Kenya means, above all, white beaches which the tourists come from all over the world for, and picturesque savannahs where you will see wild animals in their natural habitat. In fact you can feel the surrounding nature in all its aspects - from the snowy peaks to the cozy and mysterious jungles. For the sake of this incredible experience it's worth visiting Kenya- considered to be one of the most attractive places in Africa.
Geography Kenya is located in the eastern part of Africa and shares borders with Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda. The coast goes out on the Indian Ocean. The landscape of the country is quite diverse, including the scenic lakes (Victoria and a Naivash- the sacred lake of the ancient Maasai). Throughout the country there are a total of twenty national parks where you can see the most famous five African animals - elephant, leopard, lion, buffalo and rhino. The largest national park is Tsavo but the most famous in the territory of Kenya is the Massai Mara which attracts tourists not only with its rich wildlife but also with the unusual landscape.
The greatest attraction in the parks and reserves is the local residents. Their songs and dances can give unusual flavor to your evening as well as the playing of exotic musical instruments. This entire wealth is available only away from the civilization; the cities offer a variety of casinos, clubs, museums, galleries and exhibition centers to the tourists.
Nightclubs in Kenya can be found mainly in the large cities where they are located in separate buildings or directly within the hotels. Many hotels far from the center also offer small discos for the entertainment of the tourists. In general this way to have some fun it typical for the hotels situated on the coast - in the campsites on the territory of the national parks noisy activities at night are not carried out.
The main language of the country is Bantu, spoken by more than 80% of the population.
The Russian citizens visiting Kenya require a visa. It can be issued in the embassy of the country. Processing of the documents takes 7 working days.
For applying for visa is required:
- TRAVEL-passport (valid for at least 6 months from the date of return);
- One 3×4 photo (picture should have been taken in the past six months);
- Completed application form.
For their own safety the tourists should follow a few simple rules:
- When you arrive to Nairobi ensure to wait until someone meets you at the airport, especially if you arrive when it's dark. It is important for your safety in the city.
- Children are admitted not to all hotels for security reasons (rooms on stilts, lack of fencing at the national parks, hotel location on the edge of a cliff). Ensure to clarify the policy of the hotel of your choice regarding children.
- Do not feed wild animals in national parks, especially predators. They live by hunting- you can also adversely affect the rhythm of their lives.
- Do not use flash during night safari.
- Find the most comfortable clothing allowing you to cover the whole body and at the same time not limiting your movements. In case it rains a jacket with a hood will be the best.
- Some luxury hotels require a certain dress code for dinner- in particular T-shirts and jeans might be banned.
- If you stay at the camp do not leave your tent without being accompanied by an armed ranger - it is necessary for your safety, because the campgrounds are often fenced off and in the national parks roam wild animals whose behavior is often unpredictable.
- Mosquitoes can carry malaria. To protect yourself use repellents, as well as cover for the night with mosquito nets.
- If you need to cover a distance of more than 350km (the trip takes about 5-6 hours), it is better to use air transport.
- During the trip tourists should not be photographed without their permission;
- Always carry some cash in case you want to buy souvenirs - in Kenya, not everywhere there are ATMs.
- It is best to drink bottled water, although many of the hotels advertize that you can drink water straight from the tap.
- During safari do not get too close to the animals and do not interfere with their hunting whatsoever.
- Do not leave the car without the permission of the guide.
- Do not use random sexual services generally offered in the tourist areas - HIV is spread in Kenya.
- Be sure to bring sunscreen.
- Fruits and vegetables before use should be thoroughly washed.
- You should only swim in designated areas.
The shops in Kenya operate from 9.00 am to 17.00, from Monday to Saturday. If you want to bring an unusual and colorful souvenir that will remind you of the exotic trip, feel free to choose a statue of valuable wood. The traditional Maasai blanket is also a good souvenir.
1 January (New Year);
May 1 (Labor Day);
June 1 (Madaraka Day);
October 10 (Moi Day);
20 October (Kenyatta Day);
December 12 (Independence Day);
December 25-26 (Christmas).
There are also some holidays with unfixed date:
Also they celebrate some Muslim holidays in Kenya:
End of Ramadan (Eid-al-Fitr);
Birthday of the Prophet;
Safari is the most popular way to spend time in Kenya. Here it is offered in several formats: camel safari- common for Samburu and near the Lake of Turkana. Safari also can be requested in any of the national parks - Amboseli, Masai Mara and the lakes Nakuru and Baringo.
