Preparing to visit Kenya? Then you need to know this…

Arrival and Departures:

The Main port of entry to Kenya is Nairobi. The Airport is the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. The national carrier is Kenya Airways.

Airport Departure Tax:

International Airport departure tax equivalent to US $ 40 per person is payable on departure from some international Airports. As this varies from Country to Country, please check on the prevailing amounts payable prior to your flight departure if not already included in your tickets.

Visa and Immigration:

Most Nationalities require Visas to the East African countries and most can be attained at your point of entry. There are always countries that are exempt from Visas or that they need special clearance so we recommend you check on the going fee with your Local embassy before travel.

Health:

All travelers to East Africa are required to have to have Yellow Fever inoculations. This needs to be done at least 10 days before you leave home. Malaria is prevalent in all East African countries. Please contact your doctor for Advice before you travel as most Malaria tablets need to be taken up to a week before travel.

What to Bring:

You should Pack the minimum , since its fairly easy to get your laundry done. Cotton is best when its hot. You should take short and long sleeved shirts ( to protect your self from mosquito bites ) , slacks and shorts. You may need a jacket or sweater for cooler evenings. It can get chilly in Nairobi at night.

Photography:

In terms of photography , in order to take good wildlife pictures you will need a SLR Camera and a 200 mm lens at a minimum. A wide angle lens is also nice to have for Panoramic shots. If your going to have two lenses, we recommend having a camera body for each , since there is dust every where and the wildlife tends not to wait for you to switch your lens.

Baggage:
Baggage space on safari is restricted to one medium suitcase per person. plus hand luggage , ( private safaris where there are less than 7 persons in the vehicles are not subject to this restrictions). Small Duffel bags are however comfortable to travel with. A baggage weight restriction of 15kgs per person applies on air safaris . Where very small aircraft are used this may be reduced to 10kgs.

Currency:

While the East African countries have there own  currencies , most tourist attractions are priced in US Dollars. Our recommendation is to take US Dollars with you for spending money and visa costs and change small amounts into local currency if need be. The official currency is Shillings.

Banking:

In most of the East African Countries , banks are open from 0900 hrs to 1500hrs Monday to Friday. Some branches are open on Saturdays from 0900 hrs to 1200 hrs. Many banks are now equipped with 24 hrs ATM machines .

Credit Cards:

Visa and Master Card are widely accepted for tourist services across East Africa. There is usually a 5% mark up on top of the prices as establishments are charged a fixed percentage for all credit card transactions.

Time:

Kenya lies in a zone called East African time, or EAT which is three hours ahead of UTC ( UTC + 3 ) , this is the same as the Eastern European Summer Time.

Language:

Kiswahili is the Lingua Franca while English is the official language.

Security:

Normal precautions as in any other destination world wide should be taken. Visitors are advised not to leave cash and valuables in their hotel rooms but to make use of safe deposit boxes. One should never carry large sums of money in cash.

As in all major cities, walking alone or in small groups at night should be considered a hazard and avoided. Reliable taxis are available at all major hotels and you can also let the Bigfoot Team know of any planned movements and they will be able to facilitate this for you.

Taking photos at airports , near military installations, of policemen, the President, the national flag, the State House, State Lodges, soldiers, prisons, as well as prisoners is strictly prohibited .

Before photographing local tribes in their traditional outfits, permission should be obtained. Seek assistance of your driver or guide in this matter.

Opening Hours and Shopping:

Major Stores, tourist services , offices and museums open from 0800 hrs to 1700 hrs in large towns.

Tipping and Porterage :

It is customary to tip Porters, Waiters, Taxi Drivers and Safari Drivers and Guides.

Drinking Water:

Drinking Water from the Tap must be considered risky. Hotels and Lodges usually furnish safe water in guest rooms. Bottled Mineral water is available in every hotel and supermarkets, and in all our vehicles.

Flying Doctors Society:

Membership of the Flying Doctors Society is strongly recommended. In the event of an accident or sickness while on Safari , anywhere in East Africa within a maximum of 1000 km of Nairobi , the society will fly patients by air ambulance to Nairobi, for admittance to hospital

Mobile phones:

We have strong mobile networks in most areas in the country and in East Africa , and you can roam on the various networks and local line sim cards are easy to obtain.

Costs for telephone calls from hotels worldwide are generally high so please check the rate before making any calls from your hotel.

Internet:

All the member states of East Africa have good Internet service providers. Many hotels and lodges offer email and Internet services. In most towns , there are plenty of private business centers and cybers offering these services.

Electricity:

Our grid is based on 240 volts and British style 3-Pin sockets. Please note that in some areas, and especially when on safari camps and lodges, electricity supply may be operated at certain times during the day and at night may be switched off after 11PM or Midnight as power is supplied through generators.

Cuisine:

The Multicultural nature of the population is reflected in the cuisine and most dietary needs are easily accommodated .

 

 

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