Kenya Says Goodbye to the Plastic Bag

by Sandy Salle on September 19, 2017

In order to reduce litter and their long-term impact on the environment, Kenya recently joined 40 other countries around the globe that ban the use of plastic bags.

The ban includes plastic bags of any kind (including Ziploc) brought into the East African nation by tourists. In other words: all plastic bags are now illegal in Kenya.

That includes:

  • plastic bags packed in both your hand luggage and checked luggage,
  • duty free bags coming from outside Kenya
  • All kinds of plastic bags, basically!!

The new law mandates that all plastic bags be confiscated at ports of entry, whether airports, sea ports or overland.

If you’re thinking of clandestinely sneaking your plastic bags into Kenya, be aware that the penalties for getting caught using plastic bags inside the country are fairly stiff: Fines of up to four million Kenya Shillings (US$38,000) and up to four years behind bars.

Nobody can yet predict if Kenya will police the ban in the strictest sense (like Rwanda) or more lax enforcement (as is the case in Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi, Cameroon).

But it’s best for anyone planning a Kenya safari to be prepared. While not as dust proof or waterproof as good old plastic, there are a number of alternatives including bags made from non-plastic materials like cloth, paper, jute or sisal as well as polypropylene and 100% recyclable materials.

The sort of cloth bags that many people now use for supermarket shopping are an ideal replacement . . . for safari-goers who are not paranoid about their cameras and other electronic equipment getting wet or dusty.

Two other alternatives — especially for those packing sensitive electronics — are dry sacks and packing cubes.

If you have any questions about the plastic bag ban or alternative carriers, don’t hesitate to contact Hills of Africa.

Download our African safari packing guide here:


Pedestrian Paradise: Five Amazing South African Trails

September 12, 2017

One doesn’t automatically think of Africa as the perfect place to walk. And other than trekking to the top of Mt Kilimanjaro, there really aren’t any world famous hiking routes. That’s because most of the planet has yet to discover the fact that South Africa is a hiking haven like no other. South Africa’s trails […]

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What’s the big deal about Zanzibar?

September 5, 2017

Just about anyone who travels has heard of Zanzibar. But what exactly is that far off, exotic-sounding place? Geographically speaking, it’s a large island off the coast of East Africa. The place that puts the “zan” in Tanzania. Nowadays its a huge holiday destination, a tropical beach vacation that’s easily combined with a safari in […]

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Sun, sea, sand . . . and Selous

August 31, 2017

Kenya and South Africa have been combining sea and safari for some time. But now there’s a new player the beach and big game vacation stakes — a combination of Mozambique and Tanzania. Azura, the boutique resort group, makes it easy to combine a beach holiday at its chic retreats along the Mozambique coast with […]

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Where the Wild Things Are: Madagascar’s Best Animal Encounters

August 17, 2017

The amazing IMAX movie Island of Lemurs highlights the incredible variety of wildlife on Madagascar, the giant island off the east coast of Africa. And also their plight — how habitat destruction, forest fires and other factors are making the island’s unusual animals increasingly rare and endangered in the wild. Filmed on location in Madagascar, […]

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South Africa’s Garden Route: What’s the Big Deal?

August 8, 2017

If you’re into wildlife and nothing else, head straight for the Kruger or the Okavango Delta in Southern Africa, or go to Kenya and Tanzania for the Great Migration. But if you desire a much more diverse African travel experience, mix your game parks with a journey along South Africa’s Garden Route. The Garden Route […]

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Exploring the Lower Zambezi

August 2, 2017

Travelers are well acquainted with the Upper Zambezi — the stretch above Victoria Falls that includes fabulous waterfront lodges and safari camps. They know it as one of the gateways to Chobe National Park and the Okavango Delta. But far fewer people know that the Lower Zambezi is just as spectacular in terms of wildlife, […]

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The Ins and Outs of Gorilla Trekking

July 18, 2017

Whether you’re gorilla trekking in Uganda or Rwanda with Hills of Africa, the same preparations, rules and common sense apply. First and foremost, you have to be in pretty good physical shape. Not Olympic standard, mind you. But fit enough to hike up to eight hours per day, at fairly high altitude, up and down […]

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Feedback from the Field: South Africa and Zimbabwe

July 11, 2017

We love to share the testimonials from people who have taken Hills of Africa trips. The latest comes from Marsha Munn of North Carolina, who recently went on an African safari vacation with her husband Duncan in South Africa and Zimbabwe.  Marsha and Duncan are VIP clients of Sharon Andrade, a very experienced travel agent […]

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Zimbabwe’s “Place of Many Elephants”

June 22, 2017

It may not have the global cache of Kruger or the Serengeti, but make no mistake that Gonarezhou National Park is a very special place to visit and view African game. Situated along the Mozambique border on southeastern Zimbabwe, the park takes is name from the Shona term for “place of many elephants.” And there […]

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