Frequently Asked Questions
What do I need to bring along for a safari to Kenya Wildlife Service Parks and Reserves?
Visitors to our wide network of Parks and Reserves will experience a wide range of Climatic Conditions. These will depend on the time/seasons of visit. Clothes to bring along should therefore be adaptable. However, many of the parks are located in low altitude areas and have temperatures ranging from warm to hot in the day and cool to cold in the night. Take outfits that layer so that you start well rugged and can "peal of" as the day warms up. Basic clothing include, loose fitting long trousers and shirt/ T-shirts, a hat and sunglasses against the sun, lace up shoes. Clothing should be natural, earthly colored or Khaki. Locally made safari outfits are available in a number of shops.
You will also find a bird guide, mammals guide and a map of the country quite handy. These can be purchased from our gift shops.
Other essential things to include in your safari bag include a torch, insect repellant, binoculars and plenty of camera film. It is advisable to travel with a small medical kit that includes any basic remedies you may need, such as antacids, painkillers, anti-histamines and cold remedies
What health precautions do I need to observe while on or before taking a safari to your Parks and Reserves?
Visitors to the country require vaccination against cholera and yellow fever. Other Vaccinations recommended are against typhoid, tetanus, and hepatitis. Some vaccination may need a course of injections, allow sufficient time for this.
As a precaution against Malaria, prophylactics should be taken before, during and after a visit to Kenya. Prevention consists of using effective protection against bites such as an insect repellant and mosquito nets.
Other than taking obvious precaution, a visit to the park should present very limited health hazards.
Can you recommend a reliable/reputable tour operator for safaris in your Parks and Reserves?
Many reputable small and large Tour Operator firms organize safaris into KWS Parks and Reserves, they offer expert driver guides, information and wildlife viewing trips into the parks. We at Kenya Wildlife Service work closely with individual tour operators as well as with their umbrella organization, Kenya Association of Tour Operators KATO, to ensure that they operate to the very high standards of professionalism. For wildlife viewing safari or a specialist safari to the Parks and Reserves kindly contact any of the tour operators listed on www.katokenya.org
Can I pay my Park entrance fees in advance, what mode of payments should I use?
If you are visiting the parks on a package tour, your tour operator will include park entry fees in the total cost of your safari. However, if you are visiting on a self-organized tour, you do not need to pre-pay your park entrance fees, Park entrance fees, camping fees and self-catering accommodation fees are paid on arrival at the park gate.
In the five major Parks, Aberdares, Tsavo East, Tsavo West, Nairobi and Amboseli National Parks entrance is by Smartcard. While other parks require the paper tickets
How much does a safari to Kenya cost?
The cost of a safari varies depending on the kind of safari (luxury or budget) and on the length of itinerary you wish to undertake. Generally a safari could cost between US$70 to US$400 per person per night for Park entrance fees and other services offered such as meals, accommodation and game drives.
Our park entrance fees, camping fees, vehicle entrance fees and other charges are listed on the tariff sheet
What is the security situation in your parks and reserves?
Security for our visitors to and in the parks and reserves is our most important concern, through intensified patrols on the wildlife viewing circuits, campsites around guests houses and bandas and on park/reserve access roads. We ensure excellent security for our visitors.
By observing simple park rules and regulations, our visitors are assured of minimum accidents during their visit and stay in the Parks and Reserves.
Although security for our park visitors is high, visitors need to observe the basic precautions in urban centers i.e. avoid walking in dark/isolated areas at night, do not wear flashy jewelry, avoid carrying valuables around, etc
What is the weather pattern in Kenya/ When is the best time to visit your Parks and Reserves
Kenya experiences varied weather conditions in the year. Most of the Parks and Reserves with the exemption of mountain and forests parks are located in areas that predominantly experience dry, warm to hot conditions.
Generally the climate is warm and humid at the coast, cool and humid in the central highlands, and hot and dry in the north and east. These climatic variations are due to differences in topography across the country.
Our Parks and Reserves offer year round attractions and activities to suite your interest and schedule. However, there are two distinct tourist seasons, which generally correspond to local climatic conditions;
High season: - July-December and December to March, these are the best months to visit our parks for wildlife viewing and other activities. (Easy wildlife viewing because of short grasses in the parks, plenty of food for wildlife, good sunny climate)
Low Season: April-June. Long rains are experienced during this time. Most park roads may require use of four Wheel drive vehicles.
What accommodation facilities are available in the Parks/ Reserves
There are a variety of visitor accommodation facilities in our Parks and Reserves to suite your taste, budget and safari style. Within the Parks and Reserves, Visitor accommodation range from Luxury lodges and tented campsites to private budget campsites operated by individual operators.
KWS runs public and special campsites, and Self-catering accommodation units (Bandas) which provides accommodation for visitors wanting to experience a closeness to the wild away from the beaten track.
How can I be involved/ support KWS conservation activities and programs?
KWS works together and in partnership with various organizations and individuals. If you would like to join and support KWS in its many conservation programs you can contact the Director through:
Kenya Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 40241 - 00100, Nairobi - Kenya, Tel: (254-020) 600800 Fax: (254-020) 603792. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Where can I buy KWS branded souvenirs gift items and park maps?
You can buy branded KWS gift items, souvenirs, curios, park maps and guide books from our shops located at:
- Kifaru Ark Shop, Nairobi National Park, Main Gate, Langata Road.
- Elsa Gift Shop, Hell's gate National Park, Elsa Gate.
- Man Eaters Gift Shop, Tsavo West National Park, Main gate, Mtito Ande.