What is Kenya known for?
Kenya is famed for its scenic landscapes and vast wildlife preserves. The country boasts an abundant wildlife (lions, buffalo, leopards, elephants, rhinoceros, etc.) and culture, featuring many national parks and wildlife reserves, with safaris being a popular activity for visitors.
In terms of sports, Kenya is perhaps best known for its middle distance and long distance runners, with the country frequently producing Olympic champions.
What are the best places to visit in Kenya?
Known as the safari capital of Africa, Nairobi is an energetic, modern city that serves as a fascinating introduction to both wildlife and nightlife. Viewing the country`s diverse wildlife tops the list of things to do in this country, and a safari is a great way to do it. See droves of wildebeest rumbling across the savanna during the Great Migration in the Maasai Mara. Marvel at Lake Nakuru, scattered with thousands of flamingos, or get a close up with the friendly elephants in Amboseli.
Some other exciting adventures offer adopting an Elephant at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust; visit the Aberdare ranges and see breathtaking waterfalls; explore the `Cradle of Mankind` and see Lake Turkana; visit the last remaining Northern White Rhino in the world at Ol Pejeta Conservancy; relax on the sandy beaches in the coast; feed some giraffes in Giraffe Center in Nairobi; visit the indigenous Ngare Ndare forest in Laikipia North; hike to the top of Mount Kenya; and so much more!
When is the best time to visit Kenya?
The best time to visit Kenya is during the Dry season from late June to October (these are the best wildlife viewing months). This is the country`s dry season which coincides with the wildebeest Great Migration which usually reaches the Masai Mara in August and remains until October when they move back to the Serengeti in Tanzania. Wildlife viewing is good year-round, but this can differ for some parks.
The rainy seasons are also good times to travel, as there are fewer visitors and you can admire the striking emerald vegetation. December in particular is a great time to travel to Kenya, since the rains are short and you have the chance to see newborn animals and migratory bird species. Only the peak of the `long rains` in March, April and May are very wet.
How many days should I spend in Kenya?
We recommend 7-10 days based on what you want to see and do. We offer flexible vacation packages so you can select your number of nights in each city, desired hotel and activities. We suggest a minimum of 3 nights in larger cities.
What is the best way to get around Kenya?
Getting around Kenya is relatively easy. Unless you're travelling on an organized safari, in which case your transport will be taken care of, there's a mix of bus, train, matatu and flights to choose from.
By Plane: Kenya Airways air services connect Nairobi with regional cities, but smaller air charter companies fly you into remote air strips in the parks, reserves and conservancies.
By Train: Local train services to serve the main cities within a radius of 9 miles is in progress starting with the launch of the modern commuter rail service between Nairobi city, Athi river, Kitengela and Syokimau, all complete with a `park and ride` option for drivers who wish to park their cars and commute to the city center by train.
For long distance travel, getting around Kenya by train is limited to specific routes. You can travel between Nairobi and Mombasa by train, normally on an overnight trip lasting 14 hours. Another route that is served by daily overnight trains is the Nairobi-Kisumu route, with additional service to Kampala in Uganda.
By Car: If you want control and flexibility in your Kenya travel, then getting a car rental will certainly allow you the freedom to travel and explore your surroundings. If you can drive and find your way around, hiring or renting a car in Kenya is a convenient way to travel around the country.
Cars are readily available for rental at the airport and from car rental companies in all major cities across Kenya. If you prefer not to do the driving, you can always hire a car with a driver and save on the insurance cost while benefiting from the knowledge and services of a local driver.
Getting around Kenya can be a challenge for those who are not used to driving on the often crowded, sometimes rough, dusty or untarmacked roads. Kenyan roads throughout major cities are tarmacked and in good condition, although one is likely to find potholes on some roads and streets. The roads also tend to be narrow. While roads in main cities and towns are tarmacked, most roads in the remote areas, including the game parks, are plain terrain, all-weather roads. Often, some remote roads experience flooding that renders them impassable during the long rainy season.
By Bus, Matatu or Taxi: The public bus system and matatus (privately owned minibuses) are the cheapest and most popular mode of transportation in Kenya. If you don`t have your own vehicle or cannot afford to pay for a taxicab or rental car, then public transport is your best option. Kenya`s public buses and matatus have a mass appeal for short and long distance travel in all cities and towns across Kenya. Buses are regarded as safer and follow the same route as matatus. However, while buses are often quiet and operate in a timely manner, matatus play loud music, have erratic schedules with frequent stops, and provide a more dramatic Kenyan public transportation experience.
Buses and matatus offer convenient and express services between the major cities, suburbs and towns across Kenya. Fare is paid onboard. Long distance commute buses to major cities require advance booking, which can be done at their booking offices before the day/time of travel. Taxis/cabs are available for a quick or one-time commute across the city and suburbs, with rates as low as around $5 to drive of few miles.
Bicycle: Loads of Kenyans get around by bicycle, and while it can be tough for those who are not used to the roads or climate, plenty of adventurous visiting cyclists tour the country every year.
Cycling in rural areas is easier, and you`ll usually receive a warm welcome in any village you pass thorugh. Many local people operate bicycles, so repair shops are common alon the roadside. By cautious when cycling on dirt roads as punctures from thorn trees are a major problem.
Mountain biking The hills of Kenya are not particularly steep but can be long and hard. You can expect to cover around 50 miles per day in the hills of the Western Highlands, somewhat more where the country is flatter. Hell`s Gate National Park, near Naivasha, is particularly popular for mountain biking, but you can also explore on two wheels around Mt Kenya, the Masai Mara and Ol Pejeta Conservancy.
What is the currency of Kenya?
Kenya uses the Kenyan Shilling as its currency (KSh).
Money can easily be exchanged at all banks, but you are only able to withdraw KSh out of ATMs which can be found in medium-sized towns, so bring cash and a debit or credit card.
Also, don’t be confused if you hear people using the word bob! This is street-talk for a shilling, which we expect is a remnant of former British colonial times.
Do people speak English in Kenya?
The two official languages in Kenya are English and Swahili, although there are dozens of other languages spoken in various parts of the country. We suggest you get a good English-Swahili guidebook and familiarize yourself with common phrases such as hello, goodbye, excuse me and numbers 1-10.