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Frequently asked questions

Your way to the national parks

Your way to the national parks from Diani Beach leads you back to Mombasa by ferry. We leave quite early in the morning to get as much time as possible in the first park. Under certain circumstances it is possible to have to wait a little longer at this ferry. This is not calculable. Therefore, the travel times we have indicated may vary. The Kenyan road network covers about 62,600 km, of which only about 15,000 km are asphalted. Despite its poor condition, the road network is passable all year round. During the main rainy season from April to May, however, the unpaved roads are sometimes only passable with four-wheel drive (4WD) vehicles. In Kenya, the old English tradition is to drive on the left. Overtaking is done on the right side, and when turning, left before right applies. In urban areas there is a speed limit of 50 km/h, in national parks and game reserves 30 to 40 km/h, on country roads 100 km/h (with trailer 65 km/h, motorhome 80 km/h). Seat belts are compulsory. Driving with dipped headlights is also compulsory during the day.

Rules of Conduct for National Parks and National Reserves

In principle, all wild animals are to be given priority on the paths. We therefore wait at a respectful, safe distance until they have crossed or cleared the path individually or in groups. The speed limit of 40 km/h is observed for your own safety and the wild animals. It also increases your chances of seeing shy and cautious wild animals such as leopards, desert lynx or serval. Please do not encourage your driver to drive too close to dangerous animals. We will stay on the prescribed paths and tracks, otherwise we will unnecessarily destroy the vegetation of the protected areas and drive the wild animals out of their resting places. There is also the danger of getting stuck in deep sand or mud. Avoid loud noises. They reduce your and the other visitors’ chances of making good observations in the protected areas. Do not try to startle the animals by shouting loudly or clapping your hands in their quiet, so that they lift their heads or change places for the purpose of taking good photos. Refrain from photographing Masai if you do not receive permission to do so.
Collecting stones, fossils, horns, shells, corals, plants, flowers, nests and all other natural, prehistoric or archaeological objects is prohibited. Do not throw litter and burning cigarettes into the protected nature. Even the shard of a broken bottle or glass can cause a bush fire through its burning effect.
For your own safety, it is only recommended to leave your vehicle at the designated “campsites” or “picnic sites”, as wild animals are generally indifferent to vehicles, but may react aggressively to human beings on foot.

Prescribed routes and speed in the national parks

In contrast to safaris in the Massai Mara or the Serengeti nature reserve with the most wildlife, the trips in national parks take place on fixed routes, which must not be left. This serves to protect the animals. The maximum speed allowed there is 40km/h. We are in constant radio contact and also by SMS with others in order to get as quickly as possible to places that could be interesting for you.

The different territories

A distinction is made between different territories:
National parks have the strictest animal protection laws. Agriculture or livestock farming is not allowed within the territory. Visitors are only allowed to drive on marked trails. Night drives or game drives on foot are not permitted or are subject to strict regulations by the authorities. Lodges or campsites in national parks are fenced and cordoned off.
National reserves (National or Nature reserves) are protected areas, some of which may also be used by the local population. Some of the areas are private property and are therefore no longer subject to state supervision. Night drives and hikes with a guide are possible.
Conservancies are often privately managed reserves, often belonging to a farm or a lodge. Many border on national parks, which are often not fenced in. The animals can move freely between the individual areas.
The national parks and protected areas are one of the main reasons why visitors come to Kenya, along with seaside tourism. With the entrance fees they ensure the preservation of the protected areas and offer the local population employment opportunities. Furthermore, they are an effective protection against poaching.

Opening hours of the national parks

There are fixed closing times that we have to keep to. Desired night drives are only possible in territories that are not subject to state supervision.
National parks and reserves, daily 6-19 hrs, admission until 6 pm at the latest.
National parks
National parks are fully protected areas. They are primarily reserved for game. Visits by tourists are permitted.
National Reserves
National reserves may not be hunted. Human use, such as grazing livestock, cutting and gathering timber, farming, building houses and mining mineral resources, is tolerated.

Customs

Items for personal use may be carried duty-free. This includes (subject to re-exportation): a camera, a laptop, binoculars, a tent and other camping and sports equipment. Valuable items should be declared in writing.

