TOURS TO SOUTH AFRICA, BOTSWANA, ZAMBIA, ZIMBABWE, NAMIBIA, TANZANIA, KENYA, MOZAMBIQUE, ETHIOPIA
TOURS TO KENYA - COUNTRY OF GREAT DIVERSITY

 

HOW TO PLAN YOUR TOUR AND SAFARI IN KENYA

Eyes run wide when you start planning a tour. In addition to the popular and popular sites shown on many sites, in Kenya there are many other places worth visiting, where there are no crowds of tourists. Private concessions, conservation projects, unusual hotels and excursions.
Based on our experience and the questions that customers most often ask us, we offer a small guide with useful information about parks, beaches, seasons, hotels, prices and of course tours to Kenya that you may like

 

Kenya is kind and helpful people.

The population of about 50 million is divided into 40 ethnic groups, each with its own language, cultural and religious traditions. For example, at one end of the country, while living in a hotel, among the staff you can meet a woman with roots from Oman, and on the other side you can meet the hotel manager, whose great-grandfather was from Punjab (he immigrated to build the legendary railway from Nairobi to Mombasa) . In Kenya, you will definitely meet the most famous ethno-masai, who grow in villages where, to protect their sheep from predators, they still use a wooden stick (although it is of a special shape - by the way, it is very popular to take for souvenirs). These are the most recognizable people of East Africa. Thanks to the bright traditional clothes you can not confuse them with anyone. And today, in the 21st century, the Masai still adhere to traditions, although now it is already becoming a brand that many travelers want to see

Kenya Animals Needs No Advertising

Animals of Kenya do not need advertising, everyone who watched "The Lion King" can easily imagine all the inhabitants. This is a megafauna from giraffes with hippos to millions of herds of ungulates that make annual migration. Kenyans love and protect their nature and from time immemorial live in the neighborhood. Hunting in Kenya is forbidden 40 years ago. Therefore, the animals are already accustomed and are not afraid of cars, in addition to the classic one, you can go on foot safari or horseback riding tours. Most tourists choose tours to Kenya precisely for the safari to see animals. Kenya has a large population of elephants, as well as a growing population of black rhinos. In some reserves you can see chimpanzees and rare wild dogs. And of course, Kenyan lions, leopards and cheetahs can be seen almost everywhere, from the park in the vicinity of Nairobi to the remote northern deserts.

Country of extraordinary diversity

The vast expanses of the plain savannahs contrast with the hills where tea and coffee plantations are spread. The necklace of the Great Rift Rift Lakes flows into the rocky deserts of the Saver. In the middle of the country, right on the equator, stands the second highest mountain in Africa - Mount Kenya. And in the south we will find ourselves on the snow-white beaches of Mombasa and Malindi, surrounded by palm trees, where the coloring of the Swahili millennial history has survived to this day. Kenya is multi-faceted. If you want to understand it, try different tastes, include at least 4 different regions on the trip. Do not rush from one park to another too quickly, it is better to stop in each place for a longer time and enjoy all the charms that it can offer. Optimal 2-3 nights.

Masai Mara is Kenya's most famous and most visited reserve. First of all, it is famous because of the great migration and the record number of Big Cats (lions, leopards, cheetahs). Definitely this park with the largest number of animals. But during the migration period, madness begins to read here. Thousands of tourists are eager for nature shows, hotels are becoming more expensive, it’s difficult to get places. This can only be avoided if you choose accommodation in private concessions surrounding Masai Mara, you get the same thing, but without a crowd. It is worth noting that such a vacation is exclusive and costs more than classic lodges in the national park.

What to see

Tour to Kenya - is it expensive?


Getting to know the national parks and reserves of Kenya is worth the money, for example, for entering and staying in Mesai Mara Park one day you need to pay $ 80. On average, an individual safari day will cost $ 500 per person (including entry to the park, car, guide, accommodation and three meals a day). On the ocean it depends on the hotel and the season, you can find a room for $ 100 (we are not talking about guest houses and budget hotels for hippies, such clients rarely turn to the services of tour operators in Africa). If you travel in a group of 4 people, the savings are about one and a half times, that is, on the day of the safari there will be about 350 dollars per person. If you buy a ready-made tour, meals are already on. Drinks from $ 2

Add some adventure to your trip!

