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Elefantenherde vor dem Kilimandscharo in Kenia, Bild: Susan Schmitz / shutterstock

Kenya – the wild heart of Africa

If you think of holidays in Africa, Kenya is usually among the top travel destinations. The country between mountains, savannah and ocean is versatile, adventurous and has a variety of experiences and impressions in store for its visitors. The nature here is more diverse than in almost any other place in the world and the inhabitants are open, warm and hospitable. Kenya has been an independent country from Great Britain since 1963 and is now home to around 47 million people. The airport through which most tourists reach the country is located in the capital Nairobi. Occasionally, there are also direct flights from Germany to Mombasa on the Indian Ocean.

The Masai Mara National Park – a paradise spared from poachers

Located in southern Kenya, Maisai Mara National Park embodies everything you imagine Africa to be. On 1500 square kilometers, you will find one of the most animal-rich and scenic areas in the country. The Masai Mara National Park consists mainly of savannah, which is crossed by so-called inselbergs. In this national park, visitors can get up close and personal with native species such as leopards, rhinos, lions, buffaloes, and elephants. It is best to plan your visit to the Masai Mara National Park between July and September, as the animals then make their journey from the north of the park to the south and can be observed excellently at the waterholes along the way.

Nairobi – the vibrant capital of Kenya

Zebras Masai Mara
Zebras in Masai Mara National Park, Image: travelview / shutterstock

Even though Kenya is largely known for its stunning wildlife and scenery, the capital city of Nairobi is well worth a visit. This is where most tourists end up anyway and on a tour of the city there are many exciting places to discover and interesting facts about the country and its people. Nairobi is a vibrant city with over 3 million inhabitants and is also correspondingly varied for its visitors.

A visit to the Kenyan National Museum is particularly worthwhile. An impressive variety of cultural and natural history exhibits as well as Kenyan art are displayed here.
Another special attraction of the city is without question the Nairobi National Park. Just 7 kilometres from the centre of the city, this national park is separated from Nairobi by a fence and is home to lions, ostriches and hippos. The park specialises in endangered species and is one of the last refuges for the highly endangered black rhinoceros.

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Amboseli National Park – Refuge for Elephants

Kenya, Masai Mara
Masai Mara National Park, Image: Andre Marais / shutterstock

The oldest national park in Kenya, the Amboseli National Park is also one of the largest protected areas in the country with an extension of 390 square kilometers. Its stunning scenery is overlooked by the backdrop of the Kilimanjaro massif, and thanks to the tireless conservation efforts of the local Masai, this national park has been largely spared from poachers. That’s why visitors to Amboseli National Park will find a unique biodiversity. One of the highlights of the park is an impressive elephant population of over 800 individuals that roam the park in small groups.

Lake Nakuru National Park – breathtaking lake scenery

Lake Bogoria Kenya
Flamingos in Lake Bogoria National Park, Image: pornpoj / shutterstock

Lake Nakuru National Park covers an area of 188 square kilometers around the shores of Lake Nakuru and is one of the most visited national parks in Kenya after the Masai Mara. The center of the park is Lake Nakuru itself, which is only deeper than 4 meters in a few places and is therefore one of the shallowest waters of its size. Another special feature of the park is the almost endless flocks of flamingos that populate the lake’s shores. Over 4 million of the colorful birds live here and are the park’s landmark. In addition to the flamingos, Lake Nakuru National Park is also one of the last refuges for the endangered black rhinos. They live here under the watchful eye of the rangers who protect them from poachers.

Beach holiday in Kenya – the most beautiful beaches

Beaches Kenya
Image: BlueOrange Studio / shutterstock

Even though most visitors come to Kenya for the safaris in the national parks, the country has a lot more to offer. The long coastline of the Indian Ocean hides some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, perfect for relaxing, sunbathing and unwinding. However, it is important to know that there are strong ebb and flow phenomena on the Kenyan coast.

If you stay in a beach hotel, you will be well informed about this, if you visit a beach on your own, it is best to communicate with the locals about the current situation. One of the most beautiful beaches in Kenya and most famous in the world is Diani Beach. It is located 25 kilometres south of the port city of Mombasa and welcomes its visitors with a 12-kilometre-long, white and fine sandy beach. The infrastructure here is very well developed and there are a large number of hotels. Especially in the south of Kenya there are countless other dream beaches, because there the coast is protected from the surf by a coral reef. The beaches on the north coast of Kenya, on the other hand, are rather wild.

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Holidays in Kenya: Important information

Important telephone numbers

  • Police: 999
  • Fire brigade: 999
  • Ambulance: 999
  • German Embassy in Nairobi: +254 20 426 2100

Doctors in the most important places

  • Nairobi:
    • Dr. Markus Reichenberger: The Nairobi Hospital, +254 20 284 5000
    • Dr. Alfred Murage: Aga Khan University Hospital, +254 20 366 2000
  • Mombasa:
    • Dr. Chris Wambugu: Mombasa Hospital, +254 41 231 2191
    • Dr. Amina Abdalla: Aga Khan Hospital Mombasa, +254 41 231 3951
  • Kisumu:
    • Dr. Emmanuel Obondi: Aga Khan Hospital Kisumu, +254 57 202 8885
    • Dr. Peter Khasakhala: Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital, +254 57 202 2215

Important words with translation

  • Hello – Jambo
  • Thank you – Asante
  • Please – Tafadhali
  • Yes – Ndiyo
  • No – Hapana
  • Sorry – Pole
  • Where is…? – Wapi…?
  • How much does it cost…? – At gani…?
  • Emergency – Dharura
  • Doctor – Daktari
  • Hospital – Hospitali

Holidays

  • New Year’s Day: January 1
  • Labour Day: 1 May
  • Madaraka Day: June 1
  • Mashujaa Day: October 20
  • Jamhuri Day: December 12
  • Christmas: December 25
  • Boxing Day: December 26
  • Easter Sunday and Easter Monday: variable (March/April)
  • Idd-ul-Fitr: variable (depending on the Islamic calendar)

Opening hours

  • Shops: Usually Monday to Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Supermarkets: Usually daily from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • Restaurants: Lunch from 12:00 to 15:00, dinner from 18:00 to 22:00.
  • Banks: Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Airport

  • Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO): In Nairobi
  • Moi International Airport (MBA): In Mombasa
  • Kisumu International Airport (KIS): In Kisumu

NUDISM

  • Not common: There are no official nudist beaches in Kenya. Nudism is not practiced and could be considered offensive.

Post / Stamps

  • Post Offices: In all major cities. Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
  • Stamps: Available at post offices and kiosks.
  • Costs for letters and postcards to Germany: Standard letter up to 20g: approx. 150 KES; Postcard: approx. 100 KES

Safety

  • Crime: Kenya has a relatively high crime rate. It is recommended to always be vigilant, especially in larger cities and tourist areas. Valuables should be kept safe.
  • Emergency number: 999

Current

  • Voltage: 240 volts
  • Sockets: Type G (British standard). Adapter required for European plugs.

Tip

  • Restaurants: 10% of the invoice amount
  • Taxis: Round up the amount
  • Hotels: $1-2 per day for cleaning staff

Customs

  • Allowances: Personal belongings are duty-free.
  • Alcohol: Maximum 1 liter of spirits or 2 liters of wine.
  • Tobacco: 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco.
  • Other items: Value up to $500 duty-free.