Foreign travel advice

Kenya

Summary

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 the Galana (Athi-Galana-Sabaki) river

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, Malindi, Kilifi, Watamu and Diani. Mombasa airport (Moi International Airport) and Malindi airport are not included in the area to which the FCO advise against all but essential travel.

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. There have been a number of attacks in Kenya in recent years, particularly in Mandera County and other areas close to the Somali border. There is a heightened threat of terrorist attacks in Nairobi and the coast and resort areas of Mombasa and Malindi. See Terrorism.

In May and June 2016 political protests in Kisumu turned violent. Further political protests in Nairobi, Kisumu and other parts of Kenya may occur in the lead up to August 2017 elections. 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.