Kenya

Kenya is the former colony of the Great Britain. Nowadays it is the fastest developing country in the East Africa. The English language is one of the official languages of the country. This played a vital role in its hawkish development, as it eases up the communication for tourists, and makes the country more attractive for foreigners. The tagline “Magical Kenya” is not just an advertising trick, it is the reality that anyone can experience. However, this magical world may hide lots of real hazards that newcomers may encounter and special precautions are to be taken prior and during your trip. In order to make your trip safe, SafeAround has compiled information from numerous sources make sure you have a safe trip to Kenya and be aware of all potential dangers. Kenya is the 116th safest country in the world, based on the safest and most dangerous countries ranking.    

SAFETY INDEX

See cities in this country

National parks in Kenya with unique flora and found harmonically combines with fantastic sandy beaches, making the country an ideal spot for a breathtaking vacation. We would like to mention just some of the reasons, why everyone should even once in his life visit Kenya. First of all, the country occupies the lands from where the first civilization in the world starts its being on the planet Earth. Secondly, its fauna is absolutely fantastic, so you can discover all rare species in one place, such as elephants, lions, leopards, buffaloes, and rhinoceros. Furthermore, diving opportunities are one of the unique in the whole world. Numerous coral reefs with the authentic fauna of the Indian ocean are ready to provide an unforgettable experience and acknowledge the most scenic in the world by many professional divers. However, Kenya is a country with high potential risks, although the centers of main cities are safe during the day. Violent crime is common in Kenya, including kidnapping, muggings, armed carjacking, burglaries. Road safety is also a problem. In order to avoid any troubles executing a high level of cautiousness is recommended, throughout all the time being in the country, no matter where you are. Street crimes are the main concern, especially in Nairobi and Mombasa. Criminals use weapons and quite boldly, therefore noncooperation is not recommended. According to the statistic most victims, if they are cooperative are realized unharmed. Walking along increases risks of being robbed in downtown, public parks, beaches and unlit areas particularly at night. Visitors are advised no to carry valuables, credit/debit cards but rather stole them in a deposit at the hotel. Use only ATM at banks, hotels and other secured places. There are known occurrences when under a gunpoint the victims were forced to withdraw money from there credit cards, even holding victims overnight for additional withdrawals.

Nairobi

The capital of Kenya is supposed to be an unsafe place to travel, however following a high level of cautiousness might almost eliminate any risks of being robed, mugged or pickpocketed. Generally, walking streets, shopping centers and other sites in the city center during the day is much like walking the streets in any large city. If you are looking some unordinary places to visit, a slum area of Kibera might be interesting to some tourists, however going there alone is too risky. There are exist numerous guides, that might organize you a secured visit. During the night, it’s highly recommended to travel only by taxis and in groups. Do not venture into the potentially dangerous neighborhoods. Main among them are:

Mathare

During the day light, this area is absolutely safe and quiet. However, after a sunset, it turns into the violent zone. This district is a shelter for many carjackers.

Mukuru Kayaba

In this neighborhood, every passerby might be attacked if he nicely looked. So, that is definitely no go area for any tourist both during the day and night.

Kawangware (Congo)

The situation there is so poor that even local police recommends thinking thrice before entering the zone. According to residents, there are two key groups terrorizing locals and any newcomer. SafeAround recommends refraining from visiting this area.

Huruma

This district hides some not obvious dangers. Teenagers who you’d easily called harmless are the ones that might hurt you. Huruma is definitely no go area.

Other areas of concern:

The border between Somalia and Kenya is supposed to be extremely risky due to al-Shabaab terrorist group activity in this area. Travel is not recommended to the following Kenyan counties: Mandera, Wajir, Garissa, Tana River, Lama, areas north of Malindi. In Mombasa (second largest city in Kenya) the visit of Old Town is recommended only during the day light. Remember: Avoiding danger areas, exercising common sense and looking out for suspicious activity, may completely eliminate all potential risks.

