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Kenya

Kenya is the 'Land of the Lion King' and sits at the centre of the African safari experience, with an outstanding variety of wild animals and Big Five viewing opportunities. Although safaris are its greatest attraction, it is a country of great diversity with much more to offer than splendid wildlife. Essentially it is a place for outdoor living - the coast offers beaches and water-based activities, the mountains present a challenge to hikers and climbers, and the rolling savannahs are a game-viewers paradise.

The country sits astride the equator and offers fabulous scenery and a variety of tribal cultures. From its central location, the sacred peaks of Mt Kenya reign over a landscape primarily covered by grasslands and thorn trees, much of it enclosed within its many parks and reserves. To the west the spectacular Great Rift Valley is sprinkled with lakes teeming with a variety of birdlife, whose shores and surrounds are traversed by agricultural farmlands. To the east lies the promise of an idyllic beach holiday with the requisite white palm-fringed beaches and pristine coral reefs. Inhabiting the highlands and Rift Valley are two of the most well known of the numerous tribal cultures, the Kikuyu farmers and the tall, red-clad Masai cattle herders. The coast is home to ancient Swahili civilisations and old port towns that are rich in a history of exotic spice trading and fighting.

Kenya has a sophisticated tourism infrastructure, with two major cities controlling the majority of the tourism trade. Nairobi, the capital, is the safari and hiking hub, situated in the cool Central Highlands, while on the east coast the hot and humid trading port of Mombasa functions as the gateway to the resorts and pristine beaches of the area. Sadly the heavy influence of tourism has meant excessive prices for safaris, souvenirs and most activities of interest to foreigners, as well as the constant hassle by touts, guides and sellers to part with as much money as they can dupe the guilty traveller into spending.

Despite this, the people are friendly and visitors can choose to do as little or as much as they like, and the combination of wildlife, together with its beaches and mountains, make Kenya a fantastic holiday destination.


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Kenya boasts an outstanding variety of wild animals and Big Five viewing opportunities and safaris are the country's greatest attraction. Kenya's most visited park is the wildly beautiful Masai Mara National Reserve, a game viewers paradise with a high concentration of wildlife, including the Big Five, which is an extension of the Serengeti Plains in neighbouring Tanzania. Amboseli National Park is renowned for its herds of elephants and the backdrop of Africa's highest mountain, Mt Kilimanjaro. The Great Rift Valley is scattered with alkaline lakes that attract flocks of flamingos, as well as a variety of game: Lake Nakuru National Park has huge concentrations of game and is an important white rhino sanctuary.There are good medical facilities in Nairobi and Mombasa but health insurance is essential.

Time
Local time is GMT +3.

Language
English is the official language but Swahili is the national language, with 42 ethnic languages spoken.

Passport and Visa Requirements
British citizens require a valid passport and a visa. Visas for no longer than three-months are available on arrival.

Health
Travellers should get the latest medical advice on inoculations and malaria prevention at least three weeks prior to departure. There are good medical facilities in Nairobi and Mombasa but health insurance is essential.

Tipping
Tipping is not customary in Kenya, however a 10% service charge may be added to bill in more upmarket restaurants. Otherwise small change in local currency may be offered to taxi drivers, porters and waiters. On safari, however, drivers, guides and cooks often rely heavily on tips to get by, but these are discretionary.

The climate of Kenya ranges from tropical on the coast, where the weather is hot and humid, to temperate inland, cool and wet in the highlands, and dry in the northern areas. The capital, Nairobi, experiences cool winters and mild, pleasant summer temperatures.
The unit of currency is the Kenyan Shilling (KES), divided into 100 cents. It is not advisable to take Kenyan Shillings out of the country, as they are difficult to exchange elsewhere. Travellers cheques in Sterling or US Dollars are recommended for your trip to Kenya. US Dollars in particular have become commonly used in many of the country's main hotels and safari lodges. Foreign currency can be changed at banks, bureaux de change and hotels; easiest to exchange are US dollars, pounds sterling or Euros. Street exchange merchants should be avoided as they are operating illegally. Banks open Monday to Friday from 9am to 3pm and on the first and last Saturday of the month. Banks and bureaux de change at the international airport stay open 24 hours. Credit Cards (American Express, Visa and MasterCard) are accepted in the larger hotels and stores, and some camps and lodges. ATMs are widely available in Nairobi and the major towns.

Destinations in Kenya

5 Day Tour 7 Day Tour 9 Day Tour 5 Day Tour - Tsavo

Special Offers

5 Day Tour - Tsavo and Amboseli

5 Day Tour - Tsavo and Amboseli

Mombasa, Tsavo West National Park, Mzima Springs, Amboseli National Park, Sarova Salk Lick game lodge.

From Only £605pp

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9 Day Tour - Samburu, Nakuru, Masai Mara & More

9 Day Tour - Samburu, Nakuru, Masai Mara & More

Laikipia Plains, Samburu National Reserve, Mount Kenya, Aberdares National Park, Lake Nakuru and Masai Mara.

From Only £1,585pp

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7 Day Tour - Mount Kenya, Samburu & Masai Mara

7 Day Tour - Mount Kenya, Samburu & Masai Mara

Travel to majestic Mount Kenya, Explore Samburu National Reserve, Journey to Lake Nakuru and Safari through the world famous Masai Mara.

From Only £1,125pp

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