The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all but essential travel to

  • areas within 60km of the Kenya-Somali border

  • Garissa County

  • the Eastleigh area of Nairobi

  • Lamu County and those areas of Tana River County north of the Tana river itself

  • within 15km of the coast from the Tana River down to, but not including, Watamu

The area to which the FCO advise against all but essential travel does not include Kenya’s safari destinations in the national parks, reserves and wildlife conservancies; including the Aberdare National Park, Amboseli, Laikipia, Lake Nakuru, Masai Mara, Meru, Mount Kenya, Samburu, Shimba Hills, Tsavo, nor does it include the beach resorts of Mombasa, Kilifi, Watamu and Diani.

You need a visa to enter Kenya. You can either get a visa on arrival at the airport, or before you travel. To minimise time spent queuing at the airport, get a visa before you travel. You can apply for single entry and transit visas on the evisas website. For other types of visa, apply at the nearest Kenyan High Commission or Embassy. For more information on different types of visas see the website of the Kenya High Commission.

There is a high threat from terrorism, including kidnapping. The main threat comes from extremists linked to Al Shabaab, a militant group that has carried out attacks in Kenya in response to Kenya’s military intervention in Somalia.

Several terrorist attacks have taken place in Garissa County in 2015, including an attack on Garissa University College on 2 April 2015 in which at least 148 people were killed. More recently, attacks have taken place on police vehicles on the road between Garissa and Dadaab

In June and July 2014 attacks in Lamu and Tana River counties on the Kenyan coast are reported to have killed at least 85 people. Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

There has been a spate of small-scale grenade, bomb and armed attacks in Nairobi (especially the area of Eastleigh), Mombasa, and North Eastern Province. On 16 May 2014, there were explosions at Gikomba Market on the edges of the Eastleigh district in Nairobi. Further attacks are likely. See Terrorism

On 22 November 2014, there was an attack on a bus in Mandera county near the Somali border. Twenty eight people are reported to have been killed.

On 2 December 2014, there was an attack at a quarry in Mandera county near the Somali border. Reports indicate that at least 30 people were killed. The FCO advise against all but essential travel to within 60km of the Kenya-Somalia border.

You should take care in public places where people gather, and exercise a heightened level of vigilance. Monitor local and international media and keep up to date with this travel advice by subscribing to email alerts.

There are frequent incidents of violent crime including mugging, armed robbery and carjacking, particularly in the large cities. See Crime

There is a threat of piracy in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean. See Sea travel

117,000 British residents visited Kenya in 2014. Most visits are trouble-free.

The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks. Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.