In the main cities we have pickpockets, street urchins, con artists wanting to 'change' your money, bag-snatchers and the like, and you have to be careful. Avoid transactions with bystanders unless accompanied by your Tour driver/Guide. 'Be smart' do not wear jewellery, keep cameras, wallets and handbags in front of you or out of sight (or better still in your hotel safe), do not carry large sums of cash, walk in groups, do not wander off the main thoroughfares, do not walk around at night. Do not create temptation by leaving money or valuables lying around in rooms or in vehicle. On our beaches, especially in the tourist resorts, beach traders can become a nuisance but learn to leave you alone very quickly if you firmly but politely decline any trade with them from the outset. Do not walk on the beaches at dusk, dawn or after dark. This may sound rather alarming, but please do remember that these problems are far from unique to our country and can usually be avoided with a bit of care and attention.
When Is The Best Time To Visit?
We recommend the drier months for safaris, particularly camping and walking safaris for obvious reasons! Mountain climbing is better between December and March when it is dry and the views are clear. It is best to avoid June and November on Mounts Kenya and Kilimanjaro.
Our month-by-month guide
January - hot and sunny and high season for tourism, so there are plenty of visitors.
February - hot and sunny and high season for tourism. The herds of wildebeest calve in the Ndutu area of southern Serengeti, all within two weeks of each other.
March - hot and sunny, but with the likelihood of a few showers the atmosphere is clear and views can be spectacular; still high tourist season
April - the beginning of our long rains which can be quite prolonged and heavy but rarely last all day; warm when the sun comes out; low season for tourism (excluding Easter) and prices after Easter are substantially lower than in high season.
May - the rains may continue into the month, but it can be lovely weather wise and the country is lush and green with many wild flowers in bloom.
June - usually dry; overcast in some areas but often sunny; low prices and usually a delightful month to visit as everywhere is lush and green.
July - cooler but dry, sometimes overcast in the Nairobi area and the coastal belt; high tourist season due to this being a traditional holiday month; migration of wildebeest from the Serengeti usually starts to arrive in the Masai Mara early this month.
August - generally warmer, dry; migration in the Masai Mara usually in full swing with opportunities to see crossings of the Mara river in the later part of the month; Mara lodges and camps heavily booked.
September - a lovely month, warmer and sunnier; the wildebeest usually returning to the Serengeti so chances of seeing these massive herds on the move are still good during this month; less tourists than in July and August.
October - many indigenous trees in flower; clear atmosphere again when the short rains begin towards the end of the month.
November - warm with short showers and sunshine-mid-season for tourists.
December - short showers in the early part of the month, becoming dry, hot and sunny; busy, with Christmas and New Year being peak season when some hotels may be booked more than a year in advance.
Are There Any Medical Precautions?
Malaria is endemic to much of East Africa, but there are safe prophylactics that you, and your family can take please consult your doctor. Bring plenty of mosquito repellent and wear trousers, socks and perhaps long sleeves in the evenings to avoid being bitten. Most rooms, even tents, have mosquito nets or mosquito proofing and are sprayed by hotel staff before night falls.
Always drink bottled water which is easily available everywhere and avoid ice.
Be a little wary of salads and wash fruit before eating.
Seafood is best eaten at the coast!
Beware of sunburn even at high altitudes where the air feels cool. Bring plenty of sun creams, hats and suitable clothing.
Can I Take Children On Safari?
Yes, children love being on safari and on the beach .. paradise! Children are welcome virtually everywhere in East Africa, more so than in many other countries in the world! The people of East African are fond of children, have enormous patience with them and genuinely enjoy their company. Many lodges, camps and hotels, even in the parks, have swimming pools, which helps to keep the children happy during the heat of the day! Some offer specific activities and programmes for children. Children under 12 years of age generally pay a reduced rate if sharing a room with their parents and most hotels have rooms that can accommodate at least one extra bed, sometimes two. Early evening meals can usually be arranged with reasonable notice. Only a few hotels do not permit young children to stay, notably tree hotels, where the emphasis is on night game viewing where noise could disturb the game. We can plan or adapt any itinerary to suit a family with children of any ages. It may be more suitable not join a group tour (with strangers), but to arrange a family holiday where you have more flexibility in your itinerary, particularly with reducing long days of traveling, choosing family friendly lodges and hotels, perhaps with swimming pools etc.
What Insurance Should I Have?
We strongly recommend medical insurance, which includes a cover for evacuation, and advise you to source this in your country of origin. In addition to your medical insurance, we recommend joining the Flying Doctor's Society which, for a small membership fee, will provide an airlift free of charge from anywhere within Kenya accessible by, air to Nairobi. Nairobi has two first-rate hospitals with excellent emergency facilities. Travel insurance covering loss of baggage, third party liability, cancellation and curtailment, etc. is also recommended.
What Money Should I Bring?
Travelers' cheques and major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard and, to a lesser extent, American Express) are generally accepted in Kenya but the latter are not so readily accepted in other regional countries where travelers cheques would prove a safer bet. A small quantity of US dollars cash, preferably, is useful. We recommend that visitors carry only a little cash. Only authorized dealers and banks are allowed to change currency. There is no restriction on the amount of foreign currency which can be imported but visitors are generally not permitted to depart with much local currency in their pockets so spend your local money prior to departure or convert it at a bank or bureau.
Please note that it is an offense to destroy or deface local currencies in any way. It is worth changing money at the banks on arrival at international airports, or at banks in the major towns, where the rate of exchange is more favorable than those offered at lodges and hotels.