Nairobi is the most common point of entry into Kenya. Flights to the Jomo Kenyetta International Airport in Nairobi are relatively inexpensive due to strong competition.
International airlines include but are not limited to: African Express Airways, Air Mauritius, British Airways, China Southern Airlines, EgyptAir, Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, Etihad, Fast Jet, Fly-SAX, Kenya Airways, KLM, Lufthansa, Precision Air, Qatar Airways, RwandAir, South African Airways, Swiss International Air Lines, and Turkish Airlines.
Airport in Nairobi is mainly a domestic airport but also flies to Tanzania, Somalia and the DRC. Airlines include Airkenya, Fly-SAX, and Safari Link. The second largest aiport is Moi International Airport in Mombasa. International Airlines include Bravo Airways, Condor, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways, Meridiana, RwandAir, Turkish Airlines, and ZanAir.
How to get a Kenyan Visa
We wish to advise that Visa application can only be done online on the official government website: e-visa
Tourists and business visitors must get an eVisa whether they are traveling to Kenya by air, sea, or land.
Weather in Kenya
Kenya is similar to Tanzania in terms of having both rainy and dry seasons, but the time of year varies.
Kenya's long rainy season come from April through to mid-June, with the short rainy season in November and December.
A cool season stretches from June through October, and is typically drier and cooler than the other months.
Temperatures range from 50F to 82F at this time of year. Lastly, a dry season of hotter weather comes from December to March. Days peak at around 86F during the dry season.
What to Pack for Your Safari
Packing for your first safari can be a bit daunting. What do you bring? What don’t you need? Below you’ll find our recommended list of things to bring along with you when you’re on safari.
While there is plenty of room in our safari vehicles for your larger suitcase, it's always handy to have a more manageable bag that you can have with you in the vehicle.
A warm sweater or light fleece
Nights and mornings in East Africa can be cold, so it's always good to have something a little warmer to throw on until the sun warms the plains up.
A windbreaker or waterproof jacket
You never know when there's going to be a sudden squall or downpour, so packing a lightweight rain jacket is a good idea.
While you'll be safe and dry inside your safari vehicle, a rain jacket is a good option for when you're about camp.
Walking shoes or boots
Much of your safari takes place within your safari vehicle, but you'll need a comfortable pair of shoes or hiking boots for walking to your lodges, snapping photos from the picnic spot, or if you've added any walking safaris to your itinerary. Even in the car, you'll want a pair of comfortable shoes that cover your skin to prevent against sunburn and insect bites.
A long sleeve dress shirt and trousers
Perfect for both sun protection and to ward off hungry mosquitoes, a long sleeve shirt and trousers are also a good option for a cold morning or evening. If you're staying in nicer lodges, you'll also wants these handy for dinner and drinks at the end of a long day. Neutral colors are ideal, hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen are also a GREAT idea!
The sun in East Africa can be quite intense, so sunglasses are a good protective measure and have the benefit of reducing glare while you are game-viewing.
Sun protection should be a priority while you're on safari. While your vehicle provides shade, having the top up for game-viewing means you'll be exposed to the elements. A good hat is a great way to avoid nasty burns or heatstroke.
Sunscreen and lip balmAnother valuable precaution against the often-harsh equatorial sun, sunscreen and lip balm will protect you where your clothes don't.
It goes without saying that you're going to want a camera for your safari adventure. While in some cases your smart phone will be enough to snap a shot, a camera with a good zoom lens is the perfect companion.
Shadows of Africa vehicles come standard with a single pair of binoculars that you can share with your driver, but having your own pair is a good way to ensure you don't miss a second of the action. You don't need an expensive pair. Even a travel-sized pair of binoculars is sufficient for game-viewing.
Batteries and/or charger for your camera
You don't want to be midway through a day on safari and suddenly run out of battery for your camera. Shadows of Africa vehicles come standard with in-car charging stations, but it's always a good idea to travel with an additional battery. Additional SD cards are also a good idea to ensure you don't need to stop to delete photos.
You don't need a hefty Lonely Planet for your safari, but having a wilderness guidebook is a good way to build a 'to do list' for your trip. Your Shadows of Africa driver is a font of knowledge when it comes to animal, bird, and plant-life too. Don't hesitate to ask questions!
Phone and charger
Whether it's to stay in touch, to share your photos, or just so you can snap pictures on the fly - bringing along your smart phone is a good idea. Savvy travelers may wish to purchase a local SIM card, but many hotels have WIFI. While on safari in Tanzania, our vehicles also come with Wi-Fi, although this is dependent on location.
A good book
You'll rarely find yourself without something to see while on safari, but there is going to be some downtime. Whether it's the drive to or from the airport or just a lazy night at your lodge, having a good book (or a Kindle) on hand is a great way to pass the time.
How Much Money to Bring on Safari:
Make sure to have cash on you. There are different stores and stalls that you will/can stop at on your way to the resort, you’ll want to buy some souvenirs, there will be drinks and such to buy and don’t forget the tip for the driver and staff at the resort. The currency in Kenya is the Kenyan Shilling , with USD and Euros also commonly accepted. Bank notes are in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 and for coins are in denominations of 1, 5, 20, and 40. Currency can be exchanged at most large banks or bureaux de change.
When using USD in Kenya check the series date to make sure they are printed after the year 2006. There are many ATMs around however many only accept Visa cards. Barclay s Bank will accept most credit and debit cards (Visa, MasterCard, Cirrus, and Plus bank cards).
How Much Should You Tip Your Safari Guide?
Safari tipping etiquette for your guide is typically $8-10 per day. Even if you were annoyed with being hot or not seeing a ton of animals, keep in mind how much driving these guys have to do, and the amount of time they dedicate to just making you happy and taken care of!
You may be suggested to tip guards who show you around small areas of the park which is usually like $1-2 depending on what they’re doing for you.
Despite the Kenya Safari being a staple of world tourism since the Victorian age, some people still worry about their safety when visiting different countries in Africa. Perhaps it’s from hearing stories from others or what they might see on a news station. However, Kenya is a big country (about the size of Spain). Just like there are places and things you should be wary of in Kenya, so are there places everywhere you go, even North America. It’s just about making good choices and knowing how to be safe. We have gone over some of this, but just in case you missed it, let us help you get started on this journey…
Cultural Tips for Travel to Kenya
Kenya is home to a vast mix of tribes and cultures and many people you meet will enjoy telling you about their food and homeland. As you explore the country and have your own stories of the places you’ve visited, even more doors will open. Nairobi has a lot to offer. Having a good attitude but keeping your plan in mind and your wits about you can help keep you safe. Know (at least partly) where you’re going and how much you are willing to pay to get there. Don’t talk on a cell phone with the window open while you’re stuck in traffic. A little common sense will go a long way and help make the city a fun part of your trip.