Insurances

Liability insurance:
There is no compulsory liability insurance in Kenya. Nevertheless, it is strongly recommended that you take out liability and comprehensive insurance for the duration of your stay.
Cancellation insurance:
The conclusion of a travel cancellation insurance is recommended in case you fall ill.
Luggage insurance:
Luggage insurance reimburses you for the costs you have incurred due to the loss or theft of your luggage or parts of your luggage. However, you must check in detail whether, for example, valuables or expensive film or photographic equipment are also insured.
Travel health insurance:
It is strongly advised to check with your statutory health insurance company whether your insurance also covers your stay overseas. If this is not the case, you would have to take out additional private health insurance for travelling abroad, for example with a health insurance for overseas. In any case, official receipts for doctor and medication bills must be kept.
Travel price insurance certificate:
It is a guarantee that you will be returned from your destination country to your home country if your travel company has gone bankrupt in the meantime.
Flight Return Insurance:
For serious cases of illness or accidents in Kenya, flight repatriation insurance must be taken out.

Accident / emergency call

You can reach the police in emergencies by calling 999.

Tips

In many restaurants and hotels the 10% service charge is already included in the bill. Usually a small tip is still given. Of course, during a safari one should not forget to tip the driver. Usually about US$ 5-8 per day and person, with good service sometimes a little more. A tip is also expected for all services. Also the camp staff expects a tip (here about US$ 5 per day per guest for all camp staff except the guides – there is usually a tip box).

Encounters with animals

When encountering wild animals, the highest priority must be not to disturb them. It is absolutely not allowed to force an animal into a photogenic pose by throwing a stone, clapping or shouting. It is only acceptable to approach an animal as close as it does not show any concern. As soon as an animal shows reactions other than simply looking at the car, it must be stopped immediately. Special caution is required with large, defensive and unpredictable animals such as buffalos, hippos, elephants and rhinos, and with very shy animals such as leopards and cheetahs. It is better to observe from a distance how the situation between potential prey and the predator develops without influencing natural events, otherwise an accident can quickly occur.

Electricity

In general, you will find connections with 220-240 Volt (50-60 Hz) alternating current. This voltage is appropriate for electrical appliances such as hair dryers, shavers and for charging batteries for video cameras and flashlights etc. In some hotels and lodges, however, there are also connections for razors with 110 volts. To use the sockets you will need a 2 or 3 hole plug adapter, which you can buy in supermarkets in Nairobi or Mombasa. It is also possible to take a world adapter in your luggage from home. Please keep in mind that in many camps and lodges generators usually only provide electricity on an hourly basis.

Languages

The official and commercial languages are English and Kiswahili, the latter being the “lingua franca” in East Africa, a phonetic language composed of elements of various Bantu dialects and strongly influenced by Arabic. In addition, another 50 different languages and dialects are spoken in Kenya. It is of great advantage for you, especially as an individual traveller, if you know some words and phrases in Kiswahili. You can gain great sympathy from the locals when it is recognized that you are trying your hand at an African language. Furthermore, you will always meet people who do not understand English. Kiswahili is very common throughout the whole East African region. It is spoken by about 50 million people.

Souvenirs

With the abundance of souvenirs on offer, it is difficult to distinguish between genuine works of art and mass production (even items made abroad).
Woodcarvings:
The most valuable are ebony carvings. You can recognize them by their black colour, but even more clearly by their high weight. Most carvings are made of other, lighter woods (e.g. rosewood), which are often only painted black. They are supposed to simulate ebony. The motives are mostly masks, people, animals, napkin rings, bracelets etc.
Soapstone carvings:
They originally come from the Gusi tribe in western Kenya. It is best to buy the chess boards and figures, candlesticks, bowls and jewellery boxes made in the workshops of the craftsmen themselves, where the soapstones are given their shape.
Batik:
This technology, which originated in Indonesia, has also conquered the Kenyan market. African motifs, worked on cotton or silk, will shine towards you colourful and transparent under the equatorial sun.
Other souvenirs:
You will also find an overabundance of spears, arrows and bows, swords, shields, drums, pumpkin calabashes, clay jugs, basketry, colourful cotton cloths, necklaces, bracelets, precious and semi-precious stones, bronze figures and many other things.

