The official currency is the Kenya Shilling. The written abbreviation is either KSh or using /= after the amount (ie 500/=)
Available Notes are 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 shillings. Available coins are 1, 5, 10, 20 and 40 shillings.
Unlimited foreign currency can be brought into the country but local currency cannot be imported or exported. Only authorized dealers can exchange currency. These are Bank, Forex Bureaus and Hotel /Lodge Cashiers. Unspent local currency may be re - converted at the bank on departure. We recommend you change only what you intend to spend.
The easiest currencies to exchange are US Dollars, Pounds sterling and EURO. Travellers Cheques are widely accepted, and many hotels, travel agencies, safari companies and restaurants accept Credit Cards. Most Banks in Kenya are equipped to advance cash on credit cards.
Before departure, travellers are advised to convert any excess Kenya shillings into foreign currency at a bank or bureau de change before departure. Anyone wishing to take more than 500,000 Kenya Shillings out of the country will require written authorization from the Central Bank.
Many hotels, travel agencies, safari companies and restaurants accept Credit Cards. Most Banks in Kenya are equipped to advance cash on credit cards.
Credit Cards such as VISA and Master Card are widely accepted in the major towns and most Hotels, Camps and Lodges. DINERS CLUB CARD is however NOT accepted anywhere in Kenya.
Most banks are open:
Monday - Friday (0900 - 1500 Hours)
Some banks are open first and last Saturday of the month (0900 - 1400 Hours)
Banks at the main Airports remain open 24 hours a day.
Many banks are now equipped with 24 hour ATM machines
Kenya has a single time zone- which is GMT+3.
Most businesses in Kenya are open from Monday to Friday, though some also trade on Saturday. Business hours are generally 9:00am to 5:00pm, closing for an hour over lunch (1:00pm – 2:00pm).
Kenya has a good network of telephone, cellular and satellite connections. Work is under way to expand this network and introduce fibre optic cables. Most hotels and lodges offer International telephone and fax services. In larger towns, private telecommunication centres also offer international services. If you have a mobile phone with a roaming connection, then you can make use of Kenya’s excellent cellular networks, which covers most larger towns and tourist areas. When calling Kenya, the International code is +254.
Kenya has good Internet Service Providers with WIFI mostly available in the cities. Email,Wifi and Internet services are offered by many hotels and lodges. In most towns, there are plenty of private business centres and cyber cafes offering email and internet access.
Kenya has a good postal service for both local and international post. There are post offices and post boxes in most towns. Many shops in tourist lodges and hotels sell stamps. There are different rates for letters by weight, airletters, and postcards by size. Parcel services are available from larger post offices. There are post restante services in Nairobi and Mombasa.
Kenya has several English language newspapers. The most popular are the Daily Nation and the East African Standard The East African is a weekly newspaper sold throughout Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
The East African is a weekly newspaper sold throughout Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. There are two seperate Swahili newspapers, Taifa Leo and Kenya Leo. There is also locally produced television and radio media. International newspapers and magazines are widely available in Kenya. Digital Satellite Television has become widespread throughout Kenya. Many hotels provide this South African based service, offering a range of channels.
The best choice of vaccines for your trip depends on many individual factors, including your precise travel plans. Vaccines commonly recommended for travellers to Africa include those against:
--Tetanus, Diphtheria, Polio, Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Yellow fever*, Rabies, Meningitis
Certificate required for entry into, or travel between, some African countries .
Several of these vaccines require more than one dose, or take time to become effective. It is always best to seek advice on immunisation well in advance, if possible around 6 weeks before departure.
What to Pack
It is advisable to travel with a small medical kit that includes any basic remedies you may need, such as antacids, painkillers, anti-histamines and cold remedies. You will also need anti-diarrhoeal medication such as Imodium (adults only); and oral rehydration sachets such as Electrolade, especially if travelling with children.
Also include first aid items such as Band-Aids, antiseptic and dressings. It may be worth asking your doctor to prescribe a broad spectrum antibiotic, suitable for treating dysentery or severe infections.
Take along scissors, tweezers, and thermometer, lip salve, sun block, water purification tablets or drops, as well as your preferred brands of toiletries and cosmetics. If you wear spectacles or contact lenses, take spares. Also take a torch and a pocket knife.
Malaria is a disease spread by mosquitoes that bite mainly at dusk and at night: every traveller to Africa needs reliable, up to date advice on the risks at his or her own destination. Prevention consists of using effective protection against bites (see below), plus taking anti-malarial medication. The most suitable choice of medication depends on many individual factors, and travellers need careful, professional advice about the advantages and disadvantages of each option.
The most effective preventive drugs for travel to Africa are:
Lariam: widely-used; side-effects have received much media attention (ranging from vivid dreams to more serious neurological reactions); those who should not take this drug include travellers with a previous history of neurological and psychological problems.
