How to prepare for a trip to kenya.


Preparing for a Kenya trip.

Unless you are embarking on a safari that involves a great deal of walking or riding and that means on a camel, and not in a jeep, the plain truth is that most of the protective outfit, no matter how stylish, is not necessary. Majority of Kenyan safaris, you actually do very little walking at all since most of the reserves and game parks insist that you remain in your vehicle.

The stout shoes and the comfortable socks can probably be dispensed with unless, of course you seriously intend to try and walk, in case, pack them. But remember, one thing about walking in the reserve: if it is allowed, and do check with your lodge for details, you will always have to go with a ranger. Never set off for a walk on your own.


Let us talk about your luggage. You will spend a lot of time in dusty jeeps traveling from one game park to another, so you should have solid luggage that fastens tightly against the all pervasive dust. Since some lodges like the Ark encourage you to take nothing more than an overnight bag, it makes sense to pack a smaller bag for any overnight trips when you can safely leave the bulk of luggage at your base camp. Soft luggage makes the best sense for traveling in Kenya since it can be fitted into the back of a jeep with more ease.

Remember to take padlocks and keys. For the day time, when you go out for your game drives, a small study bag or rucksack is ideal. The padded camera bag or rucksack is ideal not only for protecting your camera gear during the drives, but you will also be able to fit in some of the "extras" you will want to take along for the day: paper tissues, perhaps a pack of moist towelettes, your wildlife reference books, your binoculars and all that extra film you will need.


Once the luggage has been selected, what will you pack in it for your safari? Well, first things first, there is no need to "dress up" on safari. No one dresses for dinner, so other than a smart out fit for the hotels and restaurants in Nairobi and Mombasa; out in the bush you will need only loose, cool, comfortable clothing. Light-weight cotton trousers and shorts, tee-shirts and cotton shirts, comfortable shoes, and, for an early morning drives and the evening, a warm sweater.

If you are planning any bush walking, however leisurely, do make sure that your shoes are comfortable and "broken in", and under no circumstances should you wear sandals in the bush - unless you wish to get scratched and, possibly, stung or bitten by something. Trousers rather than shorts and long-sleeved shirts are the most sensible combination for they protect you from too much sun and also from mosquitoes in the evenings.

With all that ever present red Kenyan dust round, you will get grimy but laundry can be done overnight in most camps and lodges so there is no need to weigh your bags down with too many changes of outfit - save your luggage space for a wonderful Kisii soapstone carving instead!

If you are also combining your safari with a stint on the beach at Mombasa, you will need to pack more conservative clothing for the coast is essentially a Muslim dominated area. Beach wear will be fine for the Mombasa,Malindi, Lamu and other coastal beach towns.

Breakfast consists of all the usual items found in an English-style breakfast such as eggs of all kinds, sausages and various cold meats, bread and lots of fresh fruit, plus, of course, tea and coffee, both of which are grown in the country. Lunch and dinner are usually huge, lavish buffet spreads with soup, salad, lots of meat, sometimes fish, a wide choice of vegetables, potatoes and rice or pasta. Deserts are usually sweet and filling, and there is always some fruit on offer.

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