Security and criminality

In general, Kenya has a high level of street crime, burglary and, in the worst case, robbery and murder. Especially in cities and in the places visited by tourists there are many theft crimes. In the North Eastern Province as well as in the area between Malindi and Lamu, there are considerable security problems, including the danger of armed bandits. tourists should move in cities only in groups and should not carry valuables visibly with them. At night you should not leave your accommodation. After dark it is advisable to use taxis (no public transport) to get around. At night you should avoid the city centres of Nairobi and Mombasa and all main roads, and be careful when using bank cards (payment by credit card, withdrawals from cash machines). Observations are not excluded, which can lead to so-called express kidnappings, in which especially Western foreigners are held for several hours in order to withdraw large amounts of money with their bank cards. The police punish the offences very strictly. In the case of robbery and violence, even the death penalty is imposed.
Precautionary measures outside the hotel grounds or protected areas such as closed residential areas, villas etc.
Avoid dark alleys of the big cities. Get yourself to safety, especially at night. Carry money on your body hidden in breast pockets and money belts. Use hotel safes for your valuables. Do not show large amounts of cash in public. Do not take jewellery and expensive watches with you when travelling. Be careful in the crowd. This is where pickpockets have the best chance. Handbags are sought-after items of prey. Guard your car yourself or park it only in guarded parking lots. Car thefts are very common. Do not be lured into an ambush. Individual travellers who visit the national parks without group supervision should stay overnight in the existing lodges or on guarded campsites. With organized tours (e.g. safaris) there is no danger beyond the usual level.

Travel time and climate

Kenya’s climate is very well tolerated. Although Kenya lies in the tropics, the climate of the highlands in particular is one of the most pleasant on earth. Characteristic for the tropics is the almost absolute equinox, which only fluctuates by half an hour within the year. The twilight is only very short. But one cannot speak of a uniform climate in Kenya. As far as the weather is concerned, the relief and the different altitude (from 0 to 5.199 m) as also the different wind directions of the trade winds play a big role.
One can divide the country into four climate zones:
Coastal region
– January to March – hot and humid
– April, May – rainy season
– June to October – warm and humid
– November, December – rainy season
Highland
Here the climate conditions are most pleasant.
– January to March – dry and warm
– April, May – rainy season
– June to August – dry cool
– September, October – dry warm
– November, December – rainy season
Semi-desert and desert
– October to April – dry hot to scorching hot (sometimes over 40 °C)
– May – light rain
– June to September – dry warm to hot
Lake Victoria
warm to hot and humid all year round, rain in all seasons. The enormous water surface of Lake Victoria creates a microclimate due to the large amount of evaporation under the hot equatorial sun and rain that falls again.
In Kenya one generally records two rain periods:
– the so-called long rainy season, from April to May.
– the so-called short rainy season – from mid October to November/December
This is also the basis for the flow of tourists:
The high season is from 15.12. to 31.3. and from 1.7. to 31.10. The low season is from 1.4. to 30.6. and from 1.11. to 14.12. But also a holiday during the rainy season can be very attractive. The land becomes green, the colours are more intense and the cloud formation is fantastic. However, some earth roads are then only passable with 4WD or not at all.

Using drones in Kenya

Drones in Kenya are initially prohibited in principle. Already the import without the appropriate permission can lead to problems at the airport. Whoever cannot present the appropriate permits when entering Kenya, risks that the drones will be confiscated and will only be handed over again when leaving the country. Depending on the officials it can also be quite possible that a fine is imposed. At this point we would strongly advise against even the slightest attempt to use a fine to persuade an official to overlook this and confiscate the drone. Furthermore, it is forbidden to carry drones in hand luggage from Kenyan airports. The drone must therefore be checked in with the luggage. Due to new changes in the law, however, the batteries must still be kept in hand luggage.
Which permits are required.
Firstly, you need a permit from the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority and the Ministry of Defense. According to some sources, such permits are only issued in individual cases for media or film productions. So it will hardly be possible to film purely privately. If you plan to use the recordings commercially, this should be made clear in the application and you should also have the permission to do so. Otherwise, commercialization is not allowed (this already applies if you earn money with Youtube videos and commercials).

