Location Guide Kenya
Giraffe, Masai Mara, Kenya. Courtesy of Paul Mannix on Wikimedia Commons
Kenya is situated in East Africa and borders Tanzania to the south, Uganda to the west, Ethiopia to the north and Somalia to the east. The capital city is Nairobi. Kenya is a large country with 536km of coastline on the Indian Ocean.
Kenya if famous for wildlife and game safaris and contains many important wildlife parks.
Terrain: Savannah (central), Semi arid desert (north and north east), Beaches (coast), Lakes (Lake Victoria)
Noteable features: Great Rift Valley, Lake Victoria, Mount Kenya (5,199m)
National Parks: East & West Tsavo National Park, Masai Mara, Aberdares National Park, Lake Nakuru National Park
Major cities: Nairobi (capital), Mombasa (east coast), Kisumu (west)
Major airports: Nairobi, Mombasa
Production facilites: There are several good organisations offering film support services plus a number of resident freelance production crew. Filming equipment is not readily available.
Electrical system is 220 / 240 Volts AC at 50Hz.
Power outlets are British type 3 pin "Type G".
Some areas may used the older type round pin plug and socket so it's worth carrying an adapter just in case.
English and Swahili are widely spoken.
Kenya local time is GMT + 3 hours
Kenya has a diverse geography and the climate varies according to region. In the North & East semi desert areas it can get as hot as 40C with little rainfall. Rift Valley and Central areas are very pleasant with temperatures ranging from 10C to 28C along with two rainy seasons: 'short rains' in October & November and 'long rains' in March, April & May. Daylight hours generally between 6.30am and 6.30pm.
"Short rains" in October, "Long rains" in March, April & May.
A filming permit is required before you can film in Kenya. Each visiting member of the film crew will need a 'Special Pass' issued by the Department of Immigration. These cost Kshs 15,000 (approx 175 USD) per month with a maximum stay of 3 months. See: http://kenyafilmcommission.com/filming-in-kenya/visa-a-special-passes.html
You will also need a Film Licence issued by the Department of Film Services. This costs Kshs 5,000 (approx 60 USD) plus a further Kshs 1,000 (approx 12 USD) per filming day. See: http://kenyafilmcommission.com/filming-in-kenya/taxes.html
Tourist and Business visas are required for visitors from most countries. The visa is obtained on arrival at Jomo Kenyatta Airport, Nairobi. An entry visa costs UK£30 / US$50 / €40 and is valid for 3 months.
To call Kenya use prefix +254 + City area code + local number.
Mobile phones can be rented locally and offer cheap in country calls.
Arrival. Customs & Immigration
Local currency is the Kenyan shilling (Ksh). Credit cards are becoming more widely accepted but you will often have to pay in cash. US$ are often the preferred method of payment. You can change US$ and traveller's cheques at most banks.
Very useful guide on money at Lonely Planet:http://www.lonelyplanet.com/kenya/practical-information/money-costs
Cholera, Malaria and Dengue Fever can occur in Kenya. Other diseases such as Typhoid Rabies and Meningitis can also be found. Contact your medical practitioner at least 8 weeks before your trip to discuss preventative measures. Medical facilities in Kenya are limited outside of the major cities so make sure that you are adequately insured.
For more information on health issues see The National Travel Health Network & Centre