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. Check requirements with the nearest tourist office and diplomatic mission in the country of origin for further information.
Kenya Visa Information - click here
Protect yourself from mosquitoes, as they carry numerous diseases such as malaria and yellow fever. Get expert advice on malaria preventatives from your Doctor. Guard against mosquito bites. Wear long sleeves and long trousers and apply an effective insect repellent. Malaria prophylactics can be highly effective. Consult your physician before travelling to obtain medication best suited to you. Any personal Prescription drugs should be brought if necessary. If you have prescription glasses it is wise to bring a spare pair.
Chemists are well stocked in most regions but visitors requiring special medication should pack sufficient supplies in their hand luggage. On safari, rooms are provided with flasks of filtered and purified water. 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, a compact alarm clock and mosquito repellent.
Do not expect that you will be able to acclimatise instantly to the heat. The best caution against heat related illnesses is to avoid physical exertion, keep cool and stay in the shade - especially during the hottest parts of the day. Increase your salt intake by adding extra to your food. Thirst is a poor guide to how much fluid you need thus it is essential to drink plenty of fluids, not alcohol, coffee, or strong tea. Use plenty of high factor sunscreen, wear a hat and shady clothing, and avoid extended exposure to direct sunlight, please note this is equatorial sun.
The best choice of vaccines for your trip depends on many individual factors, including your precise travel plans. Vaccines commonly recommended for travellers to Africa include those against Tetanus, Diphtheria, Polio, Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Yellow fever, Rabies and Meningitis. However, please seek further advice from your Doctor. Please seek advice form your doctor well in advance of your planned departure date (6-8 weeks).
Currency $ £ € ¥
Foreign cash can be converted into Kenya shillings at banks and Forex bureaus. Major credit cards are accepted at most hotels and lodges. We strictly don’t recommend travellers cheques. 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. The US Dollar is the preferred currency at most lodges/camps/hotels/resorts.
Customs and Existing Regulations
Upon arrival at JKIA - Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi - 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.
Normal precaution as in any other destination world-wide should be taken. Keep a close watch on handbags, wallets & cameras when walking the streets in big cities & busy towns. Place all valuables in safety deposit boxes at hotels/resorts/lodges and only carry small amounts of cash on your body at all times (US dollars or Kenyan Shillings). Additional photocopies of the important documents should be brought and packed separately, repeat prescriptions/travel documents etc.
Casual, lightweight, and comfortable clothing is usually the best Safari clothing. Evening wear in game lodges and safari camps can be very casual. For some up-market lodges and nights out in Nairobi you may wish to bring some more formal evening wear.
At high altitudes warm sweaters, socks and comfortable shoes are recommended. Local customs and modesty should be respected, especially relevant in Zanzibar. Wide brimmed hats are preferable to baseball caps for sun protection. Both sunglasses and a good quality sunscreen (rated SPF25 minimum) should be used.
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.
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. Dive Certification Cards and log documents should be brought along.
Climbers can hire equipment, ropes and gear in Kenya, but may wish to bring their own personal kit and equipment.
You should bring your own Toiletries with you. 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 wear contact lenses, bring all the fluids you need, a pair of glasses as backup is a must - a fair few safari goers find the combination of sun, dust and dryness irritates their eyes.
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 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. Ensure that the 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.
At Bushtrek Safaris we offer insurance product through our reputable partners at AIG
Film & Photography Equipment
Drones for recreational use are banned 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, and proceed only once you have been granted permission by those you wish to photograph. 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 for use in advertising etc.
In addition a good pair of binoculars is very important both for everyday game viewing.
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 and most of the safari vehicles have a cigarette lighter socket operating on a 12-volt system. Most lodges and camps operate on generators which are used during limited times during the day and evening. Please carry square pin, English standard adaptors.
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, we are here to help.