FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT KENYA
This information is intended as a guideline only. It is accurate to the best of our knowledge. Please note that we are providing links to external websites as guidelines for more information only. Karell Travel is not responsible for the content thereof.
WHAT ARE THE VISA REQUIREMENTS FOR KENYA?
Passports are required by all foreign visitors and must be valid for at least 6 months after the intended length of your trip.
It is essential to have at least two blank, consecutive pages for each country you will be visiting. This excludes Amendment and Endorsement pages.
This is serious , if you do not have the required blank pages, you could be denied boarding of your flight before you even start your trip!
Visas may be required for KENYA depending on the nationality of your passport. It is is your responsibility to check the entry visa requirements with the individual embassy of each country you intend visiting prior to departure.
Some visas are available upon arrival, however we do recommend where and if possible to obtain them prior to departure as there can be longs lines to get visas on arrival.
MULTIPLE ENTRY VISAS to KENYA are not available upon arrival and must therefore be obtained through a Kenyan Embassy or visa service before you leave on your trip.
If you are a parent / guardian traveling with a minor (aged 18 or younger), you must be in possession of a certified letter of consent from the non- accompanying parent or guardian.
VISA STAMPS IN PASSPORTS UPON ARRIVAL IN EACH COUNTRY:
PLEASE CHECK THE DATES THAT THE OFFICIALS STAMP IN TO YOUR PASSPORTS TO MAKE SURE THE ALLOTTED TIME FOR YOUR STAY IS CORRECT BEFORE YOU WALK AWAY FROM THE COUNTER.
ON OCCASION PEOPLE HAVE BEEN GIVEN INCORRECT INCREMENTS OF TIME TO STAY IN THE COUNTRY CONCERNED CREATING A LOT OF UNNECESSARY AGGRAVATION AND INCONVENIENCE.
We also suggest that before you depart on any international trip that you take a photo of the information page of your passport as well as any visas on your cell phone and share with a family member or friend via text or email in case you lose your passport!
For more information please visit : TRAVISA.COM
WHAT IS THE WEATHER/CLIMATE LIKE IN KANYA IN WINTER AND IN SUMMER?
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. The average annual temperature for the coastal town of Mombasa is 70F minimum and 86F maximum.
The capital city, Nairobi is 55F minimum and 78F maximum.
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.
Coolest months? June through September.
Warmest months? December through March.
For more information please visit : WEATHER.COM
WHAT IS THE CURRENCY OF KENYA?
Kenyan Shilling – KES or KSH 1.00 USD = 112.91839 KES (As of Aug 1st 2017)
Credit Cards :
Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted.
American Express – not so much!
For up to dates rates of exchange click on the following link : WWW.XE.COM
DOES KENYA HAVE DEPARTURE TAX?
When you depart KENYA (boo hoo!) you will be expected to pay a departure tax in the amount of US$ 40.00 per person in US$ CASH so make sure you remember to set this aside at the beginning of your trip. This fee is usually included in your international airfare, unless stated otherwise. Please check with your agent when purchasing your international air tickets.
WHAT IF I HAVE DIETARY REQUIREMENTS?
Most dietary requirements (kosher, vegetarian hindu etc) can be organized provided we request them well in advance. You must remember that many of the game lodges you may be visiting are literally in the middle of nowhere so if you are not very specific in advance you may just go hungry! You cannot just pop out to the nearest restaurant or 7-11 – you are in the African bush. Please also let us know if anyone in your party will be celebrating a birthday or anniversary or any other special occasions!
We need to know about allergies too – gluten -lactose – peanuts etc.
WHAT IS THE LANGUAGE IN KENYA?
Swahili and English are the national languages of KENYA.
WILL I BE ABLE TO DO LAUNDRY DURING MY KANYA TOUR?
Laundry service is available at most hotels and lodges throughout KENYA. Prices will vary per hotel/lodge. However in most camps/game lodges throughout KENYA the washing is done by hand and sun-dried so please allow between 24-48 hours for completion.
WHAT ARE THE LUGGAGE RESTRICTIONS FOR A KENYA SAFARI?
RULE OF THUMB – IF YOU WANT TO SEE IT AGAIN DO NOT PACK IT IN YOUR CHECKED BAGS!
Medications, eye glasses, sunglasses, wallets, passports, computers, iPads, cell phones, cameras, binoculars, jewelry etc should be carried with you at all times. And why are you taking that expensive jewelry with you anyway?
NOT A GOOD IDEA! Do not take anything with you that is not replaceable or anything that you would be devastated to lose!
Most airports today do offer plastic wrapping of bags for a small fee. Luggage restrictions vary between airlines / countries and aircraft. Please check with your travel consultant with regard to weight restrictions and quantity / size of bags permitted.
If you will be traveling in vehicles and small aircraft with limited luggage capacity, it is a requirement that you have a SOFT BAG without WHEELS, however, our brand new “wheeled” Karell safari bags which are made exclusively for us are unique as they have wheels but no solid frame which make them ideal for light aircraft transfers to and from camps/lodges.
Ideal travel bag example:
The Karell Duffel bag pictured above has been selected specifically for use on safaris utilizing light aircraft. It measures 26” x 14” x 12”, a perfect size and dimension for this type of travel.
SHOULD I TAKE A CAMERA? SHOULD I TAKE BINOCULARS?
Yes, You are going to a photographer’s paradise wherever you go in Africa so do take plenty of memory cards to record your trip. They will not always be readily available everywhere you go. So to avoid disappointment take a lot with you as well as spare batteries for flashes etc.
Yes, A good pair of strong binoculars is a must on safari, ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE A KEEN BIRDER OR “TWITCHER”. Trust us, we know.
