Fact file: Kenya

Did you know?
The word 'safari' means 'journey'.
English and Swahili, plus many tribal languages.
All UK visitors require a visa, valid for three months.
Getting there
Scheduled airlines fly direct from the UK to the capital Nairobi. Also charter flights to Mombasa.
Flying time from London
Eight hours
Getting around
Kenya Airways operates between main cities. Popular local transport is by matatu, brightly coloured minibuses with loud stereo systems. Four-wheel-drive vehicles are the best transport in national parks.
Kenyan shilling
Bottle of beer £1, hearty meal £3-£5, roll of camera film £3-£4, four-mile taxi ride £3-£5, litre of petrol 60p. But all prices may fluctuate and expect to pay more in tourist centres.
Temperatures vary between main regions. Plateau of western Kenya (highest rainfall in April) 13C-35C (57F-95F). Central highlands and Rift Valley (perhaps Kenya's most agreeable climate is here) 10C-26C (50F-78F). Desert bushlands of eastern Kenya (little rainfall here) 20C-36C (68F-102F). Coastal belt (humid but helped by sea breezes) 21C-30C (70F-86F).
Time difference
Three hours ahead of GMT
International dialling code from the UK
00 254
240V. A universal adaptor is useful.
Opening hours
Government offices open 8/8.30am-1pm, 2pm-5pm, Monday-Friday; Banks 9am-2pm, Monday-Friday, plus 9am-11am first and last Saturday of the month. Nairobi and Mombasa both have branches of Barclays bank which open Monday-Saturday until 4.30/5pm, and the branch at Nairobi airport is open 24 hours.
Health - Before you go
Immunisations not compulsory, although yellow fever necessary for re-entry to UK. Consider tetanus, diphtheria, polio, typhoid, hepatitis A, hepatitis B (particularly for long stays and children), meningococcal meningitis, rabies and cholera. Take anti-malarial drugs and carry adequate supplies of prescribed medications. Take out adequate medical insurance.
Health - When you are there
Take care of what you eat and drink. Don't drink the local water (that includes ice). Stick to boiled milk, and peel fruit. Take precautions against sunburn, prickly heat, and heat stroke.
Take common sense precautions. Muggings, car hi-jacks and armed attacks are not common, but do happen. There have been recent incidents of banditry at Samburu, Shaba and Masai Mara game reserves. Avoid travelling after dark. Don't carry or wear valuables in public places. Only travel with reputable tour operators.
Police 99. British High Commission, Upper Hill Road, Nairobi. P.O. Box 30465. Tel: (00 254) (2) 714699.
Kenyans love to party and dance music rules. Modesty in dress prevails in Muslim areas.
You may only bring a pet back from Kenya if it undergoes six months in quarantine.
5%-10% in tourist restaurants, around £1.50 per day for safari staff.
Tourist office
Kenya Tourist Board, 36 Southwark Bridge Road, London SE1 9EU. Tel. 020 7202 6373.


+44 (0) 203 696 2870

Mon – Fri 8:30am – 5:30pm

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