Kenya Safari Travel Guide
Get ready to safari in style with Jokotta in Kenya! Kenya is a world-class wildlife destination where you can visit Maasai Mara to see the famed Great Migration, Amboseli to see the Big Five, and Tsavo to explore the stunning landscapes. Taste the local cuisine, dance with Maasai warriors, and sleep beneath the stars. Join Jokotta for an immersive journey into the heart of Kenya's wild beauty!
Tips for Planning Your Kenya Safari
1. Connect with cultures- Immerse yourself in local cultures by visiting Maasai villages or engaging in cultural exchanges. Connect with Kenya beyond its wildlife, savouring unique traditions, dances, and cuisine.
2. Capture the sunset- Take advantage of Kenya's stunning sunsets. Whether it's at the savannah or overlooking a waterhole, the golden hour provides a magical backdrop for photography and creating lasting memories.
3. Night game drives- Experience the thrill of nocturnal wildlife with a night game drive. Spot elusive creatures like leopards, hyenas, and nocturnal birds in their natural habitat, adding an extra layer of excitement to your safari.
Money and Expenditure
Although foreign currencies such as US dollars are commonly accepted (and indeed the currency required for activities such as hot-air balloon safaris), we suggest using local currency to pay for food bills, souvenirs and snacks not included in your itinerary.
Banking facilities and ATMs are found throughout Kenya's major travel destinations and all major credit cards are widely accepted, in particular MasterCard, Visa and American Express.
When planning your journey to Kenya, it's essential to familiarise yourself with the country's visa policies to ensure a smooth entry.
Kenya is ushering in a significant change in its visa requirements, moving towards a more streamlined process with the introduction of Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA). This shift aims to enhance the efficiency and accessibility of the visa application system for travellers.
1. Documentation and the Application Process
The documentation process is simplified with the installation of ETA. Travellers are required to have a valid passport, proof of lodging, and return flight information. It is also necessary that all visitors to Kenya have taken the yellow fever vaccination at least 10 days before the date of travel. Specific documents, however, may differ depending on the traveller's nationality and purpose of visit. One can complete the application online, eliminating the need for physical visits to embassies or consulates.
2. Visa and ETA fees
In a gazette notice in November 2023, the government, through the Ministry of Interior, announced that ETA charges will be $30 from January 2024.
The gazette notice also highlighted changes in visa fees, where $100 for a Single visa, $500 for a Multiple visa, $160 for a 5-year Multiple visa, and $200 for an extension of visa after six months. Additionally, sanctions for overstaying will cost $100; Referral/Multiple entry visa processing fees will cost $100; a transit visa will cost $50; and an East African tourism visa will cost $100. The changes were meant to be effective on January 1, 2024.
When planning your trip to Kenya, it's important to consider the many different climates and weather patterns that the country endures throughout the year.
The annual wildebeest migration in Kenya's Maasai Mara National Reserve takes place between July and August, which is also the biggest tourist season. This time of year, the Maasai Mara grasslands become home to millions of wildebeests and other animals, providing an unequalled natural wonder. This season is especially good for game viewing since the animals assemble in large numbers along the Mara River.
Travellers also like visiting Kenya during the dry season, which typically begins in June and lasts until October. The days are warm and the evenings are cold, making wildlife watching easy as animals cluster around pools of water. When the grass isn't green, it's much easier to spot animals in reserves and national parks, making this the ideal time for a safari.
If you want to see a lot of birds, go to Kenya between November and May, during the wet season. Countless migrating bird species flock to Kenya during this season, transforming the landscape into a lush paradise. Even when it rains, it typically only showers for a few minutes, so there are plenty of sunny days to visit the national parks.
The best time to visit Kenya is a matter of personal taste and interest. There is a season for everything, whether you want to witness the Great Migration, different species of animals, or the most beautiful birds.
Photography Tips for Your Kenyan Adventure
1. Do’s and don'ts of photography
1. Do respect wildlife distance: Maintain a safe distance for both you and the animals.
2. Don't use flash: Avoid startling or disturbing animals with sudden bursts of light.
3. Do follow park regulations: Adhere to guidelines for responsible wildlife photography.
2. Capturing the perfect safari shot
1. Timing is key: Early mornings and late afternoons offer amazing sightings, but the light conditions are sub-optimal, so make sure the camera is calibrated at such times.
2. Patience pays off: Be prepared to wait for that perfect wildlife moment.
3. Include landscapes: Showcase Kenya's stunning scenery in your shots.
3. Ideal camera equipment for wildlife photographers
1. Telephoto lens: Capture distant wildlife without disturbing them.
2. Sturdy tripod: Ensure stability for crisp and clear shots.
3. Backup equipment: Be prepared for unexpected situations with spare batteries and memory cards.
4. Balancing safety and photography
1. Stay vigilant: Be aware of your surroundings, especially in the wild.
2. Follow the guide's instructions: Listen to experienced guides for safety guidelines.
3. Respect the environment: Leave no trace and prioritise the welfare of wildlife.
Connectivity and Communication
Mobile Networks and Internet Connectivity:
1. Enjoy strong mobile networks across urban areas.
2. Benefit from widespread 4G coverage for reliable internet connectivity.
3. Purchase local SIM cards available at airports and local shops.
1. Learn a few Swahili phrases for a friendly exchange.
2. English is widely spoken, facilitating smooth communication.
3. Embrace local customs and politeness in your interactions.
What to Pack?
Pack light casual clothing in neutral colours (avoid white, black, and blue) and a thick jacket for evening and early morning game drives on your Kenya safari.
The dress code in Kenya's major cities is conservative but not unduly formal - jeans and modest blouses for women are acceptable. Swimsuits are permitted on the beach, but you must cover up in public locations.
More About Kenya
1. History and economy- Kenya's economy relies on agriculture, tourism, and technology, forming a vibrant nation from old trading lines to independence.
2. People and culture- Diverse ethnic groups, such as the Maasai, contribute to Kenya's diverse culture, which is shown in traditional dances, ceremonies, and welcoming hospitality.
3. Landscape and wildlife- Kenya's safari trips include stunning landscapes, from savannahs to the Great Rift Valley, home to recognised species, including the Big Five, assuring an outstanding nature travel experience.
Adventure beyond Safari
Kenya's various landscapes and rich natural beauty provide the ideal backdrop for a variety of outdoor activities for adventurers and nature enthusiasts. Kenya has a wide range of activities, including scenic drives, thrilling water sports, and wildlife encounters.
If you want an athletic challenge and amazing scenery, hiking Mount Kenya will be an unforgettable experience. Mount Kenya, Africa's second-highest peak, offers several trekking routes ideal for hikers of varying abilities. Whether you want to reach the pinnacle of Point Lenana or explore the lower slopes, hiking at Mount Kenya National Park immerses you in the spectacular alpine terrain.
This post is not to be taken as an official travel advisory. While planning your trip, we recommend checking the official Kenya tourism site for exact visa, vaccination and other requirements. Jokotta Discoveries will not be responsible for trip interruptions or cancellations arising from official requirements not being met by the traveller.