For everything you need to know about buying cameras and binoculars we invite you to visit : http://www.bhphotovideo.com
Or if you prefer to rent before you go: http://optics4rent.com/index.html
Camera equipment and lenses are so heavy and are included in hand baggage allowances so for your convenience, there are certain game lodges that rent equipment for the period of your stay.
We have provided these websites as guidelines for further information, Karell’s African Dream Vacations is not responsible for the content thereof.
WHAT IS THE ELECTRIC CURRENT IN KENYA?
230/240 volts (US & Canada 110/120) If you are taking electric hair styling tools in any shape or form flatirons, curling irons, hairdryers etc. or any other electrical appliances, you should make sure they are dual voltage and remember to change the voltage if necessary when you get to KENYA or you can undoubtedly kiss them goodbye!
Due to their remote locations, many camps/game lodges in KENYA generate their own electricity by means of generators. Generators run for about 6-7 hours per day providing power in the rooms for lighting and possibly ceiling fans. Not all camps provide plug points in the rooms so if you have equipment that requires charging such as camera batteries the hotels/lodges will often have charging facilities in the main areas.
Sooooooooooo…………….you may as well face it ladies, you will be having some bad hair days as at most hotels/lodges no hair dryers, flat irons or the likes allowed!!!!! Just go with the flow and enjoy.
WHAT TIME ZONE IS KENYA IN?
Local time in KENYA is GMT +3 which means it is always 6 or 7 hours ahead of us in the eastern United States depending on the time of year and daylight savings So, it it is 940PM in NAIROBI then it is 340PM the same day in NEW YORK! Hope this helps. Probably won’t – you will be more confused than ever and will more than likely call home and get it all mixed up!
The following link may help: WORLDCLOCK.COM
WHAT ARE THE TIPPING AND GRATUITY GUIDELINES FOR A KENYA SAFARI?
TO GIVE OR NOT TO GIVE, THAT IS THE QUESTION! AND IF SO HOW MUCH.
This is one of the questions we are asked most often prior to departure: How much should we tip? Gratuities are discretionary however in It is customary to tip 10% of the check at restaurants and to taxi drivers as well as local guides and drivers.
GAME RANGER / GUIDE USD 10 per person per day
GENERAL CAMP STAFF USD 5 per person per day
DO I NEED ANY VACCINATIONS FOR KENYA? IS KENYA A MALARIA FREE AREA?
YELLOW FEVER: KENYA falls into a YELLOW FEVER region of Africa. It is imperative that you obtain a YELLOW FEVER vaccination at least 10 days prior to arrival in a yellow fever region. Failure to produce an official YELLOW FEVER vaccination certificate upon arrival in KENYA may result in you being denied entry. Additionally, other countries may deny entry or re-entry without proof of YELLOW FEVER vaccination after a visit to a YELLOW FEVER region. For more on yellow fever go to CDC.GOV MALARIA:
We highly recommend that you take precautions against MALARIA. Your physician will be able to assist you with a prescription for prophylaxis for MALARIA prior to your arrival in the MALARIA infested area. Tips on avoiding malaria : Take a prescription antimalarial drug. Use insect repellent liberally and wearing long pants and sleeves to prevent mosquito bites. Sleep in air-conditioned or well-screened rooms or use bednets. To maximize the benefit of inoculations/immunizations we suggest you see a health-care provider at least 4–6 weeks before your trip to allow time for your vaccines to take effect.
Please consult with your physician for recommendations regarding inoculations/immunizations.
For further information please click on the following link CDC.gov
CAN I DRINK TAP WATER IN KENYA?
Although tap water may be fine in most areas for bathing and brushing teeth, we recommend that you drink bottled water at all times.
WHAT SHOULD I PACK FOR A SAFARI IN KENYA?
RULE OF THUMB – DON’T PACK TOO MUCH
The other most frequently asked question. As a general guideline, comfortable casual wash and wear clothes are recommended. The less you take the better as most lodges and hotels do offer laundry service if you are staying at least two days.
Muted colors such as stone, khaki, beige or brown are recommended when you are on safari. Game drives in the early morning and evenings can BE VERY COLD especially in winter so you must pack accordingly.
“BUT WE ARE GOING TO AFRICA- WHY WOULD IT BE COLD?” Trust us, we know!
The key is to dress in layers in the early morning and strip down layer by layer as it gets warmer as the sun rises. Vice versa for evening game drives.
Light weight shirts/blouses with long sleeves as protection from the sun and mosquitos
Jeans or safari trousers
A light weight water-proof jacket
Comfortable walking shoes/sneakers
Comfortable walking sandals or flip flops for warmer days
A wide brimmed hat with under-chin tie to prevent it from flying away
A WARM WINDPROOF jacket (winter)
A fleece jacket that will go under the warm jacket (winter)
A warm polo neck shirt (winter)
A beanie (winter) Gloves (winter) A warm scarf (winter)
Equipment & Other
Spare prescription eye glasses/contact lenses
Cameras and related paraphernalia like lenses etc and plenty of memory cards and spare batteries
A small powerful flashlight and extra batteries Travel alarm clock
Small purse size umbrella can come in handy
Small lint roller
A light pack-able backpack or tote to carry equipment and stuff on game vehicles
A supply of Ziploc bags in different sizes may come in handy for dust or water proofing cameras , wet bathing suits etc.
Chargers for cell phones, iPad, cameras, computers and you may want to invest in a mini travel charger surge protector with dual USB ports and five charging outlets.
Personal First Aid Kit
Itch spray for bug bites
Sunscreen with high SPF factor
Purse size kleenex packets
”make you go ” pills “make you not go” pills as well as any prescription medications that you rely on on a daily basis.