To make the most of a holiday, it is of course, important to read up on the country you are travelling to. Kenya is no exception. In this article, we list 5 of the most important things to know about travelling to Kenya. For example, did you know that the Kenya visa is only available online?
1: Protection against insects
In the UK and Ireland, we are used to a few mosquitoes during the summer months, but these little creatures usually just a slight irritation. In Kenya, itʼs a different story. Mosquitoes and other stinging insects (such as tsetse flies and sand flies) are found almost everywhere in the country and in large numbers, especially when going on safari. Without proper protection, a holiday in Kenya can quickly become a disaster.
There are ways to protect yourself against insects in Kenya. An insect repellent like DEET works wonders, and one can also wear loose-fitting clothing with long sleeves. Many people also use a mosquito net over the bed for a good nightʼs sleep. It is also important to have the right vaccinations for a trip to Kenya, such as the DTP (or TDP) vaccine. It is also strongly recommended that you carry malaria pills in your hand luggage.
2: Know where you can take photos
While on holiday, you want to take lots of beautiful photos. Kenya has wonderful locations for photos, such as the many national parks in the country or the unique car-free island of Lamu. The capital Nairobi also has beautiful sights, such as the Nairobi National Museum. However, it is important to be aware that certain things are not allowed to be photographed. These include government buildings and military establishments, as well as soldiers. It is also forbidden to take photographs at airports. The Kenyan government takes this very seriously. Violations are punishable by high fines or even by imprisonment.
3: The visa for Kenya can only be applied for online
Many countries have a physical visa application procedure and a digital application procedure. A physical visa can be obtained at the embassy of that country (or, in some cases, to a kiosk at the airport or border crossing after arrival), and a digital visa can be applied for online. In the past, Kenya also had such a two-tier system. However, since January 2021, the Kenya visa can only be applied for online. The Kenyan government has abolished all other visa types.
To qualify for a tourist or business visa, you must meet a number of conditions. The passport used when applying for the visa must be valid for at least six months upon the arrival date, and the visa application must be accompanied by a booking confirmation or invitation for all overnight stays in Kenya. In addition, a booking confirmation for the return flight, a passport photograph and a photo of the passport must also be provided online.
If these conditions are met, the Kenya visa can be applied for online via the Kenya visa application form. The visa will be sent by e-mail within 8 days, but it can often be much faster.
4: Bring the right clothes for safaris
Kenya is mainly known as a safari destination, and it is therefore one of the most popular activities for tourists. However, without the right preparations, a safari can quickly become tricky. On a safari vehicle, there is not much room for luggage. People often share the vehicle with others. So plan in advance what you want to take with you. Protection from the sun and insects is a must.
The type of clothing worn is also important. Synthetic fabrics should be avoided as much as possible. Instead, wear natural fabrics such as linen, which ‘breathʼ more, so you donʼt feel hot and sticky all the time. It is better not to wear bright colours. These can scare off the wild animals.
5: Kenya has a ban on single-use plastic bags
In 2017, the Kenyan government introduced an official ban on single-use plastic bags. The country has one of the strictest regulations in the world in this regard. Tourists who are used to plastic bags can be in for an unpleasant surprise in Kenya. Fines for using disposable bags can be high. This ban does not apply to plastic bottles, despite pressure from environmental organisations in Kenya. Tap water in Kenya is not safe everywhere, especially during the rainy months. The best way to get safe drinking water is to buy bottled water in a large supermarket. At the smaller shops, it is not always certain that the water has been properly filtered.