Communication and Wi-Fi
The key mobile operators in Kenya are Safaricom, Telkom, Yu and Airtel. The quality of communication in large cities does not cause any complaints, in remote provinces there may be interruptions. A SIM card can be purchased immediately upon arrival at the airport or at providers’ offices on the central city streets, the balance is replenished using scratch cards.
Safaricom has a favorable prepaid tariff with calls within the country for 4 KES (at night – 2 KES), to Russia – for 40 KES per minute and SMS for 1 KES. Telkom offers a similar package for 250 KES with calls to local numbers at 2-3 KES per minute and the same price of negotiations with Russia as the competitor.
There are payphones only on the main streets of large settlements: red ones accept coins, blue ones – cards sold in post offices and call centers. It is impossible to make a direct call abroad; to connect, you need to dial a special short number and follow the instructions in English.
Free Wi-Fi is available only in the capital and popular resorts: in restaurants, hotel lobbies and other public places. Internet cafes are open everywhere, an hour of connection costs 100-120 KES. It is most convenient to use mobile Internet: 120 Mb of traffic from Safaricom costs from 100 KES. Check clothingexpress for beaches and diving in Kenya.
There are hotels familiar to us in large settlements: in Nairobi – urban, in Mombasa – beach. During the safari, tourists spend the night in lodges and camps on the territory of the national parks or near them. They resemble the traditional dwellings of local residents, organically fit into the landscape and meet all the rules of comfort and safety.
A double room in a hostel in Nairobi costs from 1500 KES, in a “three” room – from 2600 KES, in a “five” in Malindi – from 5500 KES per day. A tent in a campsite in Kadima will cost from 1000 KES, a lodge in Naivasha – from 2000 KES, an apartment in Mombasa – from 1400 KES, a villa on Diani Beach in its suburbs – from 5000 KES per night.
Most lodges are detached bungalows: stone or wooden houses with a thatched roof, where there is a reception, rooms, restaurants, etc. Tent camps are stationary tents with classic rooms: beds, bathroom with shower and toilet. And ordinary camps are just tents that they carry with them during a camping safari and set up for the night in specially designated places. This is the most affordable, but the least comfortable type of safari for unpretentious tourists who do not shy away from the amenities in the yard.
The most exotic option is “tree hotels”, similar to those that were equipped by European hunters to track down animals. These are small buildings on stilts, disguised by trunks, most often near places where wild animals drink. There are several small rooms inside, facilities on the floor plus a restaurant, a bar and an observation deck for observing animals.
Most lodges and campsites get electricity from generators or solar panels, so you have to make do with candlelight at night. Mains voltage – 220/240 V, English standard sockets: three-pin flat or two-pin round, requiring an adapter.
And finally: Kenyan accommodation facilities do not have an official “star rating”, each hotelier determines the level of his institution on his own, so the list of services can vary markedly from hotel to hotel. The “stars” indicated on the websites of tour operators are the result of the personal impressions of the employees after the inspection.
- Are there hotels with safari in the national parks of Kenya
The monetary unit of the country is the Kenyan shilling (KES), in 1 shilling 100 cents. Current exchange rate: 1 KES = 0.49 RUB (1 USD = 117.1 KES, 1 EUR = 123.19 KES).
It is best to change currency at the airport and banks, while it is worth taking a certificate – without it, the return exchange will be impossible. Banks are open from 9:00 to 15:00 Monday to Friday and from 9:00 to 11:00 every first and last Saturday of the month. Banks at the airport are open around the clock. At official currency exchange points, you need to show your passport. In small shops and souvenir shops, you can pay in US dollars, so it is not necessary to exchange the entire amount available.
Some large stores, hotels and restaurants in Nairobi and Mombasa accept Visa and MasterCard for payment, but may require a passport when paying. ATMs, more often serving Visa cards, are installed at airports, gas stations, shops and bank offices. You can withdraw 10,000-40,000 KES in cash at a time, as a rule, they charge a commission for transactions.
It is better to notify your bank in advance about a trip to Kenya: the very first card transaction in this country will surely arouse suspicion, and the credit card will simply be blocked.
Traveler’s checks can be cashed at bank branches and exchange offices, the standard commission is 1-3%. In the interior of the country, paying with something other than cash is unrealistic.
It is customary to tip in local currency: a porter – 100 KES, a maid in a hotel – 100-150 KES per day, gamekeepers, drivers and other attendants on a safari – 300-500 KES. In a restaurant or bar, the traditional tip is 10% of the bill.