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Visa & health regulations
A valid visa is required by visitors to most countries in the region. The regulations vary dependent on nationality and country of origin. Kenya Visa Information - click here
Although chemists are well stocked in most regions, visitors requiring prescription drugs or special medication should bring supplies.
If you have prescription glasses, bring a spare pair.
Protect yourself from mosquitoes, as they carry numerous diseases such as malaria and yellow fever. To guard against mosquito bites, wear long sleeves and long trousers when you can and always apply an effective insect repellent.
On safari, rooms are provided with flasks of filtered and purified water and mineral water is readily available. For those planning lengthy treks or camping expeditions, a basic medical kit is also a good idea. Other useful items include a torch, a penknife, tweezers, and a compact alarm clock for early morning game drives!
Respect the climate and do not expect that you will acclimatise instantly to the equatorial sun, the heat or altitude. You should use sunscreen and a hat in the sun, avoid strenuous physical exertion, keep cool and hydrated, bearing in mind thirst is a poor guide to how much fluid you need and alcohol, and caffeinated drinks are poor rehydrators.
To protect yourself from tropical diseases, you should always take advice from your Doctor 6 – 8 weeks before you travel. Consider a malaria prophylactic. Vaccines commonly recommended include those against Tetanus, Diphtheria, Polio, Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Yellow fever, Rabies and Meningitis.
Currency $ £ € ¥
The currency in Kenya is the shilling, though the US Dollar is the preferred currency at most lodges/camps/hotels/resorts.
Major credit cards are accepted at most hotels and lodges, and foreign cash can be converted into Kenya shillings at banks and Forex bureaus. Kenyan banking hours are between 9.00 am to 3.00 pm, Monday to Friday and 9.00 am to 12 noon on Saturday. Forex bureaus are open until 5.00 pm on weekdays and until 1.00 pm on Saturday. For favourable rates see your local bank in country of origin or upon landing speak to our Operations Director, Surinder.
We strictly don’t recommend travellers cheques.
Customs and Existing Regulations
Upon arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi (JKIA) customs officials can request inspection of baggage. Please strictly adhere to baggage limitations as advised by the airline, as excess baggage charges can be quite expensive.
As in any other destination world-wide, the traveller should take precautions with valuables and money.
- Only carry small amounts of cash on you.
- Be sensible about displaying valuable items – phones, jewellery, cameras, etc. when in cities and towns, and always keep a close watch on handbags and wallets.
- Place all valuables in safety deposit boxes at hotels/resorts/lodges.
- Photocopies of important papers – travel documents, repeat prescriptions, etc - should be brought and packed separately.
Lightweight and comfortable clothing is usually the best Safari clothing. For walking safaris or game viewing on foot clothing should be of neutral colour, and white, bright or vividly patterned clothing avoided. Most African game animals are able to see bright blue over any other colour. Strong footwear is advisable if you are planning to do any walking. For serious climbers and trekkers a good pair of hiking boots should be brought with you.
At high altitudes warm sweaters, socks and comfortable shoes are recommended.
Evening wear in game lodges and safari camps is usually very casual, though for some up-market lodges and nights out in Nairobi you may wish to bring some more formal evening wear.
Wide brimmed hats are preferable to baseball caps for sun protection. Both sunglasses and a good quality sunscreen (rated SPF25 minimum) should be used.
Local customs and modesty should be respected, especially relevant in Zanzibar.
A good pair of binoculars is very important for game viewing.
Divers will find excellent dive gear for hire in Kenya, but may also wish to bring their own regulators or dive computers. Those with prescription masks should definitely bring them along. Don’t forget Dive Certification Cards and log documents, if you have them
Climbers can hire equipment, ropes and gear in Kenya.
Basic toiletry items are widely available in local supermarkets, which are all easily accessible in major towns and cities in east Africa. Most international branded products are also available. If you have a preferred brand of toiletries, guarantee its availability by bringing it with you!
Contact lens wearers should bring all the fluids you need, and a pair of glasses and prescription sunglasses glasses as backup - safari goers often find the combination of sun, dust and dryness irritates their eyes and makes contact lens use uncomfortable.
If you are travelling extensively throughout the region make sure that you bring suitable luggage. Suitcases and bags should be able to withstand plenty of handling and dusty conditions. Hard suitcases are robust and ideal, but can take up a lot of space: if you are travelling by domestic/chartered flights within Kenya, remember that there are luggage restrictions, particularly on smaller aircraft. If in doubt, please send us a video/photograph of your luggage and we will be happy to help.
For those planning a lot of travel by public transport or trekkers, a backpack is advisable.
It is advisable to have traveller's and accident insurance. Although every care is taken of you, we cannot be held responsible for any accidents, injury or illness that you may incur, or for any loss or damage of luggage.
At Bushtrek Safaris we offer insurance product through our reputable partners at AIG
Ensure that your insurer is aware of the type of travel to be undertaken. Some of the suggested insurance is:-
General medical & hospitalisation, including evacuation and repatriation
Accidental death or injury.
Currency and property loss or damage.
Safari/tour cancellation or curtailment.
Change in flight and departure date at either end.
Travel in light aircraft/ balloon and other conventional/ unconventional mode of transport.
Film & Photography Equipment
Drones are banned for recreational use in East Africa.
Kenya is a great photographer’s destination and makes for an awe –inspiring film destination. The great diversity of landscapes, people, wildlife and history make for unparalleled photo opportunities. Please come fully prepared and equipped to take full advantage of the ideal photographic environment. Bring a good solid camera and kit bag to cope with travel and handling. A lens cleaning cloth and a blower brush will be necessary to cope with dust. Birders, please bring a spotter scope and tripod.
Please respect the attitude of the local people towards photography. Ask permission before taking photographs. Don’t try to sneak photographs as you might get yourself in a spot of bother, especially with the Maasai, who are particularly sensitive about having their photographs taken.
The Kenya Professional Safari Guides Association (KPSGA) is an examining body that is improving the quality of Driver Guides in the Kenya Tourist Industry. The guides we provide are all members of KPSGA. You can request to see their certificates for confirmation.
If you are happy with a service, a gesture of appreciation will be enthusiastically received. We also advise our clients to tip their safari guides in US Dollars or the local currency of their holiday destination. Some travellers may find this topic uncomfortable and a grey area, bushtrek recommends you make your tip gesture at the end of your safari day, and of course, it all depends on how well you feel you have been taken care of.
Voltage throughout the country is 220-240 AC delivered through UK standard 3 pin outlets. Most safari vehicles have a cigarette lighter socket operating on a 12-volt system.
Lodges and camps usually operate generators which are used for limited times during the day and evening.
The Maasai Market in Nairobi, Kenya provides for beautiful and unique African curios, such as exquisite and unique African jewellery, ebony animal carvings, paintings, batiks, musical instruments, wooden spoons, and various soapstone and malachite carvings.
Many upmarket hotels, lodges and camps throughout East Africa also sell these items.
Prices in shops are fixed, but those offered at stalls are highly negotiable, so bargaining is encouraged. We will be happy to help you get the best out of this shopping experience.
Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and other park charges
The Kenya Wildlife Service is charged with the mandate of conserving and managing Kenya’s magnificent game and marine parks and their wildlife populations. Entry into any game park and reserve in East Africa is subject to a service charge by the relevant wildlife authorities, such as the KWS. This charge is quoted separately within our travel quotations and vary between countries and parks.
If in doubt, ask us! We are here to help.