Travel Kenya: The jewel of East Africa & a trip of a lifetime

With magnificent wildlife, sprawling savannas and dramatic scenery, a Kenyan holiday is something everyone should experience at least once. To help you on your way, e-Visa.co.uk offers the following travel tips and advice on what you should do before you go including how to apply for your Kenya visa

Photo: Getty

Sunset in Amboseli National Park, Kenya. Photo: Getty

What can I do and see in Kenya? 
Safaris 
The ultimate safari destination, nature lovers far and wide travel to Kenya to spot the Big Five – elephants, rhinos, leopards and lions which historically were the most difficult to hunt.

But you can spot more than just the Big Five. Safaris offer the opportunity to see a variety of unique African animals such as giraffes, hippos, zebras and gazelles, in the Kenyan wilds.

As many of these animals are almost never seen together, the challenge is to plan your safaris throughout different wildlife regions.

Amboseli National Park in southern Kenya is known for its herds of elephant, while the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in the north is home to the endangered black rhino.

For twitchers and bird lovers, thousands – sometimes millions – of pink flamingos flock to Lake Nakuru to forage for food. The wider national park in central Kenya in the Rift Valley is home to a host of native birds as well.

By far the most popular nature reserve is the Maasai Mara, along the Tanzanian border and home to the Maasai people.

The reserve is home to the Big Five, and to hippos, antelopes and blue wildebeest also. Here, you’ll also find a mix of landscapes including undulating hills and sweeping savannas.

Maasai Mara is also where the annual great migration takes place. From July to October, more than a million wildebeest, along with scores of zebras and gazelles, make the journey from Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to Maasai Mara – a once in a lifetime sight.

The view of Mt Kilimanjaro from Kenya. Photo: Getty

Golfing 
With more than 40 golf courses littered across the country, golfing may not be the first thing that comes to mind when planning a trip to Kenya, but it is a great place to tee off.

Many courses are situated in beautiful natural areas too, so you might just spot the odd zebra or giraffe while on the golf green.

One of Kenya’s most popular golf courses Vipingo Ridge Golf Resort, boasts an 18-hole golf course nestled in 2,500 acres of landscape gardens, with wilder countryside and dramatic coastal views beyond.

It’s Africa’s only PGA-accredited golf course, and through its caddie programme it offers training and employment to street children and vulnerable young adults.

Chale Island near Mombasa, Kenya. Photo: Getty

Diving and water activities 
Travellers who prefer cool blue waters over hot safaris can dive off the rugged Kenyan coast and explore the clear, aqua waters.

Stretching more than 140 miles from Shimoni to Malindi, the Kenyan Barrier Reef is the second longest reef in the world behind Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and has several dive locations to jump into.

North of Mombasa Island, Mombasa Marine National Park and Reserve is popular with snorkelers and divers who can observe the marine life amongst the coral reefs.

Mtwapa Creek, a coastal inlet just north of Mombasa is also a great place to take a dip, dive or snorkel.

Both the marine park and Mtwapa Creek have excellent visibility, so you spot turtles and barracudas in the waters, since they have excellent visibility.

Would like to dive, but never tried? There are plenty of companies offering diving lessons for beginners as well as surfing and kayaking expeditions and glass-bottomed boat tours.

Lake Nakuru, Kenya. Photo: Getty

When is the best time to go? 
While you can visit Kenya all year round, there are a few things to consider depending on what sort of activities you have planned.

Kenya’s dry season is between June and September, with temperatures averaging around 25 degrees Celsius. The country’s wet season is between November and May, with temperatures rising to 30 degrees with heavy rainfall.

If you’ve planned to go on a safari, the best time to go is generally around March, as the wet season winds up and temperatures are pleasant.

However, if you’re planning a beach holiday, avoid any torrential downpours by travelling during the dry season and avoid the months between December and May.

Do I need a visa for Kenya? 
All holiday makers require a visa to enter Kenya. Recently, in efforts to make travelling to the country safer and more convenient, all Kenyan tourist visas are now electronic and cannot be applied for on arrival. This has been in place since January 2021.

The visa application form is online and you must apply before you depart. You will need to provide a scan of your passport and of a passport photo. You’re also required to pay a processing fee of £74.95 and give yourself around one week for processing time.

For more information on Kenyan tourist visas visit e-visa.co.uk