"I never knew of a morning in Africa when I woke up and was not happy” – Ernest Hemingway.
Kenya is one of those destinations that truly capture the heart and soul of Africa. Seas of golden savannahs conceal stalking predators while giraffe, zebra and antelope graze unaware on open plains. Traditional villages sit beneath the snow-capped slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro and seem to have a palpable energy, spilling over with a proud and ever-smiling tribal people. And despite its increase in tourism over the past few years, Kenya is not a new destination. Travellers have been visiting Kenya for years, seeking its exceptional wildlife experiences that inspire the most incredible memories – did you know that even Queen Elizabeth holidayed here in the 1950s before she was crowned? Read on to discover what to see and do in our Kenya Travel Guide…
What You Need To Know Before You Go
- Capital City: Nairobi
- Population: 44 million
- Flight time from the UK: Approx. 9 hours direct from the UK to Nairobi Airport
- Currency: Kenyan Shilling
- Language: Swahili, English
- Time difference: GMT + 3 (2 hours ahead of British Summer Time)
- Visas: Required
- Greeting: Jambo! (Hello in Swahili)
- Best time to travel: July to February (peak migration period in July to October)
7 Things You Didn’t Know About Kenya
- It’s old: Kenya’s Great Rift Valley was formed over 20 million years ago by the movement of the earth’s crust.
- It’s big: Stretching 580,400 square kilometres, its more than twice the size of the UK.
- There haven’t always been people: Palaeontologists believe the first humans inhabited Kenya about two million years ago.
- It’s historic: Kenya is home to six UNESCO World Heritage Sites – Fort Jesus, Mount Kenya Forest, Lamu Old Town, The Sacred Kaya Forest, Lake Turkana and the Great Rift Valley.
- It’s very ‘green’: There are over 65 national parks and wildlife reserves in Kenya.
- There’s great coffee: Tea and coffee are Kenya’s largest exports – despite Kenyans not being big coffee drinkers themselves.
- It’s got royal roots: Queen Elizabeth was staying at The Treetops Hotel with Prince Philip when her father, King George, died. So she technically became queen while in Kenya.