Kenya Travel Guide

Continent: Africa
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Kenya Travel Packages

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Kenya Travel Essentials

Ideal Duration: 7-10 days for safaris and major national parks; 2 weeks for a broader experience

Currency: Kenyan Shilling (KES)

Best Time: December to March, June to September Read More

Accommodation Cost (per night in USD): Dorm bed: $10-20
Budget: $30-60
Mid-range: $80-150
Luxury: $200 and above

Budget for Food & Drinks (per day in USD): Budget: $10-20
Mid-range: $30-50

Visa Policy for Indians: Visa-Free Entry; Need Travel Authorization

Visa Policy for Other Nationals: Visa-Free Entry for all countries; Need Travel Authorization

Getting In Kenya: Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) in Nairobi, Moi International Airport (MBA) in Mombasa Read More

Getting Around Kenya: Matatus (minibuses), buses, taxis, and domestic flights for longer distances Read More

"The Land of Safaris"

Kenya Tourism

Kenya, situated in East Africa, stands out as the ultimate safari destination globally, boasting renowned national parks like Masai Mara, Amboseli, and Tsavo. It is home to the famous Big 5 - African Elephants, leopards, rhinos, Cape buffalo, and lions that roam freely along with a plethora of wildlife, offering an experience like no other. Witnessing the annual Great Migration, where millions of wildebeest and other animals cross the Mara River, is a mesmerizing spectacle not to be missed in Kenya.

Kenya provides its wildlife with the backdrop of diverse landscapes, from the Great Rift Valley to lakes, highlands, savannahs, and deserts. There's also a stunning coastline stretching over 500 kilometres, offering pristine beaches, clear waters, and vibrant coral reefs ideal for activities like snorkelling and diving in coastal destinations like Mombasa and Lamu Island. And for adventure seekers, Mount Kenya, Africa's second-highest peak, offers an exciting challenge to conquer.

Kenya's rich cultural tapestry, including the globally celebrated ethnic communities such as the Maasai, Kikuyu, Luo, and 43 other tribes, offers travelers a chance to immerse themselves in unique traditions and ceremonies through traditional music, dance, and crafts. Cities like Nairobi blend Swahili, Arab, Indian, and European influences, evident in architecture, cuisine, and historical sites. The coastal region also offers a unique Swahili culture and delicious seafood cuisine, adding to Kenya's diverse culinary scene which includes traditional dishes like Nyama Choma (grilled meat) and Ugali (maize porridge). Museums in Nairobi and historical sites across the country provide insights into Kenya's extensive history.

Kenya's significance as a tourist destination is further enhanced by its efforts in conservation and eco-tourism. Many lodges and camps in the national parks are eco-friendly, supporting local communities and wildlife conservation projects. This commitment to sustainability makes Kenya an ideal destination for responsible travelers. Travellers in Kenya can choose between backpacking through beautiful landscapes or enjoying luxury lodges, suiting all preferences.  

Kenya is easily accessible with major international airports in Nairobi and Mombasa, and a well-developed network of roads and domestic flights connecting various tourist destinations within the country. The best time to visit Kenya is during the dry seasons, from December to late March and June to September, when wildlife viewing is at its peak.

Whether it's wildlife safaris, relaxing on pristine beaches, experiencing diverse cultures, or exploring history, Kenya offers something for everyone, making it the quintessential African holiday destination. And as you explore Kenya's wonders, the phrase "Hakuna Matata," meaning "no worries," captures the relaxed vibe of this captivating place.

Must Know Before You Travel to Kenya

  • Book in advance: If you are planning to go for a safari in high season, make sure you book 12 months in advance.
  • Park Fee: All national parks have a significant fee, and if you're staying near Kenya's national parks, remember this: the park entrance fee is valid for 24 hours. The park fee is exclusive of vehicle fees and additional activities charges.
  • Protected Areas: For visiting sensitive regions like Mount Kenya or the Maasai Mara, ensure you have the necessary permits and abide by conservation rules. These permits are typically included in the park entry fees or can be obtained through tour operators. Some regions, like coastal areas or islands, might have specific permits or fees for entry, especially for conservation efforts.
  • Health Precautions: Consult a doctor for vaccinations and take anti-malarial medication if needed.
  • Packing Tip: Pack appropriate clothing for varying climates, including warm days and cooler nights.
  • Currency: Use Kenyan Shillings (KES) for small expenses; major establishments accept credit cards.
  • VAT Refunds: Kenya offers VAT refunds for tourists. Ensure you keep your receipts and check the process for claiming refunds at the airport.
  • Travel Insurance: Get comprehensive coverage, including for adventure activities or safaris.
  • Pollution: In congested areas, Nairobi experiences high air pollution; check air quality indices if you have allergies.
  • Plastic Ban: Single-use plastic is banned within all Kenyan national parks and conservation areas. 

Best time to visit Kenya

The best time to visit Kenya is from December to late March and June and September. December to March offers excellent safari conditions with mild, mostly dry weather and remarkable wildlife sightings. Additionally, July to August is the prime period to witness the Great Migration. Vi... (Read More)

Holidify's opinion on Travel to Kenya

What's Great about Travelling to Kenya?

Beautiful landscape. Plenty of wildlife safaris. Helpful locals. Great tropical weather.

What's Not So Great about Travelling to Kenya?

