What comes to mind when you think of a vacation in Kenya? Looking out over vast savannahs that seem to stretch out towards the golden sun into eternity? Taking in the breathtaking landscapes in one of its many national parks? Marvelling at some of nature’s most magnificent animals in their natural habitat? Well, it is all of this and so much more.
A trip to Kenya is one that you won’t be forgetting in a hurry. To help you out on this unique adventure, we have compiled some of the top tips, recommendations and advice that you may need.
It is hard to get enough of this beautiful and surprising country. As well as the amazing national parks and beautiful beaches, Kenya is home to some seriously exciting, bustling cities. In fact, Kenya’s economy is one of the largest in Africa, thanks in large part to the powerful social and economic impact of these cities. For example, Nairobi is Kenya’s capital and largest city. It exudes an exciting cultural atmosphere, including some amazing restaurants and super cool nightlife.
Let’s not forget the people who make Kenya, Kenya. Kenya is home to more than 40 different tribes. Although the Maasai tribe is one of the best-known (you will probably recognise their images from many tourism campaigns), it is actually one of the smallest. The largest tribe groups are the Kikuyu, Luhya and Luo. Don’t miss out on the chance to get to know their rich culture, steeped in history and an ongoing fight for survival in some of the world’s hottest and harshest weather conditions.
A country that spans nearly 600,000 square kilometres, home to 47 million people, might leave you grappling with one big question: where do I begin? For starters, most travellers start their Kenyan holiday in one of the country’s larger cities, arriving by air to one of the international airports in large cities like Mombasa and Nairobi. It is always a good idea to begin your trip in a city as it allows you to get to grips with the culture and climate before you head off the beaten track.
After that, you would be a fool not to head to one of Kenya’s many national parks. It has no fewer than 54 national parks for you to choose from. Two of the most famous are Amboseli National Park and Masai Mara National Reserve. Amboseli is located all the way in the south of the country, at the border to Tanzania. Against an impressive backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro, more than 800 animal species – from giraffes and elephants to the lesser-known wildebeests, gazelles and even cow species – roam freely.
The best time to travel to Kenya is in the dry season, from mid-December to mid-March. But if you want to avoid the high tourist season and high temperatures, then we recommend going there in the late summer months, especially in September, where the weather is consistently warm and there is almost no rain.
This is going to be an exciting adventure – but we need to get serious for a moment here. Make sure you do your research about important matters like visa and vaccination requirements. You can apply for a tourist visa online before you arrive in Kenya, though they are also available upon arrival at the airport. Be sure to request a ‘multi-entry’ visa if you are planning a trip that enters one of Kenya’s neighbouring countries before returning to Kenya. For vaccinations, make sure you are up to date on Yellow Fever and polio vaccinations; these diseases are quite rare in Kenya but can be very dangerous if contracted.