Monday, October 1, 2012

A Gift from Africa

1. African paintings

Travel gifts

You can find colourful paintings of typical African scenes – both traditional and contemporary – almost everywhere you travel in Africa. While curio shops can charge a handsome fee for such paintings, you can negotiate more reasonable fees from talented local painters selling their artworks alongside the roads or in flea markets.

2. African Masks

Biombo Mask

An African mask displayed in your living room back home makes a dramatic memento of a trip to Africa! Tribal masks are more than decorative in African culture, playing a deeply symbolic role in African rituals and ceremonies. Many believe that the wearer of the mask absorbs some of its power – some African masks are beautiful, some scary, so choose yours carefully! You can buy these masks from art dealers and direct from the craftsmen in cultural markets.

African gifts

3. Beaded African fashion accessories

Africa is known for its brightly coloured beadwork. Beaded earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and sandals make fantastic gifts for the fashion conscious – who can wear these fashion accessories with pride, too. Many beadwork fashion accessories are made by local African women, as part of social upliftment projects.

4. Laugh it Off t-shirts

Africans are renowned for their great sense of humour – perhaps it’s our way of dealing with the particular challenges we face as a continent. If traditional African curios don’t do it for you, why not choose a travel gift with a gutsy social message which sums up contemporary local culture? Laugh It Off emblazons t-shirts and other merchandise with parodies of people, politicians, and brands found in Africa – with the aim of making a statement, effecting social change, and having a good laugh.

5. Wire toys

Industrious Africans, unable to afford expensive shop-bought toys, craft toys out of discarded wire. Nearly every South African child has owned at least one of these delightful wire toys – be it a motor car, airplane, bicycle, or radio. Wire toys make wonderful decorative pieces in the home, too.
African souvenirs

6. Wooden carvings

You can’t travel to Africa and not purchase a wooden carving. Traditional artists carve depictions of African game, like giraffes, elephants, hippo, rhino and lions, while contemporary artists prefer to craft abstract carvings. African wooden carvings range in scale, to small pieces which fit in your hand luggage, to massive structures which take several men to move. Buy these from craft markets, curio stalls, or from eager entrepreneurs selling their wares along the roadside. Most airlines will allow you to check or carry on your wooden gift, depending on the size.

7. Woven baskets

Not only beautiful and practical, traditional African baskets are handwoven from the leaves of iLala Palms, found alongside streams and rivers. Sadly, this is an art form which is becoming increasingly rare – which makes finding the real thing an very special African travel gift, indeed.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Travelling Tips


Kenya Visa: All travelers to Kenya must have current passports valid for 60 days after the expected departure date from Africa.
The visa can be obtained through a Kenya embassy in advance of your trip or upon arrival at the airport.
Tanzania Visa :
The visa must be obtained in advance of your trip unless you live in a country that does not have a Tanzania embassy.


Kenya Roads : All major roads are tarred. Surface of lesser roads vary.
Many roads within the National Parks and reserves are quite navigable.
Tanzania Roads : About 5% of highways are tarred.
Only key roads are in good condition.Road conditions in reserves and parks are rough.


Kenya is eight hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time, and seven hours ahead Eastern
Daylight Time.
Kenya Time: GMT +3 hours
Tanzania Time: GMT +3 hours


Credit cards Kenya: Most major credit cards (MasterCard, Visa and American Express) are widely accepted. Diner's Card is not generally accepted.
Credit cards Tanzania: Most top hotels and lodges around the country accept Visa and MasterCard.
In addition to credit cards, clients should bring US dollars/Euros/ English Sterling Pounds.


Vaccination requirements change from time to time.
Tanzania requires advance inoculations for yellow fever (and certificates thereof) that are good for 10 years.
Natural World Mombasa Safaris will advise you on these.
Malaria is rare in many parts of Safari circuits.
We suggest you consult your local doctor or health department for information on malaria prophylactics and the latest health precautions.
If you are on prescription medication, please ensure you have an adequate supply to last the duration of your stay and a copy of your prescription(s).


