Video Source: Youtube
Flag Source: CIA World Factbook
Getting In and Around
Ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months beyond the end of your visit to Kenya. You should have available at least two blank pages in your passport for your visa and entry/exit stamps. Visas can be obtained in advance from a Kenyan embassy or consulate and can also be purchased at the airport in Kenya. As of May 2009, a single-entry visa costs $25, and a multiple-entry visa costs $50.
A yellow fever immunization card may be requested when you enter Kenya, so visit your local physician or health clinic before your departure and be sure that you have the required vaccinations.
Most international flights will arrive in and depart from Nairobi. The city has two main airports, Jomo Kenyatta International and Wilson Airport. If you are flying in or out of Kenya, you will most likely use Jomo Kenyatta. Wilson Airport is primarily for domestic travel; a limited numbe
r of flights around the African continent fly from Wilson, though.
Public transportation is available in larger cities. The government-owned Kenya Bus Service manages many bus routes, but the most popular public transportation method is privately owned minibuses called matatus
. While matatus
definitely offer the cheapest way to get around, they are also the most congested, as drivers will squeeze in as many passengers as they can. Be prepared for a squished ride.
In most of the cities, especially in areas that are popular with tourists, taxis are available for hire. They can provide a more convenient and safer alternative to public transportation, but taxis are also going to be more expensive. Be sure to negotiate a price before you get into the car, to prevent being overcharged. If you are looking to take a private vehicle service between cities, you’d do well to confer with your hotel staff for advice on reputable companies
Kenya Railways and the Kenya Bus Service, as well as numerous privately owned bus lines, all operate out of Nairobi and travel throughout the country.
If your mobile phone uses the GSM 900 system (standard with European mobiles, but most American and Canadian phones run on the 850/1900 system), you will be able to use it in Kenya. Be prepared to spend large amounts of money on phone calls, however. Your best and cheapest alternative is to buy a SIM card from one of the two main companies that sell them in Kenya, Safaricom and Zain. SIM cards and reload credits are sold all over the country. A word to the wise: text messages are significantly cheaper than phone calls, and the reception of text messages is free.
Safety and Security
The U.S. Department of State’s consular website has a great deal of information about safety and security in Kenya
. It can’t be repeated enough: be sensible when you travel. Crime rates vary between cities and townships in Kenya. Be alert and aware about your surroundings.
The Mo Ibrahim Foundation has created a security ratings system called the Ibrahim Index
, wherein scores are based on each country’s quality of government. Before traveling to Kenya or anywhere on the continent, check the index and do your research.