Travelling in Kenya
Please find below information about travelling to Kenya. Should you have any specific questions that are not addressed in the details below, please don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What to Pack
The maximum weight limit for luggage is 23kg including hand luggage for your SkySafari. Note that for scheduled flights a weight limit of 15 kg applies. Luggage should be packed in soft bags rather than in rigid suitcases. Note that all our properties provide a free laundry service which can help with the limited weight allowance.
International Airlines do lose or mislay luggage from time to time so we suggest putting any essential items such as a change of clothes/malaria tables/chronic medication in your hand luggage too.
Please read below our suggested ‘Packing List’.
This is not an exhaustive list but is based on what our past guests have mentioned.
- Subdued safari colours such as khaki, green, beige and neutral colours (dark blue and black clothing is not practical during game drives but can be worn at the lodges & camps).
- Shirts with long sleeves for a chilly evening and even in summer as protection from the sun & mosquitoes.
- Golf-shirt/T shirts.
- Shorts or light skirts.
- Safari trousers for evenings and cooler days
- A fleece or thick sweater is recommended for early morning and evening game drives.
- Lightweight waterproof jacket.
- Swim and beachwear (swimming is available at each of the Elewana Collection of lodges and camps).
- Comfortable walking shoes (running/tennis shoes are fine).
- Jackets or ties are not required nor any special dress code when dining in lodges & restaurants.
- We suggest that ladies do not wear shorts above the knees or tops that shows bare shoulders in cities, particularly in Muslim areas. The same applies for public areas on the coast of Kenya and Zanzibar.
- Swimwear is fine on the beach or around the pool, but not appropriate in town. Topless sunbathing is prohibited.
Medication and Toiletries
- Sunblock with high SPF 30 or 50. Hat, moisturiser and lip-salve are all essentials.
- Personal toiletries – all our Elewana properties have their own range of complimentary shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and body lotion.
- Malaria tablets if applicable – please seek advice from your physician or local travel clinic.
- Basic medical kit containing plasters, travel sickness tablets, antiseptic cream, antihistamine cream, pain relieving tablets for headaches, indigestion tablets, eye drops, medication for upset stomachs, rehydration sachets and after-sun moisturiser. If you have any allergies i.e. insect stings, or an asthma condition, please make sure you bring enough of your required medication with you.
- Strong insect repellent.
Personal Eye wear
A good quality pair of sunglasses (tinted fashion glasses are not good in strong light) If you wear contact lenses, bring enough solution & a pair of glasses in case your eyes get irritated.
Photographic and Optics Advice
- A good camera with zoom function. 300 mm lenses are adequate for wildlife photography.
- We recommend you bring plenty of memory cards/film and batteries.
- A dust proof bag ensures your camera is safe from the dust whilst on safari.
- A pair of binoculars will enhance your game viewing experience and although your guide will have pairs available to use, you may wish to bring your own. We recommend 8 x 40 as an appropriate specification.
- Please don’t forget to ask permission before taking a photograph of any East African resident. There could be a charge for this.
- A small flashlight – although flash-lights are available at each of the Elewana Collection of lodges and camps.
Kenya has a generally comfortable tropical climate year-round, but there are significant regional variations. The coast is warm & humid and can feel sticky throughout the rains. These rains throughout Kenya are ‘the long rains’ from the end of March to the end of May and the short rains’ from November to the beginning of December. Amboseli is located at the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro and has a dry but temperate climate, cool in the morning and evening and warm during the day. Meru National Park enjoys a more arid and warm climate. The coolest months in Kenya are from June to August and the warmest are from December to March.
The local currency is the Kenyan Shilling. You can either change money at a Bureau de Change or bank which you will find at the major airports & towns. ATMs are available there too but note that you can only draw Kenyan Shillings. Alternatively you can change money at Hemingways on arrival.
US Dollars are widely accepted in sites frequented by tourists. We advise our guests to take spending money in the form of US Dollars cash, bring some small denominations too for tipping purposes. Note that USD bills must be newer than 2009. Credit cards are accepted at larger shops & restaurants but note that often a surcharge (approximately 5%) is levied. Note that Elewana does not apply this policy, there is no surcharge levied on any credit card payments.
Visas & Passports
Visitors requiring an entry visa into Kenya are advised that the visa-onarrival service is longer available. All travellers are required to apply for their evisa in advance. When applying for your visa in your home country you might be asked for means of financial support, please fill in “Pre-arranged by UK/US (or any other country) Operator.”
Apply for your evisa online: https://evisa.go.ke/evisa.html
Note that obtaining the correct visa is every traveler’s own responsibility so we advise you strongly to check with your local Kenya embassy for the latest regulations before arriving in Kenya.
Please note that your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after your departure from Kenya. You need at least 4 unused consecutive blank pages.
We recommend making copies of all important travel documents. Should you lose a travel document, a copy will speed up the process of acquiring a replacement document. Leave one copy at home and put one copy in your main luggage.
