Kenya is in East Africa and situated on the equator and the Indian Ocean, and is regarded as one of the continents most iconic travel destinations. The country encompasses an incredible diversity of landscapes and habitats, from savannah plains to alpine peaks, deserts, tropical forests and a stunning coastline. The capital city, Nairobi, hosts the country's largest airport, Jomo Kenyatta International Airport which is one of Africa's main airport hubs.
A tourist visa is required for entry into Kenya for most travellers (see below for exceptions). This visa is issued at any Kenyan embassy, or can be issued on arrival at an entry point to citizens of any country. Visa costs are as follows:
1. Single entry visa - US$50.00 or £30 or €40
2. Multiple entry visa - US$110.00 or £60
3. Transit visa - US$20.00 or £10
Note: A single entry visa will allow re-entry to Kenya from any of the following East African countries: Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, and Rwanda.
Citizens of the following countries do not require a visa: Barbados, Maldives, St. Lucia, Belize, Malta, Swaziland, Botswana, Mauritius, Seychelles, Brunei Darussalam, Namibia, The Gambia, Burundi, Nauru, Tanzania, Cyprus, Papua New Guinea, The Bahamas, Dominica, Rwanda, Tonga, Fiji Island, Trinidad and Tobago, Ghana, Samoa, Tuvalu, Grenada, St. Kitts and Navis, Uganda, Jamaica, Sierra Leona, Vanuatu, Kiribati, Singapore, Zambia, Lesotho, Solomon Islands, Zimbabwe, Malawi, South Africa (for less than 30 days stay), St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Malaysia (for less than 30 days stay), Ethiopia, Eritrea, San Marino
The currency in Kenya is the Kenya Shilling (kshs) which trades at around 90 to the US Dollar, eight to the South African rand and 110 to the Euro. Up to the minute offical exchange rates can be found here.
For travellers to Watamu there are several ATMs in Watamu that accept international credit and debit cards and most hotels do offer credit card facilities. Certain banks in Watamu and Malindi offer currency exchange services during the week and on Saturday mornings.
Tipping is customary but not mandatory and in Kenya, and is usually 10% of the bill.
Watamu is at sea level in the tropics and there is malaria present, although the risk is relatively low given the low population density. It is advisable to take precautions including wearing repellant at night and sleeping with mosquito nets. Seek advice from your Doctor for advice on anti-malarial medication.
Your doctor may also advise on other possible vaccinations for travel to the tropics. Travellers from South Africa and some other countries may require that they have a Yellow Fever vaccination (with accompanying card) when returning from Kenya. Seek advice from your doctor and local authorities.
Despite recent concerns about localized Ebola outbreaks in West Africa, there have been no cases anywhere in East Africa or Kenya.
There is a good local clinic in Watamu which can be reached via hotels or rented houses and there is a good pharmacy by Watamu supermarket. There are also several clinics and hospital facilities in nearby Malindi which is a 30 minute drive from Watamu.
We recommend that travellers to Kenya have the tourist coverage offered by AMREF Flying Doctors.