International Flights to and From Nairobi
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) is the biggest Airport in East and Central Africa, and is the focal point for major aviation activity in the region. Its importance as an aviation centre makes it the pacesetter for other airports in the region. JKIA, located 18 kilometers to the East of Nairobi, has direct flight connections to Europe, the Middle East, Far East and the African Continent.
The national carrier Kenya Airways is the pride of Africa offering travelers 5 star services. The airline flies to North Africa, West Africa, South Africa, East Asia (China, Hong Kong), South Asia (India), South East Asia (Thailand), South West Asia (Oman, United Arab Emirates) France, Netherlands, and United Kingdom. Kenya Airways code shares with KLM and Air France, gives passengers access to European destinations including Glasgow, Athens, Zurich, Birmingham, Manchester, Madrid, Berlin, Frankfurt, Barcelona, Rome, Copenhagen and Stockholm. Services to Seoul are provided via code share agreements with Korean Air.
Taxis are available in most parts of the city. They park outside most hotels, at taxi ranks in the city centre, airport and at shopping malls. Also present are state controlled Kenatco Taxis which work on a fixed rate and have to charge per kilometer as determined by law. Most tourist hotels have their own minibus transport, which can be arranged through reception.
Safety & Security
As in other countries, it is advisable to hand in your passport, traveller’s cheques, excess money and any other valuables at hotel reception desks for placing in their safe security. Alternatively, where available, arrange to hire a safety deposit box. It is a sensible precaution not to walk alone in isolated towns or beach areas. Ask advice from your hotel manager, tour representative or host.
In general people are extremely friendly in Kenya and you will be humbled by their hospitality. Try and take the time to meet ordinary people going about their day-to-day business too. The experience will be worth it. Don't be afraid to step out of that tour bus or hotel.
Basic Safety Rules for Travelers to Kenya
Make a copy of your passport and keep it in your luggage.
Don't walk on your own at night in the major cities or on empty beaches.
Don't carry too much cash with you.
Wear a money belt that fits under your clothes.
Don't carry a lot of camera equipment especially in the major cities.
Shopping in Nairobi
a) Masai Markets
The Masai Markets in Nairobi were started by Masai women with wonderful selection that range from wooden sculptures, beaded necklaces, batik wall hangings, shoes, soap stone carvings, sisal bags, kikois, textiles and a whole host of other exciting goods all made in Kenya. The nice thing about buying items from these markets is that sometimes (but not always) you are dealing with the actual people who make the craft items. You can see ladies threading beads and making jewellery right in front of you, and if you talk to the traders it's easy to find people who are selling their own sculptures or craft items. Haggling is expected and if you like this you're in for a treat!
b) Contemporary Shopping Malls
At the shopping malls you will find a varying selection of shops, restaurants, cafes, bars, sports bars and cinemas as well as modern conveniences like banks, foreign exchange bureaus, ATM services and post offices. Some of the major malls are:
The Village Market
Junction Shopping Centre
Galleria Shopping Mall
Thursday and Friday: late-night shopping in most malls/shopping centres
Sunday: many shops are open 12pm-6pm
Duty-free shopping is available at all the international airports
Bank & Currency
Kenya’s unit of currency is the shilling (Kshs) made up of 50 cents, 1, 10, 20, 40 shillings coins and 50, 100, 200, 500, 100 shillings notes. There are no currency restrictions into or out of Kenya for currency transactions. Forex bureau are available both at the airport and at the city centre with various currencies being traded. Bank opening times are: Monday - Friday: 9am - 4pm and Saturday: 9am- 12pm
Most international credit cards are accepted in Kenya.
Standard chartered bank allows access to over 60 moneylink ATM’s situated at all its branches, major shopping malls, and other strategic locations country wide.
Barclaycash ATMs can accept any international VISA and MASTERCARD credit cards.
Moneylink also enables holders of VISA cards to link up to their home bank or credit card account through moneylink ATMs.
Travellors cheques are also readily recognizable and accepted at most places.
Several vaccinations are highly recommended, they include:
It is also recommended that you are up to date with your polio and tetanus vaccinations. Contact a travel clinic at least 3 months before you plan to travel.
Kenya is home to the chloroquine-resistant strain of malaria as well as several others. Make sure your doctor or travel clinic knows you are travelling to Kenya (don't just say Africa) so s/he can prescribe the right anti-malarial medication.
240 volts AC
Smoking is prohibited in public areas within the Republic of Kenya. Most facilities have the courtesy of choice facilities with designated smoking areas and bedrooms.
Only digital phones with GSM subscriptions and a roaming agreement will work in Kenya. Visitors should consult with their supplier before departure.
Swahili is the national language while English is the international language. JAMBO is one of the most common words you will hear spoken throughout Kenya. This is the simplest Swahili greeting, and is often the first word learned by visitors to Kenya. To learn more Swahili words check www.magicalkenya.com/visit-kenya/learn-swahili/
Visa to Kenya
Effective 1st September 2015 visa applicant(s) from eligible countries entering Kenya are required to apply and pay for visas online.
The procedure of application is simple, user friendly and takes three simple steps found on the E-Visa dedicated portal www.evisa.go.ke.
Once processed, the visas will be sent online to the applicants(s). The applicant(s) will then be required to print out the approved visa and present it to an Immigration officer at the point of entry.
Nairobi is generally warm with an occasional chilly evening. Participants are advised to pack appropriate tropical clothes to keep warm. November tends to have an occasional drizzle and a pocket umbrella is recommended.