What to Consider Before Travelling for Vacation in Kenya

Almost no matter where you go, there are so many things to consider before travelling: from visa to transport, food to history and everything in between. The same is true for East African gem, Kenya. For example and first of all, make sure you pick a good travel company in Kenya, like most companies they are not all created equally. Now that's covered, let's look at what else there is to consider before travelling for vacation to Kenya:

Research And Understand Kenya's History

I think it's always important to learn about a country's history before you visit, but I think this is particularly true if you come from Britain and are planning to visit Kenya. Why? Because Britain not only colonised Kenya, it also suspended civil liberties there. The Brits (shamefully) forced people to move, work for free and put them in concentration camps. I (as a Brit myself) feel appalled that this really happened and that they don't teach us about this in school.

Resistance to colonialism started in 1942 when people from four different tribes (Meru, Embu, Kikuyu and Kamba) united to secretly fight for freedom from British rule and thus started the Mau Mau Movement. The struggle was hard and Kenya achieved independence fifteen years later in 1957, but not before the colonialists had imprisoned Jomo Kenyatta and hanged Dedan Kimathi, as well as imprisoning thousands of Kenyans in detention camps.

How To Get To Kenya

As much as I wish you and everyone around the world would take to over-landing, I know that practically it's not always possible or realistic. Chances are you will probably fly and for that I offer three pieces of advice: number one, go for a Kenya flight booking agent. Their job is to literally look after you and make you happy - what could be better?

My other two pieces of advice are rather contradictory, but hear me out: the best times to book flights are as many months in advance as you possibly can (because the flights are cheaper the earlier you book). With the exception (and here comes my other piece of advice) of booking them just one or two days before (because they're also cheaper then). The latter point is only if you're a gambling person (which I am not). What I am is a super 'cool' person who looks at flight prices to places she's not going a day or two before, to prove what I was just saying. Moving on.

Respect Animals!

For most, and myself included, seeing crazy cool animals is on their bucket-list when it comes to vacationing in Kenya. More specifically, people want to go on safaris. This stems from our (near-) universal love for animals so please live that love to it's fullest by actually and fully respecting animals. That means, but isn't limited to:

  • Opting for a respectable safari that doesn't disturb the animals nor their environment (take only photos, leave only foot (/tire) prints). I cannot stress this enough, please do not go with safari companies that go too close to animals, it's not fair and it's not cool;
  • Do not hunt animals! It's one of the vilest things humans do in my opinion. Eating animals is one thing (that I don't agree with) but hunting them for entertainment and sport is 100% unnecessary and gross. Skip.
  • Of course, you can do the full 'thing' and even opt for not eating animals or their fluids (dairy, eggs, honey) whilst in Kenya (and anywhere really). It might well be easier than you think:

What And Where To Eat In Kenya

The fruit in Kenya is mouthwatering and vibrant. Pineapples, bananas, oranges, passion fruit, pawpaws, and mangos - each bite a taste of heaven. Buy from locals or pick it straight from the tree. Leafy greens can be easily grown throughout the year here, like sukuma leaves (collard greens). Meat is actually not prominent in Kenyan cuisine and actually the two main staples are accidentally vegan: rice and maize. Maize meal is called unga when raw but only eaten when it's cooked (ugali).

The national dish of Kenya is also accidentally vegan. It's called Sukuma Wiki (literally 'stretch the week') and consists of the sukuma leaves, onion, tomato, stock and spices. It's often eaten with ugali. Another national dish that also just happens to be vegan is Maharagwe: onion, garlic, chilis, tomatoes, coconut, curry and kidney beans. There is also Irio which is made from boiled and then mashed potatoes and peas. Yum. By the way, in Nairobi (the capital of Kenya) there are two vegan restaurants: Soul Vegetarian and Maharaja. (Yes Soul Vegetarian is 100%, no I'm not sure why it's not called Soul Vegan haha).

Wrap Up: Travelling For Vacation In Kenya

Of course, there are so many things to consider before travelling anywhere and I feel like I've only just scratched the surface of the basics here, but I hope it's been helpful :)

Have you been to Kenya? If you have, what do you wish you'd known before-hand? Let us know in the comments below!

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We overland. We eat plants and fungi. We live outside as much as possible. We are all connected. A female travel blogger overlanding and writing about ecotourism, ethical and sustainable travel, socially conscious travel and housesitting. An online travel magazine since 2015.


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