Africa Kenya Safari and Beach Holidays - Jambo


Jambo! Welcome to Magical Kenya

Kenya lies on both sides of the equator on the east coast of Africa. The country borders Somalia, Ethiopia and Sudan to the north, Uganda to the west, Tanzania to the south and the Indian Ocean to the east. The country’s port of Mombasa serves most of the Eastern and Central African landlocked countries, including Burundi, Ethiopia, parts of
Northern Tanzania, Rwanda, Sudan and Uganda.

The population is 37 million (2010), with approximately 8 million people living in the urban areas. The population growth rate is 2.6per cent per year (2009). English is the official language and Kiswahili the national language. The Constitution of Kenya guarantees freedom of religion and worship. Christians are the majority (about 78%), Muslims constitute about 10% of the population, and about 12% subscribe to indigenous beliefs or other religions. The main ethnic groups include the Kikuyu, who form the largest group with not quite a quarter of the population, the Luhya, the Luo, the Kalenjin and the Kamba. The well-known Maasai number less than 1%, as do the various non-African groups (Europeans, Asians, etc.) Kenya occupies an area of 582,646 square kilometers (225,000 square miles). Agriculture is the dominant sector of the economy. Horticulture, agro-processing, fishing and livestock hold substantial potential for further development, while natural attractions such as mountains, lakes, rivers and game parks, combined with a climate that ranges from the tropical to the temperate (in the highlands), offer tremendous opportunities for tourism.
Getting around

By bus
There is an excellent shuttle service to the airport and main residential suburbs,  The main bus stage is outside the post office on Kenyatta Avenue.  A new Bus service in Nairobi is Citi Hoppa (yellow and green bus). This bus operates on most of the routes in Nairobi. The shuttle buses run regularly, every 10 - 20 minutes from the main bus stops (ask locally if unsure)The Sunday service at the time of writing operates only to Karen, but check the situation locally. There are plans to extend the service to Upperhill, Ngong and Kileleshwa. There are also normal buses, which tend to be packed, and , matatus, which are cheaper (KSh 10 - 30, depending on how far you are going).

By taxi
Taxis are readily available for hire, found at the airport, outside the large hotels and at the shopping centres around town. Agree a fare first, Among taxi firms operating in Nairobi are Jambo taxis (tel: 020 822011), Hallo taxis (tel: 020 825469) and Edmar taxis (tel: 020 827296).
Getting organised
In Nairobi city centre, for changing money, there are numerous bureaux de change which generally have the best rates - try Taipan and Chase in Muindi Mbingu Street and Crown Forex on Mama Ngina Street (open 09.00—17.00). There are several branches of Barclays, Standard and Kenya Commercial banks around the city centre, open 09.00 - 15.00; most have ATMs. The main branch of Barclays is on the corner of Kenyatta and Moi Avenues. The large hotels will exchange money, but at a premium rate.

The main post office is on Kenyatta Avenue, open Monday to Friday 08.00-17.00, Saturday 09.00—12.00. For Internet access there’s a good choice of places, with similar rates — try the Bazaar Business Centre on Muindi Mbingu Street and Safari Surf Caf in the IPS building on Kaunda Street.
More about postal/courier services

Medical needs
There’s a pharmacy in the Hilton Hotel on Mama Ngina Street and a Metropolitan Chemist in Mercantile House on Loita Street and the Nyakinya Kangei building on Kenyatta Avenue, and plenty of others in town. In a medical emergency go to the Aga Khan Hospital on 3rd Parklands Avenue (tel: 020 740000) or Nairobi Hospital on Argwings Khodek Road (tel: 020 722160).

The police station is on University Way, Nairobi 
tel: 999

Immigration department
If you need to extend a visa the immigration department is in Nyayo House on Posta Road (tel: 020 332110).
Department of immigrations in KenyaIf you need to register for a national identity card visit

Petrol Stations
There are plenty of petrol stations in and around Nairobi, For vehicle repairs, the Chequered Flag in Westlands (tel: 020 441888) gives a reliable service.

General Business Information
More info about Currency, office hours, legal holidays, visa, custom, resident permit, Foreign currency, Personal belongings and passenger carKenya; Land of Contrasts
No other country on earth can offer the visitor as much to see and do. Within the borders of a single country, you will find savannahs rich with big game, timeless cultures unchanged by the modern world, pristine beaches and coral reef, equatorial forests and mighty snow-capped mountains, searing deserts and cool highland retreats and endless opportunities for adventure, discovery, relaxation; more than you would ever expect.

