What to pack for Kenya

  • What to Pack
    by Homanded
  • This is the 100-400mm lens.
    This is the 100-400mm lens.
    by pfsmalo
  • This is the 100-400mm lens.
    This is the 100-400mm lens.
    by pfsmalo

Most Viewed What to Pack in Kenya

  • GitaP's Profile Photo

    Dont regret

    by GitaP Written Feb 7, 2012

    Luggage and bags: A six pack cooler box to take to the beach and a wet bag to hold your cozzies, wet towels and other damp paraphenalia

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Cotton all the way as the humidity can be debilitating

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: a facial spritz to keep you cool
    Panado or other pain medication becuase the resort shops are ridiculously expensive.
    a 50+ sun protection cream

    Related to:
    • Beaches

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  • muguruki's Profile Photo

    Visa form

    by muguruki Updated Jun 2, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Miscellaneous: If you are planning on getting a Visa on arrival in Kenya it makes sense to print out the visa application from before you go. Sometimes certain flights to Kenya do not always have forms on the aircraft and if they do can easily run out of them. Places like Nairobi airport can be chaotic at the best of times with irritable passengers scrambling for visa forms and/or pens. So just go to Visa and print off the form.

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  • Suet's Profile Photo

    General tips

    by Suet Updated Mar 10, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: I have a hard lockable case on wheels and a day/camera bag for birdwatching.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: I found jeans, trainers and a loose T shirt normal wear.... no smart clothes, you are going to get dusty and sweaty. No shorts, you get bitten at night, long sleeves to protect from the Equatorial sun. Definitely a hat. Roll up plastic poncho if you are planning for the long and short rains.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Mosquito repellant a must for safari. You get nets for the beds at night, but they also bite during the day (different species). There isn't malaria in Nairobi, but at the coast and up country there definitely is. UPDATE: as more malaria infected people travel to Nairobi, the mosquitos become infected and pass it on. Malaria is on the increase in Nairobi. Get Malarone, Larium or whatever your doctor recommends as malaria prevention. Continue taking it when you get home for the prescribed amount of time.

    You can get any medicine you want over the counter without prescription. You pay by tablet, no National Health system here!

    Sunblock is a MUST, the sun bites you!

    Photo Equipment: Video camera, digital camera will do fine.... unless you go to Lake Baringo on a special Birdwatching photo holiday. Most of the birds come right up to you for food and are easy to shoot.

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: We camped in the Mara by Sand River. Not recommended for the faint hearted, you are actually surrounded by wild animals...... best stick to the lodges and camps where everything is provided.

    Miscellaneous: Don't take anything you would want to lose...... and make copies of your passport.

    A money belt is essential. Copy and print out the following packing list:

    Packing List For Safari Kenya

    Item PACKED
    Money (Bring Sterling, you can change at Hotel)
    Passport (Make paper copies)
    Credit cards
    Corkscrew/beer opener
    Hep A Hep B Hep C Vaccinations (check NOW with doc) yellow fever
    Small medical kit
    Mobile phones/chargers
    Driving Licence (and copies)
    Books (including bird books)

    Sunglasses and sunscreen HAT
    Medicines and pills including immodium and antibiotics
    Movie camera
    ATM debit card for extra money
    Copy of passport/medical insurance docs
    Wine glass (tough one)
    E111 cards for medical help, copy insurance papers
    Underwear Pref Cotton as very hot there
    Shoes (tough boots or trainers) flip flops closed sandals.
    Long sleeved shirts and jackets (Mara can be chilly)
    LONG trousers or jeans, Mosquito protection
    NO jewellery whatsoever, you can buy local
    No flashy clothing or bags or watches
    Pick old clothes as you can leaves them behind
    Bring any old shoes that you don’t want
    Anything that you were going to give to charity
    Pens, Pencils, Notepads, Knicknacks, Junk, Old towels
    It is important that you remember that you need to dress down, ie old clothes, keep well covered up because of the Equatorial sun (you can easily get VERY burnt) and mosquitos. Sunscreen needs to be applied at ALL times as well as insect repellent. Don’t take anything you can’t afford to lose.

