Kenya is one of the most curious nations in East Africa. It is a country of beautiful nature with the highest mountain peaks of the continent, endless savannahs and sea coast. The people here are not like other nations, but they are all very open, friendly and independent. Welcome to Kenya, the country is waiting for you!

Kenya on the map

Kenya on the map

Geographical location

Kenya is a country in the equatorial part of East Africa. It is located in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres, and the equator line divides the republic roughly in half.

In the east it is washed by the Indian Ocean, in which there are several dozen islands belonging to Kenya. These are popular beach holiday destinations. The total length of the coastline is 536 kilometres.

On land borders with Ethiopia, Somalia and South Sudan in the north, with Uganda in the west and with Tanzania in the south. The total length of the land border is 3500 kilometres.

The topography of the country is very varied. The whole eastern part is flat, the western part is covered with mountains and plateaus. Here passes the famous East African Rift, a rift valley with steep slopes. The highest point of the country is Mount Kenya (5199 metres).

On the western border lies Africa’s largest Lake Victoria. In the north-west lies another large lake, Lake Rudolph. Its vicinity is the driest place in the country.

Several large rivers flow through Kenya, the longest of which is the Tana. It originates in the mountains and flows into the Indian Ocean.

The animal and plant world of Kenya is very rich. These are savannahs with huge herds of ungulates in the east, and equatorial forests in the western part.

Safety for tourists

In the global index of peacefulness, which takes into account the tranquillity of the situation, attitude to tourists and many other factors, Kenya is in 123rd place, which does not seem quite fair. After all, this country is considered by tourists to be quite safe. However, there are nuances here.

In Kenya, the crime rate is still quite high. And if pickpockets here are not the most active among other African countries, then serious crimes are a big problem.

In 2008, the country experienced mass riots, which in some places turned into armed clashes. Their reverberations can still be heard in the country today. Robberies and robberies on the roads are commonplace here, and there is a danger of terrorist attacks. The situation is especially tense in the north of the country, where there are still army checkpoints on the roads. But tourists go there least of all. The situation in the south is more favourable and calm, although vigilance should not be lost there as well.

It should be separately mentioned to poachers, which are numerous here. You can encounter them on safari, and such meetings are fraught with great trouble.

The road situation in Kenya is typical for African countries. There are rules, but they are reluctant to follow them, and in big cities the traffic is rather tense.

Kenya is characterised by a high risk of infectious diseases, so tourists should take care of vaccinations against malaria, hepatitis, cholera and other tropical delights in advance. It should also be remembered that Kenya has one of the highest percentage of HIV infected people on the planet. So you should not forget about hygiene and sanitation.

Natural dangers in Kenya are also in abundance. There are many dangerous animals here – lions, leopards, hippos, crocodiles, elephants. There are many poisonous snakes and insects in the country. In the sea, danger is posed by poisonous fish and jellyfish, sharp shards of coral, sharks.

Holidays in Kenya can be an unforgettable adventure, but only if you are careful and avoid risky travel.


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Multi-ethnic Kenya is a secular country, but religious holidays are widely popular here and many of them are public holidays.

Among Christian holidays Christmas and Easter are the most honoured, among Muslim holidays – Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Fitr. European New Year is celebrated here, as well as memorable dates of national history: the days of the Republic, Independence, Heroes.

In addition, the country hosts many ethnographic holidays and festivals, often authentic for different tribes. Among the most significant events are the Mombasa Carnival in November and the Kenyan Music Festival in Nairobi in August. The Tribal Festival, held in May in the town of Loyangalani on the shores of Lake Turkana, is also well known.

Rallies and off-road championships are popular in the country.

What fun things to do in Kenya

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Kenya has long and firmly established itself as a popular tourist destination, and the development of appropriate infrastructure here is given great attention. Therefore, there is enough entertainment for tourists in the country for every taste.

