Kenya Travel Overview
At a glance
Official language: English, Kaiswahili
Continent: East Africa
Vacation in Kenya: high mountains, deep valleys and safari trips
Kenya is known for its national parks. Nowhere else can you marvel at so many species of large game as here. In the Nairobi National Park you just have to go to the city limits. The country is known for its long beaches on the Indian Ocean and Lake Victoria inland. Colonialism has left its mark on architecture.
According to Countryaah, Kenya borders Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda and the Indian Ocean and is a popular travel destination for German-speaking tourists. Most of the time Kenya is booked because of its safari trips. However, Kenya not only offers wildlife experiences, but also has proud mountains. However, hiking on Mount Kenya is only recommended for experienced people. At 5,199 meters, the Batian is the highest mountain in the Mount Kenya massif and is no longer a walk. It is best to inquire about a “guided tour” or a mountain guide on site. The part of the great African rift valleywhich runs through Kenya is called the Rift Valley. For all those who stay on the ground, this valley offers enough possibilities. For example Lake Turkana, the largest inland body of water in Kenya, the northern part of which extends to Ethiopia.
Travelers to Kenya should be particularly vigilant about two issues: HIV and corruption. The country has a high rate of HIV positive people. One can only urgently warn against unprotected sexual intercourse. Corruption is widespread in the country. Usually it only occurs on a small scale and there is no compulsion. However, you should be aware of this, otherwise you will have to expect a lot of waiting time.
The official languages in Kenya are English and Swahili. Do not think twice and take a Swahili course. You can learn the basics quickly. As for dealing with people, it should be said that respect is very much appreciated in Kenya, especially towards older people. If you don’t want to attract attention as a tourist, long trousers are recommended for men and long skirts for women.
In addition to the many national parks, Lake Victoria is a natural attraction in the country. There are five larger islands in the lake, which is the second largest freshwater lake in the world. With an area of 68,800 km², the lake is roughly the size of the state of Bavaria.
Official language: English, Kaiswahili
Shilling (100 cents)
ISO 4217 code
KES / 404
Geo coordinates: S 0 ° -1 ‘-24.8 “E 37 ° 54’ 22.3”
Highest mountain: Mount Kenya (5,199 m)
Total area: 582,650 km²
Mainland: 569,250 km²
National border: 3,446 km
Coastline: 536 km
Dependency: Great Britain until 1963
UN member since: 1963
Other political affiliation: African Union
Form of government: Presidential Republic
Export goods: Coffee, tea, sisal
BSP: $ 20,037,000,000
GDP: $ 19,241,300,000
GDP purchasing power parity: $ 41,200,000,000
Economic growth: 5.4%
GDP share of agriculture: 17.4%
GDP share of industry: 18.5%
GDP share of services: 64.1%
Inflation rate: 11%
State budget revenue: $ 4.28 billion
State budget expenditure: $ 4294967295
National debt: 46.8%
Export: $ 3,620,000,000
Import: $ 5,370,000,000
Foreign debt: $ 7,994,000,000
Gold and currency reserves: $ 2.06 billion
Electricity consumption: 4,657 million KWh
Oil consumption: 60,000 million m³
Cultivation area: 8.86%
Bovine: 10,620,000 pieces
Sheep: 8,000,000 pieces
Fishing: 162,000 t
Residents in cities: 13,577,000
Average age: 18.2 years
0-14 years: 42.6%
15-64 years: 55.1%
> 65 years: 2.3%
Population growth: 2.57%
Birth rate: 39.72 / 1,000 residents
Death rate: 14.02 / 1,000 residents
Ratio men / women: 1.01
Fertility: 4.91 children / woman
Infant mortality: 59.26 ‰
Life expectancy men: 49.78 years
Life expectancy women: 48.07 years
Country codes and abbreviations
ISO 3166 Alpha 2: KE
ISO 3166 Alpha 3: KEN
ISO 3166 numeric: 404
Top Level Domain: ke
IOC country code: KEN
UN / LOCODE: KE
Telephone connections: 351,000
Cell Phones: 2,488,000
Internet users: 820,000
Railway lines: 2,778 km
Paved roads: 17,872 km
Merchant fleet (ships over 1,000 GRT): 3
Number of doctors: 5,140
Daily food intake: 2.213 kcal / resident
HIV- infected people: 1,310,000
Last sovereign since: 1963
Main religious group: Christians
Prison inmates: 55,900
Armed forces (troop strength): 23,000
Main battle tank: 80
Defense Spending: $ 264,000,000
Arriving by plane
Kenya’s national airline Kenya Airways (KQ) (Internet: www.kenya-airways.com) offers a direct connection from Paris to Nairobi and, together with KLM flight connections (via Amsterdam) from Frankfurt / M., Vienna and Zurich to Nairobi.
Kenya is also served by British Airways (BA), Swiss International (LX) and Air France (AF), among others.
Condor (DE) flies to Mombasa from Vienna and Munich.
Edelweiss Air (WK) flies from Zurich via Mombasa to Nairobi. Lufthansa (LH) flies to Nairobi in
code-share with Brussels Airlines.
No. The airport tax is included in the ticket price.
Arrival by car
Kenya can be reached by land from Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan and Somalia. However, some roads should be avoided because of the uncertain political situation. It is best to inquire about the current situation at the consular posts before starting your journey. There is an all-weather road to Addis Ababa (Ethiopia). The largest border crossings from Tanzania are Namanga and Lunga Lunga; The border crossings Isebania and Taveta are slightly smaller.
Bus: There are some direct bus connections to Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia. The Scandinavia Express (Internet: www.scandinaviagroup.com) eg connects Nairobi and Mombasa with Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) and Nairobi with Kampala (Uganda). Malaba and Buisa are the border crossings when entering from Uganda. It should be noted that the border posts of the two countries in Malaba are one kilometer apart and there is no traffic connection between the two posts.
