Kenya Notes

I was in Kenya  between the 04 of June 2018 and xxxx. The information and prices were correct at the time of writing. Prices are given in local currency.  For ease of conversion I provide the exchange rates to GBP and USD at the time.

1GBP was 135 Kenyan shillings and 1USD 100.

For daily distances and a brief description of each day follow this link

Visa
I have a Spanish passport and got the East African visa valid for three months for Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda at the Moyale border. All you need to do is fill in a form and pay 100 USD. After less than 30 minutes you get your passport back with the visa.

On arrival
I entered the country through the Moyale border.

First you go to a building on the right hand side where you fill in the papers for the visa, they take your photo and fingerprints and you’re done!

After that you proceed to a building across the road to clear customs. Again a very simple process.

Money
There is an ATM at the roundabout on the left less than 200 mt after you come out of the border compound.

I had no issues drawing money from ATMs anywhere in the country but some of them charge over 400 shillings for the transaction regardless of the amount, so draw out as much as you can each time.

I could use both visa and mastercard in supermarkets and hotels without an extra charge.

Kenya SIM card
Most small shops will sell you a, SIM card. You’d need to show your passport. I got Safaricom and had good 3G coverage in most places. The card cost 500 shillings. Then you buy Airtime and decide on the package you want (Safaricom site here)

You can get extra Airtime everywhere, even in the smallest of places.

Food and drink
It’s easy to find fruit and veg on the road. They will charge you per piece, a medium size onion will knock you back 15 sh. and a tomatoe about 10 sh whilst a bunch of greens can be 10.

I paid 15 sh per single egg consistently across the country.

Beer is 190sh is the supermarket and a bottle of water xxx

A cup of milky tea in a roadside cafe is somewhere between 20 and 30 sh whilst beefstew with chapati in the same establishment will cost 100. Of course if you eat in a ‘tourist’ place expect to pay at least 10 times more.

Generally there is no need to carry a lot of fresh food with you as there will always be a roadside stall where to get a few veg and eggs for daily consumption.

When you see the sign hotel in villages it is usually a place where you can have tea and some food. When they have rooms they will mention the word accommodation.

On the road
You need to ride with extreme care, always keeping your eyes in your rear view mirror and ahead of you for oncoming traffic overtaking on your lane, they won’t take you into consideration so be prepared to come off the road to make  way for them.

Matatus, the small minibuses that are the main move of transport for Kenyans, drive like crazy and will overtake you with  just centimetres to spare. Any time I saw a matatu coming from behind I came off the road. The same is to be said for big lorries and anyone else.

Roads are quite narrow and most will have a hard shoulder but in some there are speed bumps in the hard shoulder making it painful to ride there. Speed bumps are always present at the entrance and exit of villages.

Highways are good to ride on as they have a fairly decent ard shoulder without speed bumps.

Accomodation
Kenya is well served with well maintained  campsites. IOverlander is an excellent resource to find places.

I camped a lot in police stations and police posts. They were always extremely helpful and friendly and gave me water for cooking and washing. Churches and schools are also good places to ask permission to camp.

Moyale – Moyale Members Club – 2000 sh en suite – Bfast included. Hot water, mosquito net, WIFI – the room was small but it was clean and comfortable. The restaurant does food at very reasonable prices.

Walda – Police Post – Camping – They gave me water to cook and wash. Drop latrines and an abandoned house where you can wash in privacy.

Bubisa – Police post – very small post, only two policemen when I was there. They gave me an empty room and water to cook and wash. There were mosquitoes. Drop latrines.

Marsabit – Henry’s Camp – Camping – 600sh – if you’d like WIFI you pay for its use. Nice comfortable Campsite – hot water and western toilets – power point – fridge. There is no food provision so you need to bring all you need. Beer and soda can be purchased.

Laisamis – Police Station – Camping – They gave me water to cook and wash. There are ‘bathrooms’ where you can have a bucket shower separate from the drop latrines.

Sereoloipi – Police Station – Camping – They gave me water to cook and wash. There are ‘bathrooms’ where you can have a bucket shower separate from the drop latrines.

Archer’s Post – Umoja Women’s Village (Women Only) – 1000 sh – village mud hut – no water or electricity – mosquito net – drop toilet and a concrete block where you can wash. Very basic but it is how the women live. Keep all your panniers well sealed as there are loads of coakraches that come out at night, took me a long time to check my things before I left. There is a campsite down the road where men can stay and has WIFI, electricity, showers and a bar/restaurant.

Isiolo – Hotel Bomen – 2500 sh en suite – great Bfast included – hot water and WIFI – clean and comfortable. Hotel restaurant reasonably priced.

Subuiga – Police Station – Camping – They gave me water to cook and wash. I put my tent in a clean empty building. Drop latrines.

Nanyuki  – Town & country Guesthouse – 1600sh en suite – Bfast included – hot water – WIFI – clean and comfortable – good food reasonably priced in the in house restaurant

Thika – Police Post – Camping  – There is a tap to get water, drop latrines

Nairobi – Jungle Junction – Camping – 850 sh – great place to recharge your batteries – REALLY comfortable and super clean – hot water – fast WIFI – shared kitchen – excellent shops, local market and supermarket very close

Mai Mahiu – Police Station – Camping – They gave me water to cook and wash. Drop latrines.

Lake Naivasha – Marina Camp – Camping – 500 sh – Western toilets – there was no hot water but they opened one of the luxury cabins for me to use the shower – poor WIFI when I was there – beautiful grounds – electrified fence – saw hippos at night – reasonable restaurant – shopping at nearby Karagita.

Lake Naivasha – Kilimandege House – An animal sanctuary, this is a magical place. You can camp for 500 sh – hot water, access to kitchen, electrified fence or if in a group get a whole house where girafes and hippos come to visit at night. Contact Joseph on +254 795 762 886 for info and prices.

Nanyuki – Care Guesthouse – 700 sh – en suite – hot water – no WIFI – mosquito net- simple guesthouse, clean. Shops, eateries and supermarkets very close.

Maji Moto – Netbon Kudu Eco Camp – 500 sh Camping – drop toilets – cold showers but the river just at the back of the Campsite is really warm and wonderful and you can bring some water up to have a hot bucket shower. A great place to explore Lake Bogoria.

Loboi – National Park Campsite – they asked 15 USD to start with and the restaurant down the road 10. In the end they let me stay for free. Nice Campsite – careful with food and monkeys – no running water and toilets and ‘shower rooms’ absolutely revolting when I was there.

Koriema – Camping – St Francis Boarding School – the kids were lovely and very interested in my every move. If you like your privacy not the place to camp for you. There is water and I was able to have a nice bucket shower – drop latrines.

Kabernet – Sportsline Hotel – 600 SH ensuite with hot shower and western toilet – clean – mosquito net – no WiFi.

Kerio Valley – Cheptebo Farm – 600 sh – shared toilets and showers – part of religious community funded by UK missionaries, now runs a variety of projects and a conference centre. The place is well looked after and spotless. Good WIFI in the restaurant. Food good and reasonably priced.