Each of the Safaris carefully chosen hotels, camps and lodges add to the flavor and romance of your program.
They are comfortable and relatively  luxurious.
On safari we will encounter a variety of accommodation options.
Luxury lodges blend nicely with the landscape and have rooms with all amenities you would expect from a good hotel. Tented camps are on permanent foundations and have en-suite bathrooms.
The amenities can include hot water bottles to warm your bed before you turn in coffee, tea and hot chocolate served in your tent as part of your early morning wake up call.
Except the tree lodges, all other lodges and camps have swimming pools.


Avoid drinking water straight from the tap.
Complimentary bottled water will be provided in the safari Van - for specified deluxe program and also upon request.
This will be clearly documented on your pre-safari documentation.
Sodas, beer and other beverages can be purchased at the lodges and camps throughout the safari as they have bars and comfortable lounges with fire places for those cool evenings.


While international flights from North America allow the transport and handling of two large pieces of luggage per person, clients are strongly advised to travel with one medium sized piece of check- in luggage, and a carry-on bag or camera bag if desired.
On light aircraft flights in Kenya the baggage allowance is limited to a maximum of 33 pounds, including camera and video equipment.
Any additional luggage can be stored at the hotel in Nairobi until your return.
Luggage and personal effects are at owner's risk throughout the tour.
Baggage insurance is recommended.


The recommended camera for a safari is a 35mm camera with automatic exposure and interchangeable lenses.
For the best results in photographing wildlife (including birds), you should have a zoom lens.
Remember to bring extra batteries for every camera and flash unit.
Also recommended are a few plastic bags that come in handy in protecting your camera if it gets especially dusty in some of the parks.
Try to find a size that the entire camera will fit into. Most travelers average approximately 2-3 rolls of film for each day of the safari.
As film in East Africa will most likely be costly and hard to find, it is suggested that film be purchased before departure. During the day, almost any film speed will be fine.
If you are using telephoto equipment, you will need more sensitive film for early morning and evening.


Kenya and Tanzania are year-round destination with delightful temperatures and plenty of sunshine. Although East Africa is on the equator, only on the coast is the weather tropical. Most safaris are at moderate altitudes where the days are warm and the evenings cool. The humidity is low and daytime temperatures range from 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Except at the highest elevations, it rarely drops below 50 degrees at night. July and August are the coolest months, with highs in the 70's. The warmest months are December to March with highs in the 80's. The principal rains occur for approximately three weeks during April. Shorter rains usually take place in late October and early November. Travel is possible during the rains. Because you will be near the equator and at an altitude of several thousand feet above sea level, it is easy to sunburn very quickly. It is wise to limit your exposure to the sun.


Travelers should bring very casual summer clothes that are easily laundered and dry quickly. Visitors on safari have traditionally worn olive, tan or other neutral colors. These clothes reflect the heat, dont show the inevitable safari dust, and do not stand out when you are trying to look inconspicuous on a game drive. With cool temperatures in the early morning and evening, layering is the best approach. Laundry service is available in most places so you can replenish your supply of clean clothing, as you need it. Much of the time on safari is spent in a van so lightweight and comfortable walking shoes (tennis shoes or desert boots) are appropriate. Hiking boots are not necessary. The style in Africa is casual, even in the evening. For Dinner in Nairobi and at the Mount Kenya Safari Club, dress is smart casual. You will be in the sun a great deal and at these altitudes it is easy to sunburn very quickly. Do pack a swimsuit and cover-up, as most of the properties have lovely pools.


In Kenya, the unit of currency is Kenya Shilling.
We recommend that you exchange money only as needed.
You will find it easiest to make small purchases in local currencies, and will usually receive a better price.
You may conveniently exchange money at all lodges and hotels at close to the bank rate,but the best exchange rates you get from "Bureau de Change".


Customs regulations are quite straightforward. The usual one bottle of spirits, 200 cigarettes, a reasonable amount of camera equipment, film and one tape recorder are allowed to enter Kenya duty free.


Your Driver/Guide will be an integral part of your safari experience.
He will spend many days with you revealing the wonders of Kenya's geography, history and of course their wildlife. Each guide is a Kenyan national, steeped in the traditions and folklore of his country as well as exceptionally knowledgeable in areas such as local flora and fauna, tribal lore and regional geography.


