Delving into Kenya is like rummaging through nature’s treasure chest. Revered by anthropologists as the ‘cradle of humanity’, Kenya is wild. If you’re adventurous – and sensible – it promises the globe’s most magnificent wildlife parks, unsullied beaches, thriving coral reefs and ancient Swahili cities.

The Swahili word safari (literally, journey) wouldn’t mean much to most people if it wasn’t for this East African adventure land. No matter how many Tarzan movies you’ve seen, nothing will prepare you for the annual mass migration of wildebeests in the Maasai Mara.

FAST FACTS

Full Name: Republic of Kenya
Capital City: Nairobi
Area: 583,000 sq km / 225,096 sq miles
Population: 31,639,000
Time Zone: GMT/UTC +3
Daylight Saving Start: not in use
Daylight Saving End: not in use
Languages: Kiswahili and English are both official languages.
Religion: 35% Protestant, 30% Roman Catholic, 30% Muslim, 5% Animist
Currency: Kenyan Shilling (KSh)
Electricity: 240V 50Hz
Country Dialling Code: 254
Government Type
republic (multiparty state)
Government Leaders
Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta
President (head of state and government)

WEATHER

With pleasant overall conditions all year round, Kenya’s southern highlands and coastal lowlands see little variation in conditions; each has a wet season between March and May and a second one in November and December.

Temperatures are consistent throughout the year and cool for an equatorial region, ranging mostly in the high 20°Cs to low 30°Cs (80°Fs to low 90°Fs) on the coast, dropping slightly inland and then raising again closer to Lake Victoria. Tanzania. Its coast is lapped by the Indian Ocean and it shares the vast waters of Lake Victoria with its western and southern neighbours.
The Rift Valley and Central Highlands area form the backbone of the country, and this is where Kenya’s scenery is at its most spectacular.

The humid coastal belt includes the Tana River estuary and a string of good beaches. Western Kenya takes in the fertile fringes of Lake Victoria and, with the southern part of the country, some prime wildlife parks. The vast, arid northern region is where Kenya is at its wildest and most untouched by the modern world.

HEALTH AND SAFETY

Recommended to take precautions for malaria and yellow fever. Consult your doctor prior to travel.

Carry mosquito repellents.

Most places are tourist friendly, but it is advisable to keep your important documents and valuables safely.

TIME AND PLACE

Time Zone
GMT/UTC +3 ()

Daylight Saving
Start: not in use
End: not in use

Weights Measures System
Metric

Geography
On Africa’s east coast, Kenya straddles the equator and shares a border with Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania. Its coast is lapped by the Indian Ocean and it shares the vast waters of Lake Victoria with its western and southern neighbours. The Rift Valley and Central Highlands area form the backbone of the country, and this is where Kenya’s scenery is at its most spectacular. The humid coastal belt includes the Tana River estuary and a string of good beaches.

Western Kenya takes in the fertile fringes of Lake Victoria and, with the southern part of the country, some prime wildlife parks. The vast, arid northern region is where Kenya is at its wildest and most untouched by the modern world.

CROSSING BORDERS

Visas Overview
Visas are now required by almost all visitors to Kenya, including Europeans, Australians, New Zealanders, Americans and Canadians, although citizens from a few smaller Commonwealth countries are exempt. Visas are valid for three months from the date of entry and can be obtained upon arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi for 50.00 for a single-entry visa, double for multiple entries. Tourist visas can be extended for a further three month period, but not seven-day transit visas.

It’s also possible to get visas from Kenyan diplomatic missions overseas, but you should apply well in advance, especially if you’re doing it by mail.

PEOPLE AND SOCIETY

People: 22% Kikuyu, 14% Luhya, 13% Luo, 12% Kalenjin, 11% Kamba, 6% Kisii, 6% Meru, 16% other

Religion: 35% Protestant, 30% Roman Catholic, 30% Muslim, 5% Animist

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