Airport guide

Airports in Kenya

Language

The official language in Kenya is English, but the national language is Swahili. Forty-two ethnic languages are spoken throughout the country.

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Money

Kenya’s official currency is the Kenyan shilling. They’re nearly impossible to exchange outside of Kenya, so make sure you exchange all your shillings before leaving. Change money at hotels, banks or exchange bureaus. Euros, US dollars and UK pounds are the easiest to exchange. The street exchange merchants are operating illegally, so don’t use them. Many of the main hotels and safari lodges accept US dollars. The larger hotels and stores and some camps and lodges accept major credit cards. Nairobi and the other major towns have ATMs all over.    

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Communications

Kenya’s international country code is 254. To call another country from Kenya, dial 000. If you’re calling Tanzania or Uganda, the outgoing codes are 007 and 006. It’s cheaper to use one of the international phone services or a pre-paid calling card to make outgoing calls. Most towns and tourist areas have Internet cafes.

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Tipping

High-end restaurants might add a 10 percent service charge to your bill, but tipping isn’t customary in Kenya. You can give small change to taxi drivers, waiters and porters. Safari drivers, guides and cooks rely heavily on tips, so you should tip them at your discretion.

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Safety

Be aware of your surroundings, as Nairobi has a problem with robberies and muggings, especially at night. There have even been armed attacks on golf courses, so be alert while playing in remote areas.

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Health

If you’re arriving from an area infected with yellow fever, you’ll need a yellow fever vaccination certificate. Avoid food prepared by unlicensed vendors, which were banned by the Provincial Commissioner after a cholera outbreak. Check with your doctor at least three weeks before leaving for Kenya to see about recommended preventions for malaria, yellow fever, Hepatitis A, polio and typhoid. Malaria is a bigger risk around Mombasa and the lower coastal areas, but diarrheal diseases, hepatitis A, B an E and dengue fever are all risks. One of the best ways to prevent dengue fever and other insect-borne diseases is to protect against sand flies, mosquitoes and tsetse flies. Take the appropriate precautions against AIDS, which is a serious problem in Kenya. Stick to bottled water whenever possible. Make sure you have health insurance.

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Electricity

Kenya’s electrical current is 240 volts, 50Hz and uses UK-style three-pinned plugs.

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Melisse Hinkle
A New England native but explorer at heart, Melisse has lived in four U.S. cities, spent a summer in Hawaii, made her way through wine-producing regions in Australia and New Zealand, and traveled around Europe while studying abroad in London. She is the Content Manager for the U.S. and Canada at Cheapflights.
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