Tips for Travellers

These outline the rules and regulations that travellers ought to abide by to make their stay in Kenya easy and memorable. Short listed here are also safety tips.

Visa and health Certification
Note: Information provided in this section is correct as of January 2007.

A valid passport, not expiring for at least six months, is required for entry into Kenya. A valid entry visa is also required (cost US$50) and may be obtained in advance from the Kenyan Embassy or High Commission in your country of origin. In the absence of either, the British Embassy will generally represent Kenya in the issuance of visas. Note: visas are not required by citizens of the Republic of Ireland and the Common wealth countries (except Antigua, Bermuda, Guyana, India, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom).

Obtaining a visa upon arrival
Visas can also be obtained upon arrival. The fee is US$50.

Kenyan visas requiring advance clearance
Nationals from the following countries require special advance visa clearance by the Kenyan authorities (as of January 2007): Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cameroon, Georgia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Jordan, Mali, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Palestine, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan and Yemen.


The shilling is the currency of Kenya. It is divisible into 100 cents. As the Kenyan shilling is the most stable and strongest currency in east Africa, it is used outside the country mostly in unstable places like Somalia and southern Sudan and is favoured over the local currency.

Getting organised
There are numerous bureaux de change which generally have the best rates.  There are several branches of Barclays, Standard and Kenya Commercial banks around the city centre, open 09.00 - 15.00; most have ATMs. The main branch of Barclays is on the corner of Kenyatta and Moi Avenues. The large hotels will exchange money, but at a premium rate.

kenya safari holidays
Africa Kenya safari holidays and vacations 2010

Kenya - Home of the Great Wildebeest Migration

The annual Wildebeest Migration at the Maasai Mara is a natural cycle that replenishes and renews the grasslands of East Africa. Each June, around 1.3 million Wildebeest gather in the Serengeti to calve.

They slowly mass into a huge single herd, until the dry season withers their supply of fresh grass.

The scent of rain to the North begins to draw the herd throughout July, and soon the planet’s greatest animal migration is underway.

This is one of the remarkable wildlife attractions that make's Kenya one of the best wildlife destinations in the world. Kenya’s most popular attraction, the Mara was awarded its title for its sheer volume and variety of game.

One traveller summed up the appeal of the Maasai Mara Reserve; “This is the total sensory experience holiday. Your senses are constantly stimulated by the sights, smells and sounds of the Mara and its many inhabitants. The thrill of leaving camp at dawn, in search of big cats is an experience that is difficult to repeat.”

There is no better time to visit the Mara than during the Great Migration. The sound of the approaching herd is a deep, primal rumbling of thundering hooves and low grunts.

The sight of the wildebeest is staggering- a continuous charging mass that stretches from one horizon to the other this endless grey river of life is mottled with black and white as zebras join the throng.

Over the course of the migration, visitors to Kenya will have the opportunity to follow the progress of the herds and experience the full grassland cycle firsthand.

In the Maasai Mara, Africa’s largest concentrations of predators are drawn to this perfect opportunity for easy hunting. Lions are frequently seen attacking the herds - especially at night- dragging down straggling individuals.

At the same time, packs of Hyena freely weave throughout the herds, singling out and separating the young and the weak.

Predators are not the only obstacles that the wildebeest face. Kenya’s heavy rainfall in the highland Mau escarpment has turns the Mara River into a raging torrent. As happens each year, the herds will gather at the banks in preparation for the most perilous stretch of their journey.

As sheer pressure builds, the herds are finally forced to surge into the river, often hurling themselves off high banks.

In the struggle across the Mara River, many are drowned or swept away by strong currents. The crossing attracts massive crocodiles who each year awaits this season of bounty. By September the herds will begin reaching their goal, and spreading out to graze across the expanse of the Mara.

For this beautiful game reserve, it is a time of renewal, as the dung from the visiting herds fertilizes the plains. October will see the herds turn southward and repeat the same journey back to the Serengeti, where the renewed grasslands await.

The Migration is the planet’s last great epic of life and death. Of all the calves born in the Serengeti, two out of three will never return from their first and most demanding migration.

