Since Kenya attained independence, tourism has become the leading source of foreign exchange revenue. In 2000, 1,036,628 tourists visited Kenya and tourism receipts amounted to $257 million. There were 34,211 hotel beds with a 44% occupancy rate in 1995.
Accommodation in the form of lodges and campsites is available in the more remote areas. Photo safaris to the 19 national parks and game preserves are the chief attraction. The largest game preserve is Tsavo National Park, home of the world's greatest concentration of elephants; covering an area of about 21,343 sq km (8,241 sq mi), it is one of the world's largest wildlife sanctuaries. Nairobi has a professional repertory theater and a National Theater; the capital hosts a Festival of African music in July. Other attractions include the mosques of Mombasa, the spectacular scenery of the Great Rift Valley, the coffee plantations at Thika, the world-renowned Tree Hotels, and the view of snowcapped Mt. Kilimanjaro, across the border in Tanzania.
Tourists from most countries must have both a passport and a visa. Precautions against malaria and yellow fever are advisable.
In 2000, the US government estimated the cost of staying in Nairobi at $202 per day. Costs of staying in Mombasa, however, are estimated at $94 to $144 per day, depending on the time of year.