We could say that the essence of Africa, the one we have seen in so many movies and felt when reading many books, can be found easily in Kenya, one of the continent's most developed countries and, in fact, it is considered an economic power in Africa and it is, known as the 'economic tiger of the region' due to its high number of exports. However, we must not forget that this is a country where poverty affects over 40% of the population, which is developing and which also must fight high rates of tropical diseases such as malaria and others such as HIV.
Therefore, travel to Kenya should be a prepared and organized experience, leaving the spectacular sunsets of the African savannah or the career of a cheetah in search of prey, to be the only thing that surprises us.
But where should we start? The first thing you should do before your first time in this area of the world is paying more attention than ever to common sense: if it tells you to walk down an alley in Nairobi late in the morning can be dangerous, trust it, it, will be dangerous. After having this clear, you'll need to prepare physically, by visiting your nearest international vaccination center at the earliest. The only mandatory vaccine to enter the country is the yellow fever one (this vaccine should be given at least ten days prior your arrival), but health authorities also recommend differed-tetanus and hepatitis B. As per Malaria, a mosquito-borne disease, you should ask your doctor about the various treatments available to help your body to fight the disease in the event of an outbreak. Remember, however, that there is no secured preventive treatment for malaria and even on medication, you should go to the hospital or the nearest health center at the first symptoms (flu-like symptoms, fever, headache, vomiting) to be able to combat it.
As for the visa, most Spanish-speaking countries need it and it can be purchased from the same international airport in Nairobi, when entering the country. The price is $ 50 and it is advisable to carry exact change, since it is difficult to find ATMs before crossing the border.
Once in Kenya, and especially if it's your first time, common sense must to reign in each of your actions. Nairobi, the capital, is considered as a dangerous city by many and, while it is possible to walk during the day in most areas, it is preferable to let yourself be guided by the people who will become your allies: hotel clerks, security staff, travel agency workers, etc. Be sure to ask, compared opinions and put your trust in the people who work for travelers. It is for this reason also, that it is advisable to organize a first trip to Kenya with an experienced travel agency, eg World Kenya Safaris. Kenya is a country with huge tourism potential and numerous attractive areas to discover, which is why it is easier to organize the program and itinerary beforehand.
While you should not let fear or insecurity ruin your trip, you need to take precautions when, for example, drinking and eating in the country. In general, try to order drinks without ice in bars and restaurants and always drink bottled water. It is also advisable to use bottled water when, for example, brushing teeth, so in most hotels you will normally find bottles of water in the bathroom for these functions. In rural areas or local restaurants it is also preferable not to use or consume vegetables or do it carefully.
As for the money, it is not difficult to find ATMs in different cities of Kenya, although it is useful to travel with dollars to the country, since it is easier to change them in the exchange offices. The official currency is the Kenyan shilling (€ 1 = 105 shillings).
Once you've prepared your trip and find yourself enjoying the natural wonders of the country, you will surely have your camera haning around your neck to get the best shots of the streets of Nairobi, the lions of the savannah or the colorful Massai garments. Did you think you could finally get rid of common sense? You were wrong! Photographing Kenya also involves following some guidelines.
In the tourist areas or in the more open to tourism Massai villages, access to which sometimes even requires the payment of an entry fee, you should also ask permission before photographing people. Once again, common sense.
In cities, bear in mind that it is forbidden to photograph people in uniform, military installations, government buildings, border police or President’s the council and himself if ever found.
ESSENTIAL PLACES IN KENYA
While Kenya offers many tourism attractions, are its National Parks, where safaris take place, the most famous of the country. These include the Masai Mara National Reserve, one of the world's favorite destinations to see the 'big five' (lion, buffalo, leopard, elephant and rhino), Amboseli National Park with its herds of elephants, Lake Nakuru with its millions of pink flamingos, the Aberdares with elephants and buffaloes among waterfalls and Mount Kenya National Park and its abundant vegetation. To enter the National Park is necessary to pay an entrance ticket, which is usually included if booked in an experience travel agency.
In addition to the parks, the city of Nairobi offers some attractions like the National Museum or the House Karen Blixen Museum, plus its nightlife. Across the country, in the city of Mombasa and surroundings, the country has beautiful beaches and coastal exquisite cultural life.