Kenya in detail

Planning Tips

Pre-Departure Checklist

  • Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months past your arrival date
  • Check airline baggage restrictions (most charter flights to luxury lodges have strict limits, usually around 15kg)
  • Inform your debit-/credit-card company that you’re heading away
  • Arrange for appropriate travel insurance and vaccinations
  • Book your accommodation as early as you can

What to Take

  • Binoculars and a field guide
  • Electrical adaptor
  • Mosquito repellent, malaria medicine
  • Neutral-coloured safari clothing
  • Small beanbag for steadying camera in vehicles
  • Hat, sunscreen
  • Torch (flashlight)
  • Wind- and waterproof jacket
  • Yellow fever vaccination certificate
  • Swiss Army knife
  • Swahili phrasebook
  • Good, strong hiking/walking boots

What to Wear

Loose-fitting, light casual wear is recommended, especially in Nairobi and in the luxury tented camps and lodges; at the latter, a nice set of clothes (eg a button-up shirt for men) or two is a good idea for dinner. If you're self-driving and camping, dress codes don't really apply. Out on safari, light neutral tones are recommended. As a general rule (except in beach areas), women should wear loose clothes, covering arms and legs. Men travelling in most areas shouldn’t wear shorts, or singlets that show your shoulders. Cotton or linen clothing is recommended for the heat, and a fleece or wool sweater is needed for cooler nights.


  • Lonely Planet ( Destination information, hotel bookings, traveller forum and more.
  • Kenya Wildlife Service ( Conservation news and information on national parks and reserves.
  • Safari Bookings ( Invaluable resource for choosing safari operators and destinations.
  • Kenya Association of Tour Operators ( Full list of KATO-approved member companies.
  • Eco Tourism Kenya ( Excellent resource for gauging the sustainability of Kenyan tourism.
  • Why I Love Kenya ( Evolving collection of good news stories about Kenya and its attractions.

Top Tips

  • Book your luxury lodge or tented camp, many months in advance for July to October.
  • Distances can be long – plan your trip to see a few places well instead of trying to see everything and ending up spending all your trip driving.
  • Consider flying around the country to make the most of your time.
  • Avoid travelling roads at night – traffic is dangerous at the best of times but can be deadly after dark.
  • Take time to greet people you meet – launching into conversation without a greeting is considered rude.
  • Learn a few words in Swahili and watch the locals smile when you try to use them.
  • Check government travel advisories before travelling – Kenya is overwhelmingly safe and trouble is easily avoided.