Kenya is an embodiment of natural beauty, attracting millions of visitors annually from across the globe. The serene landscape, unique cultural history, towering snow-capped volcanic mountains, and the wildlife viewing experience are unforgettable. As such, exploring Kenya is definitely an experience every traveler should cross off their buckets list. If you are in Asia and would like to see the vast Kenyan landscape and watch the wildlife creatures, then this guide is for you.
Why Kenya Over Other Safaris?
Kenya is regarded as one of the worlds most inclined safari destinations. While neighboring African safari destinations like South Africa and Tanzania have their own unique features, Kenya has an edge; in contrast to South Africa, Kenya possesses a more national geographic feel, such that the safari experience feels more natural. You can look out the window of your tented camp in the African bush and see elephants or giraffes just a few meters away.
As compared with Tanzania, Kenya is easier to access thanks to the busy Jomo Kenyatta International airport. Kenya is more of an international travel hub — hosting millions of adventure-seeking tourists from various parts of the world every year, including several Asian countries like the Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore.
Why Asians Should Travel To Kenya at Least Once in Their Lifetime
Traveling is one of the best informal forms of education in the world. While the classroom experience informs you, traveling exposes you. Learning about animals and watching prolific documentaries about wildlife is nothing compared to seeing these creatures on display in their natural habitat. Planning a safari trip to Kenya is a great way to boost your informal education and learn more about the world as you know it. It’s also a great way to escape the hectic city bustles and become one with nature. Here are a few reasons you should consider visiting Kenya
- Migration of Wildebeest
The Great Migration of Wildebeest is considered as one of the natural wonders of the world. From the neighboring Serengeti plains in Tanzania, over two million wildebeest, zebras, and gazelles migrate annually to the Masai Mara Reserve in Kenya, seeking out better grazing during the dry season.
Though the migration occurs almost year round, one of the most spectacular events can be seen between June and October. During this period, the migrating herds have to cross the Mara River amidst dangerous creatures like gigantic Nile crocodiles and hippos. There’s also the danger posed by the wild river torrents, as well as other predators like lions, hyenas, leopards, and cheetah along the way. Here in Kenya, the Great Migration can be viewed via hot air balloon or airplane, horseback riding, game drives or walking safari.
- Exotic Local Cuisines
If you are a foodie who loves a good culinary adventure, then Kenya is the right place for you! The country is renowned for its outstanding culinary qualities and tasty local dishes that leave you wanting more. While here, be sure to sample with some of the most popular cuisines like Pilau (spiced rice), Chapati (Kenyan flatbread), Maharagwe, Ugali (staple cornmeal), Irio (Mashed Peas and Potato Mix), Matoke, Sukuma Wiki (Collard greens), Mandari and Nyama Choma (roasted meat).
- Climbing Mount Kenya
Many countries across Asia are home to hundreds of mountains that provide a thrill for those willing to climb. As such, if you are seeking more adventures to complement the wildlife viewing, you can take the challenge of climbing to the top of Mt. Kenya. This mountain is the second highest peak in Africa after the snow-capped Tanzania Mount Kilimanjaro. Standing at an impressive 5,199m tall, Mount Kenya rewards climbers with abundant wildlife and stunning mountain lakes. You’ll usually be accompanied by a guide, of course, and the panoramic views of the surrounding peaks, valleys, and savannah below make the trek a thoroughly enjoyable African experience.
- Watersports and Unwinding at Diani Beach
Several Asian countries are bordered by the Pacific Ocean, so beach life is nothing new. What is new, however, is the scintillating shoreside experiences at one of Kenya’s most famous beaches, Diani Beach. Lying on an expanse of 11 miles (17km) south of the Kenyan coast, Diani beach is an alluring natural wonder that is sure to leave a lasting memory. This is the perfect place to cap off your Kenyan safari tour and simply let the cool gentle breeze ease away the stress of climbing mountains and riding 4×4 vehicles across endless plains.
In addition to the assortment of bars and restaurants around the perimeter, you can also get involved in exciting aquatic activities like snorkeling, kitesurfing, jet skiing, and skydiving. The scene is also a photographer’s dream with powdery white sandy beach, clear turquoise waters and an atmosphere that easily redefines ultimate relaxation.
- Affordable Flights
Kenya Airways services several Asian countries, including Thailand, China, UAE, and India directly. KLM also has direct flights from the Philippines to Kenya. For the other countries in Asia, accessing Kenya is quite easy and relatively affordable, albeit with a connecting flight in between. For instance, from Seoul, South Korea, travelers can take Korean Air and Kenya Airways to Nairobi, while travelers from Jakarta, Indonesia can fly with Ethiopian Airlines and connect through Kenya Airways or Turkish Airlines. No matter what Asian country you’re in, you can be sure of getting a flight to your dream safari tour in Kenya.
