Most Frequently Asked Questions
1. What will our sleeping quarters be like?
Please visit our Finer Details section.
2. Should we be concerned for our safety?
Dimesse Sisters’ Retreat Centre and Nyumbani Village have 24-hour security guards. The National Parks have 24/7 security as well. The group will always travel together in transportation provided by Spurwing Travel and Tour. We will be with either Spurwing or Nyumbani staff/security persons at all times except when we eat as a group at well established restaurants in Karen. As with any foreign travel, people should never travel alone. Do not hesitate to ask questions or alert KEST staff if you are uncomfortable at any time.
3. What type of weather should I expect…temperatures, rainfall?
Please visit our Finer Details section.
4. What is a typical breakfast? Lunch?
Breakfast– tea/coffee, cereals, eggs, baked beans, bacon and sausage, fruits and pancakes. For days in Kitui Village granola bars are recommended, as breakfast is much smaller there, often just white bread and butter or a sweet potato.
Lunch – Picnic/bagged lunches will be made up of what the traveler desires- sandwiches of cheese, beef, roast chicken, or PB&J; choice of beverage, fruit, snacks, sweets. At Nyumbani Village lunch will be a hot meal including rice, lentils, beans, chapatti, greens, and sometimes meat.
5. Should travelers pack any extra food for travel/snacking?
Yes, KEST recommends you bring anything you may require for specific dietary needs (candy if you have low blood sugar, etc.) Snack foods such as granola bars and trail mix come in handy. Some snacks can also be purchased in Karen. At the Nyumbani Village breakfast is small and meals usually include rice and beans. Travelers may want to supplement their food intake.
6. How available is drinking water?
KEST provides most of the bottled water needed for the trip. Bottled water can be bought at the stores in Karen. KEST recommends bringing a wide-mouth water bottle (easier to refill) and purchasing a few large bottles in Karen to be refilled. You will not go thirsty, and it is best to stay properly hydrated in this climate. Powdered mixes are encouraged to add to water bottles to change up the flavor if desired.
7. Should I bring a first-aid kit?
KEST will provide deluxe first aid kits for the entire trip, but bringing your own supply of malaria medication, antibiotic ointment, bandaids, allergy medicines, and anti-diarrheal is a must. Whatever you would use when under the weather at home, should make the trip to Kenya with you.
8. Do I need to bring a mosquito net?
No, Dimesse Sisters’ Retreat Centre, Nyumbani Village, and safari sites provide mosquito nets. Bug spray is recommended on safari and in Nyumbani Village, used as needed.
9. What does KEST recommend in terms of spending money and use of debit/credit cards?
KEST recommends access to $300 +/- which can be:
1. retrieved from an ATM in Karen in Kenyan shillings;
2. traded in for Kenyan shillings at a Bureau of Exchange in Karen;
3. bring Kenyan shillings equal to $300 from your bank at home
Kenyan shillings will be needed to make purchases at Nyumbani Village, Lea Toto sites, and street markets. Credit Cards can be used in most major stores. Check with your bank about international transaction fees and alert them of your trip. ATMs are located throughout Kenya.
10. What is the power source situation where we will be in Kenya?
Access to power will be slightly limited in some areas. Charging capabilities are readily available at Dimesse Sisters’ Retreat Centre and limited at Nyumbani Village. Travelers are responsible for their own converters and adapters. Kenya is 240 volts; check your equipment and ask your local tech store for adapter information. KEST recommends bringing backup camera batteries in case you are unable to charge. Please do not bring hairdryers, plug-in clocks, or anything that wastes space or energy.
11. What is the time difference between Nairobi and Washington, D.C.?
The time difference is 7 hours from mid-March until the end of October. It is an 8 hour time difference from the end of October until mid-March
12. What Swahili words would be useful to know?
Please visit the commonly used Swahili words section on the KEST website. Most guide books also include a basic vocabulary list.
13. Any important contact information needed?
AIG Travel Guard (Traveler’s Insurance)- 1-800-826-1300, www.travelguard.com
Passport Health (Specializes in travel abroad)- great location to get international travel information and shots!
United States Department of State (recommendations for international travel) – Washington, DC, http://travel.state.gov , KEST will register all trip participants with the State Department before departure to Kenya.
Embassy of the Republic of Kenya (in the US)- 202-387-6101, www.kenyaembassy.com
Embassy of the United States (in Kenya)- when calling Kenya from the US 011- 254-722-204-445; http://nairobi.usembassy.gov/