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Kenya travel guide

About Kenya

Lions and leopards are just part of the landscape in Kenya, one of East Africa's favourite safari destination. More than 40 national parks and nature reserves are scattered between Lake Victoria and the Indian Ocean, covering every imaginable landscape and featuring just about every animal in Africa: from aardvarks to zebras.

As you might expect, wildlife safaris are the lifeblood of Kenyan tourism, and the infrastructure for travellers is impressive. Jeeps, buses and light aircraft fan out daily across the country to safari lodges and tented camps, some simple and rustic, others lavish and opulent. Refreshingly, you can enjoy close encounters with nature even on a budget, with walking safaris run by tribal guides and economic-tented camps that scrimp on creature comforts, but not on creatures.

Most people start their journey in Nairobi, Kenya's capital city, but few linger when there are more attractive cities strung out along the sun-kissed Kenyan coast and dotted around the Great Rift Valley. Whether you pick the interior or the coast (with its beach resorts and Islamic ruins), you can be sure to find a national park or reserve close at hand. Even Nairobi has a national park within the city limits, with zebras and giraffes just a stone's throw from the suburbs.

Kenya is also a great place for cultural encounters, with more than 40 different tribal groups, each following its own unique way of life. The semi-nomadic Maasai tribe, with their multi-coloured, bead-covered adornments, is perhaps the most obvious group, but visiting any tribal village is a fascinating and enlightening experience.

On appearances, Kenya would seem like the perfect holiday destination, but tourism has had its ups and downs in recent years, with political upheaval during elections and a string of high-profile militant attacks in Nairobi and along the coast.

These setbacks have made a noticeable dent in Kenya's tourist industry, yet travellers still flock to the teeming plains of the Maasai Mara and trek the slopes of Mount Kenya, and the biggest decision for most is not whether to go to Kenya, but instead, which wild animal to search for first.

Key facts

Area:

580,367 sq km (224,081 sq miles).

Population:

52,580,497 (2019).

Population density:

79.2 per sq km.

Capital:

Nairobi.

Government:

Republic.

Head of state:

President Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta since 2013.

Head of government:

President Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta since 2013.

Travel Advice

Coronavirus travel health

Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Kenya on the TravelHealthPro website.

See the TravelHealthPro website for further advice on travel abroad and reducing spread of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

You should contact local authorities for information on testing facilities.

International travel

Commercial flights are operating to and from Kenya.

Entry and borders

See Entry requirements to find out what you will need to do when you arrive in Kenya.

Returning to the UK

Travelling from and returning to the UK

Check what you must do to travel abroad and return to England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

If you plan to pass through another country to return to the UK, check the travel advice for the country you’re transiting.

Be prepared for your plans to change

No travel is risk-free during COVID. Countries may further restrict travel or bring in new rules at short notice, for example due to a new COVID-19 variant. Check with your travel company or airline for any transport changes which may delay your journey home.

If you test positive for COVID-19, you may need to stay where you are until you test negative. You may also need to seek treatment there.

Plan ahead and make sure you:

  • can access money
  • understand what your insurance will cover
  • can make arrangements to extend your stay and be away for longer than planned

Renewal of visas

You should ensure that your stay in Kenya complies with Kenyan immigration requirements.

Travel in Kenya

There are currently no restrictions on travel within Kenya.

You do not need a COVID-19 negative test to board domestic flights within Kenya.

Public places and services

Public transport in Kenya is now able to operate at full capacity.

Restaurants and eateries are open to customers, provided they comply with Government of Kenya public health protocols including social distancing.

Bars are permitted to operate until 11pm.

All public and political gatherings are prohibited. However, large political gathering have been taking place across the country ahead of Kenya’s August 2022 general elections.

The maximum number of persons permitted to attend weddings and funerals has been capped at 100, with all in attendance expected to abide by Ministry of Health protocols.

Kenyan citizens have been advised to avoid crowded places and to work remotely where possible. Many shops and restaurants conduct mandatory temperature checks and will expect customers to use handwashing facilities before entering the premises.

Healthcare in Kenya

The Government of Kenya has indicated that anyone testing positive for COVID-19, but presenting as asymptomatic or with only mild symptoms, can expect to be directed to self-isolate at home if able to do so. Vulnerable persons will be prioritised for hospital care. Ministry of Health guidance is available.

Pharmacies and other shops selling essential products are open.