The voltage is 220 as in Europe; however, the plugs are different than those in North America or most parts of Europe. As outlets may vary, we suggest you travel with a variety of international adapter plugs as well as a voltage converter, which may be purchased as a set.
The most commonly used adapter plug has 3 square prongs.
It is important to note that lodges in the game parks may turn off their generators during the day and late at night, meaning that no electricity is available.
Plan ahead to recharge video camera batteries at applicable times of the day, or carry extra batteries.


The land portion of the safari includes government taxes and service charges relating to accommodations and meals provided, entrance fees to national parks and game reserves, and game ranger services (where obligatory).


In Kenya, it is illegal to sell any product made from wild animals, including hides and skins, rhinoceros horn, elephant-hair bracelets, crocodile handbags, etc.
Please note also that ivory is not legally sold in Kenya.
Please note, however, that it is illegal to bring into the U.S. anything made from elephant, rhino or crocodile.


All hotel and porterage gratuities are included on your safari; however, it is customary at the end of the program for each individual to tip the Driver/Guide.
The sum is usually contingent upon your evaluation of the quality of the service rendered.
The amount is at your discretion, You are welcome to provide additional compensation to any staff who have provided special services.
A bar gratuity of $1 is acceptable.


Travelers should have medical insurance, as they will be responsible for all medical expenses they may incur.


Both English and Swahili are the official languages in East Africa, and most people you meet will speak English.
You may wish to learn and use a few phrases in Swahili.


Laundry services is available at any game lodge or camp where two or more nights are spent.
Dry cleaning is not available except in Nairobi and Mombasa.


All meals are included from breakfast on day 1 through dinner on the last day of the program prior to departure for the airport.
When out on safari all meals will be provided by the excellent venue booked for your stay.
The quality of the cuisine in East Africa game lodges and camps is superb, with all meats, vegetables and fruits arriving fresh daily from the surrounding area is rich farmlands.


Nairobi has excellent medical facilities. Most camps and lodges have a doctor on call who is experienced with common travel related ailments. We suggest that you make certain your health insurance has adequate coverage, as once you are returned to Nairobi any further medical expenses will need to be covered by you.


Guests should exercise the same common sense as one would in America, the UK, Europe or any other part of the world.
Normal care and sensible precautions should be taken.
Please do not leave cash, jewellery or travelers cheques unattended in hotel rooms.
Every lodge or hotel has a safe deposit facility for your valuables.
As a precautionary measure, do not wear flashy jewellery, or leave handbags and photographic equipment unattended in public places.


Attractive, inexpensive baskets, copper jewellery, batik cloth, beads, carvings, Kenya coffee and tea are all for sale in the shops and markets of Nairobi.
Boutiques sell fine art and handicrafts, gemstones and jewellery, including a locally mined semiprecious stone called tanzanite.
Most popular are items carved from wood, which range from small trinkets such as animal head salad spoons and letter openers, to world-class ebony sculpture.
Carved soapstone from napkin rings and candlesticks to complete chess sets, are also attractive.
Bags woven from sisal and baobab are available in myriad colors, sizes, styles and shapes much more artistic and unique than those reaching the US Market.
East African artisans have responded to the increasing appreciation of tribal artifacts with a variety of stunning original pieces and faithful reproductions: drums, headrests, stools, shields, and beaded necklaces and belts from various parts of the region.
Some of the most prized pieces feature elaborately worked silver, malachite and amber beads.
We suggest that you take all goods you purchase with you as shipping and duty cost may easily exceed the cost of the item.
When purchasing large pieces, if you must have the items shipped, please note that freight can run into many hundreds of dollars.


As much of the journey is long hours on the trail on wildlife, the quality of the ground vehicle is of the utmost importance.
Each comfortable safari mini-van carries 6-8 guests, thus affording everyone a window seat and access to the roof hatch.
Our safari Driver/Guides are all experienced mechanics.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday, November 11, 2011

Maasai Welcome

 Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales are given a traditional Maasi greeting during a visit to Majengo Maasai Boma on November 9, 2011 in Arusha, Tanzania. The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall are on the final day of a four day tour of Tanzania after a successful trip to South Africa. The Royal couple will be highlighting environmental and social issues during their visit to Africa

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Kilima Safari Camp and Fig Tree Camp Massage Palor

Massaging the head can do much to relieve the stress and tension that fill our day to day lives. The technique involves controlled caresses such as the spider walk, root pull, and comb, and focuses mainly on the face and scalp.