    You need to apply NOW for all your vaccinations at your local GP’s including those above, yellow fever, and anything else he recommends. Have them NOW so that you don’t have any side effects while you are actually on holiday. You need a money belt for each of you to wear under your clothes which will also contain your passport and credits cards.

    Pack enough clothes for a week and pills for three weeks in case there is a problem getting home on time (floods etc) as well as all the stuff you would take to a charity shop including clothes, shoes, books pens pencils, toys, towels, sheets, etc but keep within the weight limit. You can leave all this behind so as to make room for taking home souvenirs. Pack your CARRY ON Bag with all medicines and toiletries and a complete spare set of clothing as well as cameras, phones, sunglasses, hats, jackets in case your luggage is lost and keep your valuables in your money belt. Have only LOCKABLE Luggage. No fancy gadgets.

    Related to:
    • Birdwatching
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Safari

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  • pfsmalo's Profile Photo

    Mainly for photographers.

    by pfsmalo Updated Dec 27, 2010

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: Apart from the obvious such as " Don't forget the extra memory cards (In 8 days of safari I took over 2000 pics) Batteries and the charger, another thing that is a must to bring along for those using a DSLR and multiple lenses is some of those plastic freezer bags, to wrap up your lenses when you're not using them. Amboseli NP is a killer for dust and the others are not much better, so these bags keep most of it away from the inside of the camera (sensor) and off the lenses themselves.

    Photo Equipment: I now use a DSLR and have as the longest lens a Canon 18-200mm.After testing with my cat in the garden and my neighbours Alsatian over the back wall, I realised that if an animal, even the size of an elephant, was further than 20 metres away it was going to be useless. So I hired a 100-400 mm lens and took that with me as well. Most of the pics here on these Kenya pages are taken with it (and still I've had to crop some). Now I'm not recommending that you go out and spend some 1300 euros on a lens this size, but hiring this one for 3 weeks cost me 200 euros inc p&p both ways, so it was well worth the money to not have the disappointment of not having some decent sized shots to look at later. I did also take along a monopod to help steady the whole thing, as 2 kgs don't seem a lot for a couple of minutes but holding them up to your eye for a couple of hours is something else.

    This is the 100-400mm lens. This is the 100-400mm lens.

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  • wrldtravler's Profile Photo

    Yellow Fever Shot

    by wrldtravler Written Nov 8, 2009

    Miscellaneous: Travel to most African countries requires a yellow fever vaccination. It's important to get the shot in advance if you are heading for a short trip. The Vaccine takes around 10 days to work so no country will let you back under that period.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Safari
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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  • dgines's Profile Photo

    The List

    by dgines Written Nov 16, 2007

    Luggage and bags: A soft sided bag (10 kgs) and hand luggage

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: - Long sleeve shirt to protect from cold weather or sun
    - Shorts
    - T-Shirts
    - Cotton pants
    - Fleece or sweater (a jacket if you travel Jun-Sep - It does get quite cold and rainy)
    - Sandals or rubber thongs for showers
    - Comfortable walking/hiking shoes
    - Raincoat or poncho
    - Wide Brimmed Hat
    - Sunglasses

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: - Malaria Pills
    - Sun Block
    - Insect Repellent
    - First Aid Kit (with blister kit)

    Photo Equipment: - Camera with good zoom capability
    - Binoculars

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: - If on a camp safari, a towel and sleeping bag.

    Miscellaneous: - Flash light or head lamp
    - Hostel sleep sack if you have one
    - Zip Lock bags to prevent items from getting wet
    - Lock and Wire Cable
    - Copies of important documents
    - Ear plugs if you need complete quiet to sleep

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  • croisbeauty's Profile Photo

    Natural fabrics only

    by croisbeauty Written Oct 5, 2007

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: It depend on travelling style but make sure it's resistant bag because it wont be handled by care, those guys just throwing it in and out of the plain baggage compartment.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: More or less it should be cotton cloths because it makes us less sweating, esspecially if humid. Something warm, like water resistant jacket or light leather jacket is advisable too, you might need it for evenings or early mornings. Good walking shoes, solid but yet comfortable. Hat or cap might be very useful for both, sunny or rainy days.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Take all precauting measures before travelling, might be too late if something happens there.