Before crossing borders by land, you should contact the Kenyan Automobile Association (AA of Kenya, PO Box 40087, Embakasi, KE-00100 Nairobi, Tel: (02) 82 50 60-6) to find out about the current insurance conditions and inquire about the political situation.
Arriving by train
There are train connections between Voi and Moshi (Tanzania) as well as Nairobi and Kampala (Uganda). Since the rail connections are very irregular, you should inform yourself about the current conditions before starting your journey.
Arrival by ship
Regular passenger services operate between Mombasa, Mauritius, the Seychelles and Zanzibar. Among the ports of call on Lake Victoria include Port Victoria / Kisumu, Homa Bay and Mfangano. The ferries on Lake Victoria connect Kisumu in Kenya with Mwanza, Musoma and Bukoba in Tanzania. Fares must be paid in the local currency of the port of departure. There are also ferries between Mombasa, Dar-es-Salaam and Zanzibar in Tanzania.
ON THE GO
When traveling by car to the northern parts of Kenya and the coastal region north of Malindi, the Federal Foreign Office advises you to travel in a guarded convoy. The safest way to travel to these areas is by plane.
Traveling by plane
Kenya Airways (KQ) (Internet: www.kenya-airways.com) offers scheduled flights to Kisumu (on Lake Victoria), Lamu, Malindi and Mombasa.
Air Kenya (QP) (Internet: www.airkenya.com) offers scheduled flights from Nairobi to Amboseli, Lamu, Malindi, Masai Mara, Mombasa, Lewa, Nanyuki, Meru, Samburu and Kilimanjaro (Tanzania). Mombasa Air Safari (Internet: www.mombasaairsafari.com) connects Mombasa, Diani Beach and Malindi with Lamu, Amboseli and Masai Mara.
Safarilink (Internet: www.safarilink-kenya.com) flies regularly between Nairobi (Wilson Airport) and the popular safari destinations Masai Mara, Amboseli, Tsavo, Chyulus, Naivasha, Nanyuki, Lewa, Samburu, Lamu, Kiwayu and Kilimanjaro.
There are regular connections between Nairobi, Malindi and Kiwayu. Round trips to the national parks and the coast are offered. You can also rent planes.
The airport tax of 500 Kenya shillings is included in the price of the flight ticket.
On the way by car / bus
All main roads are paved, the side roads are constantly being improved, especially in the northwest. In much of the north, the road network is not particularly good. Since the coating of the secondary roads is very different from that of the main roads, care should be taken when leaving the expressways, especially in the rainy season. Petrol stations can be found on most major roads.
Buses and minibuses (matatu) operated by private companies run long and short distances and connect most cities. Matatus are often overcrowded. The fares for buses and minibuses are similar. Buses are generally the safer form of transport. In some cities, buses and minibuses have the same terminus.
Taxi:There are good long-distance taxis in Kenya that can carry up to seven people. This service is best between the capital and Mombasa and Nakuru. On the coast, taxis and minibuses are the cheapest means of transport.
Tours and Safaris: Countless travel companies in Nairobi offer tours to the safari parks and other attractions. Before booking, you should determine exactly what is offered for the inclusive price. Further information is available from the Kenya Association of Tour Operators (KATO), PO Box 48461, KE-00100 Nairobi (Tel: (2) 71 33 48 or 71 33 86. Internet: www.katokenya.org).
Rental car:In Mombasa, Nairobi and other larger cities, you can rent a car with or without a driver from some travel agencies. This can be expensive, you should especially compare the mileage allowance of the individual companies and only consider four-wheel drive vehicles.
Documents: The national driver’s license is sufficient for visits of up to 30 days. For foreign vehicles (except vehicles registered in Uganda or Tanzania) a permit (International Circulation Permit.) Must be obtained from the Registrar of Motor Vehicles in Nairobi) can be obtained. This will be issued free of charge upon presentation of the customs and insurance papers. An international driver’s license is strongly recommended but is not required by law. More information from the admissions office in Nairobi.
Traveling in the city
Bus: Nairobi has a well-functioning bus network. You can only buy single tickets from the conductor. There are also minibuses (matatu) that are often very overloaded.
The taxis of Kenatco are reliable. The older taxis with the yellow stripe do not have a meter and the fare should be agreed in advance. There is also a fleet of London taxis. 10% tip is common. Taxis cannot be hailed on the street. They are usually found at hotels and sights and other central locations.
Rickshaws are becoming increasingly popular in Nairobi.
On the go by train
The Kenya Railways Corporationoperates passenger trains between Nairobi (Kenya) and Mombasa (Kenya) and between Nairobi (Kenya) and Kisumu (Kenya). Usually the trains run overnight, the journey takes 13-14 hours. There are also branch lines that connect Taveta and Kisumu to the passenger network. A night train runs daily in both directions between Nairobi and Kisumu (14 hours travel time). The trains are generally modern and have dining cars. There are three classes: 1st class cars are extremely comfortable with 2-bed compartments, a built-in wardrobe, etc; 2nd class ones are simpler but comfortable; 3rd grade are easy. The dining car service on the Nairobi-Mombasa route meets even the highest demands. Sleeper spaces should be booked in advance. Tickets can be purchased at Nairobi train stations or in advance from travel agents.
On the way by ship
There are ferry services between Mombasa, Malindi and Lamu. Further details from local authorities and tour operators. One can also rent a traditional Kenyan sailing ship (dhow) in Mombasa, Malindi and Lamu. With this type of trip, you should bring sufficient water and food supplies with you. There are anchorages at Mtwapa, Kilifi, Mnarani and Lamu, among others. River cruises on the Nile are more luxurious.