Mail, telephone, internet

There is no home delivery service at the Kenyan national post office. You must always use the P.O. Box. The post offices are marked with the letters PTT (Post, Telephone, Telegraph). Mailboxes and phone booths have a red paint. Letterheads, postcards, stamps, letterheads, envelopes and postcards are available as usual in stationery shops, at kiosks and in hotels. A letter or card with the not-to-be-forgotten note “Air Mail” usually takes 7-10 days. From remote places, from lodges in national parks it can take much longer. Stamps are available at post offices, street stalls, hotels and lodges. You should always make sure you have a sufficient supply.
Phone
The national and international telephone network is very good by African standards. You can call from public telephone boxes (also with coins), post offices or from the hotel with telephone cards, which you can buy in post offices or at kiosks. When telephoning from the hotel room, a surcharge of 50-100% may be applied. In rural areas, however, it is only possible to access the network via the so-called “Radio Call”. The area code for Kenya is 00254, but most calls to Europe and the USA must be switched. International calls from so-called “Telephone Exchange” buildings, usually located next to the post office, are much cheaper than if they are made from a hotel. Mobile phone calls are possible in Kenya, especially in the central areas, but also in the countryside, where there is often no landline. You can also easily get a prepaid card for your mobile phone. The number of internet cafés in Kenya is constantly increasing, e.g. in Nairobi, Mombasa, Malindi, Nakuru, Lamu and on Diani Beach.
Opening hours
Banks are usually open Mon-Fri 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., the airport banks open daily until midnight.
Post offices have the following opening hours: Mon-Fri 8.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. , Sat 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Shops are usually open Monday to Saturday between 8 a.m. and 5.30 p.m. with a variable lunch break. Food shops are often open longer in the evening. Indian “Dukas”, small shops, are sometimes open until late in the evening.
National parks and reserves, daily from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., admission until 6 p.m. at the latest.

Clothing

In the city:
An overly casual exterior is not appropriate in the posh hotels. During the day, light suits or a nice dress, but also a neat “safari look” with long trousers are recommended. In the evening, you should dress classically or sporty, depending on the occasion. As far as weather is concerned, Nairobi and Nakuru have a moderate mountain climate, while in Mombasa and Kisumu you will find a hot and humid tropical climate.
On safari:
Safari suits, but also other durable clothing, shirts with breast pockets, cotton underwear. For early morning game drives in the safari vehicle a thin jacket with hood is recommended. In the high mountains, wool sweaters, anorak, long raincoat and mountain boots are the right clothing. Temperatures can drop to -10°C at night, depending on the altitude.
At the coast:
You should be considerate of the mostly Islamic population on the coast with regard to your clothing. As a man you should not walk around in the villages with short trousers and bare upper body and as a woman you should not wear a skirt that is too short, a blouse that is too tight and a blouse that is too wide cut. Light, airy cotton clothes are comfortable to wear in contrast to synthetic clothes. Overall, you should pack easily washable and non-iron outerwear (viscose). In the hotels and lodges you can have your clothes and linen washed and ironed for a fee. Therefore do not take too much clothing with you.

Health

Compared to other African countries, medical care in Kenya can be described as good. There are about 8,000 doctors, about 90% of whom practice in the larger cities. The doctors’ office hours are between 8 and 18 o’clock on weekdays. A doctor can be reached in every major hotel. If you are seriously ill, you should visit a hospital.
Nairobi:
In Nairobi, there are two hospitals of international standard:
– Aga Khan Hospital, 3rd, Parkland Avenue, Limuru Road, Nairobi, Tel. 020-366 2000, akuh.nairobi@aku.edu
– Nairobi Hospital, Argwings Kodhek Road (Nairobi Hill district, not to be confused with Kenyatta Hospital, also located there), tel. 0703 082 000, hosp@nbihosp.org, www.Thenairobihosp.org
Mombasa:
Aga Khan Hospital Mombasa, Vanga Road (corner of Nyerere Avenue), Kizingo, Mombasa, tel. 041-222 7710-5.
Larger cities have chemists, which are of a high standard.
Diani Beach:
Private hospital: https://dianibeachhospital.com/

