For many a trip to Kenya is a dream of a lifetime. Just thinking about the amazing sights is enough to make you want to hop on the next plane for Nairobi. But there are many considerations to ensure your trip is safe and enjoyable. Here is a list to keep in mind.
A passport is required for any international travel and Kenya requires most foreigners to obtain a visa before officially entering the country (Commonwealth country citizens do not need a visa, however). Visas are available at Kenya's international airports and main border crossings; one can also obtain a visa beforehand in one's home country.
Tourist visa are good for up to 30 days and if you'll be leaving the country and then returning (many people cross over to Tanzania to climb Kilimanjaro or trek the Serengeti) be sure to get a multiple-entry visa so you can return to Kenya without problems.
There are no required immunizations to enter Kenya except from countries where Yellow Fever is present in which case you will need to bring your immunization card showing an inoculation. From Europe or the United States nothing is required.
That being said, medical professionals highly recommend:
2. Hepatitis A
4. Yellow Fever
5. Polio (update)
6. Tetanus (update)
Malaria is a risk and Kenya is the home of a strain resistant to chloroquine. When receiving anti-malarial drugs, be sure to specify that you are visiting Kenya to get the right treatment.
Kenya is a tourist friendly country and for the most part one will find the people friendly and welcoming. That being said, many areas in Africa are poverty stricken and Kenya is no different. Most foreigners attract locals selling goods and those looking for a handout. Simply stay calm and one can oblige or politely decline and be on your way. One should not be out alone at night whether in the city or the country.
In terms of good rules for traveling to any foreign country, one should keep a copy of one's passport and keep it in a safe place. Also as a precaution, one should not carry a large amount of cash nor wear jewelry that would attract any attention. If carrying a camera or video equipment, be discreet and be aware of surroundings at all times. If it is necessary to carry a large sum of cash, invest in a money belt of other hidden wallet system.
If renting a car keep windows and doors closed and locked while driving, especially in the cities. Driving at night is treacherous as many cars and trucks are missing headlights and the roads are extremely rutted and filled with potholes.
For a trip to Kenya you want to plan the dates carefully. To get the most out of a trip and to get the best chance at seeing wildlife, try and visit during the dry season. During this time the animals cluster around key waterholes so viewing is easier. If interested in seeing the great migration of wildebeest in the Rift Valley, the best time is late-July through September.
So with some careful preparation and planning, one can truly get the most out of a trip to Kenya. From the Massai Mara to the island of Lamu, Kenya has a lot to offer the adventurous traveler.