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Kenya: FAQs

Our frequently asked questions about travel to Kenya. If you have any other questions, please contact your travel designer or concierge.

Domestic flights

Please note that light aircraft flights in Kenya are not always direct and often touch down at a couple of other airstrips to collect and drop-off other travellers to their respective destinations.

The flight routing is not usually confirmed until 24 hours prior to departure so we can only give a guideline as to your estimated arrival times. Please know that the companies who are responsible for the flight operations between camps do their utmost to make this process as painless as possible.

Weight restrictions

Please note that when packing for your trip to Africa, it is extremely important to note that there are strict weight restrictions enforced by the airlines. This is to ensure the safety and comfort of all passengers on board. Light aircraft are designed with a maximum body weight and luggage weight allowance in mind, and are limited to physical space restrictions.

Important: Max luggage allowance on light aircraft flights is 15kg/33lbs (excluding camera equipment and hand luggage). Luggage must be in soft bags, with no wheels or hard aspects, as needs to pack in to small undercarriages of light aircrafts.

Please inform us in advance if anyone travelling has an individual weight of more than 100kgs (220lbs) as additional weight allowance on the aircraft must be purchased for safety and comfort.

On ALL light aircrafts, only one soft bag per person will be accepted – no hard suitcases, as they cannot physically fit in the aircraft. The most efficient bags are soft, non-rigid bags with no wheels. Some airlines also impose luggage size restrictions – these can be found in the information to follow.

These luggage restrictions may sound very limiting, but bear in mind the following:

– Most safari camps / lodges and hotels provide basic toilet amenities

– Laundry can be done on a daily basis (and many camps provide this service free of charge but hotels do charge a nominal fee)

If you wish to bring additional luggage with you that exceeds the allotted weight restrictions for one person, you may choose to purchase another seat.

Do I need any vaccinations before I go away to Kenya?

Please seek professional medical advice and recheck close to the date of travel as the situation may change. There are no mandatory inoculations required for Kenya, however proof of Yellow Fever Vaccination may be required if you come from a yellow fever zone, mainly South American and other African countries. We advise that you contact your own doctor or specialist travel clinic for further advice about what is recommended. What is recommended for all is that you ensure you are up to date with hepatitis A, typhoid and routine immunisations – specifically tetanus-diphtheria, measles-mumps-rubella, polio, and varicella.

Do I need to take malaria tablets?

Kenya is a malarial risk zone. Check with your medical advisor about the areas you are going to before travelling to see which malaria tablets you should take. We recommend you bring some mosquito spray.

Do I need to get a visa?

To enter Kenya visas are currently required by citizens of EU, US, Canada, Hong Kong and the UAE. Some nationalities have to obtain visas prior to arrival in Kenya, and some can obtain them on arrival at the port of entry; please ask us, or check with your local embassy. We would recommend, for peace of mind that you purchase them in advance.

Kenya has recently launched eCitizen, an easy-to-use and efficient e-visa service, where all nationals requiring a visa can log onto the online portal and apply for their Kenya entry visa before travel. This process will become compulsory from 01 September 2015, however there will be a two-month changeover process until the end of August 2015. During this transition process, travellers will still have the option of purchasing their visa upon arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. Thereafter, nationals will not be allowed to purchase visas when landing in Kenya.

If you purchase your visa on arrival, please make sure you have the correct cash available to pay direct, preferably in US Dollars. This can always change, and you should check with your local embassy before travel. If your itinerary crosses into other countries, please bear in mind that you may need visas for these.

Please also ensure that you have sufficient blank visa pages (not endorsement pages) in your passport, with at least 2 consecutive/side by side blank pages. Our recommendation is 3 pages (or even 4 if you are travelling through more than one country on your journey). If there is insufficient space in your passport then entry into a country could be denied. It is also important that your passport if valid for at least six months after your intended departure.

Should I bring travellers cheques?

Travellers’ cheques are accepted in city hotels. However we don’t usually suggest bringing them as they can be troublesome and time consuming to change.  Cash machines are always nearby in big cities and airports. Credit cards are accepted in some, but not all, safari lodges.

Which currency should I bring?

The local currency is the Kenyan Shilling however US Dollars are recommended. Credit cards are widely accepted in most hotels, some lodges and shops. There are ATM’s at the airports and all the main shopping malls.  Remember to take cash to your safari lodge, for any gratuities.

Travel insurance

It is vital that you take out valid comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical repatriation, cancellation and curtailment for you trip to Africa. This gives you peace of mind that you will not lose money should you be forced to cancel your trip due to illness before you travel or during your vacation.

Please ensure that your insurance covers you for medical evacuation and repatriation both internationally and locally, and we could advise that your policy covers loss and theft of your possessions.

It is your responsibility to ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all aspects of your vacation. You must ensure that you will be covered for activities such as walking, rafting, canoeing and horse riding.

Remember to carry your insurance details with you at all times.

Laundry

Most camps and lodges have laundry facilities, provided you have sufficient time to allow for drying and ironing. Some properties charge a nominal fee for this (some include it). As laundry in lodges is generally done by hand, we suggest that you wash your own underwear.

Electrical plugs in Africa

There is a huge variation in the type of plug socket in use in Africa and it is best to be armed with a universal adaptor. The electrical voltage is 220-240 volts in Kenya, however many lodges have a limited power supply, but all are capable of re-charging your electrical goods. It is recommended that you also bring adaptor plugs.

Plastic bags

Please note, Kenya has banned the importation of plastic bags into the country.