.

 In case you would want a customized experience, please talk to our 24/7 available safari experts, to help you extensively. Fill in the forms in our contact and get responded immediately. 

Outside of the major towns electricity supplies in rural areas are provided by generators or solar cells. As such most lodges and camps are only able to provide lighting/power to guest rooms at set times in the morning and afternoon. Most lodges do not have in room electrical sockets but charging facilities will be available, so please ask at reception or your guide. Please bear in mind that solar power is weather dependent and at times insufficient sunshine may mean lighting is limited. When generators are running power will be available but in other instances alternative lighting is normally provided e.g. storm lanterns or torches.

The electricity supply in Kenya is 220/240 volts/AC50Hz. Plug sockets do vary and we advise visitors to take multi-adaptors to cope with 3 square pin sockets (UK) and some places may use 2 round pin sockets (European).

Kenya Shilling 

The local currency in Kenya is the Kenyan Shilling (KES; symbol KSh) = 100 cents (1 Dollar). Notes are in denominations of KSh1,000, 500, 200, 100, and 50. Coins are in denominations of KSh40, 20, 10, and 5. Currency can be exchanged at the major banks, bureaux de change, or authorized hotels. The banks at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi and Moi International Airport, Mombasa have 24-hour exchange services. The easiest currencies to exchange are US Dollars, Pounds Sterling, and Euros. Banking hours are Monday – Friday 0900-1500, Saturday 0900-1100, closed Sundays. Banks in Mombasa and the coastal areas open and close half an hour earlier. The banks at international airports are open 24 hours every day. Bureaux de Change has longer opening hours and in the cities, they are often open on Sundays.

Spending Money

As most meals, park fees, guiding fees, etc are covered in the cost of your safari we generally recommend allowing approximately US$10-15 per person per day for spending money on drinks, souvenirs, and crafts items. 

You may wish to take extra funds to make contributions or donations to organizations that we encourage clients to visit. Donations and contributions are entirely voluntary.

We recommend you change your money upon arrival, as it is more difficult to change money whilst on safari. This is easily done at the international airports (Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi and Moi International Airport, Mombasa) or at the major hotels which are authorized. 

It is preferable to travel with cash rather than traveler's cheques or credit cards (cards are useful as an emergency back–up), as often it is only possible to use these in main cities. Cash is easily exchanged in Kenya. We recommend that you carry a mix of cash denominations, US Dollars (USD$) are easily exchanged and many places now accept Pounds sterling GBP£ and Euros EUR€.

Never keep all of your cash in the same place, keep it in different pockets, and split it up between different bags.

If you are carrying USD$, please take bills dated 2009 or later as earlier dated bills can be very difficult to change and may not be accepted (as well as torn and dirty bills – the crisper the better!). You will get a better exchange rate for $50 or $100 USD$ bills. A number of low denomination USD$ bills are useful for tipping although some locals in remote areas may prefer Kenyan Shillings, as sometimes it’s difficult for them to change USD$.

American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are all widely accepted. Major hotels now also accept payment by credit card, as do major safari companies, travel agencies and restaurants. Almost every bank now has an ATM and in the cities they are increasingly being installed at petrol stations. All ATMs will only dispense Kenyan Shillings. Please note: Where credit cards are accepted, the payments will normally be recorded in US Dollars, regardless of the card’s default currency. Most small shops will not accept payment other than cash, and card use is restricted to major banks, hotels and restaurants. It is wiser not to expect to use one at all. 

Dont Use your Card frequently, try use cash to settle small bills and payment of small services you might get.

Always seek medical advice before traveling; please consult your Doctor who will be able to advise you on required vaccinations and anti-malarial prophylaxis. 

In the UK we recommended visiting the ‘Fit for Travel’ website. In the USA, we suggest consulting CDC (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention).

Please bring any personal medication required. Anti-malaria tablets and mosquito repellents are essential.

All visitors will be required to show their Yellow Fever inoculation certificate before entering the country. Drink bottled or boiled water only. We will be providing you with distilled mineral water while on safari. Check out our Sustainable Safari Policy

We provide Evacuation covers for emergencies for Medical services for every safari one book within East Africa. Medical Services, especially in rural areas, which are basic so it is essential you have appropriate travel insurance with adequate medical cover, air repatriation with a 24-hours contact telephone number for emergencies.  Securing the necessary travel insurance for your safari is your own responsibility.