Malaria

One million children die every year in tropical Africa alone. In Kenya, approximately 60% of hospital patients are infected with malaria. Malaria tropica” is fatal in 10-20 % of all cases if not treated. The risk of malaria is present throughout the country all year round. An increase in malaria transmission is also observed in the highlands, especially in the border region with Uganda. There is a low risk of infection in the urban area of Nairobi. Areas above 2,500 metres above sea level are considered malaria-free. There is an increased risk of transmission during and directly after the rainy season. In the holiday areas around the Indian Ocean (e.g. Mombasa, Malindi), Lake Victoria and the lowland rivers (e.g. Tana River), malaria transmission is to be expected all year round.
Protective measures:
Protection against mosquito bites is the most important preventive measure against malaria! It is advisable to sleep under a mosquito net at night and during the day in endangered areas to cover naked body parts with preferably light khaki clothing and to wear a mosquito head protection. Mosquito spray, mosquito ointment or lit incense spirals can keep malaria mosquitoes away from you. Perethrin is a pyrethrum-based insect venom that is used to impregnate the mosquito net. In addition, a medicinal malaria prophylaxis should be taken. It is best to consult your local health office or a tropical institute about the currently most effective remedy for the target region, the dosage or a combination of different drugs.
Sleeping sickness:
It is transmitted by the sting of the tsetse fly, which occurs in areas with a particularly high concentration of game. The risk of infection is relatively low for travellers.
Snakes and scorpions:
The risk of being bitten by a snake or stung by a scorpion is extremely low. You should move slowly and carefully in confusing terrain, however, then even poisonous snakes will be safe from you. Snakes will only attack in fear and self-defence if their escape distance is less than their escape distance. Preventive measures: It is advisable to wear high-necked shoes in the bush. When staying overnight in a tent, you should check your shoes in the morning before putting them on as a precaution.
Sunburn and heat stroke:
At the beginning of the journey you should not expose yourself to direct sunlight for too long. Beware of the tropical sun, especially on the beach and in the high mountains. Try to stay in the shade during the midday heat. Drink a lot, cover your head and protect your bare skin with high factor sunscreen and clothing.
Drinking water:
In all places, including Nairobi, Mombasa and the lodges, for health reasons you should not enjoy the water unboiled or without taking Micropur tablets or brushing your teeth with it.
Cholera:
Since the beginning of 2017, cholera cases have been increasingly observed in Kenya. The first cholera outbreak reported in 2017 was in Tana River district. The cholera outbreak affects both the general population and the refugee camps.
Aids:
In principle, unprotected sexual contact carries the risk of serious infections, including HIV infection.

Money

The national currency is the Kenya Shilling (KSh). In Kenya, the decimal system is also used for currency subdivision. 1 KSh has 100 cents. There are banknotes of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 KSh, coins of 5, 10 (copper) and 50 cents, 1 and 5 KSh (silver). 20 KSh are also known as “Kenya pounds”. Exchange rates are subject to strong fluctuations due to the high inflation rate, so it is advisable to check the current rate with your financial institution before you travel. Notes and coins in the local currency may be carried on entry and exit up to a maximum equivalent of US$ 6,000. When leaving the country, the remaining national currency can be exchanged back. Foreign currency may only be exchanged by banks, hotels, lodges, travel agencies and some souvenir shops. Foreign currency can be imported in unlimited amounts. You should keep receipt forms for the exchange of currency so that you can show them at any checks. Be warned of the risk of illegal currency exchange. It is forbidden under penalty. So keep your hands off the black exchange, no matter how tempting the offer may sound! Traveller’s cheques are hardly accepted any more and can only be exchanged at banks at great expense of time.
Credit cards:
Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted throughout the country (in the larger towns), American Express and Diners Club rather rarely. If you are making longer trips into the interior of the country, make sure you have enough cash.

Payment for Tours and/or Safaris booked with us.
Payment can be made by credit card at our office, or even more conveniently by bank transfer to one of our accounts. see https://marcopolosafaris.com/legal-notice/

Flights

You land at the airport Jomo Kenyatta International in Nairobi, 15 km from the capital. Airport buses or taxis will take you to the metropolis of Kenya or to Wilson National Airport, from where most domestic flights depart. Have your flight reconfirmed to be informed in time of any changes in departure times. Almost all known airlines fly to Nairobi and Mombasa.
Domestic flights
From Diani Beach ( Ukunda Airport ) you can fly to Wilson Airport in Nairobi. The flights leave daily and almost every hour until about 16:00. From Wilson National Airport in Nairobi to Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi it is about 18km.