  1. Beach holidays. The coastline of the country is quite extensive, but the best beaches are concentrated in its southern part. This is the famous Diani Beach in Mombasa, which stretches for 17 kilometres, beaches Nyali, Bamburi and many others.
  2. Windsurfing. Most of the beaches in the country are separated from the ocean by a wall of coral reef, on which quite large waves rise. These places are suitable for lovers of surfing and windsurfing, because most of the time tropical monsoons blow here.
  3. Diving. The abundance of coral reefs makes Kenya attractive for scuba diving enthusiasts. The local reefs are rich in underwater life, and the most popular spots are Wotamu Marine Park and Muren Reef.
  4. Fishing. Fishing enthusiasts will find plenty to do in the country. There are many fishing clubs where you can rent a yacht, boat and hire an instructor. Marlin, tuna, dorado and many other types of fish are caught in local waters.
  5. Horseback safaris. This type of travelling is more expensive than a regular safari, but allows you to get much closer to the wonders of the local nature. Especially popular are horse safaris in Amboseli Park, where the Maasai tribes live.
  6. Jeep safaris. A more familiar to tourists type of active holiday. This safari allows you to get as close as possible even to the most dangerous animals and make colourful pictures. It can be both one-day and multi-day.
  7. Balloon safari. Another type of travelling in local national parks. It allows you to get acquainted with the life of savannah inhabitants from above, without fear of any trouble with predators.
  8. Trekking, hiking. It is mainly designed for physically well-prepared tourists, as it involves climbing high mountains and travelling over rugged terrain. One of the most popular routes is climbing Mount Kenya.
  9. Speleotourism. Another option of active holiday in the country, where there are many interesting caves. A popular route allows you to visit the caves of Elgon volcano on the border with Uganda, where elephants come to eat mineral salts.
  10. Archaeological sites. Kenya in the past was one of the centres of the Swahili state, and there are picturesque ancient ruins. The ruins of the medieval town of Gedi, near the resort of Malindi, are very popular with tourists.
  11. Shopping. Local bazaars are very popular among the guests of the republic, where the most amazing works of art of aborigines are sold. The biggest bazaar is in the capital Nairobi.

What is important to know about Kenya

If you are planning to visit this state, here are some of the most important things to know:


The official languages of the country are English and Swahili. English is the language of interethnic communication and government institutions. Education in schools is conducted in it. But the majority of the population speaks Swahili. In addition, there are about 40 local dialects in the country.


Currently, the country has just under 48 million people. The urban population is 29 per cent. Most of the population lives in the southern and western regions of the country.

The ethnic composition of the population is very broad. Representatives of dozens of African tribes live in the country. The most numerous are the Kikuyu, Luhya, Luo, Kalenjin and Kamba. The total number of these tribes is 72% of the country’s population. In the south of Kenya lives the Maasai tribe, one of the most exotic in Africa.

More interesting facts about the people of Kenya, their character and local flavour can be learnt from this article.


The national currency is the Kenyan shilling, which is divided into 100 cents.

Currently in circulation are banknotes of 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000 shillings. And coins of 50 cents, 1, 5, 10, 20 and 40 shillings.

Most settlements in the country are made in shillings, but in large shopping centres and markets accept dollars, but the exchange rate is very unfavourable. Currency can be exchanged in hotels or banks upon presentation of passport.

The approximate exchange rate is 145 shillings to 1 dollar.


Officially, most of the country’s population is Christian. This religion is practised by 82% of the population. Among Christians, the most widespread are Catholicism and Pentecostals.

Also in the country about 9% of the population continue to practice pagan African cults. Muslims in the country are about 7%.


Despite its location along the equator, Kenya’s climate is not equatorial. The Indian Ocean coastline is characterised by a sub-equatorial climate with little difference in average temperatures throughout the year. The mountainous western sections are characterised by a tropical climate, sometimes with very little rainfall.

Average temperatures on the coast are +27-+30 degrees centigrade. On the plateaus, it is slightly cooler: +22-+25 degrees Celsius. On the tops of the highest mountains, there are still glaciers.

Summer and winter in Kenya are considered dry season. During this time, the eastern monsoons blow, bringing insignificant amount of precipitation. In spring, the rainy season lasts from March to May.

Seawater Temperature

The average seawater temperature off the coast of Kenya has little annual variation and always remains suitable for swimming. Even in the local winter, the water off the coast remains very warm, but the high season is late summer and early autumn.

  • Water temperature in winter, December-January: +23 to +24 degrees Celsius.
  • Water temperature in spring, March-May: +23 to +25 degrees Celsius.
  • Water temperature in summer, June-July: from +25 to +26 degrees. The hottest water is in July.
  • Water temperature in autumn, September-November: from +25 in early autumn to +24 degrees in November.

Natural disasters

The main natural disaster that can threaten tourists in Kenya is flooding. Heavy rains are common in March and May for all East African countries. Kenya is not spared. Almost every year there are serious cataclysms leading to human casualties. For example, in the spring of 2023, floods killed 16 people in different parts of the country.

From strong storms and tsunami strikes, the coast of Kenya is well protected by coral reefs and numerous islands. Therefore, even the catastrophic tsunami of 2004 did not cause significant damage to the republic. Only one person died from its impact.

In the dry season in Kenya, forest fires are possible. Periodically they occur in national parks, but are quickly taken under control by emergency services. In 2022, a fire destroyed 600 hectares of forests in Aberdare Park, but there was no danger to tourists.

Despite the fact that Kenya is located in the African rift zone, an active zone in the Earth’s crust, earthquakes are very rare here. The last major earthquake occurred a hundred years ago in 1928.

There are no active volcanoes in the country, although Mount Kenya and its neighbour Kilimanjaro are ancient dormant volcanoes. But the likelihood of them erupting is currently close to zero.

The overall risk of natural disasters in the country can be assessed as low.

