In Nairobi: It’s all about layers. Bring lots of cotton layers. It can be hot one moment, cloudy or raining the next. Evenings are always cool. You’ll find it’s not such a backwater – people do glam up when they go out. There are lots of sophisticated shopping centres and restaurants, as well as dusty safari walks, elephant orphanages and Masai markets. Be flexible.
• Jeans for evenings
• 1 pair cotton trousers
• 2 pairs shorts/skirts
• 2 blouses/short sleeve shirts
• 2 t-shirts
• 2 or more cotton jumpers/cardigans
• A summer dress?
• Flip flops (something comfortable for muddy/dusty/uneven surfaces)
• One lightweight jacket (for layering up in evening or facing rain showers)
• Ankle boots for evenings, stops you getting bitten (girls – heels are worn in Africa!)
• Cotton scarf/sarong/wrap
• Moisturizer/lip salve. Nairobi is high altitude so very drying atmosphere.
• 2 pair khaki trousers or shorts
• 2 pair comfortable walking shoes
• 4 t-shirts/shirts (they say on safari not white or bright colours as it scares the animals – but judging by what the Samburu and Masai wear, I think that this is stretching the point a bit! Animals won’t mind!)
• socks, underwear
• warm sweater/jumper/fleece
• several outfits for evening, casual
• bathing suit, sarong, flip flops
• camera, charger, spare battery
• pair good quality binoculars (8x30 or 10x40)
• high factor sun screen
• lip salve
• medications including anti malaria meds
• cosmetics and toiletries
• contact lenses and glasses
• hat with wide brim (tho a baseball cap is better than nothing)
• plug adaptors (Kenya takes UK plugs), chargers
• mosquito repellent
• pocket torch/flashlight
• sachets of Dioralyte (rehydrant) to stay energised during your safari
It’s hard to believe but there’s no need to pack a sweater at all at the Kenya coast, ever! Be ready for high humidity.
• Swimming costume/bikinis
• Swimming t-shirt/rash vest/old t-shirt (for snorkelling, water sports or to wear when swimming)
• goggles/snorkel (you can usually borrow these on reef trips but also nice to have your own)
• Sun hat – preferably wide brim
• Sarongs/kikoys – but you can buy great ones from beach vendors here, ditto beaded leather sandals
• Flip flops or beach shoes that don’t mind going in the water for reef walks
• Shorts/miniskirts/short dresses are okay for beach and hotel
• For cultural visits wear a long skirt/3 quarter trousers and shirt/top that covers shoulders
• Thin t-shirts
• Dresses for day wear
• 2 pairs long light coloured trousers for evenings
• Khaftan tops
• Thin cotton/linen shirts with long sleeves
• Insect/mosquito repellent
• Pretty shoes for evening
Note: dark coloured clothing attracts mosquitoes as well as tsetse fly on safari
Your usual meds plus..
Anti-histamine cream to slather on irritating bites.
Traveller’s diarrhoea is a possibility. Insider tip: You can get a great one dose anti-biotic over the counter in Kenya called cyprofloxicin in a 500mg tablet (also available in UK on prescription only). If you are struck down, consult the hotel doctor or local pharmacy – don’t be a hero, it’s quickly curable and doesn’t have to spoil your holiday.
Sachets of Dioralyte (rehydrant).
Mosquito spray. Most hotels/lodges provide it but not a bad idea to buy some in case (if you buy locally – I would suggest a brand such as Doom).
I also swear by buying treated nets in the local supermarkets, then carrying them with you to hotels/lodges to throw over a chair in the corner of the room. This deters the mossies that carry malaria.
Anti-malarials – often cheaper to buy once in Kenya. Local pharmacy’s will advise on what the current prophylactic of choice is.
See more info on the ‘Will I get Malaria’ page.