Kenya Travel Information

Last updated on the 11 June 2007

Travel Advice

The Kenyan government closed the Kenya - Somalia border on 3 January 2007 because of increased instability in neighbouring Somalia. There have been skirmishes and inter-clan fighting along the Somalia border, where people also have been killed. Travel here (the north east of the country) should only be undertaken after consulting the police and with great care.



Kenya is considered by several Foreign Offices to be a high risk destination because of the threat from terrorism. Tourists are advised to excersice a high degree of caution. Previous attacks have been against civilian or visibly Western targets. Foreign embassies, hotels and commercial airlines have in the past been targeted by terrorists and they remain potential targets. There was a suicide car bomb attack on a hotel near Mombasa and an unsuccessful attempt to shoot down an Israeli charter plane in November 2002. In August 1998, 232 people died in Nairobi after a terrorist attack on the US Embassy in Nairobi. These incidents highlight the still present threats by terrorism in the country and the capacity of terrorist groups to carry out attacks.


Violent criminal attacks, including armed carjacking and home invasions/burglary are becoming increasingly frequent, brazen and sometimes fatal. They can occur at any time and in any location, but especially in isolated areas such as empty beaches.

Try to avoid travelling outside of Nairobi during the night and remain vigilant, especially on the roads linking the city centre to residential areas. Don't stop at the side of the road and have the vehicles doors locked and windows closed.

If in doubt, you can seek advice from a tour operator or the Kenya Tourist Federation (Tel: + 254 20 604730).

Don't carry valuables or wear jewellery in public places. Only carry credit cards or cash cards if necessary: thieves have forced some people to withdraw cash. Also beware of thieves posing as police officers; ask to see an identification card.

There are several deprived areas in Nairobi, normally not frequented by tourists. You are advised to seek local advice if you are considering a visit to such an area.

Travelling to remote areas or border regions could put you at risk of attacks or kidnappings. Armed car-hijackings are more prevalent in Nairobi and Mombasa but can occur anywhere.

2007 Elections

Presidential and parliamentary elections will be held in Kenya in late 2007. Most political parties will hold rallies in the run-up to the elections. Avoid demonstrations and large public gatherings because of their potential to turn violent. Monitor the media and other information sources for information about possible new security risks


The use and trafficking of illegal Class A drugs carries heavy fines and jail sentences. The penalty for possession is ten years imprisonment.

Permission to carry any kind of firearm must be obtained from the local authorities prior to entry.

It is illegal to destroy Kenyan currency whatever the denomination.

Homosexual activity is illegal in Kenya.

You must obtain a valid work permit before taking up any work (paid and volunteer), failing this can lead to a fine, jail or deportation depending on the nature of the offence.

Taking photographs or filming official buildings, including Embassies, is not recommended and could lead to detention. If in any doubt about what a building is used for, do not photograph or film it or the area around it.

There are no strict dress codes, but the coastal areas are predominantly Muslim and you should dress appropriately. Dress conservatively away from the tourist resorts and hotels, especially in Mombasa town to avoid offending local sensitivities. This is especially important during the holy month of Ramadan or if you intend to visit religious areas.


There is a Safety and Communication Centre operated by the Kenya Tourism Federation which can give up to the minute advice on tourist and travel matters, road conditions and providing help in an emergency etc.
Phone + 254 20 604730 or e-mail to:

It is advisable to leave your passport in the hotel safe, but carry a photocopy with you for identification purposes.


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