Visiting Kenya - Karibu Kenya

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© Map of Africa

Kenya is located astride the equator in Eastern Africa. It covers approximately 580,000 square km. It borders Ethiopia, Uganda, South Sudan, Somalia and Tanzania. Kenya spans more than 224,000 sq. miles (582,000 sq. Km), making it only slightly smaller than the state of Texas in the United States.

Nairobi is the capital city of Kenya with a cosmopolitan population of over 3.2 million people. It is the only capital city in the world that has a national park. The park is endowed with a rich variety of wild life making the city a unique tourist destination. 

The city got its name from a Maasai phrase 'Enkare Nyorobi' meaning 'the place of cool waters.' Nairobi is the most populated city in East Africa and the fourth largest city in Africa.

Nairobi is a hub for business and culture. It is also a home for many international organizations along with the United Nations Environmental Program and UN Habitat, and companies.

Enjoy wildlife safaris, bird watching, horseback riding, golfing, canoeing, sailing, mountain biking, scuba diving, hot air ballooning, mountain climbing, hiking, water skiing, fishing, and many more activities. You can also get a chance to practice marathon running with the world's greatest athletes and gold medalists, on the hills of the Great Rift Valley.


Basic Information about Kenya


Kenyan Government

The Republic of Kenya is a multi-party democracy with a National Assembly. The constitution declares the president as both the head of state and the head of government. Kenya's government has been stable and the recent administration has worked hard to improve the country on many levels, from education, technology to health care to economic growth.

President - Uhuru Kenyatta

Deputy President - William Ruto




Climate

Kenya enjoys a wonderful tropical climate. It is generally warm all year round, with plenty of sunshine and cooler nights and mornings.

The weather in October has average highs of 25.7°C and lows of 11.3°C. It may also rain during October, the average rainfall in October is 60.8 mm.

View a detailed Forecast




Currency, Banking & foreign exchange

The Kenyan Shilling is the currency of Kenya. The currency code for Shillings is KES, and the currency symbol is KSh. 

International banks in Kenya include Bank of Africa, Barclays Bank, Citibank and Standard Chartered Bank. Banking hours are from 08:00 AM  to 04:00 PM on weekdays and from 08:00 AM  to 12:00 noon on Saturdays. 

Most banks have Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) that accept various international debit and credit cards. 

Foreign Exchange Bureaus are readily available within Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) and the Nairobi Central Business District.




Taxi services

Taxis are readily available in Nairobi and you can pay by cash or credit card. You can also access taxis via mobile applications including Uber, Little Cab, Mondo Ride and Taxify. 

You can also find taxis parked on every second street in the city centre.




Telecommunications

The main mobile service providers include Safaricom, AirTel and Telkom. They provide internet access using 3G and 4G. SIM cards for cell phones are readily available and cost about $1 US. Please note that registration is required to activate the SIM cards. 

Landline telephone services are also available at hotels and other facilities.




Electricity supply

The standard voltage is 240V in Kenya. However, electric appliances from countries whose standard voltage is between 220V to 240V can be used. Power sockets in Kenya are three-pin, square, type G.




Shopping and Attractions

Nairobi has an endless and colorful array of shopping malls and markets with plenty on offer for travelers. 

Some of the major shopping malls in the city include:-

- The Two Rivers Mall     - Garden City Mall    

- The Hub Karen              - Galleria Mall                 

- The Junction                 - Sarit Center 

- Yaya Center                    - Village Market & Maasai Market



Agricultural Products

Kenya is one of the top agricultural producers in Africa thanks to the rich soil of the Kenyan highlands. Coffee, tea, tobacco, cotton, pyrethrum, flowers, cashew nuts and sisal are Kenya's cash crops, with fruit, vegetables, beans, and cassava emerging as key crops for subsistence. Cattle, goats and sheep are also important agricultural products. 

Major export markets include Kenya's neighboring countries, as well as several European, Asian countries, and the United States.




Tourism

Kenya is a popular tourist destination all year round. Attractions ranging from safaris, awesome Indian Ocean beaches,  scenic landscapes, mountain trekking and fascinating wildlife. For more information, visit Kenya's Tourism Board.