When is the best time to travel to Kenya?

Weather


Kenya’s weather is unpredictable, but there are usually two seasons of rain: “long rains” (April-May) and “short rains” (November-mid-December). The climate on the coast is more clearly defined and easier to predict. In the hills, rains occur every month, and in the north drought. Temperatures also vary greatly by region. The ocean is wet all year round, +28 degrees of air and water, in the shroud in summer, the average temperature during the day is + 24-28, in the morning and at night + 15. In winter, a couple of degrees lower. Still, Kenya is at the equator and there are no such differences and colds as in South Africa, Namibia or Botswana.

Seasons


Traditionally, the “dry” months from July to October (the high season, which also coincides with the summer holidays, which means high prices) and from January to March are considered the most popular months for a tour to Kenya. The reason is that in these months, animals are easier to look for in sparse vegetation and at water sources. But real connoisseurs and photographers know that light is always better after rain, when dust is beaten to the ground, and the air is clear, the sky is clear, animals are groomed and well-fed. In the spring months there is also the period of the birth of the cubs, to observe which is pure tenderness. Or the sun, breaks through the rays of a dramatic rain sky, shimmers with a palette of colors, and falls on the snowy peak of Kilimanjaro (in hot, dry months, the peak is often in haze).
Also, the peak season is considered to be the period of Christmas and New Year holidays, when prices reach their zenith, and armor is fighting for places in hotels.
From July to October, Kenya celebrates the most spectacular event of the wildlife: the migration of millions of wildebeest and zebras to Masai Mara.
You can go to Masai Mara at the end of September or in October, when the main wave of tourists subsides, and you can still find the remaining peace herds.
November and the beginning of December are a very good time for a tour to Kenya, the prices are the lowest, there are almost no tourists, the rains are not too strong.
For beach holidays and diving, March and October are considered the best, the water in the ocean is the most transparent.

Amboseli National Park is Kenya's second most popular park. Located 230 km from Nairobi on the border with Tanzania. One of the most picturesque in East Africa. It seems that we know all about him from the BBC series, but the park behind the scenes is a platform for the continuous struggle to preserve the fragile biosystem. A safari in Amboseli is a mandatory part of the tour to Kenya, after Masai Mara and Nakuru with Naivasha.

About 1,500 elephants and about 50 lions live here, but there are more than 35,000 Masai and 2 million cows and sheep, which they graze in the neighborhood. Previously, these lands all belonged to the Masai, but in 1974 the government decided to enclose these lands in an attempt to keep the growing number of Masai cows from overgrazing. Naturally, the Masayans did not like this, since they lost their fattest lands. Masai killed lions, protecting cows and according to tradition, as a sign of becoming adults. In 1993, the park was closed due to a deplorable state. This helped the biosystem recover. Elephants and lions have returned.

The word Amboseli is translated from Swahili as “dusty place, flat place”, and indeed one can observe small funnels of tornadoes. The park lies at the foot of Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain. Groundwater comes to the surface in some places, forming swampy oases, a favorite resting place for elephants and buffalos. In another part of the park, flat solonchak and desert areas dominate, where sometimes you can even see a real mirage. And the question arises: how so many animals survive here. This park revives life, and legends about it are spread far beyond its borders. Conveniently combined with Tsavo Park and with safari tours in Tanzania.

