Travellers cheques (Dollars or Pounds) and major credit cards are accepted at most hotels and the larger shops in Kenya. If approached by people in the streets offering to change money, please resist, despite the very tempting exchange rate that will be offered. You can convert back to foreign exchange any monies you have left over when you leave, but it is a fairly lengthy process and, if possible, it is better to try and calculate how much you are going to need up to the day of departure. It is illegal to take more than Ksh 100/- out of the country. Most banks are open from 09h00 to 14h00 on weekdays.
Take good care of your valuables, especially cash. Never leave money, traveller’s cheques, cameras, jewellery or other valuable items unattended in vehicles or in obvious places. Make use of the hotel safes. Please beware of pickpockets, particularly when walking around the major towns.
Please remember that it is a condition of our contract that you have holiday insurance to cover personal accident, medical, cancellation of your trip and loss of baggage.
Please reconfirm your return flight 48 hours beforehand. Please note that on charter flights there is a maximum baggage allowance of 10kg per person with soft bags preferable to hard suitcases.
Departure tax is currently US$40.00 per person payable on departure from Kenya. KSh50.00 departure tax per person is payable for internal flights which must be paid direct.
Please respect the attitudes of the local people towards photography and only use your camera when you have permission from ‘the model’ himself. If you have a guide with you, let him negotiate the price before you start shooting. As a general rule, do not photograph border posts, military installations or people in uniform. If you have a camera, bring along a telephoto lens, plenty of film and a spare camera battery.
WHAT TO BRING
Most establishments in Kenya are fairly casual when it comes to attire. For the coast, swimwear, hat, sunscreen, sunglasses and sneakers for walking. Shorts, T-shirts, sweat shirt, lightweight cottons and linens should also be included. Neutral coloured clothing for safaris is recommended and the wearing of camouflage clothing is forbidden. Warm clothes if you are going to high altitudes and for the evenings in the rainy season. If you wear contact lenses, we recommend that you take a pair of glasses in case of dust irritation. Basic medical kit such as Elastoplast, immodium, aspirins, insect repellent spray, antiseptic cream etc. is also advisable, as well as your personal toiletries.
Is available at all hotels at additional cost. On luxury camping safaris, it is included.
Voltage is 240. Some hotels have square three pin plugs, but most of them still have round plugs, so an international adapter is recommended.
Jewellery, beadware, carvings and local colourful fabrics (most notably kangas and kikois) are good buys. If stopping in Arusha, an impressive range of fresh spices and coffee is also available.
DRIVING IN EAST AFRICA
You will be required to produce a valid driving licence if hiring a car. The standard of driving is very varied and many of the roads have potholes, so please exercise caution. Petrol costs approx. Ksh 100/- per gallon (US$2.15). Car hire in Tanzania is very expensive and when possible, only 4×4’s are available.
There are three types of taxis in Nairobi, as well as the ‘matatu’ – London black cabs are available although Kenatco taxes (Mercedes) are the most reliable. The cheapest are the taxis with stripes running down the sides – these vehicles are older and not so safe!. If you do choose to use these, do negotiate your fare before you get in.
“Insiders Guide to Kenya” – Michael & Pegg Bond.
“Cycling in Kenya” – Kathleen Bennet.
“Through Africa” – Overlanders Guide – Bob Swain.
“Kenya” – Dennis Laken & Paula Snyder.
“On Safari in East Africa” – Ernest Neal.
“Out of Africa” – Karen Blixen.
“The Winds of the Mara” – Colin Fletcher.
“Green Hills of Africa” – Ernest Hemingway.
“The White Nile” – Alan Moorhead.
“The Tree where Man was Born” – Peter Matthiessen.
“Sand Rivers” – Peter Matthiessen and Hugo van Lawick.
“Africa’s Vanishing Art” – Mary Leakey.
“Battle for the Bundu” – Charles Miller
“Among the Elephants” – Iain & Oria Douglas-Hamilton.
“Savage Paradise” – Hugo van Lawick.
“Innocent Killers” – Hugo van Lawick & Jane Goodall.
“The Great Migration” – Jonathan Scott.
“Painted Wolves” – Jonathan Scott.
“Portraits in the Wild” – Cynthia Moss.
“Elephant Memories” – Cynthia Moss.
The major bookstores in Nairobi and Mombasa provide a good selection of information on the many diverse interests Kenya has to offer, such as:
Archaeology, history, tribes and languages, wildlife, ornithology, horse racing, deep-sea fishing, coastal geography and cultures, or mountain climbing.
The hotels will also offer a smaller selection of the above, together with maps highlighting places of interest. Most shops are open from 09h00 to 17h30. In Nairobi, the market is worth a visit and so is the museum.