The Ultimate Kenya Safari Tips and Travel Guide for Beginners
Are you looking for the best Kenya safari tips, tricks, and travel guide? Look no further! Kenya is a top safari destination known for its diverse wildlife, stunning landscapes, and rich culture. But before you embark on your adventure, it’s important to know the dos and don’ts of traveling in Kenya.
Welcome to your comprehensive guide to embarking on a safari in the majestic terrains of Kenya. This guide provides beginners with vital tips on how to make the most of their Kenyan safari. We cover areas such as how much to tip your safari guide, tipping etiquette in Kenya’s restaurants and hotels, safety measures during your safari, and much more.
Buckle up and prepare for an incredible journey into the heart of Africa.
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We are one of the top safari operators in Kenya, providing luxury and budget-friendly tours to some of the best destinations in Africa. Our team of experienced guides will ensure that your safari is filled with unforgettable experiences and memories.
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13 Days Honeymoon Safari in Kenya – 2024
From USD 14,964
2 Days Masai Mara Safari
From USD 1885
3-DAY LUXURY 2024 MIGRATION TOUR
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5-DAY MIGRATION SAFARI 2024
FROM USD 1655
4-DAY MASAI MARA MIGRATION PACKAGES – 2024
FROM USD 2490
22-Day Kenya Wildlife Safari
From USD 9700
4-Day Maasai Mara Migration Safari – 2024
From USD 1905
Three Day Tour of Masai Mara
From USD 985
3-Day Masai Mara Camp Packages – 2024
From USD 985
3-Day Masai Mara Easter Packages – 2024
From USD 1035
3-Day Masai Mara Flying Safari 2024
From USD 1192
3-Day Masai Mara Packages from Nairobi – 2024
From USD 990
4-Day Masai Mara Easter Packages – 2024
From USD 1300
4-Day Mombasa & Diani Valentine Safari – 2024
At USD 1541
4-Day Mombasa Valentine Getaway 2024
From USD 2180
3-Day New Year Package 2024
From USD 1450
2-Day Hell’s Gate & Lake Nakuru Safari
From USD 507
3-Day Amboseli Safari
From USD 734
3-Day Huduma Day Safari to Masai Mara
From USD 950
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From USD 1010
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From USD 1455
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From USD 1249
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From USD 1162
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From USD 3777
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From USD 1606
6-Day Kenya Wildlife Safari from India
From USD 1730
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At USD 3093
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From USD 119
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Kenya Travel Advice for Beginners Ultimate Guide
There are a few things you should keep in mind before embarking on your Kenya safari adventure. Here are some important tips to help you plan and prepare for your trip:
Research the Best Time to Visit
The weather in Kenya can greatly impact your safari experience. While peak season is from July to October, there are also shoulder seasons that offer great deals. Do your research and choose the best time to visit based on your preferences.
Jan - March - High Season
The weather is hot and dry, making it perfect for game viewing. This is also the high season, but with less crowd compared to the peak season.
April - June - Low Season
The rainy season arrives in Kenya during these months, but this can be a beautiful time to visit as the landscapes are lush and green. You may also find great deals on tours and accommodation.
July - October - Peak Season
This is peak season in Kenya, with the famous Great Migration occurring during this time. It’s also a popular time for tourists, so be prepared for crowds and higher prices.
November - December - High Season
The short rainy season arrives during these months, but it usually doesn’t last long. This can be a great time for budget travelers as there are fewer tourists and lower prices.
Tipping in Kenya : A Comprehensive Guide
Tipping is not mandatory in Kenya, but it’s always appreciated as a gesture of gratitude for good service. Here’s a breakdown of tipping etiquette in different areas during your safari:
How Much to Tip Your Safari Guide
Your safari guide plays a crucial role in making sure you have an unforgettable experience. It’s customary to tip your guide around $10-15 USD per day, per person. If you’re traveling in a group, you can pool the tip and give it to your guide at the end of your safari.
Tipping in Kenya Restaurants and Hotels
In most restaurants and hotels, a service charge is already included in the bill. Tipping in Kenya hotel establishments is not expected, but you can leave a small amount for the staff who provided exceptional service.
Tipping in Kenya Taxi
It’s not customary to tip taxi drivers in Kenya, but rounding up your fare is appreciated. If you receive good service or a long trip, you can also give a small tip of around $1-2 USD.
Kenya Safari Safety Measures
While Kenya is a safe country to visit, it’s always important to take precautions and be aware of your surroundings. Here are some safety tips for your safari:
Choose a Reputable Tour Operator
Make sure to book your safari with a reputable tour operator like us. This will ensure that all necessary safety measures are taken care of during your trip.
Follow Park Rules and Guidelines
When on safari, be sure to follow all park rules and guidelines. This includes staying in your vehicle at all times, not feeding or approaching animals, and listening to your guide’s instructions.
Avoid Malaria and Other Diseases
Before embarking on your trip, make sure to consult with a travel doctor and take all necessary precautions to avoid diseases like malaria. Always pack insect repellent and follow recommended guidelines for staying safe.
