Whether you are considering a safari or beach holiday to Kenya our destination specialists regularly travel to this iconic East African country and are well-placed to offer travel advice to suit you and your party.
WEATHER IN KENYA
Kenya is a year-round destination with the main (dry) seasons being December to January and July to August. The long rainy season is usually mid-March-May and the shorter rains come in November. By and large, Kenya's climate is warm all year round, with plenty of sunshine and cool nights and mornings. However, if you are travelling across Kenya, expect to experience different weather patterns due to Kenya's differing topographical dimensions.
MAP OF KENYA
WHAT TO PACK FOR KENYA
Lightweight summer clothing in cottons or blends is ideal for most of the year. In winter a jumper, fleece or jacket is also needed, especially in the mornings and evenings. Try to wear light, neutral colours like brown, beige or khaki that help to deflect the harsh sun and blend in with the background. Remember to pack long-sleeved shirts and trousers for the evenings to reduce the chances of mosquito bites. Avoid wearing dark/navy blue as this colour attracts tsetse fly.
For the most part, African safari destinations are tropical and warm in the daytime, although parts of Kenya (such as the Laikipia Plateau) can be extremely cold on winter game drives during the mornings and evenings. Days on safari are generally hot and you will most likely find yourself wearing shorts and a T-shirt. In the early mornings and evenings long sleeved shirts and trousers are recommended, both to take the bite out of the chilly air and to protect you from mosquitoes. Should you be particularly sensitive to the sun, a loose cotton shirt is essential during the day, as is a good sunscreen. For those colder winter mornings always remember that layering your clothing helps keep you warm and is a convenient way to ensure you are wearing what you need as the day heats up. The temperature in Kenya tends to be cooler in June and July, heating up considerably in September and October, prior to the short rains in November, by which time it can be very humid.
For safari, it is best to pack hardy, durable clothing. Remember that many lodges offer a laundry service (often included in the price) so you should only need two or three changes of clothing per three or four-night safari. For footwear, we recommend sturdy walking shoes/trainers that are completely enclosed.
Toiletries such as soap, shampoo and even insect repellent are offered at all good lodges and hotels so there is no need to over-pack on these items. We also recommend taking some basic medical supplies including Anthisan, Imodium, insect repellent, plasters and sun cream.
Please be aware that Africans will not wash ladies’ underwear and instead provide soap powder in the room for your own use.
On safari one soft-sided bag per person is recommended. Local domestic flights in Kenya all have a restriction and travellers may be made to pay for an extra seat on a charter flight if the luggage is heavier than 15kg including camera equipment. There can be no exceptions, unless extra seats are booked in advance.
MEDICATIONS & VACCINATIONS FOR KENYA
We always recommend that you see your doctor or a travel clinic before travelling to Kenya to make sure that you have taken all the necessary health precautions. You can also contact the Medical Advisory Service for Travellers Abroad (MASTA)
to obtain a ‘Health Brief’ specifically tailored to your trip. Two other very good sources of travel health information are Fit For Travel
and The Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
As requirements and regulations are subject to change at short notice, visitors are advised to contact their travel health advisor well in advance of their intended date of departure.
If you are travelling to a malarial area, which Kenya can be, it is essential that you take professional advice regarding a course of anti-malarial prophylactics. In our experience, Malarone is the most commonly prescribed anti-malarial, but we say that only in the spirit of helpfulness and not as a substitute for professional medical advice. It is the responsibility of every traveller to consult their own GP or a recognised travel clinic for the latest up-to-date advice. Please note that atovaquone/proguanil is the generic tablet form of Malarone and therefore exactly the same, but cheaper. These are available from leading pharmacies.
TIPPING IN KENYA
Tipping is an integral part of Kenyan life but is entirely optional and only recommended if you are satisfied with the service you have received. On safari:You will always have a professional safari guide and sometimes a tracker as well on your safari vehicle. For your guide, look at around $20 per person per day ($50 for a family), and $5-$10 per person per day for the tracker. Some lodges will have a staff gratuity box in which you can leave any tips for general staff. Suggested is $20 total per day for all the staff.
Electricity is supplied at 220/240 volts AC, 50HZ. Plugs are UK type round two-pin or flat three-pin. Major hotels and some game lodges will supply adapters on request. Bayonet light sockets exist in Kenya.
MOBILE / INTERNET CONNECTIVITY
Several cellular phone networks operate in Kenya, and roaming works in most major towns and some rural areas. Be aware that if you don’t have a roaming package from your mobile/cell phone provider, costs for telephone calls can be very high. There are satellite telephones available for guests to use at some camps. Wi-Fi is available in most camps and lodges but is often painfully slow and intermittent.
Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen
Born Free by Joy Adamson
Maasai by Tepilit Ole Saitoti with Carol Beckwith
I Dreamed of Africa by Kuki Gallman
The Flame Trees of Thika by Elspeth Huxley
White Mischief by James Fox