In magical Kenya, the primeval expanses of national parks and the whirlwind of seaside resorts are harmoniously combined. The motley capital of Nairobi, noisy Mombasa and almost European Malindi, animals in Amboseli and Masai Mara – all about Kenya: tours, photos, reviews, prices and maps.
We list just some of the reasons why every conscious tourist is simply obliged to visit Kenya at least once. Firstly, this is the very land from which human civilization “came from”: the first, then still terribly scary and not at all ennobled by the intellect, Homo sapiens was born on its motley expanses. Secondly, Kenya can rightly be called the navel of the earth – the equator line passes through its territory. Thirdly, in the expanses of Kenyan national parks, the notorious “African Big Five” is found and willingly shown to tourists: elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo and rhinoceros (not to mention any numerous nimble little things like meerkats). Fourth, dive to the coral reefsThe local Watamu Marine Reserve, teeming with the exotic fauna of the Indian Ocean, is considered an honor by the most advanced divers.
In general, the slogan magical Kenya is not an advertising exaggeration at all: magic is really everywhere here!
Visa and customs
According to Baglib, a visa is required to enter the country, which can be obtained online or at the Kenyan Embassy in Moscow. In addition, it is worthwhile to purchase travel medical insurance in advance, without which traveling around Africa is simply unreasonable.
Customs allows duty-free import of 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars or 225 g of tobacco, 1 liter of spirits, 250 ml of perfume. The import of fruits, seedlings and seeds, fruits of plants, drugs, explosives, pornographic materials, firearms and even toys imitating them is prohibited. For the export of gold and diamonds, ivory products, animal skins and rhinoceros horns, artistic and cultural and historical values, a special license from the customs authorities is required.
Wild animals, live fish, birds and their eggs, as well as traps are also prohibited for import and export.
The import of foreign currency is not limited, but a declaration is required. The export of national currency is prohibited, the export of foreign currency within the amount declared upon entry does not cause problems.
Owners of cats and dogs will have to worry in advance: a maximum of 30 days before the trip, present a vaccination certificate to the embassy, pay a fee of 50 USD for each animal going on a trip, and obtain a special permit. It will need to be shown at the border along with a veterinary passport and a bunch of other documents: a certificate of vaccination against rabies, a certificate confirming the absence of foci of this disease within 50 km from the pet’s place of residence over the past six months, and a certificate from the captain of the aircraft or ship proving that the little animal was in isolation and did not leave the ship during the trip. It might be easier to leave your pet at home.
How to avoid problems
It is recommended that you get vaccinated against hepatitis A, tetanus and polio before traveling to Kenya. Vaccination against yellow fever is optional, but the Russian Ministry of Health recommends not to refuse it. Vaccination must be done no later than 10 days before entering the country. After it, an international certificate is issued, valid for 10 years, which is often checked by the sanitary services of Russian airports.
In Kenya, it is necessary to protect yourself from malaria. There is no vaccination against it, so tourists are required to take special antimalarial pills according to the following scheme: one pill a week before the date of travel, one on the day of arrival, then one pill every week of stay in the country. Upon return, it is recommended to take a tablet every week for 3-4 weeks for prevention purposes. You should also carefully monitor the condition of mosquito nets in all places of residence and, if the slightest gaps are found, require replacement of the room.
You should not drink tap water, drink drinks with ice, buy food from street vendors. Fruits must be washed with boiled water.
Kenyans don’t like being photographed without permission. But with him – they love, especially if you back up the request with a small amount of money. It is not recommended to photograph border posts, military installations and people in any uniform (army, police, security). Also, shooting is strictly prohibited on the main square of Nairobi near the mausoleum of the first president of Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta. And in Kenya, it is strictly forbidden to smoke in public places. You can pray only in specially designated areas or be prepared for an indecent fine.
In no case should you change currency on the street or withdraw cash from suspicious individuals scurrying around the city with terminals.
The only safe locations in cities are the central streets, and even then only during daylight hours. There are, of course, many pickpockets, but by staying vigilant and not brandishing expensive phones and wads of money, it is quite possible to avoid trouble. If you suddenly need to leave the center, it is better to walk as quickly and confidently as possible, knowing the exact route and not attracting attention. In the evening, it is wiser to travel by taxi belonging to official services. Areas like the capital’s River Road and the poor outskirts are strictly prohibited under any circumstances.
If the plane arrives at night and no one from the locals meets you at the airport, it is better to spend the night in the terminal and go to the city in the morning.
In resorts, you should also not move away from beaches and other tourist areas, on excursions – only with an experienced guide. Even a car with a white driver can provoke robbers, so if you decide to refuse the services of a local driver, we advise you to study the road in advance and not stop in unfamiliar places. In the north, you need to remember about gangs of separatists, in reserves and their environs – about poachers.
- Do I need to get vaccinated before visiting Kenya?
- Is it safe to drive alone through the nature reserves of Kenya?
Useful phone numbers
Russian Embassy in Nairobi: PO Box 30049, Lenana Road; tel.: (20) 272-87-00.
Kenya Tourism Federation 24/7 Help Desk: (20) 604-730 or 505-614.