Public holidays

– 1 January – New Year – National holiday
– March / April – Good Friday – National holiday
– March / April – Easter Monday – National holiday
– 1 May – Labour Day – National holiday
– 1 Jun – Madaraka Day – Self-Determination Day – National Holiday
– Eid al-Fitr (Feast of Breaking the Fast) – National holiday
– Eid al-Adha (Islamic Festival of Sacrifice) – National holiday
– 10 October – Moi Day – National Holiday
– 20 October – Mashujaa Day – National Holiday
– 12 December – Independence Day – National holiday
– 24 December – Christmas Eve Festival or commemoration day, Christian
– 25 December – Christmas – National Holiday
– 26 December – Christmas Day – National Holiday

Wining and dining

African, Oriental-Asian and European peoples and cultures have brought different dishes, eating and drinking habits to Kenya. The African cuisine is often very simple. The basic ingredients of the dishes usually consist of corn, beans, millet, plantains and root tubers (potatoes, jams, cassava). They are refined by vegetables, fruits, goat and beef and – where available – by fish. The Ethiopian Kabab dishes are also famous. But also in many lodges the African dishes are prepared very tasty. Posho is the national dish made from sweet corn. Ugali is a corn porridge, the stomach filler of the “little man”. Matoke consists of cooked bananas. Kuku ya packa is chicken baked in coconut milk.
The oriental-asian cuisine
The Asians expanded the menu by introducing rice, dried fruits and various types of spices. The dishes of Indian restaurants are very tasty, but often too spicy for our palates. Some names of dishes:
– Rongongosh is mutton with a piquant sauce.
– Makharwallah is chicken with rice.
– Masalas are stuffed fish, grilled over charcoal.
– Chipatee and Popadom are bread specialities.
– Kulfi ice cream has saffron flavour.
The European cuisine
The Portuguese imported food from the newly discovered Brazil to Kenya, e.g. corn, sweet potatoes, cassava, bananas, pineapple, chillies and peppers. The British enriched Kenya’s cuisine with new cheese and dairy products from their imported breeds of sheep, goats and cattle. They also cultivated coffee in the mountainous regions of the central region. The good quality and abundant choice of food and drink in the lodges and large hotels is overwhelming. People try to outdo each other in ingenuity in preparation and decoration. Some visitors will repress their intentions regarding calorie restriction in view of the delicious displays at the buffet. The variety of exotic fruits (passion fruit, mangoes, papayas, pineapples, citrus fruits, bananas), desserts, puddings, cakes and tarts is also delicious. Kenya has been brewing its own good tasting beer for 50 years. The brands of bottled beers are: “White Cap”, ” Tusker Lager” and “Tusker Premium”. We also recommend pure, mostly dry wines from South Africa at moderate prices, while the European wines, with high import duties, are very expensive. As far as non-alcoholic drinks are concerned, apart from coffee and tea, fruit juices made from freshly squeezed passion fruits, mangos, pineapples and oranges are particularly recommended.

Entry into Kenya

English and American citizens require a visa for Kenya. The fees are US$ 51 for a Single Entry Visa and US$ 101 for a Multiple Entry Visa. Visas can be issued online at http://evisa.go.ke/evisa.html. As the approval and issuance of the eVisa can take some days, travellers should therefore apply for their visa well in advance. You will not be automatically notified when your eVisa has been issued. You should therefore log in regularly to check this and then print out the eVisa.
Please note that visas are only valid for 90 days until entry. Therefore, do not apply too early or too late.
You will get the visa for easy entry:
– Online (eVisa) only on the website: http://evisa.go.ke/evisa.html or https://www.ecitizen.go.ke