A neck massage will relieve a lot of stress and tension that may have built up.


Shoulder massage has managed to keep one relaxed and relieve pain from shoulder problem. It is good for immediate relief.  More importantly it is what preventive measures that you are taking to alleviate your shoulder problem.


A back massage is also called a back rub. It is given by stroking your hands across a person's neck, shoulders, and back. A back massage increases blood flow to the skin and muscles. This can help to prevent skin problems in a person who needs to stay in bed most of the time. This can also help ease pain and stiffness, or help the person feel better after being ill.


Foot massage is relaxing, soothing and a feel of heaven for the exhausted and tired feet. It is a technical therapy full of skilled art, that you may give yourself or can have others to give it to you.


Full body massage is one of the special types of massage therapies available that can be used to treat a wide range of conditions or can simply be used to calm, relax, and sooth.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Kilima Safari Camp Reveiws (Amboseli)

4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2011 NEW
Absolutely loved this camp. Kilima was the first stop on our safari and we stayed here for 2 nights and it was perfect. I loved the quirkiness of the hotel, and the bar and restaurant area was brilliant. The rooms were great, very clean and i had absolutely no complaints, i loved sleeping under canvas and because we got a superior room we also could have a nice hot bath.The staff could not be more friendly and helpful. Woudl 100% stay here again x
Room Tip: Upgrade to superior as rooms slightly bigger and you get a claw bath tub.
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple 

5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2011 NEW
My husband and I recently stayed here for two nights while on safari in Amboseli. The place is beautiful! Just outside one of the park gates too. The rooms gorgeous and the setting is spectacular - and when the clouds clear in the evenings you realize you are just under Mt. Kilimanjaro. The service was fantastic - everyone was super friendly and accommodating - and food good. We had a very luxurious stay here for an extremely reasonable price. It honestly surpassed our expectations, and I highly recommend it.
Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple\

5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2011
We stayed here for 1 night (passing through on safari) and would have been happy to stay longer and use this lodge as a base for traveling to the different national parks.

The rooms were well equipped and had a really nice shower room. The electricity was turned off during the night but we were made aware of this.

Cannot fault anything, accommodation; food; staff and the views were amazing - especially on the early morning (or late evening drives) where you can see Mt Kilimanjaro perfectly.

I would say without a doubt that this was the best of the 3 places we stayed at during our 3 night safari.
Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2011
Just back form Kenya - booked a 4 day safari through Anne sanderson from the UK - kenyan travel/WT safaris - totally AMAZING experience - much much cheaper than doing it the "tour operator" way, we stayed in "tents" Maneaters, Manyatta and kilima in Tsavo east west and Amboselli....
Kiliima is fantastic, the views of kilimanjaro are fantastic... the tents are AMAZING - they have lovely Bathroom areas and the views are fantastic from wherever you are - pool area is gorgeous, (cold but nice) food is buffet style - excellent variety,, staff are welcoming - couldnt fault the place - Amboselli is much better than tsavo for game viewing, there are animals in abundance everywhere you look, one afternoon we stopped the bus to see 2 male lion on one side of some trees and a cheetah on the other with kilimanjaro in the backdrop - stunning!!! We would definitley return to kilima if we returned to amboselli - next time i think its off to the mara though - but back to the same hotel as this year which was Turtle bay in watamu - we loved the place and have promised to go back soon (separate review on that one though)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Amboseli National Park


Amboseli lies immediately North West of Mt. Kilimanjaro, on the border with Tanzania. Amboseli was established as a reserve in 1968 and gazetted as a National Park in 1974. The Park covers 392 km2, and forms part of the much larger 3,000 Km2 Amboseli ecosystem. Large concentrations of wildlife occur here in the dry season, making Amboseli a popular tourist destination. It is surrounded by 6 communally owned group ranches. The National Park embodies 5 main wildlife habitats (open plains, acacia woodland, rocky thorn bush country, swamps and marshland) and covers part of a pleistocene lake basin, now dry. Within this basin is a temporary lake, Lake Amboseli, that floods during years of heavy rainfall. Amboseli is famous for its big game and its great scenic beauty - the landscape is dominated by MT Kilimanjaro.

