KENYA is a beautiful country located in Africa with East Africa covering approximately 58,000 sq kilometers with a population of about 52, 570,000 million (2019). It encompasses savannah, Lakelands, the dramatic Great Rift Valley and mountain highlands. Its home to wildlife like Lions, rhinos, elephants. On the Equator majestic Mount Kenya 5,199m with its snow-capped peaks rises above endless grassland plains. To the north is the rugged and remote Northern Frontier District including Lake Turkana. To the west is Lake Victoria, the largest of Africa’s lakes and the source of the Nile. The famous Masai Mara to the south west is the Northern extension of the Serengeti. To the south the Indian Ocean coast offering sandy white beaches, and turquoise seas protected by a fascinating coral reef. Kenya has considerable land area devoted to wildlife habitats, including the Masai Mara, where blue wildebeest and other bovid participate in a large scale annual migration. More than one million wildebeest and 200,000 zebras participate in the migration across the Mara River. The Big 5 game animals of Africa Lion, leopard, buffalo, rhinoceros and elephants can be found in Kenya and in the Masai Mara in Particular.
Kenya’s climate varies from tropical along the coast to temperate inland to arid in the north and northeast parts of the country. The area receives a great deal of sunshine every month. It is usually cool at night and early in the morning inland at the highest elevations. The long rains season occurs from March, April, May & June, the short rainfall is sometimes heavy and often falls in the afternoons and evenings. The temperature remains high throughout these months of tropical rain, the hottest period is February and March leading into the season of the long rains, and the coldest is in July until mid-August.
If you’re planning a safari adventure to Kenya, there’s a few things you’ll want to know before you get there, like what type of plug you’ll need, whether you need to get any vaccinations and when you need to tip. We’re here to help with our Top Travel Tips that provide all the information you’ll need for your holiday.
What’s the food like in Kenya?
Kenya might not be a big name on the global culinary map but it certainly has its fair share of dishes worth trying. The main staple in the Kenyan diet is ugali, a grainy paste made from cornmeal that is eaten with stews and other sauce-based meals. Beans and corn also make regular appearances in Kenyan cooking. The most popular dish in the country is probably irio – green peas and potatoes that have been mashed together with corn added in for texture.
Meat often features in Kenyan meals and is usually cooked in a sauce made with tomatoes, onions, garlic, chillies and vegetables. Goat and beef are the most popular choices but fish and chicken are also widely eaten, this particularly applies with nyama choma, which is chunks of roasted meat served with irio or rice.
Safe eating while travelling in Kenya
Be wary when eating outside of high-end lodges as sometimes the quality of the meat and the way in which it has been prepared might not be suitable for a sensitive western stomach. Also be aware that food hygiene in Kenya is much more basic than you will be used to so if something looks unclean, old or badly cooked, it is best to avoid it altogether. It is also a good idea to avoid ice in your drink and eating salad as these might have come into contact with unhygienic water.
Is it standard to tip in Kenya?
There are no hard and fast rules for tipping in Kenya but be aware that most people in the service industry earn very little and depend on gratuities to make up their income. Safari guides should be tipped the equivalent of about USD $10-15 per person per day and a few dollars should go to the driver, cook and porters. If you eat in a restaurant then 10% on top of the bill is a suitable amount to leave. When it comes to taxis, rounding up the fare is a nice way to show your appreciation, especially if they have successfully navigated the chaotic streets of Nairobi or Mombasa for you.
The Top Highlights
Top places you must visit in Kenya include the following;