Kenya

  • Government : Presidential republic
  • Official language : swahili, english
  • Time : GMT + 3 hours
  • Capital : Nairobi
  • President : Uhuru Kenyatta
  • Currency : Kenya shilling

The Republic of Kenya covers an area of 582,644 square kilometres and shares a common border with Ethiopia to the north, Sudan to the north west, Uganda to the west,Tanzania to the South , and Somalia to the East. The country sits astride the Equator and is bisected from north to South by the Great Rift Valley, a natural phenomenon that runs through most of the length of Africa . Kenya is a land of great physical contrasts divided into roughly five ecological zones. To the north and north east, the country ranges from semi arid to desert. About two thirds of the country is in this zone, whose most important feature is Lake Turkana on whose shores at Koobi Kora. Archeological excavations have unearthed man’s earliest ancestors leading to Kenya’s claim as the “Cradle of Mankind”. Kenya’s Coastal belt stretches nearly five hundred kilometres from the Tanzania border to the south, to Kiwayu on the Somali boarder to the north. All along this coastal stretch are located Kenya’s famous beach resorts including Mombasa, Kenya’s second largest city, which is not only a world renown tourist resort but also a thriving port city serving as a sea outlet to its landlocked neighbours in Central Africa. Other equally famous coastal resort areas are Shimoni, Diani and Tiwi on the South Coast and Watamu, Malindi, and Lamu on the north Coast . Together they offer the visitors some of the finest beaches to be found anywhere in the world.

Climate

The climate of Kenya varies by location, from mostly cool every day, to always warm/hot. The climate along the coast is tropical. This means rainfall and temperatures are higher throughout the year. At the coastal cities [Mombasa, Lamu, Malindi], the air changes from cool to hot, almost every day The further inside Kenya, the more arid the climate becomes. An arid climate is nearly devoid of rainfall, and temperature swings widely according to the general time of the day/night. For many areas of Kenya, the daytime temperature rises about 12 C (corresponding to a rise of about 22F), almost every day. Elevation is the major factor in temperature levels, with the higher areas, on average, as 11 °C (20 °F) cooler, day or night. The many mile-high cities have temperature swings from roughly 50–79 °F (10.0–26.1 °C). Nairobi, at 1,798 m (5,899 ft) ranges from 49–80 °F (9.4–26.7 °C), At night, heavy clothes or blankets are needed, in the highlands, when the temperature drops to about 50–54 °F (10.0–12.2 °C) every night. At lower altitudes, the increased temperature is like day and night, literally: like starting the morning at the highland daytime high, and then adding the heat of the day, again. Hence, the overnight low temperatures near sea level are nearly the same as the high temperatures of the elevated Kenyan highlands. However, locations along the Indian Ocean have more moderate temperatures, as a few degrees cooler in the daytime, such as at Mombasa There are slight seasonal variations in temperature, of 4 °C or 7.2 °F, cooler in the winter months. Although Kenya is centred at the equator, it shares the seasons of the southern hemisphere: with the warmest summer months in February–March and the coolest winter months in July–August, although only a few degrees cooler. On the high mountains, such as Mount Kenya, Mount Elgon and Kilimanjaro, the weather can become bitterly cold for most of the year. Some snowfall has occurred on the highest mountains.

Recommended vaccinations

Yellow fever

Vaccine is recommended for all travelers greater than nine months of age, except for those whose itinerary is limited to the following areas: the entire North Eastern Province; the states of Kilifi, Kwale, Lamu, Malindi, and Tanariver in the Coastal Province; and the cities of Mombasa and Nairobi. For travelers to the the latter areas, the vaccine should be considered only for those at increased risk due to prolonged travel, heavy exposure to mosquitoes, or inability to avoid mosquito bites. The vaccine is required for all travelers greater than one year of age arriving from a country in Africa or the Americas with risk of yellow fever transmission. Yellow fever vaccine (YF-VAX; Aventis Pasteur Inc.) (PDF) must be administered at an approved yellow fever vaccination center, which will give each vaccinee a fully validated International Certificate of Vaccination.

Malaria

Malaria in Kenya: prophylaxis is recommended for all areas except Nairobi and the highlands (above 2500 m) of Central, Eastern, Nyanza, Rift Valley, and Western Provinces. Malaria epidemics frequently occur during the rainy season, which begins in April, but transmission occurs year-round.

What to wear

Carry a change of clothes in your hand luggage in case your bags get lost during air travel. Comfortable, casual, cotton clothing is recommended for your travels in tropical Africa as the organic material allows your skin to breath, in the hot, humid climate. During while on safari try to avoid bright colours which can frighten any animals. Trousers or long skirts are recommended after dark to stop the mosquitoes biting. And a sweater/fleece is also advisable as evenings and early mornings can be chilly. Many hotels, lodges and camps have swimming pools so be sure to carry some swimwear. Personal towel & a sun proof hat can protect you from sweat & dust which builds up around your face during the safari. A pair of sturdy, comfortable walking shoes are highly recommended, with sandals for time by the pool and around the lodges and camps. While in East Africa always remember you are a guest in another country so please respect the culture and religion by wearing appropriate clothing.

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