On the border with Tanzania, Kajiado District, South Kenya; Covers 392km2
The climate is mainly hot and dry. Amboseli is in the rain shadow of Mt. Kilimanjaro. The maximum average temperature of the warmest month is 33°C during the day, while that of the coldest is 27-28°C. An annual rainfall of 300mm per annum is distributed in two seasons: April/May and November/December. Recurrent droughts and potential evaporation of 2200mm per annum typifies the region (KWS, 1991)
The main road into the Park is from Nairobi are via Namanga (240 km) on the Nairobi - Arusha Road, via Meshanani Gate. The road is tarmac upto Namanga but is badly corrugated and potholed in places from Namanga to Meshanani Gate (75km). The other road and via Emali (228 km) on the Nairobi - Mombasa Road. The road is tarmac up to Emali and murram from Emali to Remito Gate (64 km) Access from Mombasa is mainly through Tsavo West via Kimana (Olkelunyiet) Gate.

The park has a single airstrip for light aircraft at Empusel gate. Other airstrips exist at Kilimanjaro Buffalo lodge and Namanga town.

Park Roads:
Viewing roads network covers the park adequately. Many of the park viewing roads are not usable during the rains and because of the loose ashy nature of volcanic soil, the roads become very dusty during the dry season.
Park Gates
The park has five gates, Kelunyiet, lremito, Ilmeshanan; Kitirua and Airstrip.

Mt. Kilimanjaro
Mt. Meru
Observation Hill which allows an overall view of the whole park especially the swamps and elephants,
Contemporary Maasai culture and indigenous lifestyle

Kilima Safari Camp  Oltukai Lodge; Amboseli Serena Lodge; Kimana Lodge; Tortilis Tented Lodge.
kilima Safari Camp Nairushari Special; Olgulului Public Campsite; Abercrombie & Kent Tented Camp; Ker & Downy Tented Camp; Chyulu Tented Camp; Kimbla Campsite; Cottar's Tented Camp; Leopard Tented Camp; Tortilis Tented Camp.

