Facts for the Visitor

US citizen: US$50 for a single-entry visa that's easily obtained at the port of entry. The length of validity of the visa is determined at the border by the issuing officer.
Japanese citizen: US$20 for a single-entry visa that's easily obtained at the port of entry. The length of validity of the visa is determined at the border by the issuing officer.

Language Skills Needed
English is sufficient to get around as a tourist.

Cash Machines
Available in large cities. Most in Nairobi are on the Plus and Cirrus networks. The usual maximum withdrawal is 40,000 KSh.

US$ 1 = 76.8 Kenyan Shillings (KSh) on March 5, 2001. Import or export of Shillings from Kenya is prohibited, though foreign currency can be brought in.

240V. Plugs have 3 square pins as in the UK and Singapore.

International Certificates of Vaccination are not required by law, but it's a good idea to be vaccinated for Yellow Fever, Diphtheria & Tetanus, Polio, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Typhoid, and Meningococcal Meningitis. If you plan to cross the border into Tanzania, proof of Yellow Fever vaccination is MANDATORY. Continuously take Mefloquine Malaria tablets from one week before arrival until 4 weeks after departure. Malaria tablets DO NOT prevent Malaria. They just help you survive it. Precaution against mosquito bites should be taken at all times.

At restaurants and cafés, tips are not required but highly appreciated. If you decide to tip, leave the coins or small bills from the change as you would do in Germany.

Tips for safari drivers, cooks, mountain guides, and porters are expected, and they can be expensive. In Kenya, a good estimate is 10% of the total cost of the trip divided (as you see fit) between all people serving you. If you tip too low, your support team will let you know!

English Books
English is the official language in Kenya and there are numerous English book stores in Nairobi.

Luggage Storage
Store luggage in secure places only. Theft is prevalent.

It's normally safe to store luggage at your hotel (if you decide you can trust the hotel reception) and with trekking and safari companies while you're on their tour. Some tourists we met, however, had their stored hotel luggage stolen. Always carry all valuables. Better yet, bring as few valuables as possible into Kenya.

Forget the trains. Many tracks are in disrepair and neglected bridges fall. Though we didn't ride any buses, our Lonely Planet guide warns of theft. Trying to find bus schedules is a chore - we tried and gave up. Matatus are mini-vans that run between towns packed to double capacity. We didn't try any of these either. Shuttle buses run twice per day between Nairobi-Arusha, Tanzania-Moshi Tanzania. These are comfortable and safe, thought the shuttle bus companies will always try to overcharge. A shared taxi is a 6-seater station wagon that waits for 8 passengers (with driver, that's 9 people) going the same direction before departing. The ride is dangerously fast and extremely uncomfortable. Finally, there are regular taxis. Ask for the price BEFORE getting in to avoid being charged as much as 5 times the normal price.

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