Travelling to Kenya
Updated: Feb 23
Kenya is known for its stunning natural beauty, with diverse landscapes that include savannahs, mountains, lakes, and beaches. The country is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including elephants, lions, giraffes, zebras, and many others, and it has many national parks and wildlife reserves that are popular tourist destinations.
In addition to its natural attractions, Kenya is also a culturally rich country with a long and complex history. The country has a population of over 50 million people, which is made up of over 40 different ethnic groups, each with their own unique traditions, customs, and languages. The official languages are English and Swahili, and the currency is the Kenyan shilling.
Kenya is the largest economy in East Africa and has a growing middle class. The country is known for its tea and coffee exports, as well as its thriving tourism industry. However, Kenya also faces significant challenges, including poverty, corruption, and political instability.
History of Kenya
Kenya also has a long and complex history that spans thousands of years. The region that is now Kenya has been inhabited by various indigenous communities, including the Kikuyu, Luhya, Luo, and Kalenjin, among others, for many centuries.
In the late 19th century, the region came under colonial rule by the British, who established Kenya as a protectorate in 1895. The British colonial administration introduced policies that led to significant economic development, but also resulted in the displacement of many Kenyans from their traditional lands and a loss of political autonomy.
In the mid-20th century, Kenya became a center of resistance against colonial rule, with many Kenyans participating in a long and violent struggle for independence. The most notable resistance movement was led by Jomo Kenyatta, who later became Kenya's first president. Kenya gained independence from Britain in 1963 and Kenyatta became the country's first president.
In the decades that followed, Kenya faced many challenges, including political instability, ethnic tensions, and economic inequality. The country has experienced periods of rapid economic growth and development, as well as periods of stagnation and decline. In recent years, Kenya has made significant progress in areas such as healthcare, education, and infrastructure, but like most countries in Africa, it continues to grapple with issues such as corruption, poverty, and political instability.
Instead of just coming to see the spectacular nature and wildlife, our Indy Escapes trips also focus on giving back to the local communities. We do this by connecting with NGO’s and NFP’s on the ground and in This instance, we will spend time at the Ruben Centre and ERNC in the slums of Nairobi. Whether you would like to join us or just support the cause, you can find more information here.
Visa for Kenya
To obtain a visa for Kenya, you can apply online through the eVisa portal or apply in person at a Kenyan embassy or consulate. The requirements and application process may vary depending on your nationality and the purpose of your visit, so it is recommended to check the Kenyan government's official immigration website or consult with a travel agent for specific instructions. Generally, you will need to provide personal information, passport details, travel itinerary,
To apply for a Kenyan eVisa, you will need the following:
Valid passport - Your passport should be valid for at least six months from the date of entry into Kenya and have at least one blank page for the visa stamp.
Digital passport photo - You will need to upload a recent passport-sized photo in JPEG format.
Travel itinerary - You will need to provide details of your travel plans, including your flight itinerary, accommodation details, and intended date of entry and exit.
Payment - You will need a valid credit or debit card to pay the visa fee online.
Email address - You will need to provide a valid email address to receive the eVisa approval letter.
It is recommended to review the Kenyan government's official eVisa website for the most up-to-date information on requirements and application process.
The official website of the Kenyan government is www.go.ke. This website provides information on various aspects of the Kenyan government, including news, policies, and services. If you are specifically looking for information on Kenyan visas and immigration, you can visit the website of the Department of Immigration Services at www.immigration.go.ke. This website provides information on the various types of visas available, requirements, fees, and application procedures.
The official website of the Department of Immigration Services of the Kenyan government for visas and permits is www.evisa.go.ke. This is the official online portal where you can apply for Kenyan visas and permits, including eVisas, work permits, student permits, and special passes. The website provides detailed information on the requirements, fees, and application process for each type of visa or permit, as well as frequently asked questions and contact information for the Department of Immigration Services.
East Africa Visa
To obtain an East Africa visa, you can apply online through the respective country's immigration websites or in-person at designated entry points. You will need to provide a passport photo, passport copy, and pay the required fee. The visa allows entry into Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda for up to 90 days. It is recommended to check the latest visa requirements and application procedures before applying.
he following are the immigration websites where you can apply for the East Africa visa:
Please note that these websites may change, so it's always best to check with the respective country's immigration website for the latest information and requirements.
