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Kenya holidays and safaris

Holidays in Kenya

Famous for the world renowned Masai Mara Game Reserve

Situated on the equator, this East African country has been described as 'the cradle of humanity'. With its scenic beauty and abundant wildlife, Kenya is one of Africa's major safari destinations.

Please check the Foreign & Commonwealth Office for the latest information on security, local laws and the latest travel information on www.gov.uk/travelaware. We advise that you check this regularly as the advice can change.

Where to stay in Kenya

Hotels and camps in Kenya

Retrieving our hand picked hotels...

Essential information for Kenya

Local time
+ 2hrs
Currently
Language
Kenya flag
English & Swahili
Currency
Kenyan Shilling
Official currency of Kenya
Flight information
8h 30m
Nairobi (NBO)
Direct flight
Flight schedule
Your flight is approximately 8 hours and 30 minutes to Nairobi and a further 1-hour into Kilimanjaro and Arusha.

Do I need a VISA?

British citizens require a visa for Kenya and Tanzania which can be obtained prior to travel or easily on arrival. Current cost is approx US$50. Please visit www.kenyahighcommission.net for more information.

Find out more about Travel Visas here »

Kenya plastic bag ban

It is now an illegal offence to be in possession of any form of plastic bag upon entering the country. This includes plastic bags in main luggage as well as hand luggage. Any traveller entering Kenya with duty free bags will be required to dispose of them at the entry points or in the aircrafts prior to disembarking their flights. 

From the Bush to the Beach: Highlights of Kenya Holidays

Big cats hunting on the hazy savannah. Elephants almost close enough to touch. A cold beer at sunset, overlooking the endless plains. The smell of dust. The lion’s roar. The unfathomable multitude of stars. Nothing matches the raw drama of Kenya safari holidays. You can meet Maasai warriors, spot the Big Five (and more) and eat exquisite meals served under enormous African skies. This is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

But Kenya holidays aren’t all about safaris. The country’s Indian Ocean coast is pure paradise with brilliant-white beaches, crystal-clear waters, teeming coral reefs and hotels right by the waterfront where you can relax, get active or delve into Swahili culture

  • Meet feline superstars at Governors Main Camp, the HQ of TV show Big Cat Diaries. Deep in the heart of the Masai Mara, this classic colonial-style lodge is a top spot to see the Big Five – lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo.
  • Take a safari in the city. Nairobi National Park is just on the outskirts of the Kenyan capital, so offers the surreal sight of zebra and rhinos against a backdrop of skyscrapers. Start your Kenya holiday at the Ole Sereni Hotel, which borders this urban jungle – you might even glimpse wildlife from the rooftop pool.
  • Head to Amboseli National Park for what might be the best photo-op in all of Africa: see a herd of enormous elephants troop amid the acacias with majestic Mount Kilimanjaro rearing behind.
  • Venture up the dramatic Rift Valley, just two hours from Nairobi, to reach shimmering Lake Nakuru. Here, huge flocks of flamingo turn the waters pink, rhino graze by the shore and lion and leopard prowl the forests and grasslands.
  • Enjoy spine-tingling encounters within a private conservancy. In these exclusive wilderness areas, which are located outside national parks, activities such as game-viewing on foot are allowed, adding extra thrills to your Kenya safari holiday. Try Mahali Mzuri Lodge, a cluster of just 12 luxury tents in the Olare Motorogi Conservancy.

With its scenic beauty and abundant wildlife, Kenya is a country like no other. From the bush to the beach, our Kenya holiday packages are designed to uncover the best of what the country has to offer. To make your trip extra special, why not enjoy one of our favourite Kenyan experiences.

