Kenya, an East African Country, is increasingly becoming a popular African safari destination for Indians and Asians in general. Data from the Kenyan Ministry of Tourism show that over 125, 032 Indians traveled to Kenya in 2019. This figure represents 6.17% of all internal arrivals in Kenya from all corners of the world. The number also makes India Kenya’s 4th largest tourism market, after the USA, Tanzania, Uganda, and the United Kingdom respectively. Overall, travelers from Asia make up over 13% of total internal arrivals to Kenya.

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Going by these numbers, Kenya is becoming an increasingly popular holiday destination for Indians and rightly so. On a Kenya safari from India, a lot of adventure awaits your arrival. For a start, you could plan to visit the Masai Mara Game Reserve which has been crowned Africa’s leading National park for 5 years since 2013 by the World Travel Award.

The Mara is home to all members of the Big 5 (Lion, Elephants, Leopard, Buffaloes, and Rhinos). The park is also home to over 96 different species of mammals and over 450 avian species. The Maasai Mara Game Reserve is also home to the annual wildebeest migration which happens every year between July and November. Other leading destinations in Kenya include the Diani Beach, Lake Nakuru National Park, the Amboseli National Park, Ol Pejeta Conservancy, and more. But how do you plan a successful Kenya wildlife safari from India? 

The days when you needed a paper map and a compass to plan a wildlife safari in Africa are gone. Advancement in technology has made it possible for travelers to use mobile devices to plan their safari itinerary to Kenya, book and pay for accommodation, and navigate the jungle. Armed with the best travel mobile apps for travelers, you will plan a thrilling Kenya safari from India from the comfort of your home. But which are the five best mobile apps that you should download when traveling to Kenya? 

In this article, James Gatheru, the Masai Mara safari director for ajkenyasafaris.com, shares the top 5 apps you should download when planning a Masai Mara safari from India. Let’s start the countdown: 

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1.   Google Translate App

Kenya boasts over 42 tribes, each with a unique language and culture. Indians were recently recognized as Kenya’s 43rd tribe. Now, the most spoken language in Kenya is Swahili. 

Most safari guides speak English, but for tourists on a cultural tour, it’s often necessary to translate Hindi to English or Swahili. This is where Google Translate comes in Handy. It allows you to translate Hindi to English or Swahili and vice versa. Google translate also supports other Indian languages such as Marathi, Gujarati, Punjabi, and more. 

One thing that makes Google Translate ideal for travelers is the ability to provide instant results. This makes it effortless to communicate with the local people. Google Translate app supports over 100 languages, making it an indispensable travel tool to have in your smartphone for all your communication needs. You can also download the app and install it on your phone to enjoy offline translation capability. 

What Does the App Do?

Google Translate offers dozens of handy features, and you can download it for your iOS or Android device. Here are things you can accomplish with the app:

  • Text Translations: You can type a word or phrase and get a translation in up to 103 languages, including English, Swahili, Marathi, and Hindi.
  • Instant Camera Translations: You get the real-time translation of texts on an image using the camera, and it supports up to 88 languages.
  • Offline Translations: It is a handy feature that enables translation even in remote areas, like deep in Kenyan jungles. It supports 59 languages.  
  • Photos: It lets you take a picture, upload it, and get an accurate translation of up to 50 languages. 
  • Handwriting: You can draw characters and texts on your screen to get a translation in up to 95 languages.
  • Conversations: It makes it simpler to communicate with a Kenyan local as you translate the dialogue in real-time. It supports up to 43 languages. 
  • Phrasebook: You can save your translated phrases and words for future reference.  

2. Currency Converters App

The local currency in Kenya is Kenya shillings. Most game reserve and tourist hotels do accept US dollars, and the Euro, but to a large extent, you will need to convert INR to KSH. A currency converter comes in handy in helping you achieve this. With one, you will be able to check the real-time Kenya Shillings to Indian Rupee rate without going through a lot of hassle or consulting your guide about the exchange rate. 

There are hundreds of converters you can find online today, some suitable for iOS devices while others work for Androids. The critical thing is to download a tool that allows real-time conversion of the currencies you intend to use during your safari.  Here are some things you should consider:

  • Supports All Currencies: You should get an app that supports Indian Rupee, Kenyan Shillings, US Dollar, Sterling Pounds, and other currencies.  
  • Constant Updates: It should update the exchange rate in real-time.
  • Auto-Select Currency: The app should detect your location to auto-select the Kenyan shillings and allow you to change that option manually. 
  • Should Inform You: The right app should have an option to show you the original price in the local currency.
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3. Google Maps App

Google Maps have made it easier to navigate to an unfamiliar destination, find local food joints, and find the nearest accommodations. The tool stands out due to its navigation features and user-friendly interface.  

It is also an app that gets updated regularly to include new roads, structures, or other landmarks to enhance your experience. The mobile device Google Maps app can even enable you to save your favorite destination, personalized the recommendations, and share your location with family and friends. 

It is a tool that can give you a thrilling Kenya wildlife safari even if it is your first time getting out of India borders. The app can also allow you to take a self-drive adventure while in Kenya, thanks to the voice-guide, turn-by-turn direction. Using this app, you can: 

  • Find the Shortest Route or Use the Navigation Mode: You can tap your present location and desired destination, and the app can give you the shortest route to use. 
  • Zoom In/Out: It lets you zoom in or out of the map with just a single tap on your screen to see the directions.
  • Offline Use: You can download the direction and view them offline. That can come in handy when in the jungle.  
  1. 4.   Airbnb App

Airbnb is a website marketplace that lets home, hotel, lodges, or accommodation owners rent their properties to travelers. There are hundreds of criteria to search/list a property, including having a washing machine, a swimming pool, or renting a single or double room.  

Why Should You Get this App?

There are many reasons you might need this app while in your Kenya safari, such as:

  • Financial Reasons: You get excellent value accommodation at an affordable price because you choose from multiple options. 
  • Get Local Information: You get recommendations from locals who often review the listed properties. 
  • Easy to Book: You only need to create a verified profile to initiate the booking process. The app also notifies you when the property is available to rent.
  1. 5.             Magical Kenya App 

Magical Kenya App is a comprehensive travel guide for Android and iOS phones that help tourists to explore the destinations, whether you are planning your trip or already in the jungle.

How Does the App Help You?

Magical Kenya App helps you when:

  • Planning: It provides you with ideas on where to visit and what to do and see. You can save them in your customizable interactive trip planner.
  • Exploring: It lets you use the location feature to connect with local restaurants, hotels, and travel agents. 
  • Sharing: It enables you to create a video album that you can share on social media, including Facebook. 

Final Words 

Whether you intend to visit the over 50 game parks and reserves in Kenya or the capital city, the best app for safari can make your adventure more memorable. To get inspiration and ideas on the best destinations to include in your Kenya safari itinerary, visit masaimarasafari.in.

(guest article)

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