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KENYA DESTINATIONS

Kenyan safaris informations

Kenyan safaris rekindle the imagination associated with thrilling wildlife adventures. When you think of a Kenyan safari, you no doubt picture roaring African lions, herds of elephants, wildebeests and zebras thundering across vast sweeping savannas, and the joy of basking in Africa's long sunshine and wilderness. The range and variety of Kenyan safaris has never been larger or more attractive than it is today.

There are many options to suit your taste and preference, covering different kinds of unique wildlife experiences and different levels of wildness, comfort, luxury, adventure and cost.

From balloon adventures, wildlife safaris, beach camping and luxury resorts to extreme, special-interest safaris that incorporate additional adventures such as mountain climbing, Kenyan safaris and tour companies can tailor an organized tour to meet your specific needs and interests. For those who prefer to be in control of planning when and where you go, you can always take a tour by yourself or plan one with family or friends. You are only limited by your imagination.

Kenya's Wild Safari

Kenya's national parks and game reserves are a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts, offering a variety of Kenyan animals and accommodations to suit all preferences. From low budget camping to moderately priced lodges to top-notch luxury bush lodges, there's something for everyone to enjoy.

The most famous of all Kenya's game parks is, of course, the Maasai Mara National Reserve. The Maasai Mara is known for its wildebeest migration but it is also home to Kenya's "big five" animals, more than 400 species of birds, and varying topography. In addition to the "Big Five", you will find plenty of interesting Kenyan wildlife such as hippos, jackals, giraffes, zebras, warthogs, wildebeests, hyenas, antelope, cheetahs, crocodiles and more.

Why Kenya

Kenya has long been a top destination for safari seekers. Showcasing a wealth of wildlife, each ecologically diverse game park has its own allure. Breathtaking landscapes, endless plains and unrivalled game viewing year round, the Masai Mara, is where huge herds of wildebeest and other herbivores make their way during the annual Great Migration.

Discover the beauty of Amboseli with its famous large tusked elephants and views of snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro. Lauded for its groundbreaking rhino rehabilitation efforts, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is the heart of wildlife conservation and offers an unforgettable combination of unspoiled beauty, superb game viewing, sustainable development and responsible tourism in Northern Kenya. The arid Samburu and Shaba National Reserves stretching along the Ewaso Nyiro River is home to elephants, large predators such as lion, leopard and cheetah, as well as the rare northern specialist species, Grevy’s zebra, Somali ostrich, reticulated giraffe, gerenuk and the beisa oryx.

Quick Info

Accommodations: Kenya offers a variety of high quality accommodation choices from large hotels and lodges to intimate tented camps or elegant bush homes.

Gameviewing: Pop top minivans and land cruisers in national parks, open vehicles in private concessions, walks or overnight ‘fly camping’ excursions are added options.

Getting Around: Well-paced overland itineraries driven by professional safari guides are an economical option. Road conditions vary and flying long distances is highly recommended. Kenya has reliable and frequent internal air options which enable convenient air travel throughout the top safari locations within the country. Self-driving not recommended.

Other Attractions: Beyond your expertly guided game drives and bush walks, immerse yourself in the colorful cultures of the Maasai, Samburu, Turkana and Borana tribes. Wrap up your journey with a visit to Kenya’s beautiful beaches.

Mount Kenya National Park

Mt. Kenya lies about 140 km North, North-East of Nairobi with its Northern flanks across the Equator. The mountain has two main peaks - Batian (5200m) and Nelion (5188m). The mountains slopes are cloaked in forest, bamboo, scrub and moorland giving way on the high central peaks to rock, ice and snow. Mt. Kenya is an important water catchment area, supplying the Tana and Northern Ewaso Ngiro systems. The park, which was inscribed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1997 and is also a Biosphere Reserve, covers 715 km2, and includes the Peaks consisting of all the ground above 3200m with two small salients extending lower down to 2450m along the Sirimon and Naro Moru tracks. Surrounding the park is Mount Kenya National Reserve with an area of approximately 2095 km2.Climate, flora and fauna on Mt. Kenya varies with altitude.

ACCESSIBILITY

175 kms from Nairobi, the park can be reached on Nanyuki-Isiolo road via Sirimon Track or Nyeri-Nanyuki road near Naro Moru. The park is also reachable via Chogoria on the Embu - Meru road, about 150km north of Nairobi.The closest commercial airstrip to the park is at Nanyuki.

