1. Beware of the ‘porters’ as you get off the airport. They will push you away from your trolley and then attempt to scam you for as much money as possible. They know you dont have change so will ask for around £6-7 for a journey of a few meters. Tell them you dont have any money on you. (AVIF will pick you up from the airport).
2. You will be sold bog standard mass produced goods. Some of them are quite good but you can get them for next to nothing. Regardless of what they say, they / their sister / their mother on her death bed did not spend 2 weeks making this item.
3. Take pens and English currency – it can be traded for almost anything. If you can be bothered, they’re very interested in socks for reasons unknown but will trade for almost anything. Every person we came across asked if we had pens.
4. Tips are high. You have to tip absolutely everyone. Expect to tip bar staff, waiters and anyone who cleans your room (we did this at the end of each stay), anyone who makes you a special dish if you wish (a lot of hotels we stayed at had an ‘egg’ chef), the porters, anyone on the front desk who helps you, all drivers including taxis and buses…basically everyone who offers you a service.
5. Food and drinks are cheap even in the resort hotels. Even all inclusive at a cost of £11 per day you will struggle to consume all the food and drink. A soft drink came in at around 30p for a 330ml bottle. Watch out for the salt content of the water and ensure its good! If you can be bothered, you can venture outside your resort for cheaper food and drink. For a three course meal with a half bottle of wine in an amazing restaurant (built in to a cave) came to just under £20 per person. Hotel snacks were around the £2-3 mark.
6. Trips are very expensive. We went on the dolphin safari (which was excellent and I would recommend it) which cost around £60 per person for the day.
7. The local buses are an exceptionally cheap way of getting around but the drivers are completely nuts. Its like being on a thrill ride at Disney! Alternatively, the taxis are slightly less mental but I cant say they’re exactly road worthy. The journey we took to a local restaurant cost around 50p both ways. You can pay a driver for a day and he will wait around for you if you want to see Mombasa (the markets are great).
8. If your resort is anything like ours the beach is fair game for people selling you things and they can be quite forceful. We were told that the story should be that you’ve been to Kenya many times and you dont need anything. Never say that you’ll think about it and come back because they will remember you and hold you to your word.
9. Try a ‘water taxi’ at the coast. The locals sit in boats near to the shore line and will ask if you want to go snorkeling or diving. If you’re not interested then say no but its a cheap way of seeing some great fish. Don’t leave valuables in the boat though !
Kenya was the best holiday I’ve ever had so I hope you have the time of your life.
Another good read