KENYA, COUNTRY AND SAFARI INFORMATION
About Kenya, Kenya Safaris, Wildlife Tours and Nature Trekking Adventures- Kenya National parks and Game Reserves.
Location, geography and climate
Kenya is 582,646 sq km and lies on the equator and is bordered on the north by Sudan, Somalia and Ethiopia; Uganda and Lake Victoria lie to the west; Tanzania and Mount Kilimanjaro are to the south while the Indian Ocean lies to the east.
Kenya’s topographical features range from deserts to snow capped mountains, sandy coastlines to freshwater lakes, savannah grasslands to fertile agricultural plantations, extinct volcanoes to coral reefs. On the eastern side of the country slopes gently downward towards sea level while to the west, there are a series of hills and plateaus which alternate upward to the Rift Valley. To the western side of the Rift Valley the land again gently slopes downward towards Lake Victoria. From east to west, you experience the white beaches of the Indian Ocean to the mile-high plateau of Nairobi.
The tourist industry in Kenya is so far the leading export earner. Kenya’s tourism offers the best wildlife and beach safaris. A concrete infrastructure combined with a devotion to wildlife conservation has propelled Kenya to the front position of the regional tourism industry.
Kenya’s national parks include:
Aberdare National Park, Amboseli National Park, Arabuko Sokoke National Park, Hells Gate and Mount, Longonot National Parks, Kora National Park, Lake Nakuru National Park, Marsabit National Park, Meru National Park, Mount Kenya National Park, Mount Elgon National Park, Nairobi National Park, Ndere Island National Reserve, Ol Donyo Sabuk National Park, Ruma National Park, Saiwa Swamp National Park, Sibiloi National Park, Tsavo East National Park, Tsavo West National Park
The major game reserve being Masai mara-Game Viewing, wildebeest migration, Lion sighting safaris in Kenya.
The Masai Mara is the most favorite and is definitely the most popular game reserve in Kenya, having over 140,000 visitors per year. The reserve lies approx 270km west of Nairobi and covers an area of approximately 1,510 sq km, bordering with the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania.
Starting any time from late July the wildebeest follow the rains and grazing to the wide and open grasslands of what has become known as “the Mara”. Come November they start the homeward leg, bound again for the Serengeti.
At this time of the year you will see a large number of lion, hippo, crocodile and vultures all of which prey on the weak and young migrating animals. Other game to be found in the Masai Mara at any time of the year include; elephants, cheetahs, baboons, gazelles, giraffes, jackals, cheetahs, leopards, hyenas, water buffalo, ostriches, and a large variety of antelope and birdlife.
Activities in Masai Mara include:
· Wildebeest Migration
· Hot Air Ballooning
· Huge savannahs of golden grasslands
· Big skies
· Rift Valley escarpment
· Lion sightings
1 Jan New Year’s Day.
2 Apr Good Friday.
5 Apr Easter Monday.
1 May Labour Day.
1 Jun Madaraka Day.
10 Sep Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan).
10 Oct Moi Day.
20 Oct Kenyatta Day.
16 Nov Feast of the Sacrifice.
12 Dec Independence Day.
25 Dec Christmas Day.
26 Dec Boxing Day.
Visa and Immigration
Kenya has three international airports; Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi, Moi International Airport, Mombasa and Moi
International Airport, Eldoret.
These airports service numerous international carriers including the national airline Kenya Airways. Kenya has good connections to destinations throughout Europe, the Asia- Pacific region, USA and Africa.
Kenya can also be accessed by road from Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan and Somalia. Immigration should be processed at land border stations. Entry by sea is possible, and immigration should be processed at a port facility.
A visa is required prior to entry into Kenya.
Citizens of the following countries need to have a visa prior to arrival in Kenya;
Afghanistan, Jordan, Senegal, Azerbaijan, Lebanon, Somali, Armenia, Mali, Syria, Cameroon, North Korea, Tadjikistan, Iraq, Nigeria (residing outside Nigeria), Ivory Coast, Stateless Persons
Countries whose nations do not require visas to enter Kenya.
The Bahamas, Jamaica, Samoa ,Barbados, Lesotho, Seychelles, Botswana, Malawi Singapore, Brunei, Darussalam, Mauritius, Sierra Leone, Cyprus, Maldives, Swaziland, Dominica, Namibia, Tanzania, Fiji Island, Naura, Tonga, Gambia, Nauru,Trinidad and Tobago,Grenada, Papua, New Guinea, Tuvalu Grenadines, St. Lucia, Uganda, Ghana, Zimbabwe St. Vincent and The Vanuatu, Zambia
Standard time zone: UTC/GMT +3 hours
The currency unit in Kenya is the Kenyan shilling (KES), comprising 100 cents (c). Coins are available in denominations of 5c, 10c, 50c and 1 and 5 shillings.
Bank notes (bills) are available in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1,000 shillings.
Transport and getting around
Kenya has about 4 airports and plenty of airlines connecting Nairobi with Mombasa, Kisumu, Nanyuki, Malindi, Lamu, and the national parks/reserves of Amboseli Masai Mara and Samburu.
Sailing on a dhow along the East African coast is one of Kenya’s most valuable and memorable travel experiences. Dhow cruises leave from Nyali on the mainland opposite Mombasa Island.
The train is a convenient, and is the safest – though slowest – way to travel on the ground.
Public transportation leaves every hour to major cities, and several times daily to rural areas. These include buses, the train, and matatus (mini-buses, vans or box matatus).