Kenya is nothing short of magical. This guide is meant to answer commonly asked questions and prepare you for your incredible adventure! If after referencing this guide, you still have questions, please don’t hesitate to email us at [email protected]. Can’t wait to travel with you!
Is this experience right for you?
You do not need any real fitness for this safari. However please note that, in some areas, the roads are in quite poor condition and you may experience a fair amount of bouncing around which can be strenuous.
- Accommodation in twin rooms
- Expert local guide
- 9 Breakfasts
- 8 Lunches
- 9 Dinners
- Local transportation
- Airport pickup (see arrival details)
- All entrance fees and activities in the itinerary
- Visa fees if applicable
- Travel insurance (mandatory)
- Airport drop off
- Tips for drivers and guides
Your general Egypt itinerary can be found here or on the Kenya Meetup Tour webpage. Daily schedules will be given by your guide when you arrive in Kenya. Because the seasons, operating hours of inclusions, traffic, and many factors can affect the daily schedule, specific timing will be determined by your guide to give you the best possible experience. If you have questions about when to wake up, how long you will spend at a particular site, etc. please feel free to ask your guide at any time.
Welcome to Nairobi! Our driver will pick you up from Jamo Kenyatta International Airport and bring you to our hotel about an hour away. Our tour leader will greet you at the hotel, and after you settle in, we will have a group dinner at a local restaurant so everyone can get to know each other and prepare for an incredible adventure together! Meals: dinner
This morning we jump into our safari vehicles and transverse across some of the most scenic routes in Kenya. We’ll climb past Sagana through narrow roads and approach the fertile, misty hills around Karatina and Nyeri. Keep your cameras ready, because we’ll be stopping at various breathtaking views. When we arrive at Aberdare National Park, we will enjoy lunch at the hotel and a little down time before an afternoon for a nature walk around the property. Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner hours
We have one word for today: safari! We will jump in our safari vehicles for a morning game drive inside the famous Aberdare Park, where we could see The Big 5. We could also see monkeys, the golden cat and the bongo – an elusive antelope that lives in the bamboo forest. Our accommodation overlooks a floodlit waterhole and salt lick, which attracts a host of awesome wildlife. Modeled after Noah’s Ark, The Ark has four viewing decks with balconies and lounges to provide superb game viewing from the comfort of the lodge. Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Today we are off to Nakuru County, home to some of the Rift Valley soda lakes. Lake Nakuru is best known for its thousands of flamingos nesting along the shores. We’ll stop for spectacular views of Nakuru include Menengai Crater and surrounding countryside, and we will visit Lake Nakuru National Park. It will be surrounded by incredible wildlife and many species of birds. Also, keep your eyes peeled for one of Africa’s most endangered creatures, the elusive black rhinoceros. Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
After breakfast, we will learn more about women’s role in society and how they contribute to the society at large. After about an hour and a half through beautiful countryside, we will arrive at Elsamere Conservation Centre of Joy Adamson. Here we get to know more about a lady who dedicated her life in conserving the environment and the animals around it. We’ll enjoy a traditional high tea and a documentary movie before proceeding back to our accommodation for the next two nights. Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Our time here is laid back for you to choose from a list of optional activities or just relax and read a book. Some of the optional activities are a boat ride, a visit to Hell’s Gate, a day at Crater Lake, exploring a flower farm, and bike riding around the lake. Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
This morning we leave for Loita Hills, an important region in Kenya where the Maasai people still practice their ancestor’s way of life with little influence from the western world. This area is wide open plains surrounded by hillsides, a place to enjoy the scenery and get to know the local Maasai people, learning about their culture and way of life. A highlight of this trip is a visit to Tepesua Village, a village where one local woman rallied nearby communities to come together to value women more than trading her to a husband for 10 cows. Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Explore more of the park by 4×4 Jeeps today with more game drives in the morning and afternoon. Witness the wonderful procession of wildlife that inhabits the area, including elephants, wildebeest, zebra and gazelle. You might even spot predators keeping a casual eye on their movements. The area is known for its rolling green plains and riverine woodlands, and amongst the many species of game, a black-maned lion, leopard or cheetah might appear with some luck. Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
We have a day full of game drives and down time at our beautiful camp. When not on game drives, you can relax by the camps swimming pool and opt in for some other activities like a hot air balloon ride and nature walks. Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
After one last game drive, we will head towards Nairobi with a couple small stops along the way. We will arrive to the airport at 5pm, so be sure your flight doesn’t depart before 8pm. We are also happy to help arrange an extra night in Nairobi and an airport transfer for the next day. Meals: breakfast
Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Kenya Traveler Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you review this information prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travelers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any such changes once on tour.
