Travel Kenya – A Travel Guide to Kenya


The country of Kenya is a world unto itself. Kenya is one of the greatest travel destinations in the world. From the rich cultural diversity to the undulating landscapes of the lush green Kenyan highlands, Kenya is a quintessential travel destination. A country with something in store for everyone, Kenya is strategically located and ideal  for travel all year round.

The coral reef is a major attraction of the crystal blue aquamarine waters of the Indian Ocean in addition to the pearl white sandy beaches off the coast. Kenya adds a touch of flare to enjoying the experience at the coast with a visit to the town of Lamu. What the town lacks in size, it more than compensates in cultural diversity. Lamu is a quiet town that is the epitome of the southern hospitality. The donkey is the preferred mode of transport here: there are no tarmacked roads.  In addition, the hotels neatly tucked along the coastline offer a quiet and tranquil environment for the visitor who wants a quiet getaway.

Kenya’s rich flora and fauna is another key attraction in Kenya. The dense equatorial forests and the sweeping savannah are home to a wide variety of wildlife. The apogee of a Kenyan travel experience is a safari in Kenya game parks and game reserves.

The wildlife travel experience to the Masaai Mara, for example, the crème de la crème of Kenya’s national reserves. It is home to the big five in addition to other species of animals such as the antelope, the zebra, the hyena, wildebeests, cheetahs, warthogs and hippos and more. The Masaai Mara is a must visit area.

Kenya indeed has something for everyone. For the lovers of bird watching, the Mara is home to over 400 species of birds. In addition, the scrubs, the grasslands, the tropical rainforests and the coastal forests offer the best habitat for birds. This is something that many birdwatchers around the world find ideal. Lake Nakuru in Kenya’s Rift Valley is home to a large variety of Flamingos all year round and a host of other species of birds.

For the lovers of nature, there are a number of nature walks available from which one can get a firsthand experience of the richness of Kenya’s environment. There are also ideal hiking and mountain climbing locations that are great for bonding and building a culture of cohesion and teamwork.

For the lover of culture, the lifestyles of the 42 tribes of Kenya are a humbling learning experience. From their food to their traditional shelter and their ways of life, the Kenyan culture is quite unique.

The historical sites of Kenya are an extra incentive for one to travel to Kenya. The architecture of these building and the fact that the rift valley is famed as the cradle of mankind are some of the advantages traveling in Kenya.

For the corporate, not only does Kenya have the best conference facilities but also has a well integrated financial services system and a fast internet connection making it an ideal place to host conferences and conventions. In addition, it is a good idea especially if you aim at giving your colleagues and employees an incentive as there are safaris and trips that are tailor made to suit corporate organizations.

Getting around Kenya is not very difficult. This is especially so because of the travel agents in Kenya with whom a person can organize with for travel arrangements. The car hire companies in Kenya have options whereby they provide drivers if needed. Traveling in Kenya is an experience that remains forever etched in a person’s repertoire of memories.

It’s a globally known fact that Kenya and the wider East African region is a premier destination for travelers who seek to enjoy the scenic beauty and natures’ endowments that the region is blessed.

Kenya Visitors Guide

Lying on the eastern coast of Africa, Kenya offers an extensive travel network and pristine destinations to suit any traveler’s needs. The country borders Tanzania to the south, Uganda and Ethiopia to the north and Somalia to the east, and is divided into regions such as the Great Rift Valley, Central, Coast, arid and semi arid areas in the north and east.  The wide plains and savanna of the rift valley are the home of lions and other predators.  Volcanic hot springs and geysers also exist in the valley. Central Highlands encompass three mountain ranges that include Mt Kenya, the Aberdare and Mau. This area is fertile and is good for agriculture. Kenya has tremendously grown and is today showing a rich variety of vibrant modern arts, music, theatre and dance.