As of February 1, 2016, children under the age of 16 who enter Kenya accompanied by an adult will be exempt from visa fees.
To enter the country, you will need a passport valid for at least six months after the end of the journey, in addition to the printout of the eVisa. Each child requires its own identity document. Other passport and visa requirements may apply for members of other nationalities. Please enquire about these at the respective embassy. For travellers who also travel to Kenya, Uganda and/or Rwanda, there is also the possibility to apply for the joint East Africa visa of these three countries. It entitles the holder to multiple entries into Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda within 90 days. The cost of this is US$ 90 and no visitor to Kenya may take up paid employment or settle in Kenya without a work permit. This requires permission from the Principal Immigration Office. For East Africa, a Flying Doctor insurance is recommended, which includes a rescue flight to hospital in case of medical emergency. Please check if this insurance is included in your international health insurance. The Flying Doctor Service costs, depending on duration and area, between approx. 25 and 50 US$.  Please contact the respective embassies urgently before booking or starting your journey.

Information on Covid can be found here: Covid 19 Entry requirements

Shopping

The range of goods for everyday life, such as food and other consumer goods, is sufficiently available in the more densely populated heartland of Kenya, the coastal region and Lake Victoria. For more special things, the shopping facilities in the cities of Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu and Nakuru are still the best. But also at the weekly markets and in the dukas of the small towns, the traders have a colourful range of goods ready, ranging from ceramics and basketry, field and garden fruits, beef and sheep meat, live chickens, to colourful cotton fabrics and soapstone carvings and other souvenirs. Prices are generally low by European standards for domestically produced goods and very high for imported items such as cameras, films, radios, televisions, electrical goods and cars. If the prices seem excessive to you, you should not be afraid to haggle. With a little skill you can negotiate down the prices quoted by the dealer. Haggling can and should be a lot of fun. It is answered eloquently and spiritedly like a sport by the traders. Do not buy ivory carvings, wastebaskets made of elephant feet, fur and pelts of spotted cats and other trophies of wild animals that are endangered in their species!

Driving by yourself

Violations of speed limits and alcohol abuse may result in heavy fines. When renting a car, the international driver’s license and a credit card must be presented. You may have to identify yourself with a document other than the driving licence (passport, identity card). The renter of a rental car must be between 23 and 70 years of age and have held a driving licence for at least two years.
Dangers
The condition of the roads is not always optimal. Numerous potholes must be avoided. Often several potholes follow each other in a row, or are unexpectedly deep. Here, slalom traffic is often preferred to official left-hand traffic. Animals suddenly cross the road. Fundamental changes in road conditions due to thunderstorms (rain). A further accident risk is the often bad condition of the vehicles. Defects in brakes, indicators and brake lights, punctures, axle and chassis fractures due to overload or rust can have devastating consequences. Vehicles that have been left lying down and inadequately secured are also a danger. If you absolutely want to drive yourself, you should definitely obtain information about the condition of the roads and the safety situation from your local automobile club and your embassy in Nairobi in advance.
Conduct towards police officers
If you behave in a manner contrary to traffic regulations, you should apologize to the police. If you are required to pay, it is advisable not to be reluctant or to be right-minded.
Night Rides
Avoid these if possible. Poorly lit or not lit cars, carts, motorcycles and bicycles, people, animals on the road and poorly lit sections of road are difficult to spot in the dark. Special caution is required.
Road conditions
Inquire beforehand about the condition of the road, especially during and after the rainy season with locals or with the “Automobil Association of Kenya” on the Internet at www.aakenya.co.ke (“Major Road Condition”), aak@aakenya.co.ke or Tel. 020-6979000, 0709933000, 0733620966.Emergency number: 020-6979999, 0709933999, Mobile: 0720227267, 0720261576, 0734611049.
Refuel
The fuel supply with premium petrol, regular petrol and diesel (“gasoil”) can be described as good in Kenya. There are hardly any bottlenecks. Kenya is the only country in East Africa that has its own oil refinery. The filling station network is tightly meshed in the more densely populated areas of Kenya. Even the lodges in the national parks partly have their own petrol stations. Only in the very sparsely populated north are the petrol stations often 500 km or more apart. It is absolutely necessary to carry your own supply of petrol or diesel fuel in reserve canisters! In the wastelands of Northern Kenya you should take every opportunity to refuel.
Parking a vehicle
If possible you should place it in garages, fences or yards of hotels and lodges. When guarding in parking lots, it is appropriate to leave a tip after guarding.

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