Parks East and West Tsavo. The combination of these parks - the largest protected area in Kenya, covers 4% of the entire country. There are any animals and birds living in the "southern hemisphere of Kenya." East and West parks are separated by the Nairobi-Mombasa Railway, and their landscapes are very different. Eastern Tsavo is mostly flat, with baobabs and large herds of elephants covered in red dust. Forests interspersed with plains, ravines and fields of frozen black lava dominate in the Western Park. It is interesting to see the sources of Mzima, an oasis of crystal water surrounded by date palms. There is a bunker for observing hippos underwater. These parks are 4-5 hours drive from Nairobi or Mombasa. From Mombasa you can come here for a one-day safari, or spend 2-3 nights and get a classic African safari not far from the ocean. It is better to visit during the dry months (from January to March and from June to October).

What do lodges and camps like on safaris look like, where to live there?


Tourism in Kenya is very developed, here you can find hotels and lodges of any level and budget. It is believed that Eric Walter invented the lodges, who built a house on the tops of trees in Aberdar in 1932. The cost of living usually includes three meals a day (full board, FB). Camps are an alternative to classic lodges. You get a personal tent with all amenities. Here you will hear all the sounds of nature and will be closer to it, while all the amenities in the room. Such camps can be budget, crass or luxury.
Here, as a rule, there is a restaurant area, a bar, a library, a pool. Accommodation prices range from 300 to 1,500 dollars per night per person, including accommodation, three meals a day, two safaris per day (other guests of the lodge can be in the car (on average 4-6 people), if you want individually, you can reserve a personal car with a guide from loda, the price is from 500 shares per day. In expensive lodges usually have their own safari cars and professional guides. In Nairobi there is also a huge selection of hotels for tourists and corporate tours to Kenya.
Hotel with Giraffes, Hemingways, Tribe.

What to see

How to travel on safari, transport, flights?

Matatas - local minibus taxis transport the population on the main routes, but they will not take you to parks or reserves. Nairobi-Mombasa railway stations also stay away from park entrances. Uber works in Nairobi, but be prepared for hellish traffic jams. Therefore, transport and safari are important to book in advance. You can order an individual safari with a personal safari guide and a car, which you will move from park to park and safari. If you don’t like to spend a lot of time in the car while traveling, a developed network of domestic mini-aviation works for you. At your service regular and charter flights. In both cases, we will help and suggest the best route and logistics.

What does Kenyan cuisine look like?


Beware - delicious food! If you are going to Kenya on a safari, get ready to collect a couple of kilograms, meals in the lodges are full board or all inclusive. The menu is international. Themed nights are regularly held, such as African BBQ. Every buffet hotel has vegetarian options or à la carte dishes. In Nairobi, as in a cosmopolitan city, you can find restaurants with any cuisine of the world from Mexican to Japanese. On the coast, under the influence of India and the Middle East, exotic Swahili cuisine has formed, where seafood, coconut, turmeric and other spices are mixed.
For locals, a traditional breakfast is tea with milk, white bread, and for the more affluent with eggs and sausages. The main dishes of the day are ugali corn porridge with meat or vegetable sauce (ideally with fried goat meat and vegetable salsa with chili), it is recommended to drink beer. This is a special traditional dish that any Kenyan associates with his home.

Is Kenya mass tourism?


While there are no charters - the direction is not massive. But in the high season and for migration to Masai Mara there are really a lot of cars and tourists. If you want to avoid the crowds, you should choose hotels in private concessions that do not allow other people's cars into your territory. Then you will get into migration and avoid queues. It is not necessary to concentrate only on Masai Mara, there are other nature reserves where there are much fewer tourists, and the animals are the same (for example, Laikipia, for more information on parks, see the safari section and rarely visited nature reserves in Kenya). You can also choose to travel low season, the tour will be cheaper, and fewer tourists.

What is a beach holiday in Kenya?

The coast of Kenya is considered one of the most beautiful, here you can relax, wash off the dust and fatigue after an intensive safari. 500 km of snow-white beaches, palm trees, a coral reef, always warm and calm ocean at your feet all year round (although if you want to enjoy the beach not only from the bar window, then choose the “dry” months for a tour to Kenya). The southern beaches of Diani and Tiwi are considered the most popular - here the best hotels, turquoise water, tides are not very felt. For lovers of fishing and diving, the places of Malindi (north) and Watamu are suitable. The beaches in Malindi are not so snow-white, but this is a paradise for lovers of antique furniture, rare fabrics and souvenir boutiques, if you have a free day, you can come here from Mombasa for an excursion. In addition to relaxation on the beach, you can find more active activities. Go on an excursion to the village, or to the ruins of Gedi (13-17 century), or swim with a mask. Deep sea fishing and diving, surfing and much more are possible. The hotels also organize cultural and entertainment events, most have SPA.