The authorities are conducting random temperature screenings in spaces frequented by the general public. If you show signs or symptoms of coronavirus and are able to self-isolate, you can expect to be directed to do so. If you cannot self-isolate, you can expect to be taken into a State health facility by the Kenyan authorities.

For contact details for doctors visit our list of healthcare providers.

Your emotional and mental wellbeing is important. Read our guidance on how to look after your mental wellbeing and mental health.

See Health for further details on healthcare in Kenya.

See also the guidance on healthcare if you’re waiting to return to the UK.

COVID-19 vaccines if you live in Kenya

Wherever possible British nationals should aim to be vaccinated in the country where they live. We will update this page when the Government of Kenya announces new information on the national vaccination programme. You can sign up to get email notifications when this page is updated.

The Kenya national vaccine programme started in March 2021 and is using the AstraZeneca, Janssen (Johnson and Johnson), Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines. The Government of Kenya has stated that all foreign nationals resident in Kenya are eligible for vaccination. Vaccinations are currently being offered to all individuals over the age of 15. Further information on the vaccination programme is available on the Government of Kenya Ministry of Health website and the COVID-19 self-service portal. A register of vaccination centres is available on the Kenya Medical Practitioner’s and Dentist’s Council website.

Find out more, including about vaccines that are authorised in the UK or approved by the World Health Organisation, on the COVID-19 vaccines if you live abroad page.

If you’re a British national living in Kenya, you should seek medical advice from your local healthcare provider. Information about COVID-19 vaccines used in the national programme where you live, including regulatory status, should be available from local authorities.

Finance

For information on financial support you can access whilst abroad, visit our financial assistance guidance.

Further information

If you need urgent consular assistance, contact the British High Commission.

If you are vulnerable with health issues, an older person, or travelling with young children, you can call: +254202844000 or +254 20 287 3000 and follow the options for consular assistance. The numbers are available 24/7.

For more details on measures in Kenya, see the Kenya Ministry of Health website.

You must carry a form of ID with you at all times. A copy of your passport is normally acceptable, but recently some police officers have been insisting on the original document.

Crime

Bag snatching is common in transport hubs like bus stations, railway stations and airports. Mugging, kidnapping, car-jacking and armed robbery occur regularly, particularly in Nairobi, Mombasa and other large cities. Although uncommon, incidents of violent crime have resulted in the death of several British nationals. Crime rates are higher in slum areas of Nairobi, the Old Town of Mombasa and on and around the Likoni Ferry (which links Mombasa and the southern resorts). Gun attacks in Kwale County on the south coast resulted in fatalities in September and October 2017.

You should be vigilant at all times and take into account any security advice given by your hotel, employer or your hosts. If you’re attacked, don’t resist. Avoid walking around after dark, especially in isolated areas like empty beaches. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash and don’t wear expensive watches, jewellery or items of sentimental value.

Beware of thieves posing as police officers or private Security Guards. Always ask to see identification. Don’t accept food or drink from strangers as it may be drugged.

Only stay in tourist camps with good perimeter security. If in any doubt, seek advice from your tour operator or the Kenya Tourism Federation (telephone: + 254 20 800100).

If you’re involved in any security incident, insist that the British High Commission is informed straight away.

If you are in Kenya and you need urgent help (for example, you have been attacked, arrested or someone has died), call +44 (0) 20 7008 5000. If you are in the UK and worried about a British national in Kenya, call 020 7008 5000.

Demonstrations

You should exercise caution, monitor local media and avoid all demonstrations and political gatherings and, where possible, avoid travelling around areas where demonstrations may take place. This may include large gatherings, universities, political party headquarters, and offices of the electoral commission.

Local travel

The FCDO advise against all but essential travel to within 60km of the Kenya-Somali border; to Garissa county; to Lamu county (excluding Lamu Island and Manda Island); to areas of Tana River county north of the Tana river itself and to within 15km of the coast from the Tana river down to the Galana (Athi-Galana-Sabaki) river.

If you travel to Lamu Island or Manda Island, you should do so by air to Lamu Airport (a civilian airport on Manda Island) and not by road. The only commercial option for air travel to or from Lamu Island and Manda Island is through Lamu Airport.

For travel between Jomo Kenyatta Airport (JKIA) and Nairobi city you should use the Mombasa road. There is a higher risk of car-jacking on the old airport road (Airport South Road) and Jogoo Road. The Mombasa road to JKIA can get very busy during rush hours, and check-in can take several hours; you should allow plenty of time to get to the airport. A new vehicle security check outside JKIA has also added to journey times.

