Fact File


Pop­u­la­tion: 41 mil­lion Time zone: GMT +3 Plugs: Three-pin square Bri­tish-style

Di­al­ing code: +254 Cur­rency: Kenyan Shilling $1=KES85 Lan­guage: Kiswahili and English Visas: Cit­i­zens of most south and east African coun­tries do not re­quire a visa to en­ter Kenya for less than 30 days. But, trav­el­ers from most other coun­tries will need ei­ther a 30-day visa on ar­rival or will have to have ap­plied at a Kenyan diplo­matic mis­sion for a sin­gle-en­try visa be­fore their sched­uled visit. With the sin­gle-en­try visa trav­el­ers can visit Rwanda, Tan­za­nia and Uganda and reen­ter Kenya mul­ti­ple times. The 30-day visa on ar­rival costs about $50 and is avail­able at all in­ter­na­tional air­ports.

Con­nec­tiv­ity: In­ter­net ac­cess is eas­ily avail­able in ma­jor cities, and al­most all ho­tels and re­sorts will of­fer In­ter­net ac­cess in the rooms, or in a cen­tral busi­ness center. Pub­lic In­ter­net cafés are also avail­able in Nairobi and Mom­basa. Mo­bile phone cov­er­age is wide­spread through­out the south­ern parts of the coun­try, but can be scarce in the sparsely-pop­u­lated north­ern ar­eas. Roam­ing charges are ex­pen­sive, so if you ex­pect to make a lot of phone calls, con­sider pur­chas­ing a lo­cal SIM card (Sa­fari­com is a pop­u­lar choice) on ar­rival. Mo­bile In­ter­net ac­cess is also eas­ily avail­able, al­though it can be slow. Ex­pect to pay $6 for 500MB.

Travel Tips: There’s a rea­son the cap­i­tal has earned the nick­name ‘Nai-rob­bery.’ If you’re out on the streets, es­pe­cially at night, it pays to leave your valu­ables in the ho­tel safe and keep your guard up. Un­less you know ex­actly where you’re go­ing, take a taxi from the ho­tel. Visa and Master­Card-en­abled ATMs are widely avail­able in Nairobi, and ho­tels will ac­cept ma­jor credit cards and trav­el­ers checks.

“Cen­tral Nairobi has a rep­u­ta­tion for be­ing dan­ger­ous, but I have never had a prob­lem there,” says Trevor Ward, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of W Hos­pi­tal­ity Group. “But be street­wise all the same. plenty of time to get to the air­port when leav­ing.”

“As Nairobi is a very busy city with ad­vis­able to ar­rive out­side of peak Marc de Jager, global al­liance man­ager for Travel with Flair. “It can some­times take up to three hours to travel 20 miles.”

Health: Al­though there’s no malaria in Nairobi, it is preva­lent across much of the coun­try and pro­phy­lac­tics are rec­om­mended. Consult your doc­tor three weeks be­fore trav­el­ing. Proof of yel­low fever vac­ci­na­tion is re­quired and re­mem­ber that the vac­ci­na­tion must be done at least 10 days prior to your de­par­ture for the coun­try.

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