Kenya Travel Facts

By | May 4, 2022

Based on map by DigoPaul, Kenya is located in East Africa and borders Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. Beautiful beaches and a rich wildlife are among the highlights of the country. However, as a traveler you should be well informed about the security in the country.

Capital City Nairobi
Size 580.367 km²
Resident 47.615.739
Official Language Swahili and English
Currency Kenya shilling
Time Zone UTC+3
Telephone Area Code +254

Fast facts to know

  • Tourism is the most important industry in East African Kenya.
  • Kenya has 27 national parks, 32 reserves and 4 wildlife sanctuaries.
  • A yellow fever vaccination is required for entry, malaria prophylaxis is recommended as well as standard vaccinations.
  • A visa is required for German nationals.
  • There is a risk of terrorist attacks in Kenya ( Notes on safety )
  • Tipping is generally customary in Kenya (but not in taxis).
  • Driving on intercity buses should be avoided.
  • Mains electricity is 240V (50-60Hz) AC with UK standard plugs.
  • In general, tap water should not be used for drinking or brushing your teeth.
  • Kenya is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
  • Almost half of all cut flowers in Europe come from Kenya.
  • Kenya is home to the world’s two last remaining white rhinos (the third, Sudan, died in 2018).
  • The phrase “Hakuna Matata” comes from Swahili and means “no worries”.
  • Kenya’s population is very open to tourists, hospitable and helpful.
  • Kenya and Tanzania are home to the Maasai.

Exciting cities in Kenya

  • Nairobi
  • Mombasa
  • Lamu
  • Eldoret
  • Kisumu

History of Kenya

  • Kenya has long been considered uninteresting in Western historiography.
  • Pre-humans lived in what is now Kenya 4 million years ago.
  • The indigenous people of Kenya were hunters and gatherers.
  • 2000 BC BC Immigrants from North Africa bring livestock farming to Kenya.
  • 1st Century Coastal towns involved in Arab and Roman trading networks.
  • Consequence: spread of Islam.
  • 1500-1700 strong Portuguese influence.
  • 18th century Oman controls coastal areas of Kenya.
  • At the end of the 19th century, the ivory trade became increasingly important.
  • During the colonial period, Kenya came under the influence of the British crown.
  • Maasai conquer large parts of East Africa.
  • During World War I Kenya is an active theater of war.
  • World War II led to an economic boom as Kenya secured Britain’s food supply.
  • 1950s marked by freedom struggles and guerrilla wars.
  • 1963 Kenya gains independence.
  • 1963-1978 Honor Jomo Kenyatta.
  • 1978-2002 Don’t Daniel arap Moi.
  • Beginning of democratization in 1990.

Climate & Travel Weather in Kenya

  • Warm all year round with low temperature fluctuations.
  • Highlands: 2 rainy seasons (March-May, November-December).
  • Coast: Significantly higher temperatures (over 20°C at night).
  • Recommended travel time:
    • Mid-December and February (high season, warm, hardly any rain).
    • Dry period from June to September.
    • Wildebeest migration: June-October.
    • Rainy seasons should be avoided (few animals, roads impassable).

Ideas for trips in Kenya

  • Kolonialbauten in Nairobi.
  • Bomas of Kenya.
  • Big 5 Safaris.
  • Climb Mount Kenya.
  • Hot air balloon ride over the savannah.
  • Experience the annual wildebeest migration.
  • Hiking in Hell’s Gate National Park.
  • Fort Jesus.
  • Beach walks on the coast.

Eating & drinking in Kenya

  • In big cities there is a good range of international dishes, but also fast food.
  • Only the right hand is used for eating.
  • Knives and forks are available in restaurants on request.
  • Almost everywhere there is very fresh, delicious fruit (baby bananas, mangoes, pineapples, etc.).
  • Water should only be drunk in sealed bottles.
  • Fruit juices are usually very tasty (without ice cubes).
  • Imported beers tend to be expensive, well-known local brand: Tusker.
  • Curry buffets are very popular (often very spicy).
  • In coastal regions: marine animals recommended.
  • Kenya’s beef is of prime quality (steaks).
  • Typical dishes:
    • Sea fish Swahili style.
    • Ugali (porridge made from cornmeal).
    • Irio (corn, red bean and potato stew).
    • Coconut shrimp (strips of coconut meat with shrimp fried in hot oil until golden brown).
    • Matoke (banana mash made from plantains).
    • Nyama Choma (grilled meat with chicken, goat or mutton.
    • Samosas (dumplings filled with spicy ground beef or vegetables).

Particularly scenic

  • Lake Victoria
  • Rift Valley
  • Bamburi Beach
  • Salt Lick Lodge
  • Masai Mara in der Serengeti
  • Nakuru-See
  • The most beautiful national parks:
    • Nairobi National Park
    • Amboseli National Park
    • Tsavo National Park
    • Kakamega Forest National Reserve
    • Lake Nakura National Park
    • National Reserve Samburu
    • National Reserve Buffalo Springs

Kenya Travel Facts