  • Enjoy the ‘nightlife’, safari style: sip a sundowner while gazing over the plains and tuck into a bush barbecue under a blanket of stars. Or head out on an exhilarating after-dark safari to see nocturnal animals start to stir – nighttime game drives are possible at Mahali Mzuri.
  • Float above the wilderness in a hot-air balloon. Watch dawn break as you rise silently above the savannah, looking out for animals below, before landing for a Champagne breakfast. Simply, the most magical way to start the day.
  • Sail away on a traditional dhow – these graceful Swahili sailing boats have plied the East African coast for centuries; now they’re the most atmospheric way to travel. Stay at the idyllic Baobab Beach Resort & Spa to arrange a sunset cruise on one of these handsome vessels.
  • Witness the Great Migration – this movement of two million wildebeest across the Masai Mara and Serengeti is one of the world’s greatest wildlife spectacles. The action is most dramatic between July and October, when the huge herds make treacherous crossings of the Mara River. Stay at Governors Main Camp, right on the river, for a front-row seat.
  • Have your marriage blessed by a Maasai – honeymooners can take part in a special ceremony, followed by a champagne picnic or private candlelit dinner out in the bush.
  • Be dazzled by Diani Beach, the tropical paradise of your dreams. Here, sugar-white sand is lapped by warm turquoise waters, palm trees nod in the breeze and the coral reefs are swarming with fish. There’s plenty of prime beachfront accommodation too – from the Swahili-style resort of Papillon Lagoon Reef to the award-winning Leopard Beach Resort & Spa.
  • Try a wealth of watersports on holidays to Kenya – you could jump in a kayak or make the most of the excellent Indian Ocean conditions to have a go at windsurfing. Many Mombasa hotels, such as the stylish Pinewood Village Beach Resort, have excellent activity centres.
  • Take a peek under the water. The coral reefs off the Kenyan coast are brimming with life – from technicolour reef fish to turtles and whales. Grab a snorkel, learn to scuba dive or board a glass-bottomed boat.
  • Hop along the whole Mombasa coast, home to some of the world’s best beaches. Try beautiful Bamburi Beach, where you can relax at the luxurious Sarova Whitesands Resort & Spa. Or head to Nyali Beach, close to Mombasa’s atmospheric Old Town, where the Voyager Beach Resort is a great family option for Kenya beach holidays.
  • Explore the shore – the lush gardens, indigenous forests and towering baobab trees fringing the Indian Ocean are alive with monkeys and a multitude of birds.
  • Meet the Maasai. Visit a traditional village to learn more about the tribe’s way of life – go early in the morning to help milk the cattle or in the evening to see the goats and sheep being herded home for the night. There’s a village just 10 minutes’ drive from Mahali Mzuri.
  • Delve into the colourful chaos of Nairobi, one of Africa’s fastest-growing cities, for a thrilling start to your Kenya holiday. ‘Lively’ doesn’t do justice to the capital, with its fantastic restaurants and buzzing nightlife. Stay at the Jacaranda Hotel, which is within easy reach of the hubbub but also has leafy gardens and a cool pool if you want to escape.
  • Visit the former home of Karen Blixen. Nestled at the foot of the Ngong Hills, just outside Nairobi, this colonial farmhouse, once lived in by the author of Out of Africa, is now a fascinating museum.
  • Get lost in the winding alleys of Mombasa’s Old Town and explore the crumbling ramparts of 16th century Fort Jesus. Stay at the nearby Serena Beach Hotel & Spa, which is laid out just like a labyrinthine Swahili town.
  • Shop for local treasures at Mombasa’s markets and boutiques. Look out for bright kikoys (sarongs), sisal baskets, beaded bracelets and wood and soapstone carvings. And be prepared for some haggling – great fun!

Ready to discover Africa’s premier safari destination? Whether you’re looking to get up close with wildlife or relax on tropical beaches, our Kenya holiday packages have it all. To book your perfect trip, browse our selection of Kenya hotels today.

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Your holiday may be affected by travel restrictions or cancellations

We are continually reviewing our flying schedules, taking into account the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice against all non-essential travel. Depending on when you are due to travel, your holiday may be affected and we’ll email you to let you know.

