Kenya Travel Guide: Travel tips for foreigners & backpackers, Nairobi tourist information, Kenya food average prices, eating on a budget, accommodation in Nairobi. Find discount hotels, cheap accommodation, vacation deals, holiday packages.
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Kenya Travel Guide

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Full country name: Republic of Kenya
Area: 580,367 sq km
Population: 39,002,772
Capital City: Nairobi
Language: Swahili, English
Religion: 45% Protestant, 33% Roman Catholic, 12% Indigenous beliefs, 10% Muslim
Government: Semi-presidential republic
Time Zone: EAT (UTC+3), summer (DST) not observed (UTC+3)
Dialing Code: +254
Electricity: 240V, 50Hz
Weights & measures: Metric
Currency: Kenyan shilling (KES)

Money & Costs:
Average Yearly Salary:

Budget: $5
Mid-range: $15
High: $25
Budget: $10-40
Mid-range: $60-250
High: $300-400

Geography: Kenya is a country on the eastern part of the African continent, located by the Indian Ocean. The country borders Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Somalia and Tanzania. The greatest feature of Kenya is the Great Rift Valley, which basically divides The Kenyan highlands into east and west. The Kenyan coast is extremely fertile. It has coral reefs and is covered by thorny bushes and savanna. There are also a lot of swamps in the Loraine Plain, and a large number of rivers and lakes throughout the country. Numerous forest and rainforest are the main features of Kenya.

Climate: Kenya has a tropical climate, which is characterized as being hot and humid at the coast and temperate and very dry in the northern part of th country. The long rain period begins in March and lasts till May, whereas the short rain period is between October and November. Regardless of the rains, the temperature remains high throughout the year, as the country receives a lot of sunshine. Summer clothes are, therefore, worn throughout the year.

Recommended clothing: The climate in Kenya is tropical, with a lot of sunshine and summer weather all year long. However, there are long and short rain seasons, that will compel you to wear a rain coat or carry an umbrella. The locals dress rather conservatively, but they don't pay a lot of attention to tourist dressed differently. Men usually wear shirts or blazers with long sleeves, and women wear trousers or skirts below their knees.

Health: The medical facilities in Mombasa and Nairobi are quite good, however, travel insurance is still recommended. A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travelers over one year of age arriving from infected areas (those countries formerly classified as endemic zones are considered to be still infected by the Kenyan authorities). Travelers arriving from non-endemic zones should note that vaccination is strongly recommended for traveling outside the urban areas.

Food: The combination of natural products and rich variety of cultures and traditions, resulted in Kenyan cuisine being so diverse, appetizing and healthy. The Rift Valley's volcanic soils produce a lot of fresh vegetables and the Indian Ocean's coast is a great source for tropical fruits and fresh seafood. Kenyans are stubborn meat eaters. One of the most popular Kenyan dishes is Nyama Choma (roasted meat). Another dish, Ugali (cornmeal), is also a very common dish in Kenyan cooking. Vegetarians should not get disappointed, as there are excellent vegetarian meals served in many restaurants.

Drink: Soda and beer are the most popular drinks in Kenya. Soft drinks of international brands, such as Coca-cola are widely available, however, they are usually served warm, so be sure to ask for a cold drink in advance. There is a large selection of fresh fruit juice, that are sold throughout the country. Tusker and White Cap are the most popular lagers, however, rural bars also serve locally produced Muratina. Drink this at your own risk. Coffee and tea (chai) are, of course, of excellent quality, as the coffee beans have ideal climatic conditions for growing.

Public Holidays:
1 Jan New Year's Day
2 Apr Good Friday
5 Apr Easter Monday
1 May Labour Day
1 Jun Madaraka Day
10 Sep Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan)
10 Oct Moi Day
20 Oct Kenyatta Day
16 Nov Feast of the Sacrifice
12 Dec Independence Day
25 Dec Christmas Day
26 Dec Boxing Day

(a) Holidays falling on a Sunday are observed the following Monday.
(b) Muslim festivals are timed according to local sightings of various phases of the moon and the dates given above are approximations. During the lunar month of Ramadan that precedes Eid al-Fitr, Muslims feast during the day and feast at night and normal business patterns may be interrupted. Many restaurants are closed during the day and there may be restrictions on smoking and drinking. Some disruption may continue into Eid al-Fitr itself. Eid al-Fitr may last anything from two to 10 days, depending on the region.

Disclaimer: The above information is for reference purposes only. The content of this page is not intended to substitute for advice given by the user's own government travel departments or a licensed travel health advisor. The viewer/user of this web page should always contact the user's own government representatives in that area for the most up-to-date information at that time, before making a final decision to travel to that country or destination.

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