For the lovers of walking there are many safe paths for trekking in the neighboring mountains of Kenya. Some of them lead to one of the peaks of the mountains - Lena, which can be reached even by untrained tourists.
Places of considerable interest are Mount Elgon near Ugandschoy, as well as the Ngong Hills near Nairobi. In these areas it is best to travel in a group accompanied by a guard.
While in Kenya do not refuse yourself the pleasure of fishing on the coast of Malindi or rafting in the scenic swift rivers. If you are searching for extreme experience climb into the sky in a balloon (it can be done in the Masai Mara Park).
If you are having holiday on the beach, go diving or windsurfing.
In Kenya the restaurants mostly serve meat dishes, while on the coastal strip the popular seafood is offered in a wide range. Integral parts of the local cuisine are the fresh fruits and vegetables, especially strawberries, pineapple and papaya.
CARNIVORE is one of the best restaurants in the country where the visitors can discover all the secrets of the African cuisine. The menu offers exotic dishes: crocodile, giraffe or zebra meat cooked on an open fire that it will be served right on a skewer to the table. Dinner costs about 20ue here.
TAMARIND DHOW is also very popular. It is located in Mombasa, on the deck of an ancient Arab ship. Here you can enjoy the wonderful atmosphere of the ocean waves with live music, while at the same time sceneries of the Old City change one after another.
The climate in the country heavily depends on the terrain. Near the coast it is humid, close to the center of the country is dry and hot, in the area dominated by mountains there is fresh cool air. In Kenya, there are peaks always covered with snow, although the average temperature in the capital is +20 and in coastal areas- near +27. In the lower parts the temperature ranges from +21 to +27. The seasons differentiate by the number and duration of the rainfall. The rainy season is from April to June and from October to December.
When it is best to visit
The travel time depends largely on your preferences for the kind of holiday you want to have. If you want to see the local fauna it is best to choose a tour in the interval from January to February when the weather is relatively dry and the animals gather at the watering places. At this time the vegetation dries up considerably and the area is easily to be observed.
You can go from May to September when Kenya reveals the beauty of its flora blossoming with strange flowers and the greenery of the trees. At the same time the animals are still clearly visible.
For the lovers of the coast the optimal period is from August to February. The rainy season in Kenya is in April.
How to reach
No direct flights from Russia to Kenya, but you can use connecting flights instead. For example Aeroflot offers a stopover in Dubai, as well as the Middle Eastern company of Emirates Airlines. Turkish Airlines offer flights to Nairobi via Istanbul, Qatar Airways- via Doha and KLM- via Amsterdam. Kenya's international airport is located 16 km from the capital. If you wish you can reach Kenya by land- usually the tourist buses pass through the border with Uganda in the cities of Buiza and Malaba.
Amboseli National Park - located near the Mount of Kilimanjaro, opening a view of the volcano. Nearby is the Masai Mara Reserve (located nearly 400 km from Nairobi). It is a natural extension of the well-known Serengeti Park and it is famous with the presence of the «Big Five African» its territory.
Tsavo East and West - this is the largest nature reserve in Kenya, it was opened in the mid-20th century, encompassing more than 60 species of animals and more than 400 birds.
Mount Kenya and Aberdare Park - Here is the kingdom of the waterfalls and exotic hotels, hidden in the trees. The park is located at the foot of the second highest mountain in Africa.
The Great Rift Valley - it stretches from Israel to Madagascar, located between Masai Mara Park and the city of Nairobi. These areas are surrounded by plantations of coffee and tea.
Meru Park - is 350 kilometers from Nairobi, famous primarily with the white rhinoceros that used to live here before 1988. Today there are rare species of zebras, giraffes and gazelles.
Samburu and Shaba Parks - both parks are located in the northern Kenya and they are a reflection of each other to some extent. They are home for baboons, giraffe gazelles, gerenuks, antelopes, buffalos, reticulated giraffes. Sometimes you can see lions and leopards. Along the shores of the river are floating crocodiles and hippos.
Lake Naivasha - there are more than 340 species of birds- many of them are rare.
Lake Nukuru - is also a national park, located 150 km from the capital. This is the valley of the great African Rift where in the water you can find wealth of fish and algae and on the banks live pink flamingos.
Maritime National Wildlife Reserve - the areas of this park are scattered around the coast of the ocean. You are able not only to sunbathe and swim but also participate in exciting underwater safaris, enjoying the beauty of the reefs.