What to Pack List
So you know where is Kenya on the map but you are not sure what to pack list should include for your stress free safari holiday in Africa? If you decide travel to Africa and you know where is Kenya, you should be also aware there are some wild areas out there and it is better to be prepared! We have put together the complete vacation packing list, including some important Kenya facts, news and advice. No matter if go on safari to Maasai Mara or you are heading to coast for ocean safaris adventures in Diani or Mombasa, our what to pack list is suitable not only for Kenya but for travel to Africa in general. It is also wise to follow Kenya news in order to stay tuned, should be there some important updates regarding security before you travel.
If you have a good condition you might climb up Mt. Kenya. This is a wonderful experience and it might be the highlight of your safari. To climb up Mt. Kenya you will need special gear and equipment. The experienced team at Mt. Kenya will provide you with all the information and trip advice.
So you have viewed all the advised articles and now you know much more then only where is Kenya on a map so we can start with the packing list for your lifetime adventure in east Africa.
Kenya Travel Advisory and What to Pack List for Stress Free Holidays
- Baggage in Kenya
Quick Kenya Travel Advisory: Baggage for travel to Africa should be of good quality, resistible and lockable! It is always better to have a simple baggage and bags which does not attract too much attention. The best way to avoid a high baggage fees you should always pack light.
- Suitcase or duffel (20kg/44lb max for internal flights)
- Back bag for daily activities (rain cover is nice)
- Waterproof plastic bags for storing clothing and gear (Ziploc is suggested)
- Money belt, security pouch, document organizer
- Document organizer
- Visas for all countries as necessary
- Airline tickets, e-tickets (make sure name on ticket matches name on passport)
- Copy of travel itinerary
- Medical insurance card
- Address book
- Business cards
- Clothing on holidays in Kenya:
Quick Kenya Travel Advisory: Avoid to any bright colors as they disturb wild animals and avoid to navy blue color if you go to areas with tsetse fly as this color is her favorite. Your clothing should be lightweight, breathable, hand-washable, and quick-drying.
- Long sleeved lightweight shirts for protection from the sun and insect
- Short sleeved cotton, linen shirts and trousers for warm temperatures
- Sweater / jacket and pants for cold temperatures experienced at night and the morning
- Rain jacket and pants or rain poncho
- Short pants/Long pants (zip-off pants are very useful)
- Hat, if possible with net against insect/ with brim and chin strap
- Bandana (for dust, washing, etc.)
- Safari scarf for covering hair or face against dust
- Bathing suit (those staying in coast or villa/lodge with a swimming pool & would want to swim)
- Comfortable, breathable Socks
Quick advice: Avoid to too heavy shoes, or plastic and high hills. Have extra shoes in the case the first will get wet or break.
- Good quality comfortable walking shoes for wear during safari with closed toe, preferably waterproof
- Lightweight hiking shoes
- Tennis shoes
- One nice pair of dressy shoes can be even higher hills for wearing in lodge or eating out
- Flip flops for wearing on beach/villa/lodge/hotel
- Personal Items
Quick Kenya Travel Advisory: Do not pack too much staff, keep it brief. Avoid packing too much and very expensive jewelry. Most of the cosmetic you can buy in local shops (some of the African cosmetic products are fabulous and all natural! Using mostly neem, aloe, sandal wood and coconut oil your skin will improve remarkable!)
- Sunglasses with straps
- Reading glasses (Contact lances are not recommended as it can be very dusty)
- Strong Sunscreen / Sun block / After sun cream
- Lip sun block/good moisturizer/waterproof make up
- Nail clipper/nail brush
- Foot balm (cooling is nice)
- Hairbrush, comb, mirror
- Toiletries such as toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, conditioner
- Ziploc bags for toiletries
- Bug repellant/animal spray
- Small bag for safari/Beach bag
- Second glue
- Pen & writing pad, notebook
- Hand sanitizer, Disinfectant, Antiseptic cream
- Sewing kit
- First Aid (Band aids/plasters, Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Diarrhea medicine, Malaria pills-talk to doctor, Antibiotics-talk to doctor, Prescription drugs-talk to doctor, Antihistamines, Blister packs, Motion sickness tablets, Tweezers, Disinfectant wipes)
- Playing cards, games
- Animal and bird guide books
- Kenya map
- Language books
- Umbrella, particularly useful in the rainy season or for protection in front of the sun
- Ear plugs
- Some cash (small notes 1, 5, 10, 20 and must be newer then 2003!
