Kenya recently introduced Online E-visa. Although for some time you might be able to get visa on arrival this is very unsure and we strongly recommend to get the visa online prior to your arrival. Visa application can be made on: https://immigration.ecitizen.go.ke Visa for 90 days are 50USD.
Kenya used to be a colony of the Great Britain and for that reason English is widely spoken in Kenya. It is actually the official language of Kenya. However, Swahili is also widely spoken and often used more than English. Moreover, Kenya is known for its tribalism which means that many areas (mainly poor and remote ones) still keep their tribal language and do not speak Swahili or English very well. For example our Koguta library is area that speaks Luo language. However, primary schools are all taught in English language and that is why we promote this language at our libraries as without the knowledge of English children cannot study at primary or secondary schools.
Food is fresh but in poor areas often plain.It might be cooked in what does not seem as hygienic condition, however none of our volunteers had ever experienced any serious stomach problems. Nevertheless, it may take you few days to get used to the food. Generally it is healthy with lots of vegetables, rice or semolina-like porridge. Meat is a usual part of people's diet but being vegetarian is not difficult as meat is not eaten on daily basis. You will find fruits and vegetables on the markets to be very fresh, tasty, sweet and cheap.
From Koguta library you can take boda boda to Sondu, there is market every week. However, Madam Tina will usually cook for you. It will only be expected from time to time from you to buy the ingredients or give some little money for the cooking (no more than 10-15€ a week).
Kenya is a developing country and the prices will therefore seem cheap and low to many visitors from the West. Bottle of water is 20-25Ksh (0,2€), mango or avocado in the season is about 30-40KSh (0,3€) and meal in local restaurant (ugali, cabbage and meat) can be around 50-100KSh (0,5-1€). Transport is also very cheap, for an hour in matatu (local van-like bus) you pay around 50-100KSh (0,5-1€). Generally there is only one rule - longer you stay, cheaper it gets. Once you get to know the prices locals will not cheat you or suggest higher prices.
Staying in Koguta library is free of charge, however if you are using electricity and water and Madam Tina cooks for you than it is expected from you to give something in return to cove those expanses.
The most typical vehicle is Matatu – a small van with about 12-16 sitting places that stops whenever somebody wants it to stop or when the driver sees a person standing near the road (a possible passenger). Matatus are the cheapest way of transportation (within and between cities). There are also tuk-tuks – a three wheel motorcycles able to carry 1-4 passengers, slightly more expensive than matatus but faster (you stop them at the street and they will take you directly where you want). Tuk tuks are found mainly in the cities. Price range is 50-100KSh. Finally, there are boda-bodas – a typical motorcycles going to places where nothing else does or in the cities. The price is similar to tuk-tuk prices. For a long distance rides there are very comfortable, air-conditioned, European-like buses. From Nairobi to Mombasa (8hours) is about 10-15€.
HOW TO GET TO KOGUTA
Getting to the library is not difficult. You first need to get to Sondu. From Nairobi there are direct buses (big and comfortable) going direction Kisumu, they stop at Sondu. If you fly or arrive to Kisumu you can take matatu going to Sondu. Once in Sondu take a boda boda (150KSh) and ask them to drop you to Koguta, on the way up the hill after about 5min ride you will cross a bridge, tell the driver to turn right (there is a sign post saying Public Library). Drive straight until you see another sign post, whish is in front of the library. A pick up from Sondu may be also arranged