It is this inextricable binding of renewal and sustenance, feast and famine, life and death that makes this event one of nature’s greatest wonders. Kenya’s Maasai Mara reserve has a wide range of accommodation and travel options. There are luxury lodges, exclusive tented camps, campsites and more available.

The migration can be experienced on early morning game drives in customized vehicles, walking safaris with Maasai Warrior guides, horseback safaris in areas surrounding the Mara, or even from hot air Balloon safaris over the herds.

Theatres, cinemas casinos
Local ClubsCarnivore Langata Rd near Wilson Airport; tel: 020 501706.
The Carnivore has gained international notoriety for its barbecued game meats and is a popular venue with locals
and often (bizarrely) a finale to a wildlife safari — see the wildlife and then eat it. Efficiently run, with excellent service, the restaurant is in a series of terraces, with tropical plants where smiling waiters come round with hunks of roast meat, cutting off slithers of ostrich, zebra, gazelle and crocodile. There is also a popular hot-spot disco at else Simba Saloon with rock night on Wednesday and Sunday soul evenings. Open daily Jo, lunch and dinner

Ngong Hills Hotel,  Ngong Rd. next to Ngong hypermarket.

This has a friendly atmosphere and good grilled meat. It normally features live bands on Wed and Fri—Sun.

The Motherland on Ngong Rd between Adam’s Arcade and Ngong hypermarket.

This is an Ethiopian restaurant with authentic cuisine, at reasonable prices, and they have genuine Ethiopian live entertainment.

Klub House Westlands — on Parklands Rd near the sport club.
This comprises a good music and disco venue with a large aquarium in the main disco ha]], together with pool tables and a 24-hour TV screen sports channel. Outdoors is Joe’s Burger Bar which has cheap snacks and a bar, where you can congregate around a bonfire in the evenings.

Plums Hotel Westlands, next to the Kitab House.
This has good nyama choma, and often has live bands playing, including some of the top names in African music.

Florida 2000 and New Florida nightclubs Central Nairobi.
Long established, the Florida nightclubs have good discos and live bands, and Chinese food is served all night. It’s a renowned pick-up joint with plenty of twilight ladies and gents — make sure you do slot leave drinks unattended.

Black Cotton Club Langata Rd Karen.

This is a nightclub with a large disco which attracts the settler community who live out of town. It’s open on Fridays only, and not every Friday, so check locally for details. Entry free before 22.00, thereafter KSh2SO.

The Simmers Pub City centre opposite the 680 Hotel on Muindi Mbingu St
This is an excellent venue for live bands and one of the few in the city centre. It’s very loud, but there’s a lively bar and good food. Be sure to take a taxi after dark.

Theatres, cinemas and casinos
In addition to the French Cultural Centre and Mzizi Arts Centre , other venues for the performing arts are;
The Goethe Institute in Maendeleo House on Loita Street (tel: 020 224640; open Mon—Fri 10.00—17.00),
The British Council in the ICEA building on Kenyatta Avenue (tel: 020 334855; open Tue—Fri 10.041—18.00 and Sat 10.00—13.00),

The Italian Cultural Institute in Chiromo Court on Chiromo Rd (tel: 020 746739; open Mon—Tues 000—l3.00 and 14.00—18.00 and Wed—Fri 08.00—14.00) and
-The Japan African Culture Interchange Institute on Kamburi Drive (tel: 020 566262).

There are several small branches of supermarkets in the city centre, including Uchumi on Market Street and Nakumatt at the junction of Kenyatta Avenue, Kimathi Street. For fruit, vegetables, meat and fish, City Market is on Muindi Mbingu Street. For maps, books and stationery, the Prestige Bookshop on Mama Ngina Street and the Textbook Centre in the Sarit Centre (in Westlands) have a good selection. For national park maps, some are available from the Kenya Wildlife Service shop at the park headquarters on Langata Road. For more detailed maps the Survey of Kenya (signposted to the left off Thika Road if driving out of town) has large-scale maps.