Boulevard Hotel, Nairobi
Harry Thuku Rd, Nairobi, Kenya
An airport transfer is included in your program fee when you arrive anytime on Day 1. We’ll have someone waiting for you at the arrivals hall to take you to the hotel. Although you can arrive at any time, we recommend flying in before 3pm so that you will have plenty of time to refresh or relax before our welcome dinner later that evening.
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) is located 18 Kilometers East of the Central Business District (CBD) of the Kenyan Capital City Nairobi. JKIA has two terminals for International Arrivals (Terminal 1A and Terminal 1E). Each terminal has a designated waiting area where your transfer driver will be waiting for you, holding a board with the SoFe logo or your name. If you are unable to find your driver or need to advise of a flight delay, contact our 24h emergency phone number for Kenya that we will provide.
If you are making your own way to the joining point hotel, taxis are available at the Help Desk inside the arrival terminal for approximately $25 USD. Please identify yourself to the airport representative and they will assist you to the vehicle for your onward transfer to the hotel. Do not accept transfers from anyone else apart from our uniformed representative, especially from inside the arrival terminal before you exit to the pickup waiting area.
Please note that if you arrive a day or two before our trip begins, an airport transfer is not included. If you would like to book an early airport pickup, please email us at [email protected]
Mara Kimana Camp
Narok Sekenani Road Sekenani, Kenya
Finishing Point description
Fly out of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi after 8:00pm on tour end date. We will arrive to the airport at 5pm on our last day, so be sure your flight doesn’t depart before 8pm.
If you want to depart a day or two later, SoFe can assist you in securing extra accommodation or a private airport transfer.
Problems and emergency contact
While we always endeavor to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.
We recognize that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction – if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.
You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still traveling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time.
For general contact details please use the following page: https://thesolofemaletravelernetwork.com/contact-us
For issues regarding arrival transfer or accommodation, please use the following emergency contact number: +254 733 523 813. This number is also available to message on WhatsApp.
In the circumstance of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office with either of these two numbers: +254 796 611 289 or +254 795 832 616. These are not available on WhatsApp.
You are required to pay a non-refundable $500 deposit at the time of reservation. This non-refundable deposit confirms your Meetup Tour booking and you will receive a confirmation email detailing the terms of your reservation. Once the confirmation email has been sent to you, a contract will exist between us from the date we issue the confirmation invoice.
Please refer to your booking confirmation for specific dates, deadlines and details regarding final payments for your Meetup Tour. For standard Meetup Tours, the program fee balance payment is due 90 days before the departure date. SoFe’s payment system allows you to input the dollar amount for each payment you submit, so you are welcome to make as many payments in any dollar amount as you prefer before the final payment is due.
The final payment deadline is 90 days before the Meetup Tour start date.
If you have not paid the full balance, requested a cancellation and/or transfer by the final payment deadline, your credit card on file will be automatically charged the remaining balance of the Meetup Tour program cost. A $100 late payment fee will also be levied. Additionally, SoFe reserves the right to treat your booking as cancelled.
Can’t stop thinking about your adventure? Tell us all about it! We read each piece of feedback carefully and use it to make improvements for travelers like you. Share your experience with us by emailing [email protected]!
Before you leave
Food and dietary information
Your tour leader will do their best to accommodate any dietary restrictions, but sometimes gluten-free and vegan can be a little trickier, especially breakfast. We suggest bringing supplemental snacks like protein powders and bars just in case. It is ultimately your responsibility not to consume anything to which you are allergic. You may wish to speak to your tour leader at the beginning of the tour to make your requirements clear and to ask for your options throughout the tour.
Spending money is a personal choice, and everyone will have different spending habits and needs. It is best to budget a reasonable amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities, and laundry. It’s always better to bring a little more than you think you’ll need. Please have a thorough look at the itinerary and at what is included so you will be prepared for what isn’t included. Our Meetup Tour is very inclusive, however some meals and extras are not included. This guide should make budgeting a little clearer.