Airports and Transfer/ Visa Regulations in Kenya

Jomo Kenyatta International AirportMoi international airport, Wilson  airport and Malindi Airport service  numerous international carriers  including the national airline,  Kenya Airways. Kenya has  good connections to destinations  throughout Europe, the Asia-pacific  region, USA and Africa. A visa is required prior to entry into Kenya and is readily obtained at the Airport upon arrival. You can also obtain one from the Kenyan embassies and high commissions offices abroad before departure. A single entry visa as always the case is valid for” three months from date of issue.

Communication/ Internet in Kenya

There is a well developed communication systems for both domestic and international services phone and internet are the most common means of communication in Kenya. The internet and email has steadily become a popular communication option. There are   a number of internet cafes within the city and around the country.  Some hotels also offer internet and telephone services. Kenya uses GSM network for mobile phones and key players are Safaricom, Airtel, Orange and YU networks.

Public Transport in Kenya

If you want to travel short distances  or take a one-time trip across the  city or the suburbs. there are plenty  of taxis/cabs (with yellow stripes)  that will charge you an upfront fee to  drive you a few miles across the city or to longer distances in the suburbs  or to other cities. In Kenya, people drive on the left-hand side of the road  and all vehicles in the country are  right-hand driven.

Visitors Security in Kenya

The tourism industry in Kenya created a safety and communication center under  the auspices of the Kenya tourism  federation (KTF), which is operated  24hrs a day to monitor safety. Muggings and incidents of armed robbery can occur at any time, particularly in Nairobi and Mombasa. Be alert at all times. Avoid walking around after dark as attacks can occur anywhere, but especially in isolated areas such as empty beaches. Do not carry valuables in public places. Do not carry credit cards or cash cards unless you must:  people have been forced by thieves to withdraw cash. Beware of thieves posing as police officers; always ask to see identification. You must obtain a valid work permit before taking any paid or volunteer work in Kenya; the penalties for not doing so can be a  fine, jail or deportation depending on  the nature of the offence.

Kenya’s Culture

Kenya culture blends together diverse  tribes, traditions and religions into  one beautiful, well woven tapestry.  These traditions complement each other while incorporating the modern influences of globalization — resulting in  a vibrant cultural spirit that is uniquely  Kenyan. Kenya has over 42 different tribes with different languages and several dialects. Kenyan tourism has made the Maasai and Samburu tribes  the most famous because of their long  preserved culture.

Sports in Kenya

When you mention sports and Kenya,  the large number of world class  distance runners immediately comes  to mind.These are the likes of David  Rudisha and Vivian Cheruiyot among  others. Kenyans have traditionally performed well in international track competitions. Other sporting activities  Include, deep sea fishing, golfingfootball, horseback riding, bullfighting  common in western Kenya, crickethockey, basketball and the Maralal  International Camel Derby which is  an annual international event held  mid yearjust outside of Maralal town.  Kenya has two main international sports centers namely: Moi  International Sports Center — Kasarani  and Nyayo National Stadium.

 Hotels and Accomodation in Kenya

Kenya offers the traveller a wide range of accommodation options. From youth hostels to five star luxury suites, from pitching your own tent in the wilderness to relaxing in a private beachside villa, the possibilities are endless. Your choice of accommodation for your stay in Kenya should be dictated by your personal travel budget, but also by your own interests.  For some people, sleeping under canvas in the Kenyan bush. By an open tire and surrounded by the spectacular night noises of wild animals. Is a once in a life time experience that has greater value than the most costly hotel or lodge.

Health  in Kenya

It’s advisable to travel with a small first aid kit that includes Band Aids, thermometer, sun block, oral re-hydration sachets, anti-diarrhea medication, antiseptics, water  purification tablets and more. While  your stay in Kenya and happen to  fall sick in Nairobi, there are as many  hospitals as you could afford. Some are of a budget standard while others are of a middle range to a first class service. However so, you are advised not to opt for cheaper hospitals because the services could be quite of a low class and hence not getting the  best attention on health, some of the  hospitals include:The Nairobi hospital,  The Aga Khan hospital. Kenyatta National Hospital, Mater hospital and Karen hospital -Langata road.