    Photo Equipment: Do not forget your camera and lots of memory cards or those with huge capacity. I suggest additional lens if going on safari.

    skyline snap by additional lens savannah savannah hippos elephants

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  • ozzypete's Profile Photo

    A Few Important items for Africa

    by ozzypete Written Jul 5, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Take toilet paper or tissues. Toilets are few and far between. Even when you find a toilet, there wont be any paper and other times you will have to use the bushes anyway.

    Photo Equipment: A digital camera is a must as you will take hundreds of photos and you are able to delete the ones you don't like. Better still, take a video camera. A video camera captures so much more of the real life action.

    Miscellaneous: Take a flashlight. as many of the lodges only run on generators, they have them turned off during the night. And if you need to use the bathroom, the rooms are pitch black. Sometimes there are candles to use, But they can be a bother to light and carry through mosquito nets.
    Also take an electrical outlet for Africa for charging batteries and other appliances.

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  • gonetotheuk's Profile Photo

    Hotel Dress Code - long pants at dinner!!

    by gonetotheuk Written May 30, 2007

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Our hotel (Bamburi Beach Hotel) and most others have a evening dress code of long pants for men. I did not plan on this and only had my blue jeans that I wore on the flight out. The hotel did allow however, shorts "so long as they are below the knee". Luckily I had one pair that fit the bill. Many other men/boys wore 3/4 length trousers.

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  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo

    Bring a good telephoto lens with you!

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Sep 17, 2006

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    Photo Equipment: If you are going to visit any part of Africa that has good game viewing possibilities, you should invest in a camera with good telephoto lens capability (300 mm or better). Back in those days I had an Olympus OM-1 with a 200 mm lens plus a 2x converter, giving me 400 mm capability. This photo shows a view of three Giraffe that I captured while on maximum zoom (8-times magnification). The same scene in second photo shows those three Giraffes at centre-right, not much better than specks on the horizon!

    Sadly, I did not take good care of my Olympus while living in Papua New Guinea, resulting in moisture and fungus destroying its electronics. As a result, I only had a 105-mm lens camera when we visited South Africa's Kruger National Park in 1995, and it was not up to the game viewing task at all!

    Three giraffe on the horizon Without 8x magnification, now a 'landscape' shot!
    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • National/State Park
    • Family Travel

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  • Homanded's Profile Photo


    by Homanded Updated Sep 5, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: Whenever we travel we stick to the: Travel light, have laundry done or purchase what you need.
    We travel with one carry on bag each plus a back pack and a camera bag.

    We would rather be able to check in luggage than have to wait around at a strange aiport trying to claim our bags - not to mention reducing the risks of theft or loss during the flight!

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: 2 Jeans
    7 – 10 Underwear
    Safari Pants/zip off shorts legs
    5 - T-Shirts
    2 Long sleeved cotton shirts
    7 – 10 Pr. Socks
    Safari Hat / Sunglasses
    Hiking Boots
    Semi casual shoes (only if planning on dinner out in a nice restaurant)
    Short Sleeved shirts Swim Suit
    Jacket / Scarves / Bandanas /Rain Parka
    Dress Shirt & Tie
    Dress Pants/Jacket

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Maalox Visine
    Imodium AD
    Lamotil (get from your doctor prior to travel for diarreah)
    Malaria Pills (Doxyclicline was our choice - start 2 days prior to travel and every day after)
    Ambesol (or something to numb any possible toothache)
    (2) Mosquito Repellent w/DEET per person per 10 days period!
    Sunburn Ointment
    Excedrin Migraine Medications
    Gauze & Tape
    Soap & Soap Container
    Hand Sanitizer (2 per person per 1 week period) - WASH YOUR HANDS OFTEN!*
    Zip-Lock Bags
    Ace Bandage (good for twisted ankles or minor sprains)
    Chap Stick Thermometer
    Neosporin Antibiotic Ointment
    Band-Aids (assorted sized for cuts/abrasions as well as blisters)
    Tweezers (for splinters)
    Ear Plugs Sleeping Mask
    Downy Fabric Softener (good for mosquito repellent)
    Anti Imflamatory such as Naproxen

    Photo Equipment: Digital camera is the way to go! If you take a digital camera, invest in a higher GB flashcard, such as a 3GB. This will allow you to store up to 3200 pictures w/out the worries that you will run out of space!
    Also to consider are at least 2 good multi purpost lenses: a 28mm-200mm lens which gives you close up, as well as wide angle and basic zoom capabilities and a good 300mm lens, also zoom if possible.
    This should get you through most of your wildlife photography.