MAJOR ATTRACTIONS

Pristine wilderness, lakes, tarns, glaciers and peaks of great beauty, geological variety, forest, mineral springs, rare and endangered species of animals, High altitude adapted plains game, Unique montane and alpine vegetation with 11 species of endemic plants.

Facilities Huts:

Liki North Hut; Minto's Hut; Austrian Hut; Mackinders Hut (managed by Naro Moru Lodge); Judmare Hut; Shiptons Hut (managed by Mountain Rock Hotel).Bandas:

Sirimon Bandas, Batian Guest House.

LODGES:

Mountain Lodge (Serena Hotels); Rutundu Fishes Lodge (book through Lets Go Travel)

ACTIVITIES

Mountain climbing, game viewing.

COMMON VEGETATION:

This varies with altitude and rainfall, and there is a rich alpine and sub-alpine flora.Between 1200m and 1850m, the vegetation is mainly dry upland forest comprising of Croton associations. Juniperus procera and Podocarpus spp. are predominant in the drier parts of the lower zone (below 2,500m), with rainfall between 875 and 1400mm (Naro Moru and Sirimon tracks on the western slopes). In wetter areas (over 2200mm/year) in the south-west and north-east, Cassipourea malosana predominates.Higher altitudes (2,500-3,000m with rainfall over 2000mm/year) are dominated by a dense belt of bamboo Arundinaria alpina on south-eastern slopes, and a mosaic of bamboo and Podocarpus milanjianus with bamboo at intermediate elevations (2,600-2,800m), and Podocarpus at higher and lower elevations (2,800-3,000m) and (2,500-2,600m).Towards the west and north of the mountain, bamboo becomes progressively smaller and less dominant.

There are also areas in zones of maximum rainfall 2,000-3,500m with up to 2,400mm/year, where Hagenia abyssinica with Hagenia revolutum predominate.Above 3,000m, cold (low temperatures) become a more important factor, tree stature declines, and Podocarpus is replaced by Hypericum spp. A more open canopy here results in a more developed understorey. Many of the trees are festooned with mosses. Grassy glades are common especially on ridges. High altitude heath between 3,000m and 3,500m is characterised by shrubs with small leaves like African sage, Protea and Helicrysum.The lower alpine or moorland zone (3,400-3,800m) is characterized by high rainfall, a thick humus layer, low topographic diversity, and low species richness. Tussock grasses Festuca pilgeri, and sedges Carex spp. predominate. Between the tussocks there are Alchemilla cyclophylla, Alchemillajohnstonii, and Geranium vagans.

Above the 3500m contour is the Afro-alpine zone, a moorland characterised by tussock grasses, senecios and lobelias.The upper alpinezone (3,800-4,500m) is more topographically diverse, and contains a more varied flora. Many of the species here are bizarre, especially the giant rosette plants Lobelia telekii and Lobelia keniensis, Senecio keniodendron and Carduus spp.. Senecio brassica is found in both the lower and upper alpine zone.

There are a variety of grasses on well-drained ground and along the streams and river banks such as megaphytic Senecio battescombei and Helichrysum kilimanjari. Continuous vegetation stops at about 4,500m although isolated vascular plants have been found at over 5,000m. There are 13 species endemic to Mount Kenya listed in Hedberg, (1951).

TREMENDOUS VARIETY OF ACTIVITIES

A passport is required that is still valid for at least six months after the date of departure. A visa is required and costs approximately EUR 40.00 or USD 50,00 per person. The visa can be obtained at the Kenyan Embassy in your country or upon arrival at the Nairobi airport (not applicable to all nationalities). For a visa application in Nairobi, you don’t need a photograph or a copy of a ticket, which are required for applications at the embassies.

For more information about the Kenya Embassy in your region please check kenya.embassyhomepage.com

MONEY

The currency in Kenya is the Kenyan Shilling. You can take cash Euro's, Pounds, U.S. Dollars or Canadian Dollars and exchange these at the airport or in your hotel or lodge for Kenyan Shillings. In many locations like in your accommodation or in souvenir shops it is no problem to pay in Euro's or U.S. Dollars, however you will get your change in Shilling at a creative exchange rate. In most places payments with credit card are also welcome. In the bigger cities like Mombasa and Nairobi there are also opportunities to get money through an ATM (cash machine), but when you are on safari there is often no opportunity and it is better to make arrangements in advance. When buying a souvenir in Kenya it is customary to bargain a good price with the seller.