You can read about the most devastating disasters in Kenya’s history in this article.

Political system

Kenya is a presidential republic. The President of the country is the head of executive power. He appoints the Prime Minister, who heads the government of the country. The legislative power is represented by the unicameral National Assembly.

Administratively, the country is divided into 47 districts.

The capital of the country is Nairobi.

The major cities and resorts

Nairobi is the capital of the country, which is home to more than 4 million people. It is a city of contrasts, with a rich centre and huge slums on the outskirts. Tourists are attracted here by museums, parks, architectural sights. There are many luxury hotels in the city.

Mombasa is the second most populous city in the country. It is inhabited by 1.2 million people. It was founded in the XI century. There are many mosques, Christian cathedrals and Hindu temples. Near the city is the beach Diani Beach, which has repeatedly been recognised as the best in Africa.

Malindi is a city in the south-east of the country at the bay of the same name. It was founded in the XIII century. Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama sailed here, which is commemorated by a monument erected over the bay. More than 100 thousand people live in the city. It is a favourite holiday destination for tourists from Italy.

Lamu is a resort town on the island of the same name in the Indian Ocean. It was founded in 1370, and now it is home to 25 thousand people. It is a popular destination for tourists looking for solitude. The old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Shield and spears of the Maasai – a symbol of freedom and independence, the fight for their rights.

Mount Kenya – the symbol of the country, its highest peak, even on the national emblem.

Lion – a symbol of courage and the national animal, the beauty and pride of the country’s nature.

Rooster – according to local beliefs, a white rooster symbolises a happy life.

Coffee – one of the mainstays of the country’s agriculture, it is very popular all over the world.

Tea is another product widely imported from Kenya. A variety of varieties are grown here, including the unique purple tea.

How to get to Kenya

Getting to the country is almost exclusively by aeroplane. There are four international airports in Kenya. The largest of them are the capital’s Jomo Kenyatta Airport and Mombasa Airport, which is named Moi.

The capital airport serves up to 6 million passengers a year and connects the country with the whole world. Only the countries of North and South America do not have direct flights from here. Mombasa Airport serves about 2 million passengers a year. Visitors from Germany, Poland, Italy and many African countries fly to this major city of the republic.

Residents of neighbouring countries can get to Kenya by highways that connect the republic with Tanzania, Ethiopia, South Sudan, but for European tourists this way is not available.

How much money to take with you

The cost of a holiday in Kenya can pleasantly surprise you. In this wonderful country, tourists usually go to participate in safaris or beach holidays.

Safari is a fascinating journey through local national parks, which does not involve killing animals. The cost of such a tour starts at $1,500 for two people for 6–7 days. The price of air tickets and visa (if required) is paid separately.

Beach holidays are also popular in Kenya. Tour in five- or four-star hotels for a week will cost about $3500-4500 for two people. But this is with the price of a flight and at the tariff «all-inclusive».

Kenya is relatively close to Europe and for tourists from the EU the flight here will cost inexpensive. For example, a round-trip ticket to Nairobi from Paris will cost from $500.

In the country itself, tourists will incur the following expenses:

  • Food: food prices here are low and even if food is not included in the cost of the tour, it will not require large expenses. Thus, breakfast in a local cafe will cost on average 2–5 dollars. Lunch will cost $25 in a medium-sized restaurant. For example, a cup of cappuccino costs $2.
  • Accommodation: the average price of a double room in local hotels is around $90. Luxury suites in Mombasa on the beachfront cost around $250. But in two-star hotels, a room will cost as little as $35.
  • Visiting attractions: when staying in a hotel, beach services will be free, except for extra ones, such as diving. Visiting parks and museums is chargeable. For example, a ticket to the national museum in Nairobi costs $20. Safari, and nature remains the main attraction of Kenya, will cost 300–500 dollars for 3 days.
  • Souvenirs: from Kenya tourists bring mainly exotic products of local craftsmen: drums and masks, fabrics with African patterns, traditional crockery and kalebasa. Local fruits, coffee and tea are also brought. Costs for souvenirs are individual and can vary considerably.
  • Transport: You can get around the cities by buses or taxis. A ticket for public transport costs 50 cents. Getting into a taxi costs $3 and then $1.2 per kilometre. Intercity transportations are carried out by special buses, on a number of directions there is a railway connection. Thus, a ticket for the train Nairobi-Mombasa will cost from 22 to 42 dollars.

Thus, taking into account the reserve amount for unforeseen expenses, a holiday in Kenya for two people will cost from 2000 to 4000 thousand dollars for 7 days, taking into account the flight. And of course, the maximum amount of the holiday can be much higher.


If you have already visited Kenya, please share your impressions in the comments. Please write a few words, what you liked most of all, what moments remained in your memory forever, and what you would recommend to other tourists. We will be very grateful for your recommendations!

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