Study Abroad Destination


A warm welcome to West Africa.

Exploration Awaits

With its brilliant patchwork of ancient traditions, contemporary expression, and breathtaking scenery, Kenya is a once-in-a-lifetime destination for many of our voyagers.

four students use cameras and binoculars to view animals from a safari jeep

Kenya Overview


SAS Port of Call


Protestant Christianity, Catholicism, indigenous religions

Republic, unitary state, representative democracy, presidential system

Kenyan shilling

55.1 million (2023)

Why Kenya?

A young blonde woman feeds a giraffe from her hand while smiling for a selfie.
A safari jeep drives down a twilit dirt road, silhouetted against an orange sunset.

When it comes to wildlife destinations, Kenya is hard to beat. Between parks, reserves, and private conservations, Kenya is home to some of the most diverse wildlife populations on the planet — as well as some of the most welcoming people you’ll meet on your voyage.

Semester at Sea voyagers experience many facets of this eclectic nation:

  • Wildlife safaris on the savannah
  • Vibrant urban marketplaces
  • Community gathering spaces and volunteer centers  
  • Striking views of Mount Kilimanjaro

The in-country excursions provided by SAS staff and local guides are a chance to take in a wide range of attractions without needing to personally handle logistics.

Semester at Sea

Kenya Experience

The Semester at Sea port of call in Kenya is the island city of Mombasa. Voyagers have the opportunity for multi-day trips to other locations, including the capital city of Nairobi, as well as Field Program excursions to rural nature preserves. 

Semester at Sea highlights include: 

  • Witnessing the amazing wildlife of the African savannah in Amboseli National Park
  • Visiting Lake Turkana, a UNESCO world heritage site and source of the world’s oldest known human artifacts
  • Interacting with community members through volunteerism activities
  • Snorkeling in the crystal blue waters of Wasini Island
  • Experiencing a multi-day trek in the beautiful Western Ghats of Kerala 

Each Semester at Sea stop in Kenya lasts only about five or six days, but even a brief time spent in-country leaves its mark.

Three students sit at a table with plastic plates of beads in front of them, stringing beads on wire to make jewelry. There are shelves behind them filled with colorful animal figurines.


Voyager Travel Tips

A zebra stands in front of a tree while a person in the foreground takes a cell phone photo from a safe distance.
Travel Tips for Kenyan Ports of Call

Every destination and port of call is unique, and each carries its own set of circumstances and expectations for travelers. Our top priority is the health and safety of our voyagers — we want all program participants to be as informed as possible so they can enjoy each port experience to the fullest. 

Please be advised that the tips below provide a general overview of travel considerations, and are not intended to dissuade voyagers from experiencing this unforgettable destination. 

Currency and Tipping

The official currency in Kenya is the Kenyan shilling (about 123.4 KES = 1 USD). A 10–15% tip for services is standard, depending on the quality of service. A $10–20 tip per person per day is standard for safari guides. Expect to negotiate taxi prices and confirm the amount before you enter the vehicle.

Required Documents

Ship ID and passport (only if flying to another city, staying in a hotel, or exchanging money in the bank). Proof of COVID-19 and yellow fever vaccination may be requested.

Climate and Weather

The weather in Mombasa remains warm year-round, staying between 70°–90°F (21°–32°C). Summers are mostly cloudy, winters are mostly clear, but humidity is persistent. Extreme weather events include droughts, floods, and tsunamis.

local transportation small icon of a bus

Local Transportation

Pre-ordered taxis, Ubers, and ChapChap rideshares are available (cash payments are recommended). In general, avoid hailing taxis on the street, as well as Uber Bodas (motorbikes), matatus (public minibusses), and tuk-tuks (auto rickshaws). In-country travel is available via bus and train. In-port shuttle bus transportation is coordinated by SAS.

safety and security small icon of a shield with a checkmark inside

Safety & Security

Road incidents and street crime are the two primary safety concerns; theft and pickpocketing are common in crowded areas and idling traffic. Be vigilant of scams targeting travelers, and never leave your food and beverages unattended in public. Refrain from walking through the city or visiting beaches after dark. When on safari, never exit the vehicle with wildlife in the vicinity. Keep to known areas only and always travel in-country with a partner or group; never travel alone. Traveling to bordering regions is prohibited.

health and medical small icon with a medical cross on a briefcase

Health and Medical

Drink only boiled or bottled water and avoid raw or undercooked food. Rates of COVID-19, malaria, yellow fever, and HIV are high. Use insect repellent to prevent insect-borne diseases.


The primary method of contacting SAS voyage staff is via phone or text. Be aware that there may be a delay in sending messages or calls. WhatsApp has proven unreliable and should only be used as a secondary means of communication. A SIM card is recommended for enhanced data.

emergency services icon phone with quote and exclamation point

Emergency Services

All voyagers receive contact information for local police, fire, ambulance, medical emergency services, and the U.S. embassy and consulate. 

Before we dock in each port, we provide every voyager with specific information regarding health, safety, logistics, and more. 

Expand your horizons.

Connect with our admissions team today.