Kenya is one of Africa’s most popular tourist destinations; it is a nation blessed in natural beauty with diverse landscapes, abundance of wildlife and a vibrant culture. It is a nation “on the move” with a dynamic economy, a stable democracy and a youth culture which is leading innovation and new technology on this vast continent. There has been no better time to visit Kenya!
Kenya sits at the heart of East Africa, bordered by Tanzania to the south, Uganda to the west, South Sudan to the north-west, Ethiopia to the north and Somalia to the north-east. It has a long coast-line along the Indian Ocean and the famous Rift Valley runs through the country, north to south. It is home to Mt. Kenya, the second highest mountain in Africa. Kenya has a diverse and varied geography, from the low coastal areas of Mombasa and Lamu to the highlands bisected by the great Rift Valley. Much of Kenya is green and fertile with the northern territories around Lake Turkana being dry and desert like. Olepangi Farm and Guesthouse is located about 45 minutes from Nanyuki in an area called Timau, with beautiful views of Mt. Kenya to the south of the farm.
Kenya’s climate, like it’s geography, varies from place to place. It is very tropical along the coast, with a more temperate inland climate and then arid in the north-eastern areas. There is much sunshine but the mornings and evenings can be cool in the more elevated areas like Nairobi and Nanyuki. The long rainy season is from March/April until May/June. There can also be short rains from October to November/December. The cooler months are June, July and August and the warmest are January to March. Keep in mind though, “cold” is Africa cold, not European cold!
While both English and Kiswahili are official languages it is estimated that there are 69 languages spoken in Kenya. English is largely spoken in commerce, education and government functions, however in more rural areas many people will only speak their native tribal languages.
Currency and Money Matters
The currency in Kenya is the Shilling. For up-to-date rates, you can visit a website like www.xe.com. The Kenyan Shilling is widely used and you will find ATMs in most major towns and they usually support most debit cards which have been set up for international usage, Master Card, Visa and Visa Plus. Please check with your bank about relevant charges on withdrawals. With traveller’s cheques, you may be charged commission at usually about 1%.
We advise guests to change some money in the airport on arrival before transfer to the farm so that you have local currency to purchase gifts and souvenirs if you’d like. Ideally Shillings should be in 100, 200 and 500 denominations as often change will not be available.
Kenya is GMT+3; but it depends on the time of the year as from March until October there is only a 2 hour difference due to daylight savings time.
Kenya uses the British 240-volt system and 3-pin plugs. Electrical goods designed for 220 volts can be used safely. There will be facilities for recharging video and camera batteries at the farm.
We are located approximately 4 hours 30 minutes drive from Nairobi and 30 minutes drive from Nanyuki. Most of our clients choose to get a road transfer directly from Nairobi airport to Olepangi Farm as the roads are good and it is the most in expensive way to get here. We can organise a road transfer with our trusty driver William for US$200 per vehicle per way. If you would prefer to fly then you can get a light aircraft flight from Wilson airport (Nairobi’s domestic airport) to Nanyuki airstrip. For bookings and prices please contact either SafariLink or Air Kenya. We can then arrange a road transfer from Nanyuki airstrip for US$90 per vehicle per way. The transfer from the airstrip to Olepangi Farm is approximately 40 minutes.
Airport International: Jomo Kenyatta International Airport Nairobi, Airport Local: Wilson Airport Nairobi for internal flights. There are direct flights from many European cities to Nairobi. Visitors from the Americas will find connections via these European cities. For those coming from Australia and Asia, there are flights via Johannesburg and the Middle East and India too. Indian travellers will be able to fly direct from Delhi and Mumbai to Nairobi.
Other Useful Links –
Official Website of the Kenya Tourist Board
Kenya Association of Tour Operators