We don’t like added extras, so our tour and independent and extension package prices include entrance to all national parks and reserves.
A day on safari
Safari is the quintessential African experience. Whether you're spotting lions in the Maasai Mara, or tracking wildebeest in the Ngorongoro Crater - every day is a new adventure.
Did you know?
- Kenya takes its name from Mount Kenya, located in the central highlands of the country.
- Some of the oldest known paleontological records of the history of mankind have been found in Kenya.
- Professor Maathai, the Kenyan environmentalist, was the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, in 2004.
- Although English and Swahili are the official languages, Kenya has over 60 other living languages spoken in the country.
- 46% of the country’s people live below the poverty line, and only 42% of the country has access to clean drinking water.
- School is free in Kenya but many children are too busy to go as they help out their family by working on the land, cooking, or fetching water.
- Life expectancy in Kenya is 52 years although some say it is closer to 47 due to HIV/AIDS.
- Kenya is famous for its athletes. The African country is the birthplace of Henry Rono, one of the best runners in the 20th century, in 1978, Henry broke four world records.
- The black rhino is Kenya’s most endangered species.
- The Maasai tribe is the symbol of “tribal” Kenya. Their land, the Maasai Mara, is where most of the safaris in Kenya visit.
- The song “Hakuna Matata” from the movie “The Lion King” is a famous Kenyan song sang in many versions and the title means “No Worries”.
Visas & Passports
Australian passport holders travelling to Kenya need a visa at this time.
We require that your passport is valid for travel for at least six months from the date you are planning to return to Australia. Your passport must be valid to travel internationally and must be machine-readable. You also need to carry a valid return ticket on you.
Whether travelling on an Australian passport or the passport of another country, all travellers require visas for a number of countries, and it is your responsibility to secure what may be required before departing Australia.
You can consult with your travel agent, but it is also recommended that you check the foreign embassy website for your respective destination as it can also provide you with useful information.
The Australian High Commission in Kenya:
Australian High Commission, Nairobi
Limuru Road Rosslyn
Ph. +254 20 4277 100
Fax. +254 20 4277 139
The official currency of Kenya is the Kenyan Shilling (KES; symbol KSh). Notes come in denominations of KSh1,000, 500, 200, 100, and 50. Ensure you change a small amount into small denominations.
Advise your bank of your travel plans so that they can make a note of it, otherwise they may cancel your credit card as a safety measure due to the overseas transactions. Also make a note of the 24-hour emergency contact number of the bank or building society which issued your credit card in the unlikely event that your card is lost or stolen.
Whenever possible use ATMs when the banks are open (Mon – Fri) so that if a machine ‘eats’ your card you can then deal with it straight away. It is always advisable to carry a supply of cash in addition to your credit card.
If you don’t have Kenyan Shillings with you on arrival, we advise you to exchange some money into the local currency at the airport even if the exchange rate is not the best, this way you’ll have money to get a drink, snack or give a tip during those first few hours of arrival. Your guide will be able to advise you on the best places to exchange money.
Small change is also useful for paying for toilets while on tour which is customary in many places outside of Australia.
- The price of a cappuccino in Nairobi is approximately 280 KSh.
- The price of an inexpensive lunch is approximately 500 KSh.
- The price dinner in a moderate restaurant is approximately 1500 KSh.
- The price of a beer in a local pub is approximately 300 KSh.
Along the coast you will find Swahili cuisine, a blend of Middle Eastern and African cooking with a coastal twist. Further inland you’ll find the best-known Kenyan speciality Nyama Choma or ‘roasted meat’ usually beef or goat and occasionally chicken. This is usually slow roasted over an open fire or charcoals and served with a mixture of basic greens (known as Sukuma Wiki) and Ugali. Ugali is the much-loved staple food of Kenya, essentially a stiff porridge of maize flour, and is served as a dough like consistency. Pieces of Ugali are broken off, rolled into a ball or into a rough scoop and used to eat either meat, stews or vegetables. There are also a large number of Asian restaurants around where you can find vegetarian alternatives.
Street foods are very popular in and around the markets and include a variety of Mishkaki which is small skewered barbecued meats as well as corn on the cob over open fire. Plantain chips, made from plantain banana, are a popular snack locals enjoy and is found all over the country.
Important: When dining at buffets (i.e. breakfast) please refrain from taking food away with you to ‘save’ for later! If you feel that you’ll need snacks between meals, pack some dried fruit, nuts, muesli bars etc.
If you have specific food allergies and/or preferences, we highly recommend you take every precaution before your tour, including carrying a small card with your food allergy listed in each language of every country you are travelling to show to table staff when ordering. Whilst we take all dietary requirements seriously, due to the serious nature of potential allergic reactions, it is your responsibility to be as prepared as possible.
In Kenya, the coastal areas are tropical, but tempered by monsoon winds. The lowlands are hot but mainly dry, while the highlands are more temperate with four seasons. Due to its altitude, the capital city of Nairobi has a pleasant climate, while near Lake Victoria the temperatures are much higher and rainfall can be heavy.
Want to get out and explore on your own?