Quick Kenya Travel Advisory: It is advice to always carry your electronics in plain bags which does not pull attention. Store electronics in sealed water-proof bags (double bagged if possible).
- Headlamp or flashlight
- Camera and film. 300 mm lens recommended, lenses, filters, memory disks (in the case you will not be able to download) You should take more film as you might not be able to find the desired speed or brand in East Africa. We recommend at least 3 rolls of film per day on safari and 1 for beach.
- Video camera, tapes
- Extra camera batteries
- Electricity adapter/Kenya has British standard plugs with 240w/ 3-prong round or square
- Cell phone
- Alarm clock
- Calculator (for currency conversion)
Quick Kenya Travel Advisory: Most of the people in Africa are very poor so if you have some small things to go out it is always very nice gesture. You might bring a hat or shirts for safari guides or pencils, pens or candies for kids.
- Pocket knife
- Binoculars (each of safari vehicles has normally 1-2 binoculars)
- Locks for baggage
- Small gifts for children – pencils, pens, sweets
- Travelers checks or currency
- Small backpack
- Money belt
- Dry Snack
CAUTION – Coastal towns in Kenya:
If you are going to coastal towns, Mombasa, Malindi, Lamu, Diani etc (East Africa beach towns), please be advised that those places are of Muslim majority, and long dresses are strongly recommended. Try to avoid clothes that show much of your bodies, or “skin-tight” clothes unless you are at the beaches. Muslims are more often offended by seeing skimpy dressing. Be respectful to other cultures! African people are generally very friendly but showing too much parts of your body you might ended up being called by not really nice names.
- Our Advice, Kenya Travel Tips & Warnings
- Print a copy of your hotel reservation and place it inside your checked baggage for identification purposes while you are traveling.
- Make copies of passport, visas, airline tickets/schedule, travel itinerary, credit cards (front and back), frequent flyer numbers, travelers checks’ numbers, travel insurance, and emergency contact information. Leave a copy with someone at home and put a copy in a travel companion’s luggage or send them per email to yourself (or Google Docs).
- It’s best to leave all jewelry at home. You can buy beautiful African jewelry made of Maasai beats between 5-20USD
- Most big restaurants, stores, hotels, lodges, camps, car rental firms, etc. take international credit cards. American Express, Thomas Cook, Visa and MasterCard Traveler’s Checks find easy accepted
- E-mail and internet access shouldn’t be a problem in Kenya. There are many internet cafe and most of the hotels have internet connection
- Always ask before you take photos of people or private places! If you ask, for little payment or sweets they like to pose.
- It is strictly forbidden to take photos of police and their properties!
- Always negotiate the prices in local shops. The prices you will be told on the beginning is most of the times at least 10 times higher!
- Be careful buying wooden crafts. Check the quality of the wood and quality of the paint. Some of the wooden crafts might color your baggage and be eaten by wood parasites within 2 months
- Do not carry lot of cash! Do not walk in dark empty streets! Do not show your camera or phone visibly, carry it in a bag. Keep money in body belt under your clothes and be careful with valuables in crowd places!
- If you rent a car, under no circumstances stop in the night! No matter what you seen or no matter who was waving on you!
- There is malaria (except in Nairobi and high-altitude areas), cholera, typhoid, hepatitis, schistosomisis (this worm-infection is terrible as it sounds), meningitis, HIV, the Rift Valley fever and yellow fever. You can catch Bilharzia if you swim in some lakes, streams or rivers. Make sure to have proper vaccination!
- Always drink only bottled water!
- Tipping is much practiced in Kenya and small tips of 1-20USD are expected and highly appreciated.
- Be aware of beach boys and try to avoid booking a safari with them as it might end up as a big disappointment.
- The best time for photography is morning and afternoon light. You will get amazing pictures of Kenya
- Children are welcome on safari in Kenya, however some hotels and lodges have child policies. Always advise.