Most visits to game reserves and other tourist areas are trouble-free. If you visit reserves, use reputable tour operators and arrive at your destination in daylight hours. Do not buy safari tours from touts. Always follow park regulations and wardens’ advice.

There are risks associated with viewing wildlife, particularly on foot or at close range. Bathing in rivers and lakes is forbidden in National Parks and is best avoided elsewhere due to the dangers from both wildlife and water-borne disease.

Rural areas, particularly in the north and northeastern parts of Kenya, experience cattle rustling, banditry and ethnic clashes. Foreigners are not usually the target of localised violence and banditry, but you should take great care in the north and northeast.

The Government of Kenya has imposed a curfew (6pm to 6am) on the whole of Marsabit County, and parts of Elgeyo Marakwet, West-Pokot, and Baringo Counties. British nationals travelling in the area should exercise caution and adhere to local security measures.

Although the border with Somalia has officially been closed since 2007, crossings take place frequently. Landmines have been used in attacks around Moyale, close to the main A2 road south. Vehicles crossing the Kenya-Ethiopia border at this point should stay on the A2. Avoid staying at the rest house at Sololo - travel directly to Marsabit Town before breaking the journey.

As a result of previous armed clashes in the area of Mount Elgon in western Kenya next to the Ugandan border, a large security presence remains and further incidents are possible. Seek local advice before you set off.

Monitor local media and take care in all remote areas. A Safety and Communication Centre operated by the Kenya Tourism Federation gives up to the minute tourist advice as well as providing help in an emergency. You can contact the Centre on +254 20 800100 or by e-mail to: operations@ktf.co.ke

Road travel

You can drive in Kenya with a valid UK driving licence for up to 3 months, or on a valid International Driving Permit. If you’re staying longer or living in Kenya, you’ll need to get a Kenyan driving licence.

If you’re planning to hire a car, check with your car hire company for information on their requirements before you travel. Only hire vehicles from reputable companies.

Road conditions and driving standards are often poor. Drive with windows closed and doors locked. When driving outside cities and in remote areas consider driving in convoy. Avoid driving at night wherever possible.

There have been a number of serious accidents involving long-distance buses. Vehicles are often poorly maintained and driven at excessive speed. Check the bus operator’s safety standards.

Though very cheap to use, matatus (minibuses) are notorious for being poorly maintained, badly driven and uninsured. There are frequent reports of matatus being hijacked and passengers being robbed.

On the spot fines from traffic police are common, but not legal. If stopped by a police officer you should ask for the due process to be followed. The officer should issue you with a ‘receipt for cash bond’, a piece of paper telling you when and where you need to attend court to answer the charge against you.

Rail travel

Passenger trains run between Nairobi and Mombasa. Take care of your belongings while on the train and at railway stations. If you leave your compartment, take your valuables with you.

Air travel

The FCDO can’t offer advice on the safety of individual airlines. However, the International Air Transport Association publishes a list of registered airlines that have been audited and found to meet a number of operational safety standards and recommended practices. This list is not exhaustive and the absence of an airline from this list does not necessarily mean that it is unsafe.

The International Civil Aviation Organisation has carried out an audit of the level of implementation of the critical elements of safety oversight in Kenya.

A list of incidents and accidents in Kenya can be found on the website of the Aviation Safety network.

There are some concerns about the lack of security arrangements in place at Wilson airport in Nairobi. The airport is mainly used for domestic flights, including charters.

If you plan to charter a private aircraft, check with the company about the condition of the aircraft and runways to be used. If the company has no Safety Pilot, find another company that does.

Local rules and regulations prohibit photography at airports. You could be fined or imprisoned.

Be vigilant at all times when transiting airports.

Sea travel

The threat of piracy and armed robbery off the coast of Somalia, in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean remains significant. Reports of attacks on local fishing dhows in the area around the Gulf of Aden and Horn of Africa continue. The combined threat assessment of the international Naval Counter Piracy Forces remains that all sailing yachts under their own passage should remain out of the designated High Risk Area or face the risk of being hijacked and held hostage for ransom.

Read the Piracy and armed robbery at sea page for more information and advice.

Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Kenya.

UK Counter Terrorism Policing has information and advice on staying safe abroad and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. Find out more about the global threat from terrorism.

There is a heightened threat of terrorism, including terrorist kidnappings, across Kenya. Attacks, including terrorist kidnappings, could target Westerners, including British nationals. Attacks could occur at any time, including around religious or other public holidays or celebrations.