Pre and Post Safari activities
Kenya has loads of tourist attractions aside from the usual game drives, mountain climbs, bird watching, walking safari and boat rides. Some add ons to your Kenya Safari trip include:
- City Tours
While in Kenya you can tour the city and visit David Sheldrick elephant orphanage, Bomas of Kenya, Kiambethu farm at Limuru, Ruins of Gedi, Karen Blixen Museum, Giraffe Manor, Kazuri bed women and many more. Many of these tours can be accomplished in less than 12 hours.
- Nearby Beach Trips
The are various beachside destinations in Kenya just living carefree and reflecting on your adventure so far. Some of the beaches closest to Nairobi include Copacabana Beach, Tiwi, Watamu Beach, Nyali, and Bamburi.
- Bar and Restaurant Hopping
Nairobi is the hub of nightlife in Kenya. The city has exotic bars and restaurants offering mouth-watering dishes. There are also a number of clubs and lounges that adds to the vibrancy of this capital city.
- Visit the Masai Mara Market in Nairobi
The Masai Mara Market is an open-air Sunday market where you can find jewelry, wood-carvings, paintings, drawings, clothes, and fabrics with East African prints. Pay a visit and window shop or purchase souvenirs and gifts items for friends back home. It has been said that Asians are generally better at bargain hunts than westerners, and this market is a great place to put that notion to the test.
- Other fun activities
While enjoying the serene wildlife atmosphere, you can also engage in hot air ballooning, mountain treks, picnics in the open under the night sky, cultural visits, etc.
How to Get There from Asia (Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines)
The most common entry point to Kenya for a safari holiday trip is the Jomo Kenyatta Airport in Nairobi (NBO). It is one of the largest and busiest International airports in East Africa with an estimated record of over four million visitors annually from across the globe.
Another gateway into Kenya is via the Moi International Airport in Mombasa (MBA). Moi Airport is the second largest airport in Kenya with over one million visitors every year. This airport is often patronized by business heavyweights or those seeking the explore the Kenyan coast first.
Wilson Airport (WIL) is a domestic airport located south of Nairobi. This airport caters mostly for smaller airlines and lighter aircraft. Flights to Tanzania are usually available at this airport.
Malaysia to Kenya
There are direct flights via various airlines from Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Malaysia to Nairobi. The prices vary depending on your budget and the airline you prefer. The average price for Malaysia to Kenya is between $600 and $700. Some of the flights using this route are Air France, China Southern Airlines, Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, Etihad Airways, KLM, Korean Air, Oman Air, Qatar Airways, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Turkish Airlines
Singapore to Kenya
There are flights from Changi Airport Singapore to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi. The average price is between $900 to $1000, depending on your budget and choice of airline. Some of the airlines covering this over 4,000-mile journey are Air France, China Southern Airlines, Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, Etihad Airways, KLM, Korean Air, Lufthansa, Oman Air, Qatar Airways, Swiss International Air Lines
Philippines to Kenya
There are flights from Ninoy Aquino International Airport Manila to Jomo Kenyatta, Nairobi. The average price for connecting a flight from Manila to Nairobi is between $950 to $1100. Some of the major flights for this destination are China Southern Airlines, Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, Etihad Airways, KLM, Korean Air, Lufthansa, Oman Air, Qatar Airways.
To Find the best deals for flights, you will need to compare prices on different websites. Some sites have cheaper deals while some are a bit on the high side. There are also some other factors to considers like what day is best to fly and so on.
Entry Requirements for Asians
Every visitor or tourist from any of the Asian countries looking to explore the wild Kenyan landscape must first fulfill all the necessary Kenya travel and immigration requirements.
- Kenya Visa Policy
Visitor looking to gain entry into Kenya require a visa to gain access into the country except you are visiting from one of the visa exempt countries. Visitors must hold a passport valid for six months and can apply using the online system.
- Visa on Arrival
Visa on arrival is available to citizens of various countries across the globe and the visa allows you to stay for 90 days. The visa is issued at the airport terminal. Make sure to confirm with your local Kenyan embassy or High Commission in your country if you are eligible for visa on arrival.
- East African Tourist Visa
Kenya alongside Uganda and Rwanda in 2014 began issuing East African tourist Visa. The multiple entry visa is non-extendable after the given 90 days periods is exhausted. This visa costs around $100USD and it’s open to tourists from any part of the world. You begin your trip from the country that issued the visa.