Traffic jams on the roads. Beggars on streets. Electricity blackouts at times.

Who should Travel to Kenya?

Animal lovers. Adventure lovers. Photographers. Large family groups.

Read More on Kenya Travel

Exchanging Money in Kenya

There are various currency exchange agencies in Kenya such as the Sky Forex Bureau, which is the most popular one. You will also find several banks here. ATMs also exist, so it is not very difficult to get your currency exchanged. In terms of exchange, the KES to USD conversion rate is the most popular and most frequently used one.

Nightlife in Kenya

Kenya's nightlife is known for its lively atmosphere and diverse offerings. In cities like Nairobi and Mombasa, you'll find bustling club scenes with music ranging from local Afrobeat to international EDM. Popular areas include Westlands in Nairobi and Nyali in Mombasa, where bars and clubs host live music and themed nights. Coastal resorts often organize beach parties and bonfires for a unique experience.
There are several popular drinks enjoyed by locals and tourists. Tusker Lager is a well-known beer brewed in the country since 1922. Kenya Cane, a locally made cane spirit with various flavours, is also a favourite. Whether you're into dancing or chilling out, Kenya's nightlife has something for everyone.

Shopping in Kenya

Shopping in Kenya offers a diverse mix of traditional markets and modern malls. In Nairobi, you'll find upscale centres like The Junction Mall and local markets such as Maasai Market. City Market is perfect for fresh produce, while artisanal shops showcase handmade items like jewellery and textiles. Beyond just shopping, it's a chance to support local artisans and experience Kenya's cultural richness. Read More

Hygiene in Kenya

In Kenya, hygiene standards have improved, but challenges remain, especially in rural areas with limited access to clean water and toilets. While some public toilets are clean, others are not, and the use of toilet paper is becoming more common. Kenya faces water scarcity issues, but efforts are underway to improve water facilities. It's crucial to maintain personal health and well-being with good hygiene practices across the country.
  • Stick to bottled or purified water to stay hydrated and avoid tap water. Consider dining at restaurants that offer bottled or filtered water for added convenience and safety.
  • Use a reusable water bottle with purification tools for safe drinking water.
  • Avoid consuming raw or undercooked food.
  • Choose reputable restaurants, especially near urban areas, for safer food options. When trying street food, opt for busy stalls with high turnover to reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses.
  • Practice regular handwashing with soap or hand sanitiser.
  • Carry personal hygiene items like hand sanitiser, disinfectant wipes, and tissues.
  • Prioritize hygiene to minimize the risk of falling ill due to poor sanitation conditions.

Customs of Kenya

  • Use the right hand for passing items, as left-handed use is considered impolite.
  • Respect elders by clasping your right wrist when shaking hands.
  • Speak politely and thoughtfully in conversations.
  • Be patient, as Kenyan culture values a relaxed attitude towards time.
  • Observe table etiquette, especially in Muslim customs.
  • Greet with a handshake and use Swahili greetings like "Hujambo" or "Jambo."
  • Always ask permission before taking someone's photo.
  • Avoid pointing with the index finger, public displays of affection, and using foul language.

Tips for visiting Kenya

  • Smoking: Kenya has stringent anti-smoking laws in place. Smoking is prohibited in public areas, including restaurants, bars, and indoor spaces. Some establishments may have designated smoking areas available.
  • Plug Points: In Kenya, the standard voltage is 240V, and the plug type is Type G. 
  • Language: English and Swahili are the official languages in Kenya. English is widely spoken, particularly in tourist areas. Greet people with "Jambo" (hello).
  • Cultural Etiquette: Dress modestly, particularly when visiting religious sites or rural areas. Always ask for permission before taking photos of people, as some may prefer not to be photographed.
  • Safety: While Kenya is generally safe for tourists, it's essential to be aware of your surroundings and avoid displaying valuable items.
  • Tap Water: Drinking bottled water or using filtered water in Kenya is generally recommended. Ensure the seals on bottled water are intact before consuming.
  • Scams: While Kenya is a safe destination, it's always important to be cautious and aware of potential scams. Be particularly cautious of individuals posing as "tourist police" or officials requesting to see your identification or travel documents. Additionally, verify the legitimacy of tour operators before booking any tours or safaris by researching online reviews and considering booking through reputable travel agencies or recommended guides.
  • Bargaining: Common in markets; negotiate prices respectfully
  • Tipping: Customary to tip around 10% for good service in hotels, restaurants, and from guides.
  • Currency: Use Kenyan Shillings (KES) for small expenses; major establishments accept credit cards.

Food of Kenya

Kenyan cuisine is diverse and often elaborate. Meat is used on a large scale in all their preparations. Seafood, mainly comprising of fish, is also consumed a lot, because of the nearby water bodies. Ugali, which is made using cornmeal, is a staple in Kenya. Pilao, a lovely mixture of rice and spices, is one of the more popular dishes, followed by biryani. Along the coastal areas of the country, coconut rice is consumed to a great extent. Kenyan tea and coffee are both extremely popular. Tea here is generally dark, with lots of sugar. Read More

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FAQs on Kenya

How to reach Kenya from India?

Jet Airways, Air India, Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways, Kenya Airways are some of the carriers flying from India's metro cities to Kenya's cities. Kenya Airways has a non-stop flight from Mumbai to Nairobi.

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