Dreaming of going on a tour of Kenya? There’s no place quite like it. The lush landscapes and wondrous wildlife might be what Kenya is known for, but between bustling cities, lovely locals, and extraordinary eats, you’ll learn there are many things to see in Kenya—and even more to do. Our Kenya travel guide covers the top Kenya travel tips, things to do, and best places to visit in Kenya.
Currency: The official currency of Kenya is the Kenyan shilling (KES). Many larger vendors will accept payment in USD, but don’t count on it! ATMs are available in busy places like airports, malls, and gas stations.
Credit cards are also widely accepted in bigger cities like Nairobi, but you will want to have some cash on you, too. You’ll need it for smaller purchases like food, drinks, souvenirs, or tips.
Languages: Kenya is home to about 40 different ethnic groups, which means the country is highly multilingual. That said, English and Swahili are the two official languages. No matter where you go as a tourist, you’re likely to find someone who speaks at least some English.
The best way to get around: If you’re not on a tour bus, the best way to get around in cities like Nairobi is by ridesharing apps like Uber, Lyft, or Taxify, but you can also take buses and matatus (minibuses). Most Kenyan towns are linked by buses, as well.
Responsible travel tip: One of the top things to know before visiting Kenya is to always ask people if you have permission to take their photo. You can do this by asking “naomba kupiga picha” (“may I take your picture”) and thanking them once you’re finished with a simple “asante”!
Another tip for visiting Kenya? Kenyans are notorious for taking their time. They do not like to hurry, and may not like when you do, either! So you might hear the phrase “pole pole” (“slow down”) a lot. That means the locals want you to take it easy! Get more tips for what to know before your trip to Kenya.
Phrases to know: Wondering what to know before visiting Kenya? One of our tips for visiting Kenya is to brush up on the local lingo.
Jambo - “Hello”
Habari rafiki? - “How are you, friend?”
Asante - “Thank you"
Samahani - “Excuse me”
Wapi - “Where”
Choo - “Toilet”
When is the best time to visit Kenya? The optimal time to travel to Kenya is during the dry season, which is from July to October. The annual migrations happen during that time, too, which makes safaris during the dry season the best there is.
The rainy season is usually from late April to early June, though it tends to be pretty rainy again in November and December. If you travel to Kenya during the summer, which is from December to March, you’ll want to stay closer to the coast because it can get pretty hot.
Need help choosing the safari to travel on? Check out our guide to help decide which African safari is right for you!
We can’t write a Kenya travel guide without talking about what to pack. The main thing to know before traveling to Kenya is that you’ll want to bring lots of layers—it’s one of our travel tips for Kenya. You might be shivering in a fleece jacket in the morning, then sweating in a t-shirt in the afternoon, so layers will become your best “rafiki”!
No Kenya travel guide is complete without suggesting what to do in Kenya and where to go! Here are some of the best things to do in Kenya, as well as some of Kenya’s top attractions. Plus, check out some of the hidden gems you’ll experience on a safari.
Our tours take you to all the best places to visit in Kenya, but here are some of the best things to do in Kenya during free time.
We’ve talked a lot about the best places to visit in Kenya and what to do in Kenya, but what about the best things to eat? Here are the dishes you’ll want to dig into while on a tour of Kenya.
Of course, you can’t take a trip to Kenya and not come home with some souvenirs. Here’s what we recommend you pick up to remember your trip to Kenya. Just make sure to leave some space in your bag!