Travel Tips

 

If you want to get the real African experience in Homabay, then the following tips can help you get ready for your ‘safari’.

TRANSPORT

By Air

It is possible to get to Homabay by air, the main charter being Fly 540. The Fly 540 Homa Bay office is conveniently placed in the Hotel and can cater for your bookings. The duration of the flight from Nairobi to Homa Bay is estimated at 45-50 minutes. For more information visit www.fly540.com 

By Road

Public Transport: A number of reliable bus companies travel daily to Homabay. These include Easy Coach, Transline Bus Service, Guardian Angel. All you need to do is book before from the company offices in Nairobi. The rates differ depending on the season and the travel time is roughly 8hrs. 

Private Means: From Nairobi to Homabay is roughly 61/2 hrs, and from Kisumu to Homabay is estimated at 11/2 hrs

Climate

Homa Bay County has semi-arid climatic conditions with daily temperatures ranging between 26°C during the coldest months (April and November) and 34°C during the hottest months (January to March). The county receives between 250mm and 1200mm of rainfall annually, with the average annual rainfall estimated at 1,100mm. It has two rainy seasons; March-April-May (long rains) and September to November (short rains).

 

Public Holidays

The main public holidays are: January 1st (New Year’s day), Good Friday, Easter Monday, May 1st (Labour day), June 1st (Madaraka day), October 20th (Kenyatta day), December 12th (Jamhuri / Independence day), December 25th and 26th (Xmas days), and the Islamic Idd-Ul –Fitr which depends on the sighting of the moon. Whenever a designated date falls on a Sunday, then the next day is normally declared a public holiday.

Electricity

Voltage in Kenya is 220 – 240AC. An adapter is necessary for appliances which are manufactured in foreign countries, and can operate on 110 - 120AC. The sockets are made according to the British system (3 pins).

Language

Both English and Kiswahili languages are widely spoken in the three East African countries. In Homabay both English and Swahili are common but the local and indigenous language, dholuo, is also used.

Security

Homabay is a relatively secure town. However, as in any other cosmopolitan and busy town measures of prudence should be taken. Do not carry large sums of money around. Keep a close watch on handbags, luggage and wallets, especially in crowded areas. Lock valuables in hotel/lodge safety deposit boxes and never leave valuables on show in unattended car or tour bus.

Banks

Banks in Homabay generally operate between 8.30 am and 4.oo pm during weekdays  and 8.30 am to 12 noon on Saturdays. They remain closed on Sundays and Public holidays. 

Currency

The currency  majorly used is Kenya shillings but the Hotel also accepts US dollars.

Health

For health purposes it is advisable to take malaria prophilaxis and if you have no close proximity to a health facility, our business wing has a branch of the Aga Khan Hospital.

Driving

International Driving licenses that are valid are allowed for use in HomaBay. The driving code is to keep left while driving always as we are part of the commonwealth countries. Most if not all vehicles are right hand drives.

Photography

Photographs give vivid memories of the sites visited. However some places should not be photographed, video recorded or other due to security reasons and these includes; Police barracks, Police stations, Foreign Ministry building e.t.c. it is important to request / inquire from the locals before taking their photos especially in the villages.

Communication

Network Providers are available and with the East African region joined in using one network makes it easier to communicate across borders. It might be easy and cheaper to bring your mobile handset / phone and get a Mobile Network line. International phone calls require a 888 pre-dial while local and regional calls are preceded by an area code.

Safe Water

Tap water is  not safe for drinking therefore bottled water is recommended while in HomaBay to prevent risk,( bottled water can be purchased locally at very reasonable rates).

Credit Cards

VISA, MASTERCARD and AMERICAN EXPRESS cards are widely accepted for tourists. There’s usually a 5% mark-up on top of the price as establishments are charged a fixed of their transactions.

 

 

Opening and Shopping Hours

Major stores, tourist services, offices and museums open from 08.00a.m to 05.00p.m in large towns though offices often break for lunch (usually 1300 hrs – 1400 hrs). Hyper markets, supermarkets and malls may be open much later in the evenings.