Most of Kenya’s tourist attractions are safe to visit. The same applies to Nairobi and other Kenyan cities. However, not every region of the country is completely safe. Keep reading to find out which areas in Kenya you should avoid and what safety measures to consider, even in the safest areas.

This travel advice for Kenya does not contain specific information about COVID-19. Everything you need to know about the current COVID-19 measures can be found on this page.


The information on this page was gathered from various European government sources, including the British Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office. This page is updated regularly to always provide the best travel advice. e-Visa.co.uk is not to be held responsible for any consequences caused by incorrect adherence to this travel advice or any problems that arise despite following the advice on this page.

Travel advice

Travel advice for Kenya: partially accessible if considering security measures

Because of the great discontent generated by the high prices of goods such as food and fuel, political demonstrations occasionally take place in Kenya. These demonstrations can escalate and result in violence. Travellers should therefore always stay alert. Avoid (sudden) gatherings. Be aware of your surroundings, keep a close eye on the local news and avoid demonstrations.

Non-essential travel to the following areas is not recommended:

  • all areas within 60 km of the border with Somalia, in the east of Kenya
  • eastern Garissa County, up to 20 km north-west of the A3
  • Mandera County, excluding the Mandera West subcounty
  • Lamu County, excluding Lamu Island and Manda Island
  • The area north of the Tana River in the Tana River County, up to 20km north-west of the A3
  • The area within 15 km of the coast between the Tana River and the Galana River (Athi-Galana-Sabaki).

Conflicts and demonstrations in Kenya

Political tensions are creating divisions among the Kenyan people. There has been an increased amount of political demonstrations recently. This is partly due to presidential candidate Odinga making claims about alleged electoral fraud.

The increasing drought in Kenya sometimes causes crop losses. The lack of basic food supplies and the resulting increase in food prices create discontent, especially among the poorer segment of the Kenyan population.

For many years, terrorist attacks from Somalia have afflicted Kenya, especially in the north-east. The terrorist organisation Al-Shabaab regularly conducts terrorist attacks in this area, with serious consequences. Kenya has been a safe haven for refugees from Somalia and South Sudan for years. However, internal conflicts make Kenya struggle to accommodate the hundreds of thousands of refugees.

Travel safely to Kenya

Most of Kenya is safe to visit, including the national parks and reserves that are popular among tourists. However, before travelling to Kenya, it is important to be well informed about the current travel advice and other formalities, such as applying for a Kenya visa. Here are some things to keep in mind:

The Kenya visa and other travel documents
Visa All travellers need a visa or an eTA to travel to Kenya. For tourist travel (such as a holiday or family visit) and business travel, you need to apply for an eTA online. Submitting an online application is the only way to obtain a visa for Kenya.

You must already hold a valid visa before departure. This applies to travellers of all ages, including minor children.
Passport Every traveller must have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months upon arrival in Kenya. The passport must be the same one that was used to apply for the Kenya visa. If the validity of your passport expires within 6 months of arriving in Kenya, you must apply for a new passport before applying for the visa.

You must always be able to identify yourself in Kenya when asked. Make sure you also always keep a paper copy of your passport in your suitcase and a digital copy on your phone. You might need these copies in case you lose your passport during your trip.
Travel insurance Before you leave for Kenya, make sure you are properly insured for any expenses you may incur abroad. Often, basic insurance does not cover the cost of services such as hospitalisation and repatriation. Moreover, remember that extra insurance is required for certain sports activities outside Europe.

Emergency numbers and embassies

Before departure, be sure to note down the following contact details both on paper and on a mobile device, so that you always have them with you. It is also advisable to note down your bank and travel insurance details.

General emergency number 999
Police +254 20 334 1411
Fire brigade +254 728 999 911/2
Ambulance +254 738 395 395 or +254 700 395 395
British High Commission in Kenya Upper Hill Road
P.O. Box 30465-00100, Nairobi
Telephone number: +254 020 287 3000 or +254 020 2844 000
Embassy of Ireland in Kenya 4th Floor, Delta Office Suites
Manyani Road, off Waiyaki Way
PO Box 30659-00100, Nairobi
Telephone number: +254 020 513 5300

Health in Kenya

The hospitals in Nairobi comply with the international standard and provide good healthcare. Hospitals in smaller towns, however, are of lower quality. Remember that you might not find hospitals in remote areas.

Cases of yellow fever were detected in Kenya in 2022. Vaccination against yellow fever is recommended for all travellers over the age of 9 months travelling to central and western Kenya (including Tsavo East, Tsavo West and Masai Mara reserves and Lake Nakuru National Park).

Vaccination is not recommended for travellers visiting the north-eastern part of Kenya and the cities of Nairobi and Mombasa, as well as for travellers over 60 years of age visiting low-risk areas.

Travel advice for the safer regions

The following indications only apply to the safer areas. The security conditions in these regions are very different from the UK and Ireland. For areas where travel is discouraged, the only advice is to avoid all travel that is not strictly necessary.

