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GMT + 3 hours.
Kenya's official languages are Swahili and English.
The Kenyan shilling is divided into 100 cents. Notes are issued in
denominations of 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 shillings. Coins are
issued in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20 and 40 shillings. 50 cent
coins are available, but not commonly used.
The local currency you will need during your stay in Kenya should
be obtained at authorised facilities such as banks and foreign
exchange bureaus. Currency can also be exchanged at the Nairobi
airport on arrival. It is very difficult to exchange the shilling
outside of Kenya so we recommend that you change only as much as
you will need. Major credit cards are accepted at most outlets in
Kenya. At Sanctuary Olonana we accept Visa, MasterCard or Amex, as
well as cash and travellers cheques.
Tipping is not compulsory and the following suggestions are only
US $1 per bag for a porter
US $5-7 per traveller per day for a driver-guide - this is
normally paid on the last day and is based on 4-6 travellers in the
vehicle. If there are only 2 or 3 travellers you may consider
increasing this amount to US $6-8 per traveller per day
US $10-14 per traveller per day for Private Luxury Camping - this
should be given to your guide on the last day for distribution
among all camp staff. Again, smaller groups (in this case 5 or
less) might consider tipping in the slightly higher range of US
$12-14 per traveller per day
Passport & Visa Information
Travellers should check for visa requirements pertaining to their
citizenship, as entry requirements vary between countries. All
travellers, however, must be in possession of a passport with at
least six months of validity left beyond the intended departure
date from Kenya.
The climate in Kenya is mainly characterised by warm days and cool
evenings. December to March are usually the warmest months of
the year, while June to August are the coolest. April and May often
see intermittent rains, and from September to November the days are
warm with short scattered rains falling in November.
For up to date information on the latest health and vaccination
recommendations, please consult with a qualified health
professional at least 6 weeks before your intended departure.
Anti-malarial medication is strongly recommended for all visitors
to Kenya. No vaccinations are currently required for entry into
Kenya if arriving directly from North America or Europe. If you are
arriving (or planning to re-enter) from a country where yellow
fever is endemic, then you are required to have a yellow fever
vaccination. This vaccination is also recommended if you are
travelling outside of urban areas. Do not drink or brush your teeth
with tap water. Mineral water is available at lodges.
In Kenya, electricity runs at 220/240 volts. You may want to bring
an international converter kit complete with a set of adapter plugs
as lodges are unable to provide adapters. We do, however,
suggest that you consider battery-operated appliances wherever
possible - and bring a supply of extra batteries. However, be aware
that overnight recharging may not be possible where generator use
restricts the availability of electricity.
Many travellers, viewing this as their "trip of a lifetime" for
animal photography, bring more than one camera in case of a
malfunction. Sun filters will help block glare and heat haze. A
dustproof camera bag and an air brush will help protect your
equipment from heavy dust. If you plan to travel with digital
photographic and/or video equipment, make certain to pack the
specific charging apparatus for each piece of equipment (as well as
the appropriate socket plug adaptor and voltage converter if
When photographing people, especially members of the Maasai tribe,
always ask permission first. Because so many local people are
asked for permission to be photographed, many will expect a tip or
an outright fee for this. There are some places where photography
is prohibited, and these areas are usually clearly marked.
Dress on safari is entirely casual. Because it can be dusty,
neutral colours are most practical for game viewing. Remember
to include one or two smart casual outfits for dining. Temperatures
tend to be cooler in the early morning and after sunset - but warm
up considerably by midday. To be prepared for such
temperature variations and to maximise the versatility of your
travel wardrobe, we recommend packing lightweight clothing that can
be layered. Casual clothing of "breathable" fabric (such as cotton)
is the most comfortable. In the cooler months (June to August) you
should pack a heavier jacket, sweater, and pair of trousers made of
warm, lightweight material (such as wool). All Sanctuary camps and
lodges provide a fully complimentary laundry service.
Good sunglasses and sun block lotion are essential for protection
from the strong sun. You may also want to bring a sun hat.
Olonana has a swimming pool, so bring a swimsuit. Binoculars will
maximise the enjoyment of game viewing and bird watching. A compact
and lightweight pair is suggested.