Wildlifein Kenya

Kenya is the land where Lions, Elephants, Rhinos, Leopards and Buffalos still roam free in their natural habitats. You Will also come across brilliant butterflies, and rare birds. With over 20 national parks, game reserves and marine parks, this is a safari enthusiast dream. The great wildebeest migration, considered to be one of the world’s most impressive natural spectacles, takes place between the Maasai Mara of Kenya and the Serengeti in Tanzania.

Business Hour/Banking  Services in Kenya

Most businesses in Kenya are open  from Monday to Friday, though some  also trade on Saturday. Business hours are generally 9:00am to 5:00pm.  Closing for an hour over lunch (1: 00pm – 2: 00pm). In respect to exchange of foreign currency for local Kenya shillings. Major banks are the best place to go to. Major credit cards are widely accepted in Kenya.  If you are unable to get to a bank, there are foreign exchange tellers at airports. Most camps, hotels, and lodges. Banking hours are generally from 9.00am-2.00pm and run from Monday through Friday and some even operate on Saturdays. The unit of currency is the Kenya shilling (Ksh).  Currency notes are in denominations of 100, 500, 200, 100 and 50.there is no restriction to the amount of foreign currency a visitor may bring in during his stay Kenya.

Dining in Kenya

Dining in Kenya is relatively affordable.  Many hotels and lodges in Kenya offer elaborate buffet spreads to satisfy  every visitors taste. Dishes served in restaurants include African European.  Asian, Italian, Chinese, American and much more. Tropical fruits and fresh seafood come from the coast a region which is popular for Swahili cuisine, a blend of Middle Eastern and African cooking. Nyama Choma  which means‘roasted meat’ is popular  in most hotels and restaurants.  Nairobi’s carnivore is best known for  Nyama Choma and game meat. Ugali  is Kenya’s staple food.

Climate in Kenya

Throughout the country, the hottest months are December to March.  The coastal areas are tropical, with particularly high humidity in April and May, but tempered by monsoon winds. The lowlands are hot but mainly dry, while the highlands are more temperate with tour 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. Over most of the country there are two rainy seasons. The short rains normally occur from late October through November and the long rains from March through to early June. In the western Rift valley, western Kenya and the Lake Victoria region there is really no dry season although rainfall is lowest in January and February.  However rainfall is seldom continuous over long periods.

Towns To Visit In  Kenya 

NAIROBI CITY

Nairobi is a charming, cosmopolitan city, blessed with the most wildlife in the world, making it a great safari destination. Known as the ‘Green City in the Sun’, Nairobi is the largest city as well as the capital city of Kenya. Nairobi is the main commercial center of Kenya. lt has got  a well developed infrastructure with  modern equipments and systems.  The Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE) is one of the Africa’s largest stock exchanges and is officially recognized as an overseas stock exchange by the London Stock Exchange. NSE ranks fourth in Africa in terms of trading volumes and fifth in terms of Market Capitalization.

KISUMU TOWN

Kisumu is situated on the shores of Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest and the world’s second largest freshwater lake.The city has one of the most breathtaking sunsets. It is the principal lake port of Kenya, third largest city, and the commercial center of a farm region. Manufactures include refined sugar. frozen fish, textiles, beer. and processed sisal. The city is developing a tourism industry with the attractions of Lake Victoria and nearby wildlife. Kisumu is popular for freshwater fish (tilapia) and famous for its Benga music.Attractions in the city include Kibuye Market, the Kisumu Museum. an impala sanctuary, a bird sanctuary, Hippo Point, the nearby Ndere island National Park and Kit Mikayi— a weeping rock!

NAKURU TOWN

Nakuru, currently the fourth largest urban centre in the country, lies about 1850 m above sea level. lt is also the capital of Nakuru District tourism is an important economic activity in llakuru.The town and the region are endowed with vast resources that make tourism a key income source.

Nakuru is home to Lake Nakuru. one of the Rift/alley soda lakes, which forms part of the Lake Nakuru National Park. The park is famous for the vast numbers of flamingoes that can be seen foraging in the shallow lake. Other sites of interest are accessible from Nakuru these include Menengai Crater, a dormant volcano.