- No Visa Fee for children
The Kenya government has a policy which stipulates that children below the age of sixteen are not required to pay a visa fee. This allows parents to include their kid in their safari exploration.
Top Safari Parks and Activities
A trip to Kenya is a remarkable experience that sticks for a lifetime. It’s perfectly normal to be intrigued by watching wild animals on television, but it’s an extraordinary moment seeing wild animals up close in their natural habitat. It’s like living a dream and Kenya is the place where those dreams become a reality. Some of the top safari parks in Kenya include:
- Masai Mara National Reserve
The Masai Mara National Reserve is one of the foremost and renowned safari parks in Kenya. Get a lifetime opportunity to witness the greatest wildlife spectacle of all time. The migration of over two million wildebeest, zebras, gazelle’s seeking better grazing to and from the Serengeti in Tanzania. Masai Mara is also known as home to a large population of elephants, African lions, buffaloes, cheetahs, and many more wildlife species. This reserve is said to have the most approachable animals.
- Amboseli National Park
Home to the highest peak in Africa – the Majestic Mount Kilimanjaro – this park should not be left out. Here you find over 350 species of birds, and you can expect to see zebras, wildebeest, spotted hyenas, lions, cheetahs, giraffes, buffalo, warthogs, impalas, jackals, and leopards.
- Mount Kenya National Park
Mount Kenya is renowned as one of the most impressive landscape in Africa with its rugged clad glaciers landscape. Towering at 5,199 meters, this is the second highest peak in Africa. The area is characterized by an ancient extinct volcano dating back to 3 million years ago. Mount Kenya is a UNESCO world heritage site and home of Kikuyu God, Ngai. Variety of wildlife trail this terrain and the area is also known as a migrating route for African elephants.
- Lake Nakuru
Located 170 km northwest of Nairobi, this park features distinct species of bird life. Lake Nakuru is one of the rift valley soda lakes at an elevation of 1,754 m above sea level. The vast abundance of algae on this lake attracts flamingoes and other birds also flourish in the area. You can also spot warthogs, baboons and other large mammals. Eastern black rhinos and southern white rhinos can also be sighted.
- Tsavo National Parks
Tsavo National Parks has two areas – East and West. Combine both parks into a single itinerary and the result is the greatest wildlife spectacle you can ever dream about. Tsavo National Park isn’t as developed as the other parks however its uniqueness lies in its remoteness. The Park is home to over 500 species of birdlife. The impeccable sight of elephant spraying water from the Galana river is unmissable. You can also spot the giraffe, cheetah, lion, serval cat, leopard, oryx, gazelle, buffalo, antelope, striped hyena, impala and more.
Recommended Kenyan Safari tour
Kenya was a variety of safari tours designed for all kinds of visitors. With Kenya, you can never run out of what to do. Here are a few recommendations
- Recommended Family Safari
You can go on a six-day safari trip with your family to see amazing animals up close at Masai Mara Park. You can enjoy the Masai tribe cultural heritage wearing their traditional attire and participating in their customs. You can also take your family on a hike through lush endless plains or see the Nakuru soda lake and see the flamingos. Finally, the migration of wildebeest is a wonder to behold.
Check out this tour for a family safari: 9 Days Classic Kenya Family Safari
- Recommended Honeymoon safari
If you just said Yes to your vows and looking for a perfect destination away from the rest of the world, you are welcome to share that romantic moment at a bush and beach safari combo. After an adventurous day in the wild, you and your spouse can relegate yourselves to the beach, sharing the moments and creating new ones.
Check out this tour for a honeymoon safari: 7 Days Kenya Honeymoon Safari
- Adventure Safari
All about adventure? Kenya will not disappoint you because adventure lurks everywhere in this east African beauty. You can opt for a climb of Mt Kenya. This challenging climb is an unforgettable experience.
Check out this tour for an adventure safari: 4 days 3 nights Mount Kenya Trekking Adventure
It is worthy of note that before embarking on your trip, you should check in with your Doctor to get all the necessary vaccinations. The CDC and WHO recommend the following vaccinations for Kenya: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, cholera, yellow fever, rabies, meningitis, polio, measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR), Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis), chickenpox, shingles, pneumonia, and influenza.
Kenya has become the bedrock of safari experience in East Africa. Of course, other destinations have that unique feel, however, Kenya gives you a chance to see all the big game, hike volcanic mountains, chill by the beach or enjoy the tasty local cuisines. Kenya offers unique packages that can be tailored to suit your budget, so get packing today, the natural wonders of Kenya await.