Tips and Advice
Visas are required for almost all visitors entering Kenya. Currently the visa fee is 50 USD. It is most advisable to apply your visa online.
HOW TO APPLY FOR VISA ONLINE
Go to eVisa webpage
Create an account – you can use the same account for future visa applications as well.
Select the single entry visa.
Apply for the visa and pay with valid credit card.
Await approval via email, then download and print the eVisa from your eCitizen account.
Note: It takes at least 2 working days to get your eVisa.
Print the visa before you travel – present your printed eVisa to the immigration officer at the port of entry.
ARRIVAL IN NAIROBI
Upon arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) you will have to clear immigration.
The Visa process at the airport might be a bit chaotic with everyone filling in forms and joining the queue. You should have been given an immigration form on the plane and it is wise to fill this in before landing, but you can find them at the airport. That way you can go straight to the queue to passport control. Make sure you have the needed paperwork for your approved online visa application. You can apply for your visa here.
After picking up your bags, you can head to the exit. Just outside the arrivals hall you will be met by our driver, who will be holding a sign displaying your name. The arrivals hall is often very crowded and you might be approached by taxi drivers before seeing our representative. Just ignore these approaches and keep looking out for your driver.
Your safety is our highest priority, and upon arrival you will be briefed on do’s and don’ts by our experienced safari driver guides.
Kenya is generally safe for tourists; however, you should use the same travel precautions as you would in other parts of the world. Avoid travelling after dark in isolated places, and keep valuables safe at all times. It is advisable to not carry large sums of cash or wear expensive-looking jewelry or watches in the streets.
There are no compulsory vaccinations required for entry to Kenya unless you are arriving from an area infected with Yellow Fever, in which case a Certificate of Inoculation against Yellow Fever is required for all travelers older than one year.
Visitors coming from other countries in Africa where Yellow Fever may occur, including Tanzania and Zanzibar, require a Yellow Fever certificate. The other recommended vaccinations are Typhoid, Hepatitis and Polio, and anti-malarial medication is essential.
Make sure to bring your mosquito repellent, and use long sleeves and trousers during evenings/ morning times as a prevention of getting bitten.
Please consult your doctor concerning vaccination prior to your journey to make sure you are fully protected.
Insurance is always the guest’s responsibility
Make sure you have valid travel insurance that covers your safari trip.
AMREF TOURIST COVER
Your safety and security are our number one priority. As such, in the unlikely event of serious illness or injury, the AMREF Tourist Cover could come in handy.
This is a “Flying Doctors” Insurance cover running for 30 days aimed at providing quality and affordable Air Ambulance evacuation services throughout the East Africa region, including: Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, and South Sudan.
It’s important to understand that this coverage is not medical coverage. Instead, it is coverage for medically necessary transportation. We highly recommend travel insurance for full coverage.
Tipping is normal in Kenya – if you are satisfied with the service, a suitable tip is normally around 10%
At hotel and lodges, you can use the tip box at the reception rather than to tip staff members individually. It is advised by managements to encourage teamwork; hence, the tip is shared amongst all the staff, not only those few who come close to guests.
CLIMATE IN KENYA
Kenya lies on the equator and has a pleasant, tropical climate, but there are large regional climatic variations influenced by several factors, including altitude. Temperatures drop by about 6°C for every 1,000m you climb (or 3.5°F per 1,000ft). Kenya’s daytime temperatures average between 20°C/68°F and 28°C/82°F, but it is warmer on the coast. The coast is hot and humid all year round, but the heat is tempered by the monsoon winds. Kenya is too close to the equator to experience a real winter and summer. There is, however, both a Dry and Wet season.
There are two dominant influences on the climate in Kenya: the onshore monsoon winds from the Indian Ocean, and altitude. The winds determine the onset of Kenya’s two rainy seasons, with the hot northeast monsoon or kaskazi blowing dry air in from the Persian Gulf from November to March/April and the warm, moist kusi monsoon blowing in from the southeast from April/May to October. It’s the slightly cooler kusi that normally delivers the heaviest rain, a season known as the ‘long rains’, in late-April, May and early June. The relatively cool season, from late-June to October, gets much less rain. There’s a second rainy season, the ‘short rains’, for a few weeks in November and December, followed roughly from mid-December to March by a dry season of hot, usually rainless, weather.
Although prolonged rainfall isn’t that uncommon, the typical pattern is for rain to fall as a torrential downpour, lasting perhaps half an hour to an hour, with the sun then coming out and drying the wet ground in minutes.
The theory of Kenya’s climate is one thing: predicting the actual weather for specific dates is increasingly difficult as climate change impacts more and more, bringing floods and droughts, unseasonably cool and unseasonably hot weather.
The dress code is fairly informal; just pick the clothes that you are most comfortable in.
Nights can be a bit chilly. Bring your sweater or fleece jacket and wind or rain coat as well. Morning and evening game drives can be quite cold.
The savannah is dusty, so white clothes are not advisable. Sandals are fine within the camp, but gym shoes – preferable with a solid sole – or hiking boots are important for walking safaris. Bring a small backpack to carry your water bottles, notebooks, binoculars etc.
If visiting Lamu we strongly encourage covered shoulders and knees when in Lamu town or Shela Village, out of respect for the locals’ religion and culture. When you are on the beach or at the Dhow, bikinis or bathing suits are fine.
Below you can find our carefully created packing list for your Africa safari holiday. Sunup Adventures wish you to have the most comfortable holiday!
- HEAD TORCH; It’s always great to have – African nights are dark!
- A GOOD BOOK; For relaxation between the adventures.
- FOOTWEAR; Comfortable footwear for walking safaris (gym shoes/hiking boots) and sandals while in the camp.
- CAMERA; To capture the memories.
- WIND JACKET/RAIN COAT; For the cold mornings.
- SWEATER/FLEECE JACKET; For chilly nights around the campfire.
- COMFORTABLE SAFARI CLOTHES; Avoid white because of the dust from the savannah.
- BINOCULARS; Make sure to not miss a thing!
- SUN SCREEN; To avoid being burned by the sun.
- SUN HAT & SUNGLASSES; Protection from the strong African sun.
- PACK IN A SOLID, SOFT BAG; Easier to stack in safari vehicles and small airplanes. Remember max. 15kg limit for domestic flights.
BEST TIME TO SEE MIGRATION
The best time to witness the migration from the Serengeti to Masai Mara is between July and October. During this period, the greatest spectacle on earth unfolds right before your eyes. Over a million wildebeest, zebra and gazelles make their way to Masai Mara by crossing the crocodile infested Mara River in search of greener pastures.
The exact timing may change from year to year as it is a spontaneous event influenced by rainfall patterns and the subsequent grazing opportunities. The animals are constantly on the move all year-round. They stay in the Masai Mara from July to October before gradually migrating back to the Serengeti from November,
THE BIG FIVE
The “Big Five” is a term that is used to refer to the 5 African animals that early big game hunters considered most difficult and dangerous animals to hunt on foot in Africa. These animals include the African elephant, lion, leopard, Cape buffalo, and rhinoceros.