Top events in Kenya

May
16

The Lake Turkana Festival takes place for the 5th consecutive year in Loyangalani town, on the shores of the awe-inspiring Jade Sea this May. The...

June
01

An expo of African fashion that brings together designers from across Kenya.

June
01

This is an off-road four-wheel-drive endurance motor rally staged on the Laikipia Plateau. The winning car visits all of the control points along...

Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Pin This
Open Media Gallery

Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

© 123rf.com / Deborah Benbrook

Kenya Travel Guide

Key Facts
Area

580,367 sq km (224,000 sq miles).

Population

44 million (2013).

Population density

75.9 per sq km.

Capital

Nairobi.

Government

Republic. Gained independence from the UK in 1963.

Head of state

President Uhuru Kenyatta since 2013.

Head of government

President Uhuru Kenyatta since 2013.

Electricity

220/240 volts AC, 50Hz. Plugs are UK-type square three-pin.

From the vivid aquamarine shades of the Indian Ocean to the enchanting lakes fringed pink by flamingos on the Rift Valley floor, Kenya is a startlingly beautiful land.

Famed for its striking wildlife bounding across the acacia-studded savannah of game parks, such as Amboseli, the Masai Mara, Samburu and Tsavo, Kenya is a safari-fanatic's dream; vast national parks and reserves encompass one-tenth of Kenya's surface, spanning desert, grasslands and dense mountain forest.

Kenya's human population is equally as fascinating: around 40 different ethnic groups live in Kenya, including the Kikuyu, the Luo and the proud and beautiful red-clad Masai, who still lead a semi-nomadic lifestyle of cattle-herding along the southern border.

On the balmy Swahili coast, African and Asian culture blends together, the result of a tradition of ocean-going commerce which stretches back for centuries. Even today, romantic dhows (sailing boats) still ply these waters.

Travel Advice

Last updated: 22 April 2014

The travel advice summary below is provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. 'We' refers to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. For their full travel advice, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all but essential travel to areas within 60km of the Kenya-Somali border; to Kiwayu and coastal areas north of Pate Island; to Garissa District; to the Eastleigh area of Nairobi; and to low income areas of Nairobi, including all township or slum areas.

There is a high threat from terrorism, including kidnapping.

The death on 1 April of a prominent cleric in Mombasa has led to unrest and increased tension in the area. There is a possibility of further disturbances in the Mombasa area, particularly on Fridays after prayers. You should follow the local news, remain vigilant at all times, and avoid demonstrations and large crowds.

On 31 March there were explosions in the Eastleigh suburb of Nairobi. A number of fatalities have been reported with many more injured.

A number of worshippers were killed during an attack on a church in Likoni, Mombasa on Sunday 23 March. There is a possibility of further disturbances in the Mombasa area. Likoni is the area where the ferry runs from Mombasa to Southern beach and tourist resorts.

On 17 March a large Improvised Explosive Device, together with some weapons, were found in a car impounded by police in Mombasa. Local media are reporting that Kenyan police believe there may be additional similar bombs in the wider region and are pursuing these threats.

On 2 February 2014, police raided the Musa mosque in Majengo district of Mombasa, resulting in several deaths.

A small explosion took place at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on 16 January. There were no reported casualties. Airport services were not affected.

On 12 December 2013 a failed grenade attack on a vehicle took place in the Likoni area of Mombasa. On 14 December 2013 an explosion took place on a public bus in the Pangani area of Nairobi, in the outskirts of the Eastleigh suburb. Six were killed and a further 24 injured. On 1 January 2014, a number of people were injured in a grenade attack on a nightclub in Diani, near Mombasa.

In September 2013 a major attack took place at the Westgate shopping centre in the Westlands district of Nairobi. You should avoid the cordoned area around the shopping centre. Further large-scale attacks can’t be ruled out.

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.

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

185,967 British nationals visited Kenya in 2012. 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.

Edited by Jane Duru
Newsletter