VACCINATIONS

When you travel to Kenya, there are no mandatory vaccinations, but you are urgently advised to get some of them.

The following vaccinations are recommended: DTP (Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio), Yellow Fever, Hepatitis A. It is also increasingly advised to include Hepatitis B to your vaccination list as well. The whole of Kenya is also considered a malaria area and you can take various types of anti-malarial drugs for prevention. The recommendations may change and it is important to speak to a specialist for the exact information that applies to you.

By far the best way to prevent getting malaria is to make sure mosquito's simply can not sting you. We recommend to bring along a good anti-mosquito repellent with you with a high percentage of DEET. For the tours we organize it is not necessary to bring a mosquito net with you, unless specifically stated otherwise.

CLOTHES

During the safari it is usual to wear informal casual clothing, preferably of cotton in a green or browny colour. During the day shorts are a good choice and after sunset long pants are recommended to prevent being stung by mosquitoes. A sweater or jacket can be very pleasant for the early mornings and cooler evenings. In addition comfortable shoes are also recommend. Many accommodations have a pool, so do not forget your swimsuit. Kenya is located directly on the equator and the sun can be very powerful. It is sensible to take a hat or cap, as well as sun cream with high protection and sunglasses on safari with you.

COMMUNICATIONS

Internet: Kenya is a country where in many places Internet is available and also in daily life using the web is integrated. At various accommodations you can use a computer with internet, but the speed may not always be what you are used to. When you are really on safari you must keep in mind that you cannot often make use of the Internet. Mobile telephones: in Kenya there are 2 different networks (Safaricom and Zain), which together have created a pretty strong network. It is surprising that even in the Masai Mara or in other remote areas you can be reached by mobile phone. However if you travel to remote areas do not count on an available network range. In and around cities you usually have excellent opportunities to make a mobile telephone call. When you arrive in Kenya you can buy a telephone card at the airport and make calls in East Africa for a good price. International calls: when you want to make a call abroad will visiting Kenya this can be pretty expensive, especially at the hotels. The hotels where you can call charge very high rates and often it is better to call with your own mobile phone.

FOOD & DRINK

Food and water in Kenya are sometimes less reliable. By paying a bit more attention to your eating and drinking then you are perhaps accustomed to in normal daily life you can prevent a lot of nasty things. Avoid drinking tap water and be careful with the use of ice cubes. Boiled water and water sold in sealed bottles are perfectly fine to drink. It is important to drink a lot especially in dry and hot areas. Africa Miracles only uses good quality services and accommodations so you can safely eat everything offered in the accommodations. Of course it cannot hurt to pay a little attention, but enjoying your food and drinks is number one.

PHOTOGRAPHY AND VIDEO

A journey through East Africa is an introduction to another culture and meeting different people. You certainly want to capture these encounters on photo or video. Sometimes this is considered as an annoying experience by the local people. Showing respect, a not too obtrusive attitude and asking if you may make a photograph before pulling out your camera, creates a lot of 'goodwill'. This way the contact with the local people will be a bigger experience then when you are only shooting pictures from a distance. You can charge the batteries of your equipment in most places, but keep in mind that some accommodations do not have power all day.

VOLTAGE

The accommodations in Kenya have a voltage of 220-240 volts. The voltage can greatly vary, be careful with sensitive equipment. In addition you need a three-legged plug. If you do not have this then a good idea is to buy a world plug. This allows you to use it worldwide.

TIPPING

It is quite usual in Kenya to reward someone with a good tip, however of course only if you feel the person you deserves it. The salaries in Kenya are relatively low and what you may consider to be a small tip can be a large amount for the receiving person. For someone to who is bringing your luggage to your room a tip between 50 and 100 KShs is highly appreciated and a good guideline. In a restaurant leaving a tip of around 10% of the total amount is also custom. If you stay at an accommodation which has all services included you can often use the tip box to make a nice gesture. Again the tip is to be seen as a reward and that you determine the amount, but a directive is approximately between 5 and USD 10 per person per day. Of course you can also give somebody personally a nice extra for doing an excellent job. For your guide during the safari a guideline for a good tip is around USD 5 to USD 10 per person per day, but a more personal gift like a good book or a new pair of shoes will certainly also be highly appreciated.

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