Clothing and Packing Tips for Your Safari
Packing the right clothing and gear is crucial for a comfortable and enjoyable safari experience. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
Light, Neutral-Colored Clothing
Pack light, breathable clothing in neutral colors such as khaki or beige. This will help you blend in with your surroundings and avoid standing out to animals.
Bring comfortable, closed-toe shoes for your safari to protect your feet from any thorns or sharp rocks. Also, make sure to pack a pair of sandals for relaxing at the lodge.
Don’t forget to bring a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun’s rays. Also, pack a pair of binoculars for better wildlife viewing and a camera to capture all your incredible moments.
Travel Documents, Vaccinations, and Travel Insurance
Before your safari, make sure to check all the necessary travel documents and requirements. Here are some important things to keep in mind:
Passport and Visa Requirements
Make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry into Kenya. You may also need a visa depending on your country of origin, so be sure to check beforehand.
Consult with a travel doctor before your trip to ensure you have all the necessary vaccinations. This may include shots for hepatitis A, typhoid, and yellow fever.
It’s always recommended to purchase travel insurance before your safari. This will protect you in case of any unexpected events or emergencies during your trip.
Getting Around Kenya
Kenya has several domestic airlines that offer flights between major cities and popular safari destinations. This is a quick and convenient way to get around the country.
Buses are a popular mode of transportation for locals and can be a budget-friendly option. However, they may not always be reliable or comfortable for long distances.
Taxis are readily available in cities and towns, but it’s important to negotiate the fare before your trip. You can also use ride-hailing apps like Uber in major cities.
Kenya People, Culture, and Etiquette
Kenya is a diverse country with over 40 different ethnic groups. Here are some cultural tips to keep in mind during your visit:
When meeting someone, it’s customary to shake hands and ask about their well-being. Use the phrase “sasa” (which means “hi”) followed by “habari yako?” (meaning “how are you?”)
In general, Kenyans dress modestly. When visiting villages or religious sites, make sure to cover your shoulders and knees out of respect.
Tipping in Masai Mara
If you’re visiting the famous Masai Mara reserve, it’s customary to tip your Maasai guide or warrior. You can give around $5 USD per day, per person.
Money, Banks, Mpesa, & Credit Card Use
The currency in Kenya is the Kenyan Shilling (KES). Here’s some information about using money and banking services during your safari:
It’s best to exchange your currency at a bank or authorized foreign exchange bureau. Avoid exchanging money on the street, as you may be given counterfeit bills.
Mpesa is a mobile money transfer service widely used in Kenya. You can easily load money onto your phone and use it to pay for goods and services, or even withdraw cash from an Mpesa agent.
Credit cards are accepted at most hotels, restaurants, and shops in major cities. However, it’s always a good idea to have some cash on hand, especially when traveling to more remote areas.
FAQs About Kenya Safari Tips and Travels
We will end this guide with some frequently asked questions about safari tips in Kenya:
1. How much should I tip my safari guide?
A general rule of thumb is to tip your safari guide around \$10-15 USD per day, per person. However, if you receive exceptional service or go on a longer trip, you can give more.
2. Do I need to tip at restaurants in Kenya?
A service charge is often included in the bill at restaurants, but it’s still customary to leave a small tip if you received good service. A 10% tip is usually sufficient.
3. Should I tip hotel staff in Kenya?
It’s not necessary to tip hotel staff, but you can leave a small amount for housekeeping or bellhops if you’d like. The amount is at your discretion.
4. Is it okay to tip my taxi driver in Kenya?
It’s not expected to tip taxi drivers in Kenya, but you can round up the fare or add a small tip if you received good service.
5. How much should I tip my safari driver in Kenya?
It’s customary to tip your safari driver around $5-10 USD per day, per person. However, if you have a private vehicle and guide, you may want to give more.
6. Is it safe to go on a safari in Kenya?
Yes, as long as you follow the safety guidelines provided by your tour operator or guide. Always listen to their instructions and respect the wildlife. It’s also important to have travel insurance in case of any emergencies.
7. What should I do if I encounter a wild animal during my safari?
Do not panic or approach the animal. Always follow your guide’s instructions and stay inside the vehicle at all times unless instructed otherwise. Remember, you are in their natural habitat and should always respect their space.
8. Are there any specific cultural customs I should be aware of during my safari in Kenya?
Yes, it’s important to ask for permission before taking photos of local people, especially the Maasai tribe. It’s also respectful to not touch or disturb any cultural artifacts or ruins you may encounter on your trip.
9. Do I need to bring cash on my safari in Kenya?
Yes, it’s always a good idea to have some cash on hand for tips, souvenirs, or any unexpected expenses. However, most major cities and tourist areas accept credit cards. Just be sure to notify your bank before traveling to avoid any issues with using your card abroad.
10. Do I need to tip my tour operator or safari company in Kenya?
It’s not necessary to tip the entire company, but if you had a particularly great experience, you can give a small tip directly to your guide or driver. You can also leave a positive review or recommend their services to others.