Rules and laws

  • Plastic bags are banned in Kenya. Getting caught with a plastic bag can result in a high fine or even imprisonment (up to 4 years).
  • Homosexuality is not tolerated in Kenya, and homosexual expression or acts are punishable. If you are part of the LGBTQ+ community, this is something you should be aware of, even as a foreign traveller.
  • The Kenyan law severely punishes the use and possession of soft and hard drugs.
  • Smoking is only allowed in designated areas. Smoking in the streets or in other public places is subject to a hefty fine.
  • It is forbidden to photograph or film the president, other government officials in uniform, government buildings (such as police stations), airports or military objects.
  • Always ask for permission first if you want to photograph or film indigenous tribes such as the Masai.

Traffic and public transportation

  • Kenya drives on the left side of the road.
  • You may drive a car in Kenya with your European driving licence, but you may want to apply for an international driving licence before departure for extra security.
  • Traffic in Kenya is unpredictable. Signs are often missing both on and off roads, and in many places, the condition of the road surface is poor.
  • Watch out for other drivers, who may be driving ruthlessly or under the influence of alcohol. Especially during the weekend, traffic can be particularly chaotic.
  • It is recommended to travel only during the day, as the risk of robberies and accidents is higher after sunset. It is also advisable to travel in groups and with more than one car.
  • If you intend to use taxis, only use reliable taxis and agree on the price before departure. Consult local guides or the hotel staff before booking a taxi. Despite their growing popularity, Bolt and Uber taxis are not always completely reliable.
  • You can travel between Mombasa, Nairobi and Kisumu by train. The quality of the train connection between Mombasa and Nairobi is similar to that of train connections in Europe. Make sure to keep a close eye on your personal belongings both on the train and at the station.

(Online) fraud

  • It is not recommended to meet up with people met through the internet, such as through a dating app. Many criminals are active on online dating platforms looking for money and other belongings.
  • Do not buy gold or diamonds in Kenya, as there is a great possibility that the products are counterfeit.
  • If you want to do volunteer work in Kenya, make sure you rely on reputable volunteer organisations. Be wary of volunteer organisations that operate independently and without intermediaries. Moreover, keep in mind that volunteering in orphanages is generally discouraged, as some orphanages are associated with illegal activities such as human trafficking and child abuse.

General safety and health advice

  • Only drink boiled water and water from sealed bottles. It is recommended to always order drinks without ice cubes, as ice cubes are usually made from tap water.
  • Do not walk the streets after sunset and never go out alone, even during the day.
  • Avoid isolated hotels and other accommodations, especially on the coast, where robberies are more likely to occur.
  • Stay near tourist spots and places that host tourist activities, where sufficient security measures are generally taken. If you want to visit a remote place, never do so alone, but make sure you have a reliable guide and police escort if necessary.
  • Do not accept food or drink from strangers, as they may have been drugged. When visiting a bar or restaurant, always keep a close eye on your drink as well.
  • Leave valuable jewellery at home and do not take large amounts of cash with you when you go out on the streets. Keep your phone and wallet in your trouser pocket, jacket pocket or waist bag rather than in a loose bag.

In case of theft

In the event of theft or mugging, it is advisable to avoid resistance, to prevent the situation from escalating into violence. Since robbers are often in possession of firearms, the best thing you can do is to just surrender your belongings. However, always go to the nearest police station to report your stolen belongings. If your passport is stolen, contact the British or Irish embassy in Kenya immediately. Without an emergency document, you are not allowed to travel and will therefore not be able to leave Kenya. You might need to show the police report to obtain an emergency travel document.

Do not forget your Kenya visa

As mentioned earlier, it is compulsory to apply for a visa or eTA before leaving for Kenya. The requirement to hold a visa applies to all travellers, regardless of age. The eTA allows travellers to enter Kenya once and stay in the country for up to 90 days. The validity of the visa for Kenya (eTA) can be extended once by 90 days.

The visa for Kenya can only be obtained online. You can submit your application easily via the online form available on this website. Once your application is approved, the eTA is valid for travel to Kenya.

Disclaimer: you remain responsible
This travel advice for Kenya has been compiled with care. Nevertheless, e-Visa.co.uk will not accept liability for any problems, damage or injury that may occur from the use of this information. You must remain vigilant at all times while travelling in Kenya and you are solely responsible for your safety while travelling and staying in Kenya, as well as for the choice of whether or not to take a particular trip. Before travelling to Kenya, it is advisable to consult the latest security updates from the Government of the United Kingdom regarding travel to Kenya (www.gov.uk) or to consult the British High Commission in Nairobi, and/or information from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

e-Visa.co.uk is a commercial and professional visa agency, and supports travellers in obtaining, among others, the Kenya visa. e-Visa.co.uk acts as an intermediary and is in no way part of any government. You can also apply for a visa directly with the immigration service (52.53 USD per visa, via www.etakenya.go.ke). However, not with our level of support. If you submit your application via e-Visa.co.uk, our support centre is available to you 24/7. In addition, we manually check your application and all the documents you provide before submitting it to the immigration authorities on your behalf. If we suspect any errors or omissions while doing so, we will personally contact you to ensure that your application can still be processed quickly and correctly. To use our services, you pay us 52.53 USD in consular fees, which we pay to the immigration service on your behalf, as well as £22.76 in service fees as compensation for our services, including VAT. Our services have saved many travellers from major problems during their trip. Should an application be rejected despite our support and verification, we will refund the full purchase price (unless an application for a previous Kenya visa was rejected for the same traveller). Read more about our services here.