    UV lens protector as well as a circular polarizer good for reducing glare when shooting against water and bringing out the blues of the sky - a polarizer filter works similar to your own use of sunglasses when photographing.
    A warming filter or orange filter will be great for capturing the brighteness of the Africa sunrises or sunsets.
    Tripod and a bean bag for stabilizing your gear when shooting from a vehicle.

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: SPF 45-65 sun-block
    Swimming Trunks
    Sandals (dual purpose for pool area and shower)

    Miscellaneous: Finally, if you can manage it, a wolverine. This is a hard drive about the size of a palm pilot which allows you to back up and download all your pictures. It is a handy way to always have the capability of backing up and clearing your flash cards. For more information on this product: Wolverine Portable Media Gear

    Passport & 4 Extra Passport pics
    Notebook & Pens
    Extra Batteries & Charger
    Electrical Adaptor
    Electric Shaver
    Guide Books

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  • Fiuman's Profile Photo


    by Fiuman Written Sep 5, 2006

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Massai Kimana is situated on 1200m. therefore in the morning, and during nigh time are
    very coldly, so I recommend to everybody to take sum jacket .

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: When we plan Kenya voyage we buy all kind of medicine because we are afraid of Malaria, bat during our stay we couldn’t see any mosquito.

    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Safari

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  • Krumel's Profile Photo

    Packing List

    by Krumel Updated Jun 17, 2006

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    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Don't bring synthetic clothes, you'll be sweating too much in them. I brought 100% cotton clothes. They were very comfortable and also dried quickly. If you'll be going on walking safaris, bring green, brown or black clothes. Bright colours will scare the animals away (or attrack the ones you might not want to get too close to).

    Evenings can get cold, depending on which area you travel to, so bringing a warm jumper for cooler evenings or early morning game drives may not be a bad idea.

    Related to:
    • Photography

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  • Osmun79's Profile Photo

    Avoid the burn!

    by Osmun79 Written Mar 24, 2006

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    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: A good Hat is very essential, A wide brim hat is a good idea given that the sun here is stronger then in the US.

    For the coast, you'll want light and breathable shirts with wide sleeves. Drip dry clothing is also the best option-you're gonna sweat buckets anyway you look at it!

    As for sunglasses, polarized and dark lenses are the name of the game. Cheap sunglasses offer no real protection. Don't worry if you forget to pack them, you can buy them almost anywhere in commercial areas and right on the beach usually in Mombasa.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Even if you tan before burning, SPF of 35 or more is a MUST on the coast. Inland you can use what best matches your skin.

    Solarcaine gel or other burn treatments are hard to get in Kenya, so bring your own.

    Related to:
    • Backpacking

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  • Thumbee's Profile Photo

    It's dark, its the wilderness, and there's no loos

    by Thumbee Written Feb 26, 2006

    Luggage and bags: light rug-sack-type luggage is good....so travel light. camping eqpt. is provided by the operators, while sleeping bags can be rented for about US$ 20 for the whole trip, or you can lug your own.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Ample time to wash clothes in the bath, but make sure you have washable and fast-dry clothes. Shoes don't matter so much as not much walking...You're not allowed to get off your vehicle in most national parks while on your game drives. Additionally, something to cover the head/ hair is not a bad idea, as it gets very dusty and the heat can only do bad things for your hair.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Lots of toilet paper, some travel-sickness medicine if you get sick on uneven/ bumpy roads. mosquito repellent, good torches.

    Photo Equipment: no charging facilities if you are camping, so either bring along many charged batteries or be prepared for batteries to die and therefore no photos.

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Kenya What to Pack

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