The second largest surviving volcanic crater in the world, it plunges 483 m down from the rim and the summit is accessible by foot or vehicle 8 km from the main road to Nyahururu. The wood-covered crater ground is a nature reserve.

NAIVASHA  TOWN

Naivasha is a town in the rift valley province and forms part of Nakuru District. Located on the shores of lake Naivasha along the Nairobi-Nakuru highway. Naivasha’s main industry is agriculture especially floriculture.

Hells gate national park, Longonot National Park and Mount Longonot are the nearby attractions.You can also observe birdlife and the hippopotamus at Lake Naivasha.

ELDORET TOWN

Currently the fifth largest town in Kenya, Eldoret was derived from ‘eldore’ a maasai word which means ‘stony river’.The bed of the nearby Sosiani river is stony The Nandi, the Maasai .and the Sirikwa ethnic groups occupy this area Travellers to the city are served with by Eldoret international Airport The Kenya-uganda railways also serves the town. Eldoret is the International Association ot’Athletics Federation (llAF’s ) high altitude training centre for Kenyan athletes, and is home to the greats such as Kipchoge Keino. Moi University and Eldoret Polytechnic are few educational facilities available

NYERI TOWN

Nyeri is the administrative headquarters of the central province. During the colonial days. Nyeri was a garrison but it later became a trading centre for the white farmers who produced wheat. coffee and cattle. There are banks. shops. bookstores, hardware stores and a vibrant market. It is also the gateway to the Aberdares, and on a clear day you will see the majestic face of Mt Kenya in the distance.

When You visit Kenya

As Kenya in the equator seasons are consistent .The main season starts from December to February and from July to august. It is better to do advance booking for safaris and accommodation if you are planning to travel during these periods.

From January and February, the weather is hot and dry .This is usually considered to be the most enjoyable time that is perfect for animal and bird watching. There are large concentrations of birds on the rift valley lakes‘

Another appropriate time to visit Kenya is from June to September, during the so called ‘shoulder season‘ when the weather is dry. This season offers excellent adventure options.

It is usually a good time to witness wildebeest migration at the Maasai Mara.There are two rainy periods in Kenya; with the long rains period starting from March to June, and the short rains running from October to December

Kenya possesses a great communication network, with many locally produced television and radio programs moreover, most international magazines and newspapers are widely available throughout Kenya. television and radio programs, moreover, most international magazines and newspapers are widely available throughout Kenya,

Did you know?

Kenya is the major safari country in Africa, and Nairobi the safari capital of the world. Kenya has a system of well-managed nature reserves across the country, where lions, rhinos, elephants and many, many zebras, antelopes and birds can be seen in the wild. One large nature reserve lies just outside Nairobi and can be visited by taxi from the capital. From Nairobi airport, one can often see giraffes grazing. It is less well known that Kenya also has beautiful white sand beaches along its more than 500-kilometre coastline, with palm trees, blue seas and resorts with cool Martinis.

Kenya was last colonized by the British, which left many marks on the language, culture and legal system.A struggle for independence led by the Kenya African National Union (KANU) party finally secured independence in I963.

 

 

 Business Hour/Banking  Services 

Most businesses in Kenya are open from Monday to Friday, though some also trade on Saturday Business hours are generally 9: 00 am to 5: 00 pm, closing for an hour over lunch (1: 00pm — 2: 00Pm). In respect to exchange of foreign currency for local Kenya shillings, major banks are the best place to go to. Major credit cards are widely accepted in Kenya. If you are unable to get to a bank, there are foreign exchange tellers at airports, most camps, hotels, and lodges. Banking hours are generally from 9.00am – 2.00pm and run from Monday through Friday and some even operate on Saturdays. The unit of currency is the Kenya shilling (Ksh).Currency notes are in denominations of 1000, 500, 200, 100 and 50.there is no restriction to the  amount of foreign currency a visitor  may bring in during his stay Kenya.


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