What to Pack

What to Pack for Kenya



Ground Transportation:  We will be traveling in 7-passenger vans with little luggage space.


Carry-on Luggage: each person is allowed:

·        one (1) small backpack/briefcase/book bag or purse, not to exceed to 15"x11"x6"

·        In addition a laptop, camera, coat and reading material may be carried on board.


Never put your Passport in Checked Luggage  Always carry  them in your carry-on luggage or on your person.

Money should be carried in a money belt under your clothes. ATM's  are readily available and an easy way to get Kenyan currency.

  Do not carry LARGE amounts of cash at any one time.

Remember that you will need $50 CASH (USD) upon arrival in the Nairobi International Airport to obtain your Entry Visa.

Bring the exact amount in crisp, newer bills. They will NOT make change.


Checked Luggage   We request you bring only one (1) "carry-on sized" suitcase (preferably on wheels and typically 9"x14"x22") for your personal belongings due to limited space in the vans.  Weight limit for Delta/KLM is fifty pounds per bag.  Two pieces of checked luggage are free of charge on Delta/KLM international flights. Second pieces of luggage will likely be tubs carrying project and other donated supplies for KUEF projects.


Weather:  The average high temperature is in the high 80 degrees F.  The average low temperature is 54 degrees F.  It cools off in the evening and at night. The altitude is 5,000 feet and the latitude is slightly north of the equator.  This means sunscreen is essential.  Even though the air is pleasant, the sun is intense and causes sunburn in a short amount of time.  The temperature on safari, depending on where you go could be warmer (lower altitude.)

Suggested Packing List:
In Small Backpack/Book Bag/Purse (carry on luggage):

·        Sweater or light weight jacket
·        Small pack of wet wipes & Kleenex, hand sanitizer 
·        Medications: all prescriptions (antibiotics, antimalarial) and over the counter medicine(Tylenol/ anti-diarrhea/ cold medication/ cough drops)
Never pack prescription medication in checked bags.
-      Copies of medical information and emergency contact persons in the US
·        Small first aid kit - no scissors
·        Toothbrush & toothpaste, mini-toiletry items: shampoo, deodorant. Remember all liquids and gels in carry-on         
·        Passport and a photocopy of your passport (put one in your luggage!)
·        Snacks (granola bars, energy bars)
·        Camera (extra battery)/ Battery Charger/Voltage Adapter
·        Water bottle (empty) for drinking water only
·        Yellow international immunization card-you may be asked to show this upon entering Kenya
·        Reading material, small notebook/journal and pen - have a copy of your itninerary in your notebook, you will have to complete an entry form and give the local address where you will be staying in             Meru.  Declare yourself as a TOURIST, you are not going to 'work!'  (You are not paid for your volunteer service.)
·        Airline Ticket/Receipt
·        Extra underwear/ shirt/ ???  in case luggage is lost or delayed :( This has happened- so pack in your carry-on as if your checked luggage will be delayed so you can get by for a few               days.
·        ATM card (for exchanging currency) and credit card
        ·        Small flashlight with extra batteries or head lamp    
             In ‘Carry-On Sized' Suitcase

        ·         A Jacket/ warm sweater OR sweatshirt  (cool in evening/night and early morning)

·        Hat for the sun

·        Sunglasses !!!

·        Sunscreen !!!

·        Travel Alarm

·        Copies of drug prescriptions

·        More wet wipes and extra zip lock bags

·        1 extra pair of shoes (sandals are fine - better if they are closed toe)

·        Flip flops for shower

·        5 sets of underwear (do hand laundry or pay to have done)

·        2  pairs of slacks (in addition to what you are wearing)

·        modest sleep wear

·        4-5 tops/ shirts- at least one long sleeve shirt for cooler weather (think layers for warmth) or for sun  protection

·        women; 2 or 3 long skirts or dresses

·        men; one shirt and tie

·        modest, one-piece swimsuit

·        wash cloth, if you need one

·        extra toothbrush (in case you accidently put yours under the faucet using unpotable water)

·        small packet of laundry soap (for hand laundry!)

·        Voltage adapter if taking a hair dryer/ elec. shaver, etc.

·        mosquito repellant/ bug repellent

·        Copy of itinerary with addresses and copy of  passport somewhere in this bag


Helpful Notes:

·        The community we are visiting is conservative and proper in the British tradition.  Men wear long pants and women wear dresses/skirts.                                Knee  length shorts may be worn on safari, but not on KUEF project sites.

·        You may pay to have laundry done to save packing space.

·        The sun is intense, even though the temperature may be comfortable.

·        Hand sanitizer is an essential substitute for hand washing with soap and water before eating.

·        Remember the 3 oz and quart zip lock bag TSA rule at the airport. If you have items containing more than 3 oz, put in your checked bag. 

·        Electricity is 240 V AC with British style plugs (flat rectangular).

 You can purchase any necessities you may have forgotten in Meru.  So... 'hakuna matata' = no worries!
Gary McClusky,
Jun 27, 2012, 1:55 PM
Megan Peck,
May 16, 2011, 5:02 PM