Game Safaris and wildlife tours are Kenya's biggest attractions, drawing many visitors to the country each year. Kenya manages 60 national parks and national game reserves, where visitors can view some of the country's most spectacular wildlife, including the "Big Five" animals.  Between July and September, visitors can witness the remarkable annual wildebeest migration which takes place at the Mara.

Kenya's many beaches along the Indian Ocean are the country's second biggest tourist attraction. Visitors can enjoy clean beaches lined with palm trees and studded with luxury resorts, with coral reefs located just offshore.




People and culture

Kenya is a land of great diversity in its people and cultures. We have about 42 tribes in Kenya with different languages and cultures that all merge to become the unique mix of Kenyan culture.  The Maasai are the most well known due to both their long-preserved culture and their involvement in Kenyan tourism. The Kenyan people are warm, friendly and hospitable. 

The national Language is Swahili and most people also speak English too.




Security

The security situation in Kenya remains safe and calm, as the Government continues to put necessary measures in place to guarantee the safety of its citizens, diplomats, visitors and investors, as well as property. In this regard, security of the participants, conference venue, hotels and other designated places for the conference will all be fully addressed from pre, during and post conference in our security planning. 
To continuously enhance security, the Government has put the following measures in place.

- Multi-Agency approach to proactively monitor, heighten security and ensure real time response to emergencies;

- Enhanced police-citizen ration, which has surpassed the United Nations threshold of 1 police officer for every 450 citizens.

- Establishment of the Diplomatic Police Unit, which specifically serves the diplomatic community in Kenya. 

- Tourist Police for protection of tourists' life and property – patrols beaches, hotels and tourist circuits as well as tourist escort.

- Airports Police Unit – for maintaining law and order, crowd control and security within major airports.

- Kenya Police Airwing to provide air support to the police service.

The Government has adopted the "a Whole of Government Approach" to security management in the country. As a result of the robust measures; Kenya has successfully hosted and will continue to host many international conferences such as:

  • 25th International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD 25) –November 2019
  • 9th Summit of Heads of State and Government for Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP)-2019, December 2019
  • 124th Session of the International Coffee Organization Council – September 2019  
  • United Nations Office on Counter Terrorism Conference-July 2019
  • First global conference on the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference – 2018
  • International Civil Aviation Organization Air Service Negotiations (ICAN) - 2018
  • 6th Tokyo International Conference on Africa's Development (TICAD IV) – 2016
  • United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD XIV) – 2016
  • 10th World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference – 2015

Political Situation

Kenya is a peaceful country and has made significant political and economic reforms, which have driven sustained economic growth, social development and political gains over the last ten years. In 2018, Kenya moved to position 61, up from 80 in 2017 and 129 in 2014, beating major economies like Argentina, Russia and Brazil.

Kenya is also the logistics hub of the region. Through the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport one can access most of Africa within four hours. The national Carrier – Kenya Airways has the most flights to other African cities compared to other African national carriers.

Security Plan for the Conference

For planning and managing the Conference, the National Organizing Committee (NOC) has established a security sub-committee consisting of Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government, National Police Service, the host KICC, Immigration department, Airport security, Protocol security and National Disaster Operations Centre to provide security oversight. 

Security personnel will be deployed at the point of entry (airport); as escort, either in buses that ferry the delegates from the airport to their respective hotels; or as lead/chase cars. Tourist police will also be deployed around hotels to ensure safety and security. The General Service Unit will take charge of the conference venue and its environs to ensure the security of the facility as well as that of delegates. 

Emergency

During the Conference, the Government, together with KICC shall make arrangements with qualified medical personnel to provide emergency medical services as well as fully equipped stand-by ambulances. The Government will also avail a well-equipped fire system so that in the event of a fire, delegates can be assured of their safety. 

Instructions on precautionary measures will be placed at all strategic areas of the conference venue, where delegates and other visitors can get information on what to do in the event of a peril. Delegates/Participants will therefore be at ease as their security shall not be compromised as far as their stay in the country is concerned.