Latest Foreign & Commonwealth Office repatriation travel advice


Over the past few weeks, we have repatriated our customers from overseas who wanted to come home.  

Please visit this page to keep up to date with the Government’s travel advice on returning to the UK, and to register for email alerts.
 

You’ll be away before you know it

Your next holiday is only a click away - our website has thousands of hand-picked options ready to book. But if you need more help, just give us a call on 0344 472 9499.

Looking for inspiration? Explore our destinations and holiday types and save your faves to your very own Wishlist. Or dive right in to our 2021 holiday offers.

For extra piece of mind, new bookings made before 31 August 2020 for travel up 30 April 2021 also have the flexibility to amend free of charge. If you need to change don’t worry, you can move your holiday as far out as 31 December 2021 subject to availability.

How would you like to talk to us?

With many customers needing our help, we are prioritising those customers due to travel before 06 October 2020. Log in to Manage my booking where you can message us about your options or you can give us a call. Bear in mind you may have to wait longer than expected. We continue to review this and working to open up these options to more customers. In the meantime check out our FAQs to see if this can help answer any immediate questions.

Stay tuned for the latest updates


Rest assured; we will notify you as soon as we know if your holiday has been affected.  

We are prioritising those customers due to travel before 06 October 2020. Log in to Manage my booking where you can message us about your options or you can give us a call. Bear in mind you may have to wait longer than expected. We continue to review this and working to open up these options to more customers. In the meantime check out our FAQs to see if this can help answer any immediate questions.

Please look out for emails from us or visit our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for the latest updates.

Let’s talk


If you need to speak to us to change or cancel your booking, and you are due to travel before 06 October 2020, please log in to Manage my booking to call or message us. 

Payment flexibility


Don’t worry if you’ve missed a payment or just need a little more time to pay; we have options available to help you. If your holiday is going ahead as planned, you can continue to pay for your holiday in Manage my booking, even if travelling in less than 12 weeks. If you’re unsure, you can delay any additional payments by choosing a new time to travel by requesting a call back in Manage My booking for one of our team to look at options. If your holiday is more than 6 months away, you may wish to set up a Direct Debit to spread the cost. This can be arranged whilst rebooking or afterwards in Manage my booking.

We're flexible with your holiday plans


We understand that you may wish to change your holiday plans and we appreciate the need for flexibility. 

We'll be in touch by email letting you know how to register to change your holiday plans. You can also log into Manage my booking to find the details there. 

Please look out for emails from us or visit our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for the latest updates.

You're good to go


If we haven’t notified you of any changes, your holiday will be going ahead as planned but if you prefer to move your holiday to a later time we can help. Log in to Manage my booking to request a call back to amend your holiday. Please bear in mind we’ll work through requests in departure date order so may take longer than usual for us to get back to you

Please look out for emails from us or visit our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for the latest updates.

Thank you for your patience and understanding


Payments are being prioritised based on when the request was made, working in order from March 2020 onwards. We will always try to process refunds at the earliest opportunity, for requests before August our maximum timeframe is 120 days. As we are steadily reducing the maximum processing time for each new request, for refund requests made in August, we expect the maximum processing time to be 80 days, from the date the refund is requested. For those requesting a refund in September, we expect it to be processed within a maximum of 60 days, and then reduce to 30 days for refunds requested in October, before returning to normal levels.

We'll be in touch soon


To finalise the amendment, one of our customer advisors will phone you. We need to work through amend requests in departure date order so we can prioritise those with the most imminent travel plans, so you may have a longer wait than usual until we’re able to ring you back. We will help everyone that wants to move their holiday.

I returned early from holiday and have further questions?


You can contact our team by emailing feedback.backhome@virginholidays.com to discuss options on unused portions of your holiday. If you need to contact our team about amending an existing holiday or requesting a refund please log in to manage my booking.

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