*This is a collaboration with United Healthcare Global
With so much of my family still in Mauritius, I've long since wanted to explore more of Africa, and Kenya holidays have been permanently on my bucket list for years! Such an incredible country with so much amazing wildlife, stunning landscapes and beautiful people, who wouldn't love to explore such wild and untamed lands? After exploring countries across Europe, the US and Australia and finding them so manicured in comparison, only Asia has given me a taste of wild jungles and vast open plains in recent years. It's now been over a decade since I visited Mauritius and yes I still remember it like it was yesterday, if anything it has only whet my appetite for more Africa travels in the future. So, as a taste of things to come, here's a little extra post on the important things you need to remember before planning your Kenya holidays.
Kenya is a stunning country boasting 54 national parks, a beautiful coastline and striking mountains, including Mount Elgon and the Aberdare Range.With Kenya becoming more popular by the year, it's a great time to visit this relatively unspoiled country before it becomes a tourist hot spot. With visitor numbers increasing from 37,000 in 2008, to nearly 100,000, it's set to be hugely popular with travelers searching for their next adventure. But, there are a few things you need to bear in mind when planning your trip.
Health insurance for Kenya holidays
Never travel without health insurance. Trust me, as someone who has been in several serious car accidents while traveling, who has stepped on a sea urchin, face planted the water from an 18m jump and goodness knows what else – you never know when you will need it. Medical care is expensive in other countries – when you've grown up with the NHS, you have no idea how much you have been sheltered from. It is wise to buy comprehensive travel and health insurance to ensure you are covered for all eventualities, particularly if you are planning adventure travel activities that might put you at further risk.
Get your vaccinations before you go
Planning Kenya holidays takes a bit of organisation and time, you will need to get vaccinated before you go to prevent the risk of infection when you travel. Check with the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for an updated list of recommended vaccinations before you travel. The current list for Kenya advises you get immunized against the following: Measles, MMR, Diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, Chickenpox, Polio, Flu shot, Pneumonia, Yellow Fever, Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Cholera, Hepatitis B, Malaria, Meningitis, Polio, Rabies.
It is a long list, but you will most likely have already had around six or seven of the vaccines on the list when you were younger. It is worth visiting your doctor to check if you require all of these, any booster jabs, and also how long it will take to get the jabs done. For rabies – needed if you are spending time around livestock or perhaps even on safari – there are several jabs that must be taken over several weeks/months prior to the trip. The rest, all except Yellow Fever, are not obligatory for all travelers. Whether it is wise to have them or not is for you to determine. Your doctor will help you to decide which ones you need. You also need to bear that not getting the right vaccinations may mean that your health insurance will not cover certain illnesses.
*As always, Absolutely Lucy is not a medical professional and cannot advise specific cases – you must speak with your doctor and make the best decision for yourself.
Visas and passports for Kenya holidays
The rules for Kenyan visas vary depending on where you are from. So, you should always check to see what the requirements are for your country. Even if you think you know what the rules are, double-check before booking your ticket. Visa agreements can be updated and changed, at any time. So, you want to be sure that you are working with the latest information, which is available here.
At the time of writing this post, UK citizens require a visa to enter Kenya, this can be organised before traveling or on arrival at the airport. To minimise queuing time, it is advised to get it beforehand by applying for a single entry or transit visa on the evisas website. You can also apply for these, and other types of visa, at the Kenya High Commission in London. For more information, see the website of the Kenya High Commission. Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Kenya. Make sure you have two blank pages in your passport on arrival.
Traveling to other African countries
If you are not sure Kenya holidays are for you, but would still like to visit an African country there are plenty of other options. If you want to do a little more research to find which country is the most appealing to you, check out Spirited Pursuit's blog for in-depth articles that tell you everything you need to know including general travel tips for Africa. Her blog is more than just information about traveling Africa, she tells a story of African life and the true beauty of the continent.
Have you been to Africa – which countries have you visited? What parts of Africa are on your bucket list?