Doxycycline: possible side-effects include a skin reaction that can be triggered by bright sunlight, as well as an increased risk in women of vaginal thrush.
Malarone: highly effective, well-tolerated, and with an extremely low rate of side-effects, but more expensive and currently only available on an unlicensed basis from specialist centres. Chloroquine and Paludrine have little risk of side effects and were previously widely used, but are now only about 50-60 per cent effective in many parts of East, West, and Central Africa, and must be used with caution, if at all.
Commercial import to neighbouring Tanzania has even been stopped. Whatever your choice, you must take an anti malarial drug if you are visiting a malarial region, and you must continue taking the drug for the necessary period after your return; you must also take precautions to reduce the number of insect bites (see below).
Visitors to malarial areas are at much greater risk than local people and long term expatriates - from malaria as from several other diseases: do not change or discontinue your malaria medication other than on skilled professional advice.
Travellers to very remote places should also consider taking stand-by malaria treatment, for use in an emergency. If on your return home, you develop influenza symptoms, please see your doctor immediately as you may well have contracted malaria.
There are several hospitals in East Africa, staffed by Professional and Internationally recognized Doctors. Emergencies and appointments can be made at the many surgeries \ clinics in the cities.
Food in Kenya.
In East Africa, food is simply delicious and of great variety - succulent crayfish from the Indian Ocean, English roast beef, Lamb and many other choices. Fruits are abundant - Pineapples, Paw-paw, Mangoes, Avocados as well as Bananas, Pears and Strawberries. Fresh vegetables are always available. The hotels Lodges and camps in which you stay are renowned for their high standard of cuisine. Suffice to say East Africa has everything, even for the most discriminating gourmet.
Generally, unless otherwise requested, Bed and Breakfast is provided in City Hotels and full board on safari. Beach hotels are booked on the meal plan of your choice
As the Cities varied and excellent restaurants are always busy, we would advise you to make reservations. We will be delighted to assist. Restaurants range from Chinese, International, Indian, Thai, Seafood, Barbecue, Ethiopian, Japanese, Italian, French, Greek, Russian etc.
We recommend that you DO NOT drink Tap Water. Bottled Drinking Water is readily available countrywide. All Game Lodges & Camps supply jugs or thermos flasks of drinking water in your room \ tent. Ice is generally frozen boiled water. For the entire duration of your safari, we provide bottled water in the Cooler Boxes in the Safari Vans. The water is normally chilled with blocks of ice and you are free to store your own refreshments in the Cooler Boxes.
These are all available. The price of soft drinks and beer is extremely reasonable. Imported spirits, Wine and Cigarettes are also available
Kenya General Info.
Common sense should prevail and precaution taken as in any major city. Unless safety deposit boxes are available in your Lodge or Hotel always carry your travel documents, Travellers Cheques, cash and other valuables with you at all times. Only carry small amounts of cash and keep a close eye on your handbag / wallet. We recommend that you do not walk at night - take a Taxi!
We advise you not to buy from street hawkers and to be weary of Street Con-artist. They spin wonderful yarns but the end of the story is nearly always the same - you end up paying for them. Taking photographs at Airports, of the President and entourage, near military installations, of policemen, etc. is prohibited.
Before taking photographs of the people, permission should be obtained. You should seek the assistance of our Drive- guides in this matter. Do please remember our animals are wild and should never be approached on foot. Please be alert and cautious in the Lodges and camps when walking from your room to the public areas.
The electricity supply in Kenya is 220/240 v 50hz. Plugs are 3 point square. For appliances manufactured in the U.S.A. and CANADA please bring voltage and plug adaptors where appropriate.
Most hotels and Lodges outside the major towns generate their own electricity.However, some generators are usually only run for short periods in the early mornings and again in the evening from 1830 to 2230 hours.
Air Tickets - Reconfirmation
These must be reconfirmed for all domestic and international flights and we are delighted to assist. In order for us to do this, we must able to personally check your tickets.
Airport Service Tax
This is now normally included in your Air Ticket at the time of purchase. In the event it is not the Airport Charges For all passengers departing from International Airports is payable as follows:
International flights - US$ 40.00 per person [ not payable in local currency ].
The Sun is stronger in the Tropics than in the Temperate Zone. A pair of dark glasses is recommended as is a hat providing protection from the Sun. Carry a pair of binoculars for added pleasure whilst game viewing.
Most City Hotels and also Game Lodges and Camps provide a laundry service but we recommend you confirm this with the management.
If your itinerary includes any flying in a light aircraft on safari, you are restricted to a maximum of 15 Kilos, including hand luggage.
We hope you have brought enough film and Camera equipment with you. Both are readily available in most parts of the country. If you intend to purchase extra film, we suggest you do so in the Cities as often the safari Lodges and camps have limited stock.
You may like to carry your equipment in a dust - proof Bag, as the roads can be dusty.