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Kenya General Visitor And Tourist Information

Jan 20, 2008
On arrival Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, the airport is about half an hour's drive from Nairobi city center. Taxis are readily available, but establish the fare before getting in Kenatoo taxis work on a fixed rate using reliable and clean vehicles, as do the black London Style cabs.

Moi International Airport, Mombasa. The airport is about 10 minutes from the city center. Allow an extra half an hour for your journey to the south coast because of the ferry crossing.

Visas. Most visitors to Kenya require a visa. Multiple and single entry visas are available. Applications can be made at any Kenya High Commissioner or Embassy prior to traveling. The single entry visa (obtainable upon arrival) is US$50 (correct at time of printing) or the equivalent in local currency.

Lost luggage. Visit the lost luggage desk in the baggage hall before going through customs.

GETTING AROUND

Self - drive. Most international car hire companies operate in Kenya (with offices at the airport). Vehicles travel on the left - hand side of the road and most cars are right - hand drive. A current driving license with photograph is accepted for up to a three month's stay.

Public transport. City buses operate at reasonable low rates. Fares are paid to the conductor. Matatus - private minibuses - are abundant but usually overcrowded.

KEEPING IN TOUCH

Post office. Open 8am - 5 pm weekdays, 9am - 12 pm on Saturdays.

Telephone services. Public pay phones (card and coin) are automated. Phone cards may be bought from post offices or international call offices. International calls can be dialed direct (code 000) or operator assisted. (dial 0195/6)
Mobile phones. Use either safaricom or celtel. All major urban areas and many coastal regions have reception. Pay As You Go SIM cards are readily available.

Internet. Internet cafes are increasingly common. Emails can also be sent from most hotels, as can faxes and telexes.

MONEY MATTERS

Currency. Kenya currency shilling (ksh.) currently around Kshs. 72.45 per US$.

Currency regulations. There are no restrictions on the movement of currency into or out of Kenya for currency transactions.

Banking. Foreign currency can be changed at banks, foreign currency bureaux or hotels. Banks are open from 9 am to 3 pm Monday to Friday and 9 am - 11 am on the first and last Saturday of each month. Bank in coastal towns open and close half an hour earlier. Some airport banks stay open 24/7.

ATM. 24 hours access to your account can be found at most ATMs countrywide. Most accept international VISA cards.

Credit Cards. All major international cards are accepted.

Travellers cheques. TCs are accepted at most banks bureaux and hotels.

Hotel Bill Payment. This can usually be paid in shillings or convertible foreign currency.

YOUR WELL BEING

Emergency services. 911

Hospital. Nairobi and Mombasa have good hospitals offering a causally services.

Medical expenses. Even with insurance cover, consultations and treatment will have to be paid for and the cost claimed back later.

GENERAL

Voltage. All regions in Kenya are supplied with 240 volts AC. The plug in use throughout Kenya is of the three square - pin, 13 amp type.

Security. It is a sensible precaution not to walk alone in isolated towns or beach areas. Particularly after dark. Use common sense to prevent opportunistic theft.

Tipping. Tipping is appreciated. Most hotels and restaurants include a 10% service charge.

Water. The water in most city hotels is usually safe for drinking. However, if in doubt, bottled water is available. Most safari lodges provide filtered water. Water is precious; your help in using it sparingly is appreciated.
About the Author
Jerry Wanga is editor of Naady. You can find more information about Tanzania travel, Uganda gorilla treks and Kenya safaris, as well as hotels and lodge bookings, on the website.
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