Smile Train Journey of Smiles to Kenya
November 18 – 23, 2021
Click here to download a Kenya Country Guide. Filled with information about the logistics of traveling to Kenya including obtaining a visa, weather and a packing list, as well as insight into the culture and customs, this will be your go-to guide to prepare for visiting Kenya!
In November, Nairobi and the central highlands are hot by day, cool by morning and night with a slight chance of rain. Temperatures in November are high enough for you to wear light layers, but waterproofs can save you from getting caught in the rain. On average, you can expect the temperature at the height of the sun to reach the low 80s (°F) and the evenings to reach temperatures in the 40s (°F). When packing for a safari it’s important to keep in mind that early mornings in the safari vehicle can feel much colder than expected!
Game viewing in most safari destinations is good in November as it is not too hot for animals to come out from the bush.
Upon arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO), your guide will greet you outside of the Terminal with a sign that reads “Smile Train”. Once you have collected your luggage, you will be transferred to The Fairview Hotel.
If you are unable to locate your guide, please call: Eric Kingoina +254 738 006 443
|Fairview Hotel||Kusyombunguo Hotel||Kibo Safari Camp|
|Location & Phone||Bishop Road
Tel: +254 733 636561
|Off Mombasa Road
Lukenya, Athi River, Kenya
Tel: +254 711 484550
|Amboseli National Park, Kenya
Tel: +254 721 380539
|Shampoo, soap, hairdryer||Yes|
|Pool, gym or spa||Swimming Pool
|WiFi in lobby and rooms||Yes|
|Laundry Services||Yes (additional charge)|
Please be sure to notify your bank and credit card companies of your travel plans, in case they view your activity as fraudulent.
In Kenya, the unit of currency is the Kenyan shilling, which is divided into 100 cents. Notes are issued in denominations of 50, 100, 500, and 1000 shillings. Coins are issued in denominations of 5, 10, and 50 Cents and 1, 5, 10 and 20 shillings. The current exchange rate is $1 = 105 KES (as of November 2019)
The small amount of local currency you may need during your stay in Kenya can be obtained at authorized facilities (such as at hotels, banks, and foreign exchange bureaus). In general, we suggest that you limit the amount of money you convert into local currencies and exchange only what you think you will spend before leaving any foreign country. It is suggested that you save all receipts from your currency exchange transactions in Kenya. Be aware that only paper currency will normally be accepted for exchange.
Cash: Kenya is primarily a cash economy, so we recommend bringing the funds you will need for personal spending in cash. US dollars are accepted as a means of exchange. We recommend traveling with $200 – $300 US dollars as ATM machines can be finicky. If you bring USD, your bills should be:
- New (printed in the last 5 years)
- In pristine condition (no rips, tears, smudges, markings, creases, etc)
- Larger denominations (the $50 and $100 bills attract the best exchange rate).
Forex bureaus, banks, and ATMs are available in most major cities, and your guide can generally help with currency exchange throughout your trip. Note that traveler’s checks are no longer commonly used.
Change: Ask for smaller bills when you change money, or use your large bills at large shops to receive more change. In many cases, people (local vendors especially) don’t have change.
Credit Cards: Credit cards (Visa preferred) are acceptable in larger establishments, while cash is more appropriate everywhere else. Most merchants will charge an additional 3-5% of the bill for a credit card transaction.
ATM/Debit Cards: Bank or debit cards that allow you to withdraw money directly from your bank account at home are not accepted in the country at either banks or ATMs, so please do not rely on this option. It is usually best to be equipped with a mix of cash and a credit card (preferably Visa).