Wildlife viewing
Python, Turtles, Tortoise, Black Mamba, Cobra.
Scorpions, Butterflies, Dragon flies, May flies, Grasshopper.
Major Animals
Aardwolf; Ant Bear; Baboon, Yellow; Bat, Angola Free-tailed; Bat, Banana; Bat, Epauletted Fruit; Bat, False Vampire; Bat, Hollow-faced; Bat, Lander's Horseshoe; Bat, Lesser Leaf-nosed; Bat, Rousette Fruit; Bat, White-bellied Free-tailed; Bat, Yellow-bellied; Bat, Yellow-winged; Buffalo, African; BushBaby; Bushbuck; Caracal; Cat, African Wild; Cheetah; Civet, African; Dik-dik, Kirk's; Dog, Hunting; Dormouse, African; Duiker, Red; Eland; Elephant, African; Fox, Bat-eared; Gazelle, Grant's; Gazelle, Thomson's; Genet, Large-spotted; Genet, Small-spotted; Gerenuk; Giraffe, Masai; Gnu, White-bearded; Hare, African; Hare, Spring; Hartebeest, Coke's; Hedgehog, East African; Hippopotamus; Hyaena, Spotted; Hyaena, Striped; Hyrax, Rock; Hyrax, Tree; Impala; Jackal, Black-backed; Jackal, Golden; Jackal, Side-striped; Klipspringer; Kudu, Lesser; Leopard; Lion; Mongoose, Banded; Mongoose, Dwarf; Mongoose, Large Grey; Mongoose, Marsh; Mongoose, Slender; Mongoose, White-tailed; Monkey, Black-faced Vervet; Monkey, Sykes; Oryx, Fringe-eared; Porcupine, Crested; Ratel; Reedbuck, Bohor; Rhinoceros, Black; Serval; Shrew, Giant White-toothed; Shrew, Short-snouted ; Shrew, Spectacled Elephant; Squirrel, Bush; Squirrel, Striped Ground; Squirrel, Unstriped Ground; Steinbok; Warthog; Waterbuck, Common; Zebra, Common.
Major Birds
Apalis, Black-breasted; Apalis, Red-faced; Avocet; Babbler, Black-lored; Babbler, Northern Pied; Barbet, Brown-throated; Barbet, D'Arnaud's; Barbet, Red and Yellow; Barbet, Red-fronted; Barbet, Spotted-flanked; Bee-eater, Blue-cheeked; Bee-eater, European; Bee-eater, Little; Bee-eater, Madagascar; Bee-eater, White-throated; Bishop, Yellow; Bishop, Yellow-crowned; Bittern, Dwarf; Bittern, Little; Bonbon, Slate-coloured; Bonbon, Tropical; Brownbul, Northern; Brubru, Northern; Bulbul, Yellow-vented; Bunting, Cinnamon-breasted; Bunting, Golden-breasted; Bush Shrike, Grey-headed; Bush Shrike; Bustard, Black-bellied; Bustard, Buff-crested; Bustard, Hartlaub's; Bustard, Jackson's; Bustard, Kori; Bustard, White-bellied; Buzzard, Augur; Buzzard, Grasshopper; Buzzard, Honey; Buzzard, Lizard; Buzzard, Steppe; Camaroptera, Grey-backed; Canary, Brimstone; Canary, Kenya Grosbeak; Canary, White-bellied; Canary, Yellow-fronted; Chat, Anteater; Chat, Cliff; Chatterer, Rufous; Cisticola, Pectoral-patch; Cisticola, Rattling; Cisticola, Winding; Coot, Red-knobbed; Cordonbleu, Blue-capped; Cordonbleu, Red-cheeked; Coucal, Blue-headed; Coucal, White-browed; Courser, Heuglin's; Courser, Temminck's; Courser, Two-banded; Crake, Black; Crane, Crowned; Crombee; Crombee, Red-faced; Crow, Pied; Cuckoo; Cuckoo, Black; Cuckoo, Black and White; Cuckoo, Didric; Cuckoo, Emerald; Cuckoo, Great-spotted; Cuckoo, Klaas'; Cuckoo, Levaillant's; Cuckoo, Red-chested; Curlew, Spotted Stone.

The national park embodies several types of semi-arid vegetation and swampland/marshland. In general there is a gradient of vegetation from the bare lake bed, through grassland to Acacia woodland following a North -North West to South - South East pattern sandwiching the permanent swamps.
Water flowing underground from Mt. Kilimanjaro upwells in a series of lush swamps and marshland which support sedges of Cyprus spp., including Cyprus papyrus and that provide dry season water and forage for wildlife.
These swamps are flanked by tracts of acacia woodland with yellow-barked acacia, Acacia xanthophloea and Acacia tortilis. Acacia tortilis also occurs in the southern part of the park along on drainage lines.
The basin is surrounded by acacia/commiphora bushland while the level floor of open plains with saline/alkaline soils supports thickets of Salvadora persica and Suaeda monoica. Grasses include needlegrass Aristida, fingergrass Digitaria, dropseed Sporobolus sp., stargrass Cynodon dactylon, and Phragmites mauritianus. Balanites aegyptiaca is important as a source of edible fruits, while the pods of Acacia tortilis are eaten by livestock.
There has been a tremendous loss of woody vegetation that has been attributed to various factors including the rise of water table, increase in salinity, off road driving by tour vehicles and destruction of vegetation by elephants.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Travel Tips

Kenya is one of the oldest and most traditional safari destinations. A country with a wide range of cultures, wildlife and contrasting landscapes complete with a long tropical coastline. Kenya never fails to thrill the visitor who may be expecting the rolling plains of the Masai Mara, but is pleasantly surprised with the dramatic escarpments of the Great Rift Valley, the numerous picturesque lakes, the dense tropical rain forest, the harsh arid deserts and a splendid coastline. Almost all species of African wildlife are accessible in Kenya. Birdlife is prolific and a great number of species can be identified.