You might be asked to fill in an Immigration Form either in the plane just before arriving, or upon your arrival. When asked for a local address, please fill in:
Tel: +255 730 127 000
Pre-Travel COVID-19 Negative Certificate & Date of Validity Requirements
All arriving passengers on international flights must show a negative COV ID-19 certificate upon arrival. If a passenger is not exhibiting typical COV ID-19 symptoms on arrival (temperature above 37.5°C (99.5°F), persistent cough, difficulty in breathing or flu-like symptoms) they will be exempt from quarantine. However, if there is a reported case of COV ID-19 on the flight or if the above symptoms are detected, the passengers within two rows of the passenger with the symptoms shall be quarantined for testing. If the results are negative, they shall be allowed to leave the facility.
Travellers Health Surveillance Form
All travellers entering Kenya are required to complete a ‘Travellers Health Surveillance’ form on arrival. The form requests a flight seat number so this can be completed, after online check-in when a seat number has been issued (as long as they don’t change seats). Passengers can also complete the form online if they have access to the internet, and will be sent a QR code, which passengers show the Port Health Official in Arrivals (a print-out or on a device). If passengers do not have access to the internet, a hard copy of the form can be completed and handed to the Official.
Complete the Travellers Health Surveillance form online: https://ears.health.go.ke/airline_registration/
Passengers and Nationals travelling from the countries appearing in the Kenya Civil Aviation Authorities-issued listing, who do not have a temperature above 37.5°C (99.5°F) and are not exhibiting typical COV ID-19 symptoms, in addition to having a COV ID-19 negative certificate (within 96 hours prior to travel), will not require mandatory quarantine.
Travellers arriving from countries that are not listed will be required to quarantine upon arrival either at a Government of Kenya designated facility or at a Kenyan residence for 14 days. Those taken into government quarantine will not be charged a fee for their stay at the facility.
Please note this information is updated on a regular basis. Further updates affecting newly-exempted countries and other travel changes will be issued as and when they arise and these can be accessed on the KCAA website: https://www.kcaa.or.ke/quarantine-exempted-states
Visas - Travelling to Zanzibar
If you are flying from mainland Kenya to Zanzibar, you need to acquire a Tanzanian visa. In order to avoid any delays on arrival, we strongly advise that you purchase a visa online prior to arrival. Online visa applications can be completed 2 – 3 weeks before travel via https://eservices.immigration.go.tz/visa/, or at the airport on arrival in Zanzibar.
We advise against drinking water from the faucets whilst in Kenya/Zanzibar. Mineral water is available in all shops & restaurants and in all the Elewana lodges and vehicles. We recommend that you use mineral water for brushing teeth. Life on safari can be tiring from time to time. A different climate, different food & water could lead to dehydration. From the day you set foot in Africa we would suggest that you drink more water than you are used to.
The sun close to the equator is strong so please wear a hat & apply sunscreen frequently.
Yellow Fever Certificate
Please consult your physician or local travel clinic for an up-to-date list of required vaccinations for travelling to remote places in Kenya.
If, despite taking recommended drugs, you feel unwell and feverish, seek medical advice.
Medical Evacuation insurance is included in all our Elewana safaris. Note that this insurance is not a complete Travel Insurance, it only covers medical evacuation in case of a medical emergency. It is a booking condition that all our guests have valid Travel Insurance, please check that you are covered for medical emergencies, curtailment of your trip due to unforeseen circumstances & loss of belongings. Ensure proper insurance for your camera/video equipment.
Internet and cell phone reception
All Elewana properties have free Wifi internet access in the communal areas of the lodge. There are some restrictions to the speed in some areas but the download capacity is more than capable of managing email and social media access. The mobile phone network in Kenya is extensive but in more remote areas, where you are on safari there is likely to be a weak signal.
We often get asked ‘what should we tip?’ The simple answer is that you should tip as you wish, with no obligation whatsoever. What we do say is that tipping is very much welcomed and is normal here in Africa, and our staff very much appreciate any extra contributions. Once again we say that you should only tip as a reward for excellent service. It is customary to tip 10% of your bill & 10% of the taxi fare to taxi drivers. It is also customary
to tip local guides for excellent service.
- US$10-15 per person per day for general staff
- US$10-15 per person per day for guides
So if there are 3 of you travelling together, we would suggest tipping your guide between US$ 30-45 in total per day.
Each Elewana property has a ‘tipping box’ for a discrete contribution to your camp, lodge or hotel staff. Any staff member more deserving for excellent service may be tipped individually/separately and as for tipping your driver guide, we suggest that this is done separately.
Please give details of your flight leaving Kenya to our SkySafari Representative. Reconfirming flights on your behalf is part of our service.
Please note that all wild animals can be dangerous and you should not wander off on your own whilst on safari. After dark you will be escorted to your room, please do not walk alone. Always listen to your guide and follow the instructions carefully. No animal is tame and must at all times be treated with respect and not approached unless with an authorized professional guide.
Kiswahili otherwise known as Swahili is the ‘lingua franca’ of East Africa, including Zanzibar. English is widely spoken in Kenya, particularly in tourist centers, lodges and main cities.
East Africa Safari
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