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Kenya

Visas
Most of the Nationalities will need a visa to get to Kenya, but you can get it when you arrive in the airport, eventhough before you fly ask if it's true for your nationality. If you come from one of the neighbours countries in most of the cases you can get in the border. The price for a single entry visa is 50 US$ and a transit visa 20 US$, the single entry visa is valid if you travel to Uganda or Tanzania and return to Kenya.

Getting to Kenya

Mostly you arrive to Nairobi first if you come by air or by road. By road you have a bus from Kampala in Uganda there is twice a day bus and from Tanzania you have everyday bus from Arusha and Dar ES Salam. You can also use the train there's once a week a train from Kampala in Uganda and a few times in a week from Moshi in Tanzania.

Traveling in Kenya
Kenya is one of the single countries in Africa that you can hire a car in a reasonable price, since there are quite many tourists in this country. If you're a group of students it'll be cheaper to hire a car or a jeep to the Safaris in Kenya, because in t he safaris companies they'll reduce the price only in 5 US$ when you show them the student card and the real discount can be 10US$ instead of 27US$ (this price is from 6/96). Also in some parts of Kenya the public transport isn't so good and comfortable. A very good idea is to use the train, you have train to every-day to Mombassa during all the night and if you take the first or the second class it's including dinner and breakfast and mattresses. You have also a train to Kisumu 3 times a week, to Moshi in Tanzania and to Kampala in Uganda once a week. The prices for tourists aren't cheap, but the train is very safe and comfortable compare to the buses and the matatus (service taxies). The buses and the matatus are the fastest (unless you take a plane) and the cheapest, the problem is that they're not comfortable especially the matatus and very crowded again this is more about the matatus (in a car that is for 8-9 people 14-15 will be and sometimes they use cars which you don't think it's for people, but to carry things and I counted a few time more than 25 people inside, when 2 people can sit in the front and you can carry 1000-2000 kg in the back, the problem with the bus that you can find them only few times every day.

The Safaries
Kenya is known in its national parks and game reserves. If you walk in the streets of Nairobi you'll find many who will offer you a Safari, then they'll take and there interests is the commission from the office which they'll take you to. I took a safari trip for 7 days in Savuka which was very good. The safaris start at 50 US$ per day, if you're a student bring your International student card, since in Kenya there is a large discount in the national parks when you show your student card. Rather newsafari company which already opertates a couple of year is Planet Safari, they provide about the same services as Savuka. In their office they got a couple of rooms where they can accommodate you for free, before and after the safari. The most famous game reserve is the Masai Mara. If you go there be aware that this park divided for 2 parts, the one in the north in Kenya and the one in south is the Serengeti in Tanzania, so in some parts of the year it's better to go to the Serengeti a nd in the other part to the the Masai Mara. Because in the dry season the animals immigrate to the Masai Mara in Kenya. This park is about half day drive from Nairobi and the roads after 1 hour far from Nairobi are bad. In this park I saw almost all the b ig animals including lions, cheetahs and elephants and inside the river that the divide this park you can see crocodile and hippos and you're invited to swim with them (just kidding This park is the most touristic in Kenya and you can find there balloons flights and the accommodation is the most organize. Another thing that you can do there is to visit one of the Masais' villages and after you pay them 1-2 US$ you can make as much as you want photos of them and with them. Their houses are made from mud a nd all their animals live with them and the babies (animals) even go inside their house. Lake Nakuru is where you can find the bird life including many flamingos, but this park is very small compare to all the others and it's close to Nakuru (city). Samburu is north to the equator, this park is very nice and not so crowded as Masai Mara, the camp site in the park is near the river and while you're in the camp site you can find the elephants come to make a bath, It's one of the fabulous things you can see. Of course there are also many others parks in Kenya, but I didn't see them. But I can just remember here some of them: Mt. Kenya this is the highest mountain in Kenya and it's on the equator and on the top of the mountain you can see snow, the vegetarian of this park is interesting you need warm clothes before you climb this mount ain and it's recommended to hire the equipment in Nairobi because it's cheaper. You can pay for people who will carry all your stuff in this journey. You can do this journey without a guide and you start it from Nanyuki. The most popular route takes 5 days to complete. You can arrange this hike with one of the safari operators mentioned above from Nairobi, they'll charge for a hiking day from 50US$ per day. Another one is the Amboseli where you can see the Kalimenjarou mountain in the background the highest mountain in Africa. Lake Turkana a park in the north of the country (the border with Ethiopia). Another place in Kenya that it's not so visited is the west part. You have a few interesting places in this part Mt. Elgon (the second highest mountain in Kenya), Depends in which month you visit the area it's advised to go to the recommended game park between the Masai Mara and the Serengeti if you want to see the animals. The main migratory herds are made up mostly of wildebeest and zebra, some gazelle, eland and topi, followed by the predators like lions and hyena. Elephant tend to circulate in a much more confined area, as to giraffe. The Serengeti Ecosystem is comprised of the Masaai Mara in Kenya and the western part of the Ngorongoro

Others places to travel
Kakamega forest (the most east rain forest in Africa) this forest is very nice, but also very small, Charangani hills which sits on height of more than 2000m and are very nice place to hike and relax and to meet the friendly people of Kenya and in the bottom of the hills near Kitale you can find the nicest place to stay in Kenya, this camp site (also you can find rooms) is maintained by 2 English ladies, it's the cleanest place in Kenya even more than the Hilton in Nairobi and the food is excellent, the prices are too higher than normal, but it's worth it.