In Kenya, Nairobi has a decent bus service travelling along set routes, with smaller minibuses (called matatuses) also travelling along set routes. Taxis are available – the newer ones are white with a yellow stripe and these all have meters. The older completely yellow taxis generally do not have meters and the fare should be agreed upon before getting into the taxi. Overall, though, the cheapest option would be to jump into a bajaj rickshaw, similar to the tuk-tuk in South East Asia.
When catching taxis, make sure you have small change on you and choose one with a meter, if it doesn’t have one then negotiate the price before getting in. We recommend you ask your guide or hotel staff the names of reputable taxi companies.
So, you’d love to bring home a special souvenir from Kenya…
Most of the tourist spots in Kenya have markets and stalls that sell every type of souvenir possible to take home from a trip to Africa – great buys in Kenya include wooden carvings, specially hand carved chess sets, batiks, African drums, wooden ornaments, salad bowls and other plates and platters and ornaments made out of soapstone. Special Maasai souvenirs include beaded jewellery, decorated bowls or gourds, hand woven cloths (used by westerners as sarongs and scarves) and the red chequered blankets typically worn by Maasai women. A bit of haggling is expected at local markets and stalls. However, not haggling too hard is a good way to help the local community.
- Kenyans are group-focused people, rather than individualistic. This means the extended family forms the basis of social life.
- Like most African countries, Kenyans have a reverence for their ancestors. They believe their ancestors can influence life, being closer to God than the living individual so it is not unusual to name a child after a deceased ancestor to ensure a happy, prosperous family life.
- The usual greeting in Kenya is ‘Jambo’, slang for ‘how are you?’
- Table manners in Kenya are quite formal.
- Drinks are normally served at the end of a meal in Kenya – Kenyans believe it is impolite to eat and drink at the same time.
Celebrations & Public Holidays
- Kenyans love to celebrate and have fun with an abundance of vibrancy acknowledging their heritage bringing the streets to life. Music, food and dance are vital ingredients to any Kenyan festival or celebration where the emphasis usually focuses on bringing people together. Each year in March, Nairobi hosts the East African Arts Festival, a three-day event showcasing art, music, literature, architecture, sculptures, and traditional crafts. Both old and new beliefs and traditions of the Lamu community is celebrated at the annual three-day Lamu Cultural Festival in November. The festivities sprawl throughout the historic UNESCO town featuring craft workshops, henna art, and traditional Swahili dishes while playing Bao tournaments, or observing dhow races and donkey races.
Other national public holidays to be aware of include:
- New Year’s Day
- Good Friday
- Easter Monday
- Labour Day / May Day (May 1st)
- Eid al-Fitr (first day of the Islamic month of Shawwal)
- Day off for Eid al-Fitr (May 25th)
- Madaraka Day (June 1st)
- Moi Day (October 10th)
- Mashujaa Day (October 20th)
- Jamhuri Day (December 12th)
- Christmas Day
- Boxing Day
Samburu National Reserve
Located in central Kenya, the Samburu National Reserve was established in the 1970s and lies within the land of the colourful Samburu people. There is a wide variety of animal and bird life to be found, several of which are unique to the region. All three big cats (lion, cheetah and leopard) can be found here, as well as elephants, buffalos, hippos, zebra, waterbuck, giraffe and oryx. Unfortunately, rhinos are no longer present in the park due to heavy poaching.
Located in south-west Kenya, the Maasai Mara is a large park reserve named for the Maasai people, who are the traditional inhabitants of the area and the Mara River. The park is world-famous for its wildlife and the annual migration of zebra, wildebeest and Thomson’s gazelle from the Serengeti every year from July to October. All members of the “Big Five” (lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhinoceros) are found in the Maasai Mara.
Created in 1961 around Lake Nakuru, this national park is best known for the millions of flamingos which nest along the shores of the lake, however it also protects the Rothschild giraffe and black rhino. The lake itself has an abundance of algae making it attractive for the flamingo to reside in the area which makes it a photographers dream bringing fantastic opportunities to take the best pic as a souvenir.
Mount Kenya National Park
Mount Kenya, the highest mountain in Kenya, is an ancient extinct volcano and is the second highest peak in Africa after Mount Kilimanjaro. The area surrounding the mountain was established as a national park in 1949, and in 1978 the area was designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Its rugged glacier-clad summits and natural forested slopes and terrain is considered one of the most impressive landscapes in East Africa. Wildlife throughout includes elephants, white tailed mongoose, bushbucks and waterbucks with over 130 bird species spotted.
Small Group Tours
Venture through three very different destinations during this one-of-a kind tour. Experience the history of Egypt, relax on the beaches of Zanzibar and search for remarkable wildlife in Kenya.
See two different sides of Africa, from the wilderness of Kenya to the historic streets of Ethiopia. Search for zebras, gazelles and the ‘Big 5’ in Samburu and the Maasai Mara before enjoying rich culinary delights in Addis Ababa.
Experience the true essence of Africa on this spectacular wildlife journey. As the location of the 'Great Migration', Kenya & Tanzania are a photographer’s delight.
Experience the contrasts between mystical Morocco and charismatic Kenya during this truly unique itinerary. Be enticed by the buzzing streets of Casablanca, the beauty of everblue Chefchaouen, and the Roman ruins of Volubilis.