Some infos from Kenya for our fellow travellers:
we came from Tanzania, taking the border close to Lake Victoria, which was a one-stop border and everything was easy. They even accepted our East Africa Visa, which normally doesn’t allow you to leave the three countries (Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya).
After 6 weeks in Kenya, we left to Tanzania again, taking the border at the coast south of Diani Beach, also a one-stop border, which took a while, and we were ripped-off by the Tanzanian health check: one of our yellow-fever vaccinations had an expiring date. She acknowledged that it was nevertheless valid, but she needed to issue a new health pass. A piece of paper and 2 minutes of copying the data cost us US$50,-!! Of course we discussed that, but finally gave up as we wanted to get on. Maybe we should have refused. At this border all the official guys outside the border post, which are filling their books with your data, asked us for money. TIA (this is Africa)
we had paid $100.- for an East Africa Visa, valid in Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya for 90 days, which we had received when entering Rwanda. As the 90 days were over after a couple of days in Kenya, we applied for a Visa extension, filling in the e-form with the help of a lady at a copy shop opposite the Immigration in Eldoret. After a week with no reply, we went to the Immigration office and were told, that it can take some time, we shouldn’t worry. As long as we have the paper, confirming that we applied for the extension, we can continue to travel, what we did. When we reached Nyeri, many days later with still no information about our extension, we went again to the Immigration office, paid KES 3,000.-/pp (€ 20.- – without receipt of course) and got 3 month Visa.
at the border, some guys pressed us hard to buy an insurance, just that the price was much too high. They lowered it over time, but we refused to buy one, feeling cheated, when you suddenly pay half the price than first offered. They warned us, that we will go into jail if the police stopped us. As expected, a “police man” with no uniform and not able to identify himself stopped us a couple of hundred metres after the border. When we insisted on seeing an ID and refused to go with him, he gave up. Arriving at Nairobi, we bought an insurance at the Jungle Junction with the help of Chris, which was KES 2,050.- (€ 13.59) for a month, much less than at the border.
Carnet de Passage:
Our Carnet expired during our stay in Kenya, and we had received a new one from ADAC via DHL Express, sent to Nairobi, which came fast and was waiting for us when we reached town. We thought we would have to get the old one stamped out and the new one in before it expired. Therefore, we went to Customs in Eldoret, but we were told that as long we have the new Carnet with us, it is sufficient to do it at the border whenever we leave Kenya. When leaving Kenia, they had no problem with the 2 Carnets, just that they made a mistake: we now have our first page in the new Carnet with a stamp of Tanzania for arriving and on the same page a Kenyan stamp for leaving. TIA @:-( Hopefully, when leaving Tanzania, they don’t mind this error.
at both borders, there were bank offices with ATM’s and no black market to change our money. But we didn’t find any ATM without fees in Kenya, we only heard there is one near the Jungle Junction in Nairobi, which we didn’t try. In Kenya, credit cards are accepted nearly everywhere, especially every gas station takes them.
There are plenty of filling stations, all taking credit cards.
The roads in Kenya are excellent, nothing to complain. We even tackled some gravel roads during rainy season and had no problem.
There are some road blocks, and a couple of times we were asked for money. In the remote areas around Lake Turkana we gave them a cold coke but otherwise refused to bribe them. In this regard, Kenya was the worth country, something we didn’t expect.
We had bought a Safaricom SIM card in the village at the border, just look for a Safaricom umbrella with a guy sitting underneath, he will do everything for you. This was easier than in Tanzania for sure. We found that the Internet was not working very stable. We had connection nearly everywhere, but it was sometimes very weak and then come back after a while. Only annoying, when you are in an important conference call.
There are for sure enough options to camp in Kenya, not always with the best ablutions, but this is Africa. It was at least cheaper than in most of the other countries. We usually paid not more than KES 1,000.-/pp (€ 6.63)
The Kenyan national parks are really spectacular and the fee for our car was just a couple of Euros. Compared to US$ 150.- for a day in Tanzania, that was a treat. We paid between 50.- and 70.- US$ pppd depending on the park. We had heard about a lower price during rainy season, but that doesn’t exist any more. Camping inside the park was very expensive with normally US$ 30.- pppn, which we in general avoided, staying outside the parks instead.
That’s it about Kenya, we will tell you more about Malawi next.