Aberdare National Park. Located 2.5 hours from Nairobi in the area of ​​the mountain range of Aberara. It is famous for its unique stilt lodges overlooking the watering hole. The royal family visited one of them; it can be called historical. You don’t even have to go on a safari, you can see everything from specially equipped terraces. Here you can see different types of monkeys, including colobus. Elephants, buffaloes, and countless antelopes come to the water. Toward night, the movement at the watering hole comes to life, predators and nocturnal inhabitants (Janets, hyenas, and other inhabitants of the forest) come out. Mostly tourists stay in the lodge for one night and watch animals, but if you add one more night, you can make a walk in the mountain forest of stunning beauty.

Kenya north of the equator

Samburu National Wildlife Refuge. The equator divides the land into the northern and southern hemispheres, and passes through Kenya. Samburu Nature Reserve is already in the northern part. The climate here is arid, which is immediately striking after the green hills of Amboseli or the fertile lands of the Kenyan highlands. The landscapes of Samburu are grand. The reserve stands on the Evas Nyiro River, and forms an oasis with shady forests. Here you can see rare endemic animals and they are called - Sambur Five. It includes heirlooms, reticulated giraffes, buckwheat zebras, Somali ostrich and baseus oryx. In addition, there is a large population of elephants, lions, cheetahs, if you are lucky you can see the leopard and wild African dogs. The atmosphere of the park is harmony and silence. Half of all tourists do not reach here, so there is no accumulation of cars and safaris more exclusive. 325 km from Nairobi, can be reached in 5 hours or fly on a regular flight. It is convenient to combine Mount Kenya, Ol Pageta with the parks, there are flights connecting Samburu with Masai Mara, allowing you to visit both parks without long trips. It is better to visit during the dry months (from January to March and from June to October).

Kenya National Park. The highest peak in Kenya (5199 m), and the second in all of Africa is at the equator, covered with glaciers. This is an extinct volcano, which, according to legend, is home to the deity of the local Kikuyi people.
For lovers of mountain tracks and ascents, Mount Kenya is a great place to travel. Climbing requires basic equipment and skills, but there aren’t as many people as on Kilimanjaro and it’s cheaper.
But if you are not a fan of climbing mountains, the park has wonderful lodges where you can relax and get close to nature. Take a walk in the forest, catch trout, play golf and get acquainted with wild animals in neighboring reserves.

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    Is it safe, but in cities?


    Yes! Nowadays, tourist trips to Kenya are comfortable and safe.
    In large cities, no more dangerous than in Moscow and London. In Nairobi, we usually spend one night upon arrival or before departure. Large selection of modern and historic hotels for every taste. Many restaurants, shopping centers, night clubs. The city has a giraffe center, a nursery elephants, several manor museums, next to the eponymous national park. Another major city, the port of Mombasa, you can come here on an excursion on the way to your beach hotel. Interest deserves the historic quarter and the ancient fortress of Fort Jesus (15th century). There is no beach holiday in the port itself, it’s a rather busy, dusty city where life is in full swing.
    From history: For many years, Kenya fought with Somali radical groups, and as a result received attacks in response to the local population. The last terrorist attack on a tourist site was in 2003 at a hotel owned by the Israelis. Now the country has a degree of security like in the UK or France.

    Are there any language barriers?


