If you are considering travelling to Kenya you might just be in for the wonderful experience of a lifetime. The east African country is among the most beautiful, vibrant and advanced of the African continent. Kenya has a wide offering for visitors from relaxing beach holidays in Mombassa, Malindi or Diani Beach, metropolis vacations in Nairobi with every entertainment expected from a big city to wildlife adventures beyond your wildest dreams.
However, as a visitor going on holiday to Kenya there are a few things to consider. Hopefully we can guide you with a few simple pointers to help ensure a successful and pleasurable trip to the heart of Africa.
Visa and Entry Requirements to Kenya
For the vast majority of travelers a visa is required to enter Kenya (43 mainly African countries are exempt). However, obtaining a visa isn’t as scary as it sounds, in fact it is no hassle at all. Most airlines hand out visa application slips towards the end of the flight, but even if they dont you need not panic – upon entering arrivals there is a room with application forms that you can fill out. Simply remember to bring a pen, there are none in the airport.
Filling in the visa application requires only your boarding card and passport. Do remember that your passport needs to be valid for the entirety of the stay you are requesting (a tourist visa to Kenya can be up to 3-month but you can request any duration less than that). It does cost 50 euros or 50 dollars. Bring the cash. Cards are not accepted and no change is given. If all you have is a 100euro note, the rest is simply taken regardless (and probably goes to the immigration officers party fund).
It is all a very simple and quick, on average it only takes around 10 minutes unless there is a queue.
Vaccination Before Going To Kenya
The first, best and only advice might be: ask your own doctor. But, as a general rule of thumb Kenya is a very low risk area to visit and doesnt normally require special precautions in regards to health.
In general visiting a new country always poses the risk of catching tummy bugs and ruining the holiday by keeping you in the toilet for days. This is not because there are any particular hygiene problems in Kenya but simply due to your system being used to the buggers from your homeland. Ask your doctor for a simple prescription of tummy pills that will put an end to such problems.
If you are going to swamp areas of Kenya there is a risk of catching malaria, in which case malaria vaccination is wise. AIDS, hepatitis and other such diseases are relatively rare for the African continent, but you still might want to take your precautions based on your specific destination.
Entry via JKIA Airport Nairobi
Most visitors will be entering Kenya via an airport. Typically Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi or alternatively Mombasa Airport. These details are based on your coming to JKIA, but the procedures will be more or less the same where ever you choose to come into Kenya.
After getting your tourist visa to Kenya you will pick up your luggage and go through customs. As is the case everywhere in the world you are an absolute idiot if you attempt to carry through drugs, weapons or anything illegal of the sort. The risk of getting caught is high and I doubt Kenyan prisons share many similarities with a Hilton Hotel.
You proceed outdoors where a small café and an unlimited number of taxi drivers await. You will be prodded and approached for transportation needs non-stop in the arrivals area. However, if you dont actually have pre-arranged transportation to your destination it is perfectly fine to choose a taxi driver and get going. These are licensed drivers, not random scammers or dubious creatures of any sort.
Enjoy Life In Kenya
After all that, simply enjoy the pleasures of Kenya. The options are endless when it comes to things to do and see. We recommend you make your trip a combo of planned trips to the well known sites and spontaneous jumping out into the vibrant life of Kenya. It is welcoming, fun and very different from Western cultures. Have an excellent trip !
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