Booking Your Christmas Trip to Kenya - What You Need to KnowBy David Thompson, UniversityHerald Reporter
As the festive season approaches, many travelers are looking for unique and exciting destinations to celebrate Christmas and New Year's.
If you're in search of a memorable holiday experience, consider booking a Christmas trip to Kenya. With its stunning landscapes, vibrant culture, and diverse wildlife, Kenya is a fantastic destination for a holiday getaway.
Below, is everything you need to know about planning your Christmas trip to Kenya, from the weather in December to the safety concerns and the incredible safaris you can embark on.
Kenya in December Weather
One of the first things you should consider when planning a Christmas trip to Kenya is the weather in December. December is summer in Kenya, making it the perfect time to escape the cold weather in many parts of the world and bask in the warmth of the African sun.
During December, temperatures in Kenya are generally warm and pleasant, with daytime highs ranging from 25°C to 30°C (77°F to 86°F) in most regions. While coastal areas like Mombasa tend to be hotter and more humid, the interior highlands, including Nairobi, offer a milder climate. The weather is ideal for outdoor activities and wildlife viewing, which makes it an excellent time to explore Kenya's national parks and reserves.
Is It Safe to Travel to Kenya Right Now?
Safety is a top priority for any traveler, and it's natural to have concerns about visiting a foreign country. However, Kenya has made significant strides in improving its security situation in recent years, making it a safer destination for tourists.
In general, popular tourist areas and wildlife reserves in Kenya, such as Maasai Mara, Amboseli, and Tsavo, are considered safe for visitors. The Kenyan government has implemented various security measures to protect tourists, and the presence of park rangers and trained guides ensures your safety during safari adventures.
That said, it's crucial to stay informed about the current situation and any travel advisories issued by your country's government. It's also advisable to follow standard safety precautions, such as avoiding poorly lit areas at night, keeping an eye on your belongings, and using reputable tour operators.
Kenya in December Safaris
One of the highlights of a Christmas trip to Kenya is undoubtedly the opportunity to go on safaris and witness the breathtaking wildlife in its natural habitat. December is an excellent time for safaris in Kenya due to the dry weather, which concentrates wildlife around water sources, making it easier to spot animals.
Here are some popular safari destinations to consider:
Maasai Mara National Reserve: This world-renowned reserve offers incredible opportunities to witness the Great Migration, where millions of wildebeests and zebras cross the Mara River. The migrant herds are often stalked by ferocious predators such as lions and leopards during this epic journey.
December is an excellent time to visit as you can catch the tail end of this spectacular event. Ideally, opt to use 4x4 off-road vehicles such as the BMW X7, BMW X5, Mazda CX-5, Subaru Forester and others for a better game viewing experience in Masai Mara.
Amboseli National Park: Known for its iconic views of Mount Kilimanjaro, Amboseli is home to large herds of elephants and a variety of other wildlife. December is a great time to visit, as you'll have clear views of the mountain and its snow-capped peak.
Tsavo National Park: Divided into Tsavo East and Tsavo West, this vast park is famous for its diverse landscapes, including volcanic cones, savannahs, and the Yatta Plateau. It's an excellent destination for both wildlife enthusiasts and adventurers.
Samburu National Reserve: Located in northern Kenya, Samburu offers a unique safari experience with its distinct wildlife species, including Grevy's zebras, reticulated giraffes, and Somali ostriches.
Booking Your Christmas Trip to Kenya - What You Need to Know
Now that you're excited about the prospect of a Christmas trip to Kenya, let's discuss what you need to know when booking your adventure.
Visa Requirements: Depending on your nationality, you may need a visa to enter Kenya. Make sure to check the visa requirements well in advance and apply for one if necessary.
Accommodation: Kenya offers a wide range of accommodation options, from luxurious lodges to budget-friendly campsites. It's essential to book your accommodations in advance, especially during the holiday season, to secure your stay.
Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is a must for any international trip. Ensure your insurance covers medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and other unforeseen events.
Vaccinations and Health Precautions: Consult your healthcare provider to determine which vaccinations and health precautions you should take before traveling to Kenya. Malaria prophylaxis is often recommended.
Pack Appropriately: Pack lightweight, breathable clothing for the warm weather, but also bring layers for cooler evenings and early mornings. Don't forget essentials like sunscreen, insect repellent, a wide-brimmed hat, and comfortable walking shoes.
Currency and Payment: The currency in Kenya is the Kenyan Shilling (KES). While major credit cards are accepted in many places, it's a good idea to carry some cash for smaller purchases and in case you visit remote areas with limited card facilities.
Cultural Sensitivity: Respect local customs and traditions, especially when visiting Maasai communities or interacting with indigenous people. Always ask for permission before taking photographs of individuals.
Wildlife Etiquette: When on safari, follow your guide's instructions and maintain a safe distance from wildlife. Avoid making loud noises that could disturb animals or disrupt their natural behavior.
Booking your Christmas trip to Kenya can be a rewarding and unforgettable experience. With favorable weather in December, improved safety measures, and incredible safari opportunities, Kenya has much to offer the adventurous traveler. Remember to plan ahead, stay informed, and embrace the beauty of Kenya's landscapes and wildlife as you celebrate the holiday season in this remarkable destination.