Warnings & Dangers

Mid Priority-96 OVERALL RISK : HIGH

Kenya is an averagely safe country – some parts are safe, others very dangerous. It is ranked 116th out of 162 on the raking of the safest and most dangerous countries.

Mid Priority-96 PICKPOCKETS RISK : HIGH

As a popular touristic destination, there is a high pickpocket risk in Kenya, especially in public transport. Matatus – kind of public transport operated by individuals are loved by pickpockets. However, we advised to use taxis instead of any kind of public transport in Kenya.

Mid Priority-96 MUGGING RISK : HIGH

The risk of kidnapping and mugging is high. Be aware of dangerous zones we mentioned above and avoid being in remote areas alone after dark. The majority of kidnappings occur near the Somalia border.

Mid Priority-96 SCAMS RISK : HIGH

Scams risk are relatively low.

Mid Priority-96 TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : HIGH

Matatus – (mini buses) usually privately operated is frequently stopped by criminals. Safe Around recommends do not use this kind of transport, whenever possible. Travelling between rush hours is not recommended, between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. and in the evening between 5 p.m and 8 p.m. Due to the safety concerns using of the Likoni ferry in Nairobi might be very risky. Accidents on the roads, while frequent are usually not fatal unless pedestrians or matatus are involved. Road and driving conditions are poor all over the country. Always maintain at least a half tank of gas and let relatives know about your travel plans.

Mid Priority-96 NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : HIGH

During rainy seasons, flooding can occur with no warning, disrupting transportation and communications.

Mid Priority-96 TERRORISM RISK : HIGH

The possibility of terrorist attacks in Kenya has a moderate probability, however, you should watch out for suspicious activity. Terrorism is a threat throughout the world.

Mid Priority-96 WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : HIGH

Sexual assaults do occur and frequently goes unreported. Since recent years’ sexual assaults against men have been a growing trend. We advise to follow high safety precautions and avoid visiting any non-tourist areas at night.  

Carte

Useful Information

Visas are not required for the following nationalities: The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize,Botswana, Brunei, Burundi, Cyprus, Dominica, Ethiopia, Fiji, the Gambia, Ghana,Grenada, Jamaica, Kiribati, Lesotho, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Namibia, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore,Solomon Islands, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago,Tuvalu, Uganda, Vanuatu, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Nationals of Malaysia and South Africa may enter for 30 days visa-free, all other nations specified may enter for 90 days visa-free. Additionally, nationals of Rwanda and Uganda may enter Kenya using their National Identification Cards in lieu of a passport. Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda, Vanuatu, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Nationals of Malaysia and South Africa may enter for 30 days visa-free, all other nations specified may enter for 90 days visa-free. Additionally, nationals of Rwanda and Uganda may enter Kenya using their National Identification Cards in lieu of a passport. Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore,Solomon Islands, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago,Tuvalu, Uganda, Vanuatu, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Nationals of Malaysia and South Africa may enter for 30 days visa-free, all other nations specified may enter for 90 days visa-free. Additionally, nationals of Rwanda and Uganda may enter Kenya using their National Identification Cards in lieu of a passport. Visas are available for purchase on entry at international airports and at land borders for almost all nationalities. There is a separate line at immigration for those who require tourist visas. No photos are required, just $50 USD, €40 EUR or £30 GBP in cash for payment.
The official currency is Kenyan shilling. In order to obtain the best currency exchange possible, try to exchange your money in reputable banks. Never convert money on the streets, they’re likely to be a trick.
The climate in the country is various by the location. Along the coast climate is tropical. Kenya’s daytime temperatures average between 20°C and 28°C. South Africa does not really experience four distinct seasons.
The busiest airports of Kenya is Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi. More information about the airport you may read on its official website.
As in any country, we advise travelers to get a travel insurance that covers not only medical problems but also theft and loss of personal items. Learn more on our travel insurance page