The People
While the national language of Kenya is Kiswahili, English is the official language and is widely spoken and understood across East Africa.

In the cities, adhere to the following:
Don't walk alone in apparently deserted areas, especially in and around the cities. It is preferable and usually more enjoyable to walk with company or in groups. Don't carry large sums of cash in your purse or pocket,
or display expensive jewelry. Be aware of the possibility of pick-pockets and bag snatchers in crowded areas. Make photocopies of the first few pages of your passport, air ticket and other important travel documents. Keep this separate from the originals. Don't leave money or valuables in a hotel room. Most hotels offer safety deposit box service, and ensure that you have adequate insurance coverage before leaving home.

Wildlife Areas:

Always remember that while some animals have become accustomed to the presence of people they are still wild animals. Keep your distance. It is illegal to feed any animal, make excessive noise to attract their attention, or deviate from designated roads for
that closer photograph. Never get out of your vehicle except at designated points. Close all windows and zippers when you leave your room or tent and spray it with insect repellant. The best way to get the most out of your safari is to take an active interest in everything going on around you, not just the number of species you can see in the shortest possible time. Ask all the questions you can think of and take reference books on not only wildlife but birds, insects and trees and read up about everything you see.

It is advisable to take out emergency medical insurance prior to entering Kenya.
Bilharzia: The bilharzia parasite is found in many lakes, streams and rivers on the continent. Avoid swimming in them! Vaccinations for cholera, tetanus and yellow fever are advised. Malaria is virulent in Kenya. Take prophylactics two weeks before arrival and continue two weeks after leaving. Your chemist or doctor can advise you of the most suitable drug available as certain drugs lose their effectiveness. Tap water in the major towns is purified and perfectly safe to drink. In the more remote areas always boil it first, except if you’re staying at a lodge or hotel where drinking water is perfectly safe. Bottled water is readily available in the bigger towns.
It is advisable to buy travel insurance covering accidents, illness or hospitalization for the period of your stay. Temporary membership in East African Flying Doctors' Service is also recommended for safari goers. Members who require emergency medical attention on safari are flown to Nairobi for the best medical attention available in the country.

Drink only bottled water or from flasks of filtered and boiled water provided by most hotels and lodges.

Chemists / pharmacies
Travelers should carry an adequate supply of medicines and first aid accessories with them as supplies are limited in Kenya. Most chemists in the major towns are open from 0830h to 1230h and 1400h to 17h00 but some operating 24hs. Monday to Friday and 0800h to 13h00h on Saturdays. There are no emergency chemists open after hours or Sundays.

Standards and services range from up-market to tourist. Deluxe and first class hotels are found in the main cities and the resorts on the coastline of the country. Luxurious lodges are set in exotic locations, while comfortable tented camps are found in the main game parks.
Power supply is 220/240 volt 50 cycle. Plugs are usually 13-amp 3 pin square (British type)
There are numerous banks in the major towns as well as many bureau de changes. Hours of business vary from bank to bank, but most are open from 9h00 to 13h30, Mondays to Fridays, and 9h00 – 1200h on Saturdays. Hotels and lodges change money outside these hours. Banking services are also available at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi and at Moi International Airport in Mombasa.

Currency unit is the shilling, comprising 100 cents. Coins are in denominations of 5c, 10c, 50c and 1 and 5 shillings. Bank notes are in denominations of 5, 10, 2-0, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1,000 shillings. Importation of foreign currency is unlimited and does not have to be declared on arrival. The importation and exportation of Kenyan currency, however, is illegal. It's best to come into the country with either Travelers’ checks or dollars or pounds which can be exchanged at any of the many Bureau de Change in the main Towns. If you are offered an exchange on the black market at the borders, exercise extreme caution as they are notorious for cheating you without you even realizing it.

VAT (Value Added Tax)
A VAT (tax currently 16% on most items) is levied and visitors cannot claim a refund on goods purchased.
Credit Cards, Cash and Traveler's Checks International credit cards are accepted by most restaurants, stores, hotels, lodges, camps, car rental firms, etc. However, many small shops in rural areas will not accept them. American Express, Thomas Cook, Visa and MasterCard Traveler's Checks are widely accepted.