Attacks could be indiscriminate in places frequented by foreigners including hotels, bars, restaurants, sports bars and nightclubs, sporting events, supermarkets, shopping centres, commercial buildings, coastal areas including beaches, government buildings including Embassies, airports, buses, trains and other transport hubs. Places of worship including churches and mosques have also been targeted. British nationals are advised to be extremely vigilant in these areas. You should avoid regular patterns of movement and aim to travel during daylight hours.

The main terrorism threat is from extremists linked to Al Shabaab, a militant group in Somalia opposed to the Somali government. Al Shabaab has issued public threats against Kenya due to Kenya’s military intervention in Somalia. The Kenyan authorities have increased security to counter potential reprisal attacks by Al Shabaab. There is some evidence of growing support for Daesh (formerly referred to as ISIL) in Kenya.

On 8 January 2020 Al Shabaab released a public statement ‘Kenya Must Take Heed’; this states Al Shabaab intent to attack tourists, including those on safari trips. It also references government institutions and military installations as potential attack targets.

Travellers to Lamu Island and Manda Island should be particularly vigilant given the close proximity of these islands to the Lamu County mainland. On 5 January 2020 Al Shabaab conducted an attack on a military airstrip in Lamu County, killing 3 US personnel. Due to the threat of terrorism, if you travel to Lamu Island or Manda Island you should do so by air to Lamu Airport (a civilian airport on Manda Island), and not by road. The only commercial option for air travel to or from Lamu Island and Manda Island is through Lamu Airport.

There have been a number of other terrorist attacks in Kenya in recent years:

  • On 15-16 January 2019 there was an attack at the hotel and commercial complex at 14 Riverside in Nairobi, resulting in injuries and loss of life. One British national was killed.
  • On 2 April 2015 there was an attack on Garissa University College in Garissa County in which at least 148 people were killed.
  • 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.
  • On 21-24 September 2013 over 60 people including six British nationals were killed in an attack on the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi.

In particular, there are also frequent attacks in the north-eastern border regions (Lamu, Garissa, Wajir and Mandera Counties), most of which were attributed to Al Shabaab. These have killed members of the Kenyan security forces as well as civilians. The Kenyan security forces have increased their presence in the affected areas. Armed militia groups operate within the Boni Forest and along the border with Somalia.

Kenyan official buildings such as government offices and law enforcement personnel and facilities have been particular targets. Somali government interests in Kenya may also be targeted. Take extra security precautions if you plan on travelling to any of these places.

Further attacks are very likely. Methods of attack have included suicide vests, grenades, knife attacks, shootings and bombings, including car bombings, and improvised explosive devices.

The authorities in Kenya have successfully disrupted a number of planned attacks and made a number of arrests in recent years. They have also provided extra protection including in areas near to the Somalia border and on the Kenyan coast.

There is a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.

Kidnapping

There is a high threat of kidnapping across Kenya. You should be alert to the heightened threat of terrorist kidnapping targeting Westerners, including British nationals. Westerners have been the target of kidnaps in northern counties, counties bordering Somalia and coastal counties, and further kidnaps are very likely.

British nationals are viewed as legitimate targets, including those engaged in tourism, humanitarian aid work, journalism or business sectors. If you’re kidnapped, the reason for your presence is unlikely to serve as a protection or secure your safe release. On 12 April 2019 two Cuban doctors were kidnapped in Mandera north-east Kenya. Kenyan police suspect Al-Shabaab were behind the attack. On 20 November 2018, an unknown armed gang attacked a trading centre in Chakama in Kilifi County, and abducted an Italian NGO worker. A number of kidnaps have occurred in Dadaab refugee camps in north east Kenya. British aid workers in Kenya should satisfy themselves that those arranging their stay have sufficient security arrangements in place.

The long-standing policy of the British Government is not to make substantive concessions to hostage takers. The British Government considers that paying ransoms and releasing prisoners builds the capability of terrorist groups and finances their activities. This can, in turn, increase the risk of further hostage-taking. The Terrorism Act (2000) makes payments to terrorists illegal.

The coastal areas are predominantly Muslim. Although there are no strict dress codes, you should dress conservatively away from the tourist resorts and hotels, especially in Mombasa town, during the holy month of Ramadan or if you intend to visit religious areas.

Smoking in any public place is prohibited throughout Kenya, except in designated smoking areas. Offenders can face a fine or imprisonment. If in doubt, