My personal list of handy Kenya travel tips. All first hand knowledge - written during my travels in Kenya.
All the tips have been categorised into sections. Just click on each tab to fully open and start reading.
GENERAL SAFARI TIPS
Safari tours in Kenya are usually cheaper than in Tanzania. Kenyan tour operators have up to 13 different taxes to pay, including the controversial 18% VAT introduced in 2016.
The Masai Mara National Reserve, located on the Kenyan side, contains about 29 lodges. It borders Serengeti National Park (on the Tanzania side), that contains approx. 33 lodges inside the park. As the Masai Mara is much smaller in size, expect tourists on safari’s concentration to be higher!
4WD safari’s are better than mini bus safari’s. The 4WD are a more comfortable ride. It accommodates smaller intimate groups (5-6 people) and are more accessible to remote areas.
Best time to visit for game viewing is during the wet season – mainly from October to May. When the dry season begins, the wildlife move into the woodlands in search of water. Therefore its harder to see the animals. The animals usually move up north towards Masai Mara during September to November. Then in the winter, they move back south again at first rainfall in the Serengeti plains.
Kenya Travel Tips - cities
A definite must see while in Nairobi is a visit to Giraffe Manor. Unfortunately, to have breakfast at the manor while the giraffe’s poke their heads through the windows is exclusively for guests staying overnight. On rare occasions, during low occupancy, they allow outside guests in for lunch, tea or dinner but all depends upon availability. Note; the giraffes do tend to visit during the tea service, but not for lunch or dinner. If you can’t afford one of the 12 expensive rooms, visiting the nearby Giraffe Centre allows you to see and feed the same Rothschild giraffes up close.
Utamaduni, near to Giraffe Manor, is small shopping gallery selling the best African art, craft and jewellery. Reasonable prices too. Worth a visit if you’re in the area.
If driving overland to Tanzania, there are 3 things to be aware of at the border town of Namanga. Firstly, curio shops on the Kenyan side advertise inflated prices therefore must haggle with them. Locals want money if you take a photo of them. Lastly, don’t accept ‘free gifts’ from locals because they ask for money later!