There are many opportunities to purchase souvenirs and handicrafts while on this trip, they can be a fantastic memento of your trip, and often these purchases help to support local artisans.
ATMs are widely available in major cities and tourist areas, but hard to come by in smaller towns, rural areas, and villages. We recommend always having a small amount of cash with you for small purchases at places that do not accept credit cards. Credit cards are usually accepted in tourist shops and restaurants. Bring a Visa or Mastercard if you want to use credit cards. American Express is also an option, though it’s not as widely accepted. Smaller venues and vendors take cash only. Alert your bank that you will be traveling before departure to avoid being locked out of your account while abroad, as they may suspect fraud.
If you want to bring cash from your home country and exchange it, the best place to do this is at the Nairobi airport. We can not guarantee that there will be time to visit a money exchange place on the tour. The best way to get local currency is by using an ATM with a debit card.
Tipping is not mandatory in Kenyan culture. That being said, wages are extremely low in Kenya. If you are satisfied with the services provided, a tip is always appropriate and appreciated. While it may not be a part of your customs at home, it is very valuable and helpful to the people who will be taking care of you on your trip.
If you are happy with your guide and drivers, a tip is expected and appreciated. $10 per day per person for the guide and $5 per day per person for the driver is recommended. Of course, tipping is never compulsory. just very appreciated.
To help you understand tipping culture, we have provided some ideas for amounts. These are suggestions, as tipping is always a personal choice and at your discretion.
Restaurants: leaving spare change is fine in most restaurants. In upscale eateries look for a 10% service charge. If there is a service charge, there’s no requirement for tipping. Otherwise, 10% of the total bill amount is appropriate.
Drivers: The standard amount to tip our drivers is around $3-5USD per day.
Your Tour Guide: You may also consider tipping your tour guide for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is completely at your discretion, however as a guideline around $7USD per person, per day is standard practice. Of course, you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
The currency in Kenya is the Kenyan Shilling (KES). The US Dollar is also widely accepted and easily exchanged into Kenyan Shillings, however US Dollars are only accepted if they are not torn and were printed in 2006 or later. Denominations come in notes of 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1,000, whereas coins are 5, 10, and 20.
We recommend always having small denominations for tipping and small purchases.
With a diverse geography, Kenya’s climate varies across the country. As a general rule, January to March is mostly dry and relatively mild while mid-March through June and October through December tend to be rainier. Given the equator runs through the country, the climate is relatively temperate and never gets too cold, even during the rainiest months. But do account for any elevation gains, like in the Masai Mara and Samburu National Park, as that can cause the temperature to drop even more when the sun’s not shining. Along the coast, expect hot and humid conditions year-round and some rain. On the coast, temperatures and rainfall are at their peak from mid-March to late May.
passports, visas, and entry requirements
Starting from 1st January 2021, visas will no longer be issued on arrival in Kenya. If you require a visa, it is mandatory that you hold a Kenyan electronic visa (e-visa) prior to leaving your home country or boarding an aircraft.
Single-entry visas (business or tourism) are USD50, EUR40, or GBP30 and a transit visa (valid for three days) is USD20. The single-entry visa allows for multiple entries into Kenya for a period of 90 days provided you have not left East Africa. The four-step e-Visa procedure is completed through the immigration website: www.evisa.go.ke and requires visitors to submit an application form and passport-sized photo. E-Visas can take at least 48 hours to process. Visitors will then be required to present their printed e-Visa upon entry to Kenya. If you need a letter of invitation or hotel confirmation for visa application, please contact us.
For the latest update of what is required in order to enter Kenya, please check your government’s foreign travel advisory or contact the embassy for more information.
You need a valid passport to travel internationally. Most countries require that your passport does not expire for at least 6 months after the date you enter. We require your passport details 45 days before departure. When booking your Meetup Tour, please enter your name as it appears on your passport and contact us immediately if there are any errors.
We recommend taking copies of the main passport pages and other important documents with you as well as leaving copies at home with family or friends.
For the latest update of what is required in order to enter Kenya, please check your government’s foreign travel advisory or contact the embassy for more information.