For any Medical Emergencies while on Safari, Talk to us through our emergency number +254756888893

Insurance and Travel Covers

It is a condition of booking that all clients must have, and must demonstrate to the company prior to their departure, adequate insurance for the duration of the tour.

Proof of the following items of insurance is required on booking; cancellation or curtailment of your trip, medical expenses, repatriation, loss of luggage, personal injury, adventure activities such as white-water rafting, tracking wild animals, theft of personal belongings.

Please report any theft, trip disruption immediately to your safari guide during your trip and also in writing to Cheetah Safaris immediately on return after your safari before leaving for your home bound flight.

For any Emergencies please reach our team via +254756888893

Kenya has had a progressive and democratic government for many years. Clients should take the usual precautions when travelling abroad in unfamiliar surroundings and we recommend that clients take a taxi rather than walk at night. Please use your common sense and do not draw attention to cameras, video equipment, jewelry, etc. Do not flaunt money and always use safes when provided at hotels/lodges. If in doubt please ask your guide.

For latest travel advice please contact us, at our UK office, or alternatively use the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website.

Go to: https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/ for relevant and important travel tips to plan your trip abroad.

Kenya's Climate

Kenya’s climate is predominantly tropical. For the whole country, the hottest months are from October to February. The long rains are from mid-March to late May, and the short rains from October to December. The coolest months are June to August when the nights and early mornings can be cold. In high-altitude areas such as Mount Kenya, temperatures can fall below freezing. The coastal areas are tropical, but tempered by monsoon winds. The lowlands are hot but mainly dry, while the highlands are  more temperate with four seasons. Nairobi has a very pleasant climate throughout the year due to its altitude. Near Lake Victoria, the temperatures are much higher and rainfall can be heavy. Seasonal weather patterns can be unpredictable. 

Please refrain from photography of city building, people, military personnel, military installations and airports. Always ask for permission when taking photos of local people or alternatively ask your guide for advice. It is worth ensuring you have sufficient films, including fast films (400-1600 ASA). Please bring extra batteries as it may not always be possible to re-charge them at the lodges. In addition it might be useful to bring a car charger (cigarette lighter variety).

If you are photographer, most of our photographic safaris offer photography workshop and training. 

Please note flash photography of any wildlife usually causes disturbance and should be avoided when on an early game drive  or during the day as well. 

When travelling to foreign destinations it is always respectful to dress modestly and we suggest the emphasis is on comfortable clothing. It is often warm on the plains and at lower altitudes but cold in the hilly and mountainous areas of Kenya, for example the Laikipia, Aberdares Ranges and Mount Kenya regions.

ON SAFARI

Whilst on safari neutral coloured, not shouty colors (Grey, Brown, white,jungle green ), loose fitting and relaxed clothing is the most appropriate. You might feel rather a ‘clichéd traveller’ but the reason most safari clothing is khaki or light brown is that tsetse flies are attracted to darker colours. Basically, loose light coloured clothing is best. We also suggest taking a fleece or jumper for early morning games drives and evenings around the camp fire. It can be surprisingly cool! We provide a Masai Shuka blanket but it is best to be prepared for cool mornings as the wildlife wakes up around you. A perfect way to start the day!

ON THE BEACH

The coastal beach resorts of Kenya are in predominantly Muslim areas, so recognition of local customs and traditions is important and we suggest dressing modestly when away from the beach. Unsuitable clothing such as swimwear or brief shorts, are not acceptable in town and villages away from the main tourist resorts.

It is best to pack as light as possible, remembering that the charter flights (often in small aircraft) have a maximum baggage allowance of 15kg per person. Most hotels and lodges have laundry services, so an excessive amount of clothing should be unnecessary. Please note that most hotels, lodges and camps hand wash clothing.

Please limit baggage to two items per person and always use soft bags rather than suitcases. In specific cases i.e. for internal flights, luggage may be limited to 15kg per person. More information about luggage can be found in your journey essentials document post-booking.

We recommend leather or hard clothed luggage bags,, since they are easier to fit in small spaces especially in our 4x4 land cruiser jeeps. 

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