    English is the main language for the majority of Kenya’s educated population. Mixed with Swahili is the language of the streets and markets. The villages speak local tribal languages. Many people speak three languages ​​- native, Swahili and English (compulsory at school).
    In Kenya, you will be understood in any case, even if your English is not very good and you will be explained in the language of facial expressions and gestures. Akuna Matata is the main motto and principle of traveling in Kenya. There is another important Swahili word that is useful to remember and absorb - pole pole (in Russian field field) - which means - slowly, no hurry. Locals absorb this rhythm with mother’s milk, so do not expect high-speed service from Kenyans. Only champion athletes run in this country.

    Is self-drive possible in Kenya?


    Theoretically, this is feasible, but car rental is extremely poorly developed here, and the psychology of the local economy is based on the idea that the rich should help the poor, use their services and pay accordingly. And those who do not want to remain unattended. However, there are no obstacles to take the car and go through the parks, the price is on average $ 100 per day (you just need to take into account the bad roads, crazy long-distance trucks and narrow lanes, the lack of road signs and signs, as well as gas stations in some areas). But if you take a good local guide-escort, your trip will be painted with brighter colors, life will become easier, and the cost of its services will pay off handsomely. There is always someone to stay in the car while you go out to take a picture or go to the market for fresh fruit, show the way and not let you go astray.
    Well, most of our customers prefer to relieve themselves of any duties and headaches in organizing the tour. Searching, studying endless streams of information on the Internet (where many sources have long lost relevance) takes a ton of time and energy. Therefore, we, as professionals, are offered to do all the work, especially when it comes to traveling with children, parents or trips of VIP level. It is convenient and profitable.

    What money to take with?


    You can pay by cash or cards. Most places accept dollars. It is very useful to take with you crayons denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10 dollars, useful for tips. The local currency is shillings, you can change a small amount, but as a rule this is not necessary.

    What is a about communication?


    Kenya is in line with the digital boom. Almost every Kenyan has a mobile phone. Any tourist can rely on communication with anywhere in the world, most lodges have free wi-fi. If you need to stay in touch anywhere, we recommend ordering or purchasing a SIM card on site.

    Are there cultural or religious restrictions?


    Kenya is a very tolerant country focused on tourism, anyone will feel comfortable here. Most of the population is Christians, Islam prevails on the coast, a small number of Hindu communities, Sikhs. When you go to a village, a school, a guide to the market will always tell you how to dress so as not to cause antagonism or discomfort. On the beaches you can dress as you like, only if you go on an excursion to Mombasa, you can cover your shoulders and legs (and protect yourself from dust and the sun and you won’t touch the feelings of local people). For people of non-traditional orientation in public places it is better not to advertise their relationship, but on safari in hotels, camps and lodges you can feel at ease, no one will ever think of somehow restricting you. Smokers should always check where smoking is allowed, many hotels and safari lodges do not allow smoking in rooms.

    Are there any health risks? Do I need vaccinations?


    Most of Kenya, with its revitalizing climate, is healthy. Malaria is no longer spreading as before, the risk is minimal, and for those on a safari it is practically zero. Therefore, prevention is advisory in nature (repellents, optional tablets). Kenya does not require compulsory vaccination, except when you enter the country from Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, West Africa (then you will need to have a yellow fever vaccination certificate with you). We recommend having medical insurance just in case (if you don’t have one, we will arrange it). It is worth noting that Kenya is proud of the highest level of medicine among the African countries of the sub-Saharan belt.

    Is a safari tour in Kenya suitable for older people?


    Safari tours are not the cheapest, so you can easily meet pensioners who go on safari for the first time at the age of 70-80. If you are in normal physical shape, able to climb, go down the stairs - such tours will bring only pleasure and a charge of new energy. Tourists spend most of their time on a safari in a comfortable car, the rest of the time they sit at a table or around a fire. Take care of increased insurance, and always take with you those medicines that you take at home.

    Is it safe for one girl to travel to Kenya?


    Absolutely, but better with a guide. Better yet, join the group, more fun and budget. (truck tours)

    How about an adventure?


    Those who take a trip away from the beaten routes will be rewarded! Unique tribes, villages, schools, can be viewed from the inside. Contact us, we will offer ideas on how to do this.