Lapped by the Indian Ocean, crossed by the equator and culminated by the astonishing silhouette of Mount Kenya rising above the hardly wooded savannah, Kenya is by far the most iconic place on the African continent. The contrasting Kenyan geography has resulted on a great variety of natural habitats, diversity of species and cultural traditions.
Full of world famous national parks, sunny coasts and genuine tribes, Kenya has fairly earned its reputation as an exotic and adventurous destination. However, Kenya is the home for multiple coexisting realities, the frenetic rhythm of the local life, full of busy roads,family businesses and dynamic trade, which heavily contrast with the serene and peaceful landscapes created for visitors.
Kenya offers multiple options for all kinds of travelers, from safari packs to more local and personalized experiences. Although travelling to Kenya is not the overwhelmingly daunting experience used to be, it is still challenging for the less experienced visitors.
While Kenyans are intrinsically friendly people, there is a lot of social differences among the inhabitants and the poverty rate is extremely high for western standards. Therefore, it is advisable not to draw special attention to yourself. Avoid carrying around big sums of money, expensive phones, professional cameras and flashy jewelry. Do carry a money belt under your clothes containing your passport, a map and a prudent amount of cash. In order to minimize the damage of a potential robbery, making copies of your passport and most important documents and storing them in your luggage is a practical and simple measure that can save your trip.
When travelling to Kenya you should also get informed about the mandatory and recommended vaccinations for East Africa (Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, Poliomyelitis, Tetanus and Typhoid, Yellow Fever, Cholera, Hepatitis B, Meningococcal Meningitis and Rabies.) While some of them are required in order to enter the country, others are strongly recommended by doctors around the world. The effect of these injections lasts for more than 10 years and and they are relatively cheap (US$70) , considering that they prevent potential dangers. You should also consider the use malaria tablets. You can obtain more information about vaccinations at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In order to prevent food or water poisoning, avoid street foods and unbottled water, especially during your first weeks in the country. However, you should not miss out on the Kenyan cuisine, which is considered one of the best in Africa. The eclectic culinary tradition of the country is explained by the mixture of the flavours introduced by the Portuguese in the 15th century and the traditional Eastern African meals.
To visit Kenya you are required to have a working visa and a valid passport for more than six months. Single entry Kenya visas for US citizens are typically available on arrival on the country’s three international airports and land crossings with Uganda and Tanzania. Therefore, there is not an official Kenyan application visa. In any case, you are always welcome to contact your nearest diplomatic office to solve any potential question. Although some Kenyan embassies are not allowed to give visas, they will provide you with clear and insightful information regarding your trip to the country.