Air Ambulance Kenya

Overseas embassies, high commissions and consulates within Kenya
American EmbassyBarclays Plaza, Loita St, PO Box 30143, Nairobi; 
tel: 020 537800; fax:
020 537810; 

Australian High Commission 
Riverside Dr (400m off Chiromo Rd), 
PO Box 39341,
tel: 020 445034 / 445039; 
fax: 020 444617

High Commission of Bangladesh 
Ole Odume Rd,
PO Box 41645, Nairobi; 
tel: 020562815/6; 
fax: 020 562 817

Belgian Consulate 
CMB, c/o Cotts House, 
Moi Av, Mombasa; 
tel: 041 314531; 
fax: 041312617

Brazilian Embassy Eagle Court 
2nd Floor, Vuli Lane (Off Muranga Rd), 
PO Box 30754,Nairobi; 
Tel: 020 337722; 
fax 020 766442; 

British High Commission 
Upper Hill Rd, 
PO Box 30465, 00100 
tel: 020714699; 
fax 020 719082; 

High Commission of the Republic of Cyprus 
Eagle House, 
5th Floor, Kimathi St, 
PO Box 30739, 
Tel: 020 220881; 
fax: 020 331232

Eritrean Embassy 
PO Box 38651, 
New Waumuni House, 
2nd Floor, Westlands, 
Tel: 020 443164; 
Fax: 020 443165

Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia 
State House Av, 
45198 Nairobi; 
tel: 020 723035; 
fax: 020 723402

Finnish Embassy 
International House, 2nd Floor, Mama Ngina St, 
PO Box 30379, Nairobi; 
Tel: 020 334777; 
Fax: 020 33598; 

French Embassy

Barclays Plaza. 9th Floor, 
PO Box 41784, Loita St, Nairobi; 
Tel: 020 339783

Indian Embassy

Jeevan Bharati Bldg. Harambee AV, 
P0 Box 30074, Nairobi; 
Tel: 020 222566; 
fax: 020 334167; 

Indonesian Embassy

Menengai Rd. Upper Hill, 
P0 Box 48868, Nairobi; 
tel: 020 714196; 
fax: 020 713475

Irish Consulate

Masai Rd, off Mombasa Rd. Dante Burba Diesel, Workshop Bldg. 
P0 Box 30659, Nairobi;
Tel: 020 56647; 

Israeli Embassy

Bishop Rd. 
P0 Box 30354, Nairobi; 
Tel: 020 722182; 
fax: 020 715966

Italian Embassy

International Life House, Mama Ngina St, Nairobi; 
tel: 020 3373560 / 337777; 
fax: 020 337056; 
telex: 0022251 ITALDIPL; 

Mexican Embassy

Kibagare Way, Loresho, Nairobi; 
tel: 020 583009; 
fax; 020 581500; 

New Zealand Consulate

Minet ICDC Insurance, 3rd Floor, Minet House. Nyerere Rd, 
PO Box 47383, Nairobi; 
Tel: 020 722467; fax: 020 722556

Portuguese EmbassyTaifa Rd. 
PO Box 34020, Nairobi; 
tel: 020 338990; 
fax: 020 214711;
telex: 0987 22634

Romanian Embassy

Nyari Estate, Red Hill Dr, 
PO Box 48412, Nairobi; 
tel: 020 743766; 
fax: 020 741696; 

Royal Netherlands Embassy

Riverside Lane, off Riverside Dr, 
PO Box 41537, Nairobi; 
tel: 020 447412; fax 020 447416; 

Royal Thai Embassy

Rose Av, off Denis Pritt Rd, 
PO Box 58349, Nairobi; 
tel: 020 715800; 
fax: 020 715801

Russian Federation Embassy 
PO Box 30049, Lenana Rd, Nairobi; 
tel: 020 722462;

South African High Commission

17/18th Floor, Lonrho House, Standard St, 
PO Box 42441, Nairobi;
Tel: 020 215616/7; 
fax: 020 223687; 

Spanish Embassy

Bruce House, Standard St, 5th Floor, 
PO Box 45503, Nairobi; 
tel: 020 226568;
Fax: 020 332858

Swedish Embassy

International House, Mama Ngina St, 
PO Box 30600, Nairobi; tel: 020 229042;
Fax: 020 218908; 

Switzerland Embassy

Mama Ngina Street, 
P.O.Box 30752 00100 Nairobi (GPO) 
Phone: +254 (20) 228 735
Fax: +254 (20) 217 388

Tanzania Diplomatic

Mission Continental House, Harambee Av, 
PO Box 47790, Nairobi; 
tel: 020 331056; 
fax: 020 721874; 
telex: 25351; email:

Turkish Embassy

Gigiri Rd (off Limuru Rd). Nairobi; 
tel: 020 520404; fax: 020 522778; 
telex: 0987 22346 TURKEL; 

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