Masai Mara

Masai Mara

Situated in the south-western part of Kenya in the Great Rift Valley, the Masai Mara is one of Africa's most iconic safari destinations and offers outstanding game viewing all year around.

Amboseli National Park

Amboseli National Park

With a spectacular backdrop of the snowy peak of Mount Kilimanjaro, Amboseli National Park is just under 400 square kilometres in size, and is famous for its large elephant population.

The Kenyan Coast

The Kenyan Coast

Fringed by swaying palm trees one one side, and the warm Indian Ocean on the other, the Kenyan Coast is lined with coral reefs, making it an ideal destination for families, honeymooners and diving enthusiasts alike.

Laikipia Plateau

Laikipia Plateau

The Laikipia Plateau is situated at the foot of Mount Kenya, and is one of the few places in Kenya where you can view significant numbers of the endangered black rhino.

Holidays In Kenya

Holidays In Kenya

Kenya is an iconic wildlife destination, and boasts some of Africa's best beaches.

Facts for the Visitor

Visas, Climate, Currency - all you need to know for your holiday in Kenya

Visa Requirements

A visa is required for entry into Kenya when travelling as a tourist. Whilst tourists to Kenya can still obtain a visa upon arrival at the port of entry, it is now also possible to apply online for your visa via the eVisa portal https://www.ecitizen.go.ke/.  If you apply online, please ensure that you apply at least 3-4 weeks prior to your travel dates as approval for the eVisa takes up to 7 working days to process. Once the eVisa is issued, it is valid for 3 months. You must print a copy of your visa to present to the Immigration Officer at your point of entry into Kenya. A full list of the nationalities who can be issued with an eVisa can be found here: http://evisa.go.ke/evisa-faqs.html

The following eVisa types are available (please note that visa fees for children under the age of 16 has been removed):

Single Entry - Allows you to enter into Kenya once - current cost USD 51.

Transit - Allows a short stop over (up to 3 days/72 hours) in Kenya - current cost USD 21. This is ideal if you want to leave the secure area of the airport, for example for an overnight stay inbetween flights, or for a period not exceeding 72 hours. No visa is required for a direct transit (not leaving the secure area of the airport, aka staying ‘airside’, within the airport terminal) between 2 flights.

It is also possible to get an East Africa Tourist Visa which is valid for 90 days and allows holders to travel to and within Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda - current cost USD 100 per person - but you can only apply for this at the point of entry or via your local Embassy.

Your passport should also be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Kenya.

Please note that plastic bags are banned in Kenya. Arriving visitors are requested to avoid bring plastic bags into the country and being in possession of a plastic bag is an offence and offenders could be penalised. Visitors are advised to avoid packing any plastic bags in their suitcases or in carry-on hand luggage before flying to Kenya. Items purchased at the airport before boarding the aircraft should be removed from plastic bags. Travellers coming into Kenya with plastic duty-free shop bags will also be required to leave them at the airport. Please check hand luggage before disembarking and any plastic bags (including the transparent ziplock plastic bags that some airlines require passengers to use for keeping liquids, cosmetics, toiletries etc) should be left in the plane. This does not apply to people in transit, so this rule only applies once you leave the airport.

PLEASE NOTE: Countries can change their entry requirements at any time. Travel Butlers try to ensure that the information displayed here is correct, but the onus remains with the traveller to verify the information with the relevant High Commission or Embassy and ensure that they can compy with current passport and visa requirements.

Medical Considerations

You are advised to contact your doctor or clinic around 4-8 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations and to get their professional medical advice regarding travel to Kenya.

There is a risk of malaria in all areas of Kenya, except Nairobi and the highlands - check with your doctor about suitable antimalarial tablets. Dengue fever can also be transmitted via mosquito bites. Try to avoid mosquito bites wherever possible - wear loose long-sleeved clothing and trousers, and use a repellent on clothing and exposed skin.

Kenya falls into the yellow fever region in Africa. There is only a low potential for exposure to yellow fever in Nairobi, Mombasa, Lamu, Malindi and Shimba Hills National Park, but in the rest of the country there is a higher risk. It is therefore advisable for all travellers aged 9 months and older to obtain a yellow fever vaccination no less than 10 days prior to travel, but depending on the rest of your travel plans and country of origin, it is not compulsory:

Travellers from the UK who are only travelling directly to and from Kenya are not required to produce a vaccination certificate upon their return to the UK.

If you are arriving into Kenya from a country which has a risk of yellow fever transmission, you will be required to provide a certificate of your vaccination upon entry into Kenya. These countries include Angola, Argentina, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Peru, Rwanda, Uganda and Venezula but it is up to the traveller to check the full list via http://www.who.int/ith/2015-ith-annex1.pdf?ua=1

Certain countries including South Africa and Tanzania will deny entry if you are arriving from Kenya without the vaccination. Please ensure you check the full list via http://www.who.int/ith/2015-ith-annex1.pdf?ua=1 to see which countries impose this rule.

language and people

English is the common commercial language, therefore it is spoken in the major towns and at all lodges and hotels. There are 52 tribes in Kenya, each with their own tribal language. The national language in Kenya is Swahili.

currency

The monetary unit is the Kenyan shilling. There is no limit to the amount of currency or traveller's cheques that you can bring into the country. US dollars are widely accepted too, however, notes dated before 2001 are no longer accepted and high denomination notes may also not be accepted.

All the major Credit cards are widely accepted in the city hotels, city restaurants and city shops but this may not be the case in the rural areas or whilst on safari.  A commission charge is normally added to any transactions using a credit card.

Travellers cheques may be cashed in a bank but this can be a somewhat lengthy process.

The smaller safari lodges and camps or rural hotels may not all accept travellers cheques or credit cards and where they do they may give an unfavourable exchange rate or add a surcharge, so it is recommended that you obtain whatever local currency you may need on safari in advance by drawing cash from an ATM at a bank in Nairobi or there is a bank at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport which is located in the far corner of the Baggage hall, so you can obtain money while waiting for your luggage to come through.

Reverting your Kenyan shillings into hard currency is easily done at the airport, hotels and banks. The rate of exchange varies between banks, foreign exchange bureaus and hotels. Do NOT change money on the black market, or destroy Kenyan currency as both acts are illegal.

climate

You can read more about the climate in our guide to the best time to visit Kenya.

phone coverage

The international dialling code for Kenya is +254. Most areas of Kenya have some form of mobile phone network, however it is often weak or unreliable, so please do not always rely on it.

electricity

Voltage in Kenya is 240 volts, and plugs are generally square 3-pin UK style. In some properties power is only available in the early morning and evening, and some do not have power points in the rooms/tents. Where power points are not available, there will be charging facilities for cameras, phones and computers in the main areas.  

time zone

Kenya Standard Time is 3 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+3). Kenya does not operate Daylight-Saving Time.