Have you been thinking of going on a Kenya safari? Believe it or not but a Kenya wildlife safari is an incredible adventure and an experience of a lifetime. Be prepared to ooh and aah at the diverse landscapes, amazing animals, and great culture that will make you want to come back to Kenya over and over again. However, it is natural to feel very overwhelmed as you start preparing for your African safari trip as there is so much to learn and so much to do. We hope our tips on how to successfully start, enjoy, and complete your Kenya Safari trip will help you plan better and more confidently. And once you’ve enjoyed Kenya, we hope you go back to some other African countries to enjoy the great diversity in this rich continent.
How to get ready for your Kenya Safari trip:
1. Passport and Visas
You probably already know you need a passport and a visa to get into Kenya. Your passport should be valid for at least 6 months from the day of entry into the country. You can complete your visa application online here but be sure to apply on time so you receive your visa back sooner than later to avoid any trip interruptions. Since every country is different and Kenya might require different documents for individuals based on their nationality, check to see what Kenyan embassy needs for your country and be prepared to present all your documents during the visa application process. Apart from your passport and visa, ensure you have all you need for your international travel. And if you are traveling with a young one, you might need more than just your child’s passports and visas to make your trip easier.
Even though Kenya accepts credit cards, be sure to have Kenya Shillings when on safari trips or visiting other parts of Kenya as not all hotels, lodges and camps accept major credit cards. If you have US Dollar bills, ensure you have bills printed after 2006 when possible. Make sure you know how to get the best exchange rate for your money to avoid being scammed and also to get the best value for your hard-earned currency.
Learn some Swahili words.While Kenya is a multilingual country with Swahili and English as the official languages and you can communicate in English in most part of the country, however, in some remote areas, the indigenes might not be speak much English. If you don’t speak Swahili then consider working with a guide who can help you along the way. But, learning a few Swahili words like greeting and pleasantries will be of much help and will show the Kenyan people you do care about their culture as well. You can certainly install a translation app on your smart device and consider other travel apps that to make your trip easier.
Kenya is generally safe but like any other country you’ll ever visit, you need to make sure you are always aware of your surroundings and never place yourself in a compromising situation. When possible, work with a local guide as they can help you keep safe and also help you achieve your travel goals. Make sure you have travel insurance prior to leaving your country. And since you are probably traveling from another country, ensure you’ve addressed all health issues including getting the proper vaccinations, having proof of the proper vaccinations, carrying some preventative medications, and being aware of what sort of endemic disease you might be exposed to. And of course, get some sunblock and bug spray. You are going to be in the wild and don’t need pesky insect bites to spoil your vacation. You certainly won’t appreciate getting sun-burned.
5. Choose and know your Kenya Safari destination
Here are a couple of places you might end up during your Kenya Safari trip. Decide where you want to go and learn more about it.
> Masai Mara National Park
When you embark on Kenya safari tours, you are likely to encounter lots of wildlife in the various national parks and reserves. One of such parks is the Masai Mara National Park where you might possibly meet the famed Great migration – an annual journey (September to October) of wildebeests, zebras, antelopes and gazelles migrating from Tanzania’s Ngorongoro crater to Kenya’s Masai Mara.
Besides the wildlife, the scenery at Masai Mara is breathtaking with the Mara River winding its way through vast plains at the backdrop of the Oloololo Escarpment. You might also see hippos, buffalos, elephants and giraffes and all other sort of wildlife for an experience unlike any you have ever had before. Again, be sure to use a trusted guide to keep you safe but also to point out some of these animals along the way.
> Amboseli National Park
If you want to see stunning views of Mt.Kilimanjaro from the comfort of your safari tent, then Amboseli is where you need to be. Outside the park, you can go on night drives, interact with the native Maasai communities and participate in walking safaris which will have you exclaiming at the beauty of this park framed by the backdrop of Mt. Kilimanjaro. This park also has diverse wildlife such as elephants and antelope species.
> Tsavo National Park
Home to the famed man-eating lions, this national park is one of the largest in Kenya and ideal for Kenya safari tours as it’s full of with wild animals such as hippos, zebras, elephants, and buffalos among others. Besides viewing animals on the Safari, you can take trips to lava flows, recent volcanoes, caves, and participate in fish-watching activities.
> Samburu Game Reserve
A complete Kenya safari should involve a trip to this amazing oasis sustained by the EwasoNyiro River and home to many leopards, zebras, Oryx, hyenas, lions, reticulated giraffes and elephants. Stay at The Elephant Watch Safaris’ tents, go for a picnic, and enjoy game drives at the reserve. For an extra kick, get a local Samburu guide to provide insight into the Samburu semi-nomadic tribe’s culture or camps at private conservancies for more unique experiences.
Planning a Kenya Safari trip can be exhausting but the most important thing is that you’ve decided you want to go to Kenya! The rest will fall into place. And if you can, consider a side trip to Mombasa, a seaport city in the coat of Kenya. And depending on the time you do decide to go, you should keep Kenya weather in mind to make sure you go at the right time. We’ve rated Kenya a great destination for summer. Whenever you do go, enjoy your trip to Kenya and your Kenya safari trip!