The processing time for an East Africa visa depends on the country where you are applying and the method of application. In most cases, the processing time is between 3-7 business days. However, it is recommended that you apply for the visa well in advance of your travel date to allow for any delays or unforeseen circumstances. Some countries offer expedited processing for an additional fee, which may reduce the processing time. It is advisable to check with the respective country's immigration website for the latest information on processing times and requirements.
Getting to Kenya
To get to Kenya, you can generally travel by air, sea, or overland. The most common way to get to Kenya is by air, as the country has several international airports that serve many major airlines.
Direct flights to Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya, come from various cities around the world. Some of the major airlines that offer direct flights to Nairobi include:
Kenya Airways: offers direct flights from Amsterdam, London, Mumbai, and Bangkok, among other cities.
Emirates: offers direct flights from Dubai.
Ethiopian Airlines: offers direct flights from Addis Ababa.
Qatar Airways: offers direct flights from Doha.
Turkish Airlines: offers direct flights from Istanbul.
Other airlines that offer direct flights to Nairobi from various destinations include Air France, KLM, British Airways, RwandAir, and South African Airways, among others.
It's important to note that flight schedules can change frequently, so it's a good idea to check with your preferred airline or a travel agent for the most up-to-date information on direct flights to Nairobi.
Once you have cleared immigration and collected your luggage, you can proceed to the customs desk and exit the airport. Nairobi has two airports: Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) and Wilson Airport. JKIA is the primary airport and serves most international airlines. Wilson Airport is mainly used for domestic and regional flights.
Getting from the airport
There are several airport taxi options available to get from Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to the city:
Pre-booked taxis: You can pre-book a taxi with your hotel or a reputable taxi company. This will ensure that you have a safe and reliable means of transportation upon arrival.
Airport Taxis: There are airport taxis available at the airport. You can find them outside the arrival terminal. These taxis are usually white and have a yellow line along the side. You can negotiate the fare before you start your journey, and it is advisable to have cash on hand as some drivers may not accept credit cards.
Ride-hailing services: Services like Uber and Bolt are available in Nairobi. You can download their apps and request a ride from the airport to your destination. This option can be more convenient and cheaper than traditional taxis.
It is always recommended to use reputable taxi services or ride-hailing services to ensure your safety and avoid any scams.
Paying for things in Kenya
Kenyans use various payment methods to pay for goods and services. These include:
Cash is King: Cash is the most widely used payment method in Kenya. Most transactions are still conducted in cash, particularly for small purchases and transactions.
Mobile Money: Mobile money is a popular payment method in Kenya, and the most widely used service is M-Pesa, which is offered by the country's largest telecommunications company. With M-Pesa, users can transfer money, pay bills, and make purchases from their mobile phones.
Debit and Credit Cards: Debit and credit cards are also widely accepted in Kenya, particularly in larger cities and tourist areas. Visa and Mastercard are the most commonly accepted cards.
Online payments: Online payment platforms such as PayPal, Skrill, and Payoneer are also gaining popularity in Kenya, particularly for international transactions.
Bank transfers: Bank transfers are a common payment method for large transactions, particularly for businesses.
It's worth noting that the payment methods used can vary depending on the location, type of business, and the individual's preference.
Is Kenya safe?
Kenya, like any other country, has its own unique risks and safety concerns. However, the overall safety situation in Kenya is stable, and the country is generally safe for tourists and visitors. The Kenyan government has implemented various measures to enhance security in the country, particularly in tourist areas and major cities.
That being said, it is always important to take basic safety precautions while traveling in Kenya or any other country. These include:
Avoiding isolated or poorly lit areas, particularly at night.
Keeping valuables such as passports, cash, and electronics secure and out of sight.
Being aware of your surroundings and the people around you.
Taking official taxis or transportation provided by your hotel.
Following local laws and customs.
Checking the latest travel advisories and staying informed about the security situation in the areas you plan to visit.
By taking these basic precautions, visitors can safely enjoy the beauty and culture that Kenya has to offer.