The political and economic leader in East Africa, Kenya might still be most well-known internationally for the immense diversity and beauty of its landscapes and wildlife. But that’s only part of the story. In recent years, its capital Nairobi has become an epicenter for innovation. This is best seen by exploring the incredible tech startup scene with its dozens of accelerators, incubators and innovation hubs.
From rugged hills and montane forests to endless savannah plains, Kenya offers incredible physical diversity. Since its independence in 1963, the country is recognized as the powerhouse of East Africa, at the forefront of innovation and new technology and services.
The Republic of Kenya (Kenya) has a population of 57 million over an area of 582,000 sq km. The capital of Kenya is Nairobi and the official language is Kiswahili although English is widely spoken.
A visa is mandatory for Kenya. Since July 2015, the visa application process is uniformly managed online at http://evisa.go.ke/evisa.html Applicants create an account, fill the application form, pay via credit card (Visa or Mastercard) and receive their e-visa as a downloadable PDF. The visa is valid for up to 90 days and costs USD 51 plus a card handling fee. Up-to-date visa information is available at https://www.kenyaetravelling.com/information.
Passports must be valid for at least six months from the day of the start of the journey.
There are several airports in Kenya, but the main ones are:
- Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) in Nairobi – 15km southeast of the city center
- Wilson Airport (WIL) in Nairobi – 6km south of the city center Nairobi
- Moi International Airport (MBA) in Mombasa – 9km west of the city center
Yellow fever vaccination is required, and visitors may be asked for an international health certificate upon arrival in the country. So, they should carry the certificates with them as well as a general vaccination record.
Other vaccinations, such as hepatitis A/B, typhoid, meningococcal meningitis, rabies, tetanus, diphtheria, polio is advisable but will depend on the design and duration of the program.
The coastal tourist centers and the rainforests are high-risk areas for malaria infections all year long. Nairobi, Central, Eastern, Nyanza, Rift Valley and Western Provinces present a reasonable risk. It is recommended to take a prophylactic drug and to seek professional advice to find the drug most appropriate. It is also recommended to use a DEET-based insect-repellent and a bed net to prevent mosquito bites between dusk and dawn.
Kenya has a tropical climate. It is hot and humid at the coast, temperate inland and very dry in the northern and northeastern parts of the country. While the rainy seasons are usually from April to June and from October to December, the country receives a lot of sunshine all year round. The hottest period is from February to March and the coldest from July to August. Average temperatures vary considerably depending on the location. In Nairobi, temperatures usually range from 14° to 25°C, in Mombasa at the coast from 22° to 30°C and in the dry north from 25° to 35°C. The highlands are significantly cooler, frequently below 10°C especially at night.
Kenya can be visited all year round. The best time is typically during the months of January and February when there is very little rain and temperatures are pleasantly warm.
The Kenyan cuisine reflects its cultural diversity. The Muslims introduced spices from India around 800 A.D., Portuguese starches such as cassava and British tea plantations. A meal that could be considered the country’s national dish is ugali, a stiff dough made of cassava flour, maize, millet or sorghum, and usually served with a sauce containing either meat, fish, beans or cooked vegetables.
Wildlife & Cultural Activities
David Shedrick Elephants – This gives you the rare opportunity to have an uninhibited view the majestic elephants. You will get to experience firsthand just how devastating poaching is in the world. It also gives you hope, for within all that anarchy, there is a sanctuary for the baby elephants left behind. You can as well adopt an elephant for $50
Giraffe center – While at the center you can pet or feed them and even touch their tongues; they do offer a talk about the giraffe and information about wildlife in Kenya. You get to be right at home with these incredibly tall and beautiful creatures.
Karen Blixen Museum – This is where the Danish author of “Out of Africa” lived in a coffee plantation farmhouse at the edge of Kenya’s beautiful Ngong Hills, where a small museum now celebrates her life and work. Since much of the original furniture has been preserved, it’s a fascinating glimpse into a colonial-era home and an interesting stop even if you haven’t read Blixen’s books.
Nairobi National Park – The only protected area in the world that sits so close to a nation’s capital. Visitors to the vast wildlife park are likely to spot black rhinos, lions, giraffe, and zebra, as well as some 400 bird species. It offers a unique opportunity to see some of Kenya’s stunning wildlife, and has the considerable advantage of being accessible, being only a short drive from central Nairobi. We would recommend visiting one of the larger National Parks/conservancies for a truly spectacular safari experience. The Nairobi Park is phenomenal, but is not a patch on Ol Pejeta/Masai Mara/Tsavo in terms of scenery and wildlife.
The Kenya National Museum – This gives you a taste of Kenya’s heritage. Additionally, you will find wonderful dining facilities, a beautiful botanical garden and eclectic shopping facilities.
Lake Nakuru National Park – The flamingoes that gather at Lake Nakuru National Park are considered one of Africa’s greatest natural sights, but the area’s wildlife and scenery go far beyond the bright pink birds.
Maasai Mara – This is one of the most famous game reserves in the world, known for its native populations of antelopes, gazelles, giraffes, greatest chance of spotting wildlife. See Mount Longonot National Park and Mara River.