A tip of 10% for good service is adequate. Service charges are frequently added and it is usual to tip a tour driver or guide at least US $5 a day.

Postal services are fairly well organized in Kenya and you should have no problem sending or receiving letters. Telegrams are less certain. Public telephones are in a bad state of repair and you could wait hours for a line. Rather make international calls from a private home or large hotel. All major hotels have fax machines at the disposal of their guests as well as telex services. Telephone directories will list all the international dialing codes. Both local and long-distance calls are metered on a time basis. (Note the surcharge at hotels is quite high, but it will cost less in frustration).

When to go
Between December and mid-March, the days are sunny, hot and dry and the nights are cool. Best time for deep sea fishing and scuba diving is between August and March when the ocean is calm and water is clear. Rains fall mainly from mid-March to May and again in November.

Although Kenya is considered to fall in the tropics, climate and temperature varies depending on altitude and proximity to the ocean. Coastal regions are hot and humid while the central plateaus are warm and dry, with cool nights.

Lightweight casual clothes can be worn all year round, with a jacket or sweater for early winter mornings and evenings. On safari keep clothes to a minimum and mostly of neutral coloring - khakis, browns and greens. A sunhat, sunglasses, sunscreen and insect repellant are a must. Bring a hat, good walking shoes and sun screen. Don't forget swim wear and binoculars. Some city restaurants and clubs have dress codes - casual jacket and tie for men, informal dresses for women.

Most hotels and lodges will offer a laundry service. For low budget travelers there are no coin operated laundromats at all so consider drip dry clothing and be prepared for hand washing. In most places one could hire someone to do your washing.

Kenya is considered to be a photographers dream destination. From panoramic scenery, wildlife and birds to people and vibrant ceremonies. Rich color and good low lighting conditions abound. It is considered rude to take pictures of people without asking them first. Maasai and Samburu warriors will expect payment for posing. Always bring plenty of film and video cassettes if you're bringing a camcorder as well as batteries - as these items are difficult to get in Kenya. Keep your cameras in a dust resistant, padded case and out of the midday sun. A 200mm (or longer) telephoto lens will prove very useful on safari, and an ultra violet filter and lens cap are strongly recommended. Please note that taking pictures of government and military personnel and installations is prohibited!

Driving is done on the left side of the road. Drivers require a valid license that must include a picture of the holder. A valid foreign license may be used for up to 90 days, but only after it has been endorsed by the Road

Transport Office in Nairobi.
If you’re doing a vehicle trip through Kenya it is a good idea to carry a range of tools and essential spares with you. Two spare wheels and a couple of spare tubes are a must due to the condition of the roads. Spare jerry cans of fuel and water, a tow rope, compressor, winch and a spotlight are useful items to have. Many of the villages along the main routes offer tire mending services at a very reasonable fee. Be very careful in towns and villages not to leave your vehicle open and unattended. You should have no problem sleeping outdoors in designated camping areas or remote places along the way, but get into the habit of locking things away before you go to sleep.

Car Rental
Car rental companies are represented at the major airports and in the cities, as are taxis.

Transportation by Air
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi and Moi International Airport in Mombasa are main points of entry. Many charter services operate out of Nairobi's Wilson Airport. Regular services link Kisumu, Lamu, Malindi,

Mombasa and Nairobi.
Air Kenya, flies to Amboseli, Lamu, Masai Mara, Nyeri, Nanyuki and Samburu. Kenya Airways is the national airline. South African Airways links Johannesburg and Nairobi with regularly scheduled air services.

Departure Tax
An airport departure tax of U.S. $20 is levied when leaving the country.

Customs Requirements
All visitors must have a valid passport and are subject to clearance through customs. In addition, all non-Commonwealth citizens require a visa, to be obtained from Kenyan Missions abroad or at the post of entry. Personal effects, including cameras, binoculars and film are allowed into the country duty free
Time Differences
Throughout the year, Standard Time in Kenya is three hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time, two hours ahead of Central European Winter Time, and eight hours ahead of Eastern Standard Winter Time in the U.S.