Our tours are comfortable and very inclusive with premium accommodation. This means you can pack a little lighter. In fact, you will be carrying your own bags to the lobby or at the airport, and you will need to be able to manage.
Don’t bother to pack any single-use plastics as they may get confiscated at the airport. If you pack your clothes in plastic bags for organization purposes, switch to mesh instead.
You’ll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.
The following is a general list to be used as a guideline. If you think you need more items, pack them.
In Kenya, they use plug type G, the plug which has two parallel flat pins with a ground pin. Kenya operates on a 240V supply voltage and 50Hz. We always suggest bringing a universal adaptor.
While Namibia holds people liable to a fine of N$500 or imprisonment for entering Game Parks with a plastic bag, Botswana has announced a countrywide ban on plastic bags to come into effect on 1 November 2018. The ban will make the importing, trading and commercial use of plastic bags a criminal offence. Exceptions will be made for plastics that are essential for health and hygiene. With these announcements, Botswana and Namibia join other African countries such as Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tunisia, Morocco, Rwanda, Uganda, Somalia and Eritrea that have banned plastic bags. South Africa imposed a levy on plastic bags in 2004 but they have not yet been banned.
Many countries are strictly enforcing this and have been searching luggage at border points. Camping stores are good for obtaining waterproof reusable bags, for dirty laundry etc, prior to departure.
In Kenya women travelers should dress modestly as there is a wide range of cultural differences. Wear skirts or shorts that reach just above the knee and tops that cover shoulders at a minimum. If visiting coastal areas wear a cover-up when you step off the beaches. Feel free to dress however you like when at our hotels and resorts. Swimsuits are, of course, appropriate when participating in water activities. Short skirts, plunging necklines, exposed midriffs, and tight clothing should be avoided and left at home.
Travel insurance is mandatory on all our Meetup Tours. We require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. If you are traveling within your home country or region please confirm before travel that you are entitled to access the public medical system easily should an accident occur. We strongly recommend all travelers have a policy that also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage or personal effects. For international trips, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company’s 24-hour emergency contact number has been sighted by your leader.
If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number, and emergency contact number rather than the bank’s name and your credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
We recommend that you check your government’s advice in relation to the areas you will be visiting for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers.
on the road
We use a range of accommodation that we choose based on season, group size, and availability. Here is the list of accommodation we typically use on this tour, but this sometimes changes last minute with no notice. Feel free to request a list of all accommodation from your guide on Day 1.
We do provide the start and end accommodation to help you plan transportation, pre/post travel plans, or visa needs. You can find this in the “joining point” and “finishing point” sections of this page.
Nairobi: Heron Portico
Aberdare: Aberdare Country club
Aberdare National Park: The Ark
Nakuru: Lake Nakuru Sopa Lodge
Lake Naivasha: Lake Naivasha Sopa Lodge
Masai Masa National Park: Pride Inn Mara camp
9 nights in hotels or lodges
Rooms are twin share with an ensuite unless you upgrade to a private room, based on availability.
The accommodation indicated on the webpage is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to lack of availability. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.
In the base cost of the tour, a shared room is included. You may choose to upgrade to a private room for an extra charge as long as there is availability. Upgrading to a private room once in Iceland is more difficult and may result in a higher cost than advertised on the webpage.
Our Kenya tour is considered premium accommodation including stays in hotels, lodges, and resorts. When we stay in 5 star hotels, the standard may be less than what you are used to in terms of design, facilities, and inclusions. If there is a problem with your accommodation, always alert your tour leader so it can be remedied if possible.
Sometimes it is not possible to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels, especially if you arrive before check in time. We can store your luggage and you can explore the surrounding area. Standard check in time is 4:00pm.
Standard check out is at 11:00am on the last day.
All of our accommodations have air conditioning. Should it not work, we will attempt to replace your room or the unit, dependent upon availability. Some evenings are cold in Kenya, especially in July and August, and most accommodations do not have heating. Bedding is always provided, however if you are extra sensitive to the cold, please be prepared with extra layers or thermals.
A selection of optional activities that have been popular for our travelers may be available on your trip. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and may be on a join-in basis. Ask your guide about optional activities when you arrive – they can either be organized independently, or let your leader know you are interested in the Group Meeting and they can assist.
Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high-risk activities not listed below have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organizing these activities. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not operated with us is at your own discretion and risk.
4×4 Safari Vehicle, Private air-conditioned vehicle
On this trip we use 8 seater 4×4 safari vehicles. For smaller groups of up to 6 travelers we will use 1 safari vehicle and for larger groups between 7-12 we will use 2 vehicles.
There are many early starts with long hours spent driving on rough roads. We provide the approximate distance covered each day and how many hours this normally takes to drive so that you can choose the safari experience that is right for you.
African conditions are extremely tough on vehicles. While we fastidiously maintain our vehicles at our workshops, you should not expect Africa to be your traditional touring experience. While it’s certainly our aim to avoid them, it’s important that you set off on your trip knowing that the occasional breakdown can happen and are best treated as part of the African adventure. Due to wet weather there may be times when we have to take an alternative route which will mean longer travel times.
a few rules
Most national governments provide regularly updated foreign travel advice on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all destinations and activities on your trip.
We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while traveling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, flight tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your jewelry at home – you won’t need it while traveling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however, during your trip you’ll have some free time to pursue your own interests or relax and take it easy. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your SoFe itinerary, and SoFe makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it’s deemed necessary due to safety concerns.
Seat belts are always provided and must be worn in accordance with local law.
While most of the tour, especially in major cities, will be with your guide and the group, petty theft is common in any tourist area. Do not walk around alone at night if it can be avoided and hold your belongings close on public transportation. Your local guide will give you some safety tips throughout your tour, and we suggest heeding this advice.
We suggest checking your government’s advice in relation to the areas you will be visiting for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers.
Please do not enter the water without a life vest and a buddy if you are not an experienced swimmer. Alert the leader and guide to your ability level before participating in water activities. Lifeguards are not on duty and our staff are not trained in water rescue.
Homosexuality is not tolerated in Kenya’s conservative society. Public displays of homosexuality like holding hands or kissing in public places could lead to arrest.
phone and internet access
There is wifi available in most of our accommodations, but it is not always the most reliable, especially in more rural areas. We suggest purchasing a prepaid sim card at Nairobi Airport. This option only works on unlocked phones. When you get through customs, exit through the sliding door and outside you will find three shops for Kenya’s main mobile phone providers: Safaricom, Telkom and Airtel.
Plans and prices can change but expect to pay about 1000 KES (about $10USD) for a plan that will provide you 5-10GB of data. You may need your passport to purchase and register your new sim.
Alternatively, ask your home service provider for international plans.
medical and health
All travelers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to manage and enjoy our style of travel. Please note that if in the opinion of our group leader or local guide any traveler is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, we reserve the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements as they may not easily be obtained while traveling.
As a rule we recommend you don’t drink tap water, even in hotels, as it may contain much higher levels of different minerals than the water you are used to at home. For local people this is not a problem as their bodies are used to this and can cope, but for visitors drinking the tap water can result in illness. Generally this isn’t serious, an upset stomach being the only symptom, but it’s enough to spoil a day or two of your holiday. Many hotels and lodges provide safe drinking water, while bottled water is another alternative. Water consumption should be about two litres a day. Rehydration salts, motion sickness tablets, and diarrhoea blockers are available from many pharmacies.
Effective January 31, 2022 The Solo Female Traveler Network requires all travelers enrolled in a Meetup Tour to be vaccinated against Covid-19 by the start of their Meetup Tour.
Bilharzia is a parasitical disease which is usually spread by swimming in contaminated water. It can be assumed that the infection is present, to a greater or lesser extent, in almost all water sources, but most especially in shallow reedy waters in the vicinity of villages.
Although the adult parasites do not themselves cause a great deal of harm, after about 4-6 weeks they start to lay eggs, which triggers an intense but usually ineffective immune response, the symptoms of which can include fever, cough, abdominal pain, and an itchy skin complaint known as safari itch. After a while the symptoms settle down and the patient is left with a sense of feeling tired all the time.
Kenya is endemic for yellow fever. All visitors are advised to be vaccinated against the disease. It is your responsibility to check with your doctor well in advance of leaving home about the Yellow Fever requirements for the countries you’ll be visiting.
It is best to avoid dark colored clothes such as blue and black while on safari. These colors can attract the biting tsetse fly.