When planning a trip to Kenya it is important that visitors remember to pack the essentials. There are many fundamental items that tourists should pack for Kenya, however, this can vary depending on the type of trip that the traveler is making, the time of year they are visiting and many other factors.
The following article will give prospective tourists a clearer idea of the best luggage to bring to Kenya depending on the area they are visiting and the season they are traveling in. It will also help them prepare appropriately to carry the right personal essentials to ensure adherence to the local norms of dress and culture to enjoy Kenya to its full.
Travel Documents and Money to Pack for Kenya
In order to travel to Kenya, visitors will need to present a valid Kenya eVisa on arrival. This can be obtained online and delivered via email within 5 days of applying. All tourists need to do is fill in a quick online eVisa application form. Once granted, it is valid for a period of 3 months before travel and permits tourists a stay of up to 90 days in Kenya. Visitors should print off proof of their eVisa’s approval before travel, so it is ready to be presented on arrival to a Kenyan port of entry.
Aside from having the right travel authorization, visitors should also bring sufficient money to support themselves on their trip. It is possible to use credit and debit cards from Visa and Mastercard in Kenya, although there are some restrictions. In most cases, it is only possible to make card payments in cities and these can incur high transaction fees.
Visitors traveling to more remote locations will also encounter a lack of ATM infrastructure and banks. It’s therefore important to bring enough Kenyan Shillings (KSh) in cash or US dollar bills (ideally not issued before 2004) to cover the costs of their time visiting the remoter zones of Kenya.
Further to this, it is imperative that travelers to Kenya bring documentation relating to their return flights, travel and medical insurance coverage and tour itinerary information. It is also advised to bring details of relatives or friends who can be contacted in case of emergencies.
Personal Essentials Visitors Should Pack for Kenya
Like any trip away from home, travelers are recommended to bring common toiletries such as toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, especially if visiting remoter parts of Kenya where these could be harder to obtain. Female travelers should bring sufficient feminine hygiene items, as these can be harder to purchase if out on safari or visiting the Kenyan countryside.
Additionally, tourists should consider bringing a few health and safety items to protect against mosquitos and common ailments. These products include:
- Mosquito spray
- Diarrhea relief
- Common painkillers such as Ibuprofen
- Anti-allergy medication
- A small first aid pack
Clothes Tourists Should Pack for Kenya
The clothes that tourists should pack for Kenya very much depend on the time of year that the traveler is visiting the country. However, in all situations, visitors to the country should be respectful of local dress customs.
This means wearing clothes that do not expose the shoulders or the thighs. This is the case for both men and women. However, in order to pack clothes for the right season in Kenya, visitors might need to adjust their luggage slightly depending on the time they’re visiting.
Generally speaking the weather in Kenya is hot and dry, although there is a rainy period in late spring. Despite occasional short sharp showers during the rainier times of the year, considering what to pack for a Kenya trip and what to wear in Kenya means preparing for hot and sunny weather. This is especially the case if visiting coastal regions or cities like Nairobi.
If visiting higher altitude locations, it is better to bring clothing for brisk, cooler weather. This is particularly relevant for tourists visiting these areas during the Southern Hemisphere winter between June and October. However, temperatures in the country seldom drop below temperate level.
What to Pack For a Safari in Kenya
Visitors looking to experience the national wildlife at locations like Masai Mara National Reserve should plan carefully what to wear for a safari in Kenya. Many safari tours only permit 33 pounds of luggage per person, therefore it’s critical to pack the correct essentials.
Tourists are recommended to travel to Kenya between May and October as this is considered the best time to visit Kenya for a safari or beach trip. This is because the weather is slightly dryer during this time. However, this time of year is slightly cooler too and could necessitate the use of clothing like long pants, skirts or shirts, especially for early rising tour excursions.
However, as safari tours will spend the majority of their time outdoors, it is important visitors bring plenty of sun protection. There will also be lots of walking and changes in terrain, which will necessitate good walking shoes too. Broadly speaking tourists should always remember to pack the following articles when going on safari:
- A good hat
- Sturdy walking shoes
- Longer clothing for early morning excursions
What Not To Pack For Kenya
For tourists, remembering what not to pack for a trip into the country is almost as important as considering what to pack for Kenya. Of course, visitors should not bring anything into the country that breaks any of Kenya’s local laws. This, of course, includes illegal items such as drugs, weapons and banned import items such as foreign meat or vegetables.
However, many tourists may not be aware that they must not bring single-use plastic bags into the country. The Kenyan government introduced a ban on plastic grocery bags and other single-use plastics like ziplock bags in 2017 and this is strongly enforced. Visitors who flout this law can be subject to heavy fines. Instead, visitors to the country are recommended to bring canvas bags or other ecologically friendly alternatives to plastic bags.
A trip to Kenya can be made or broken by tourists having or not having the correct items in their suitcase for the type of vacation they’ve planned. Whilst visitors don’t need to travel with a suitcase that’s full to the brim, they should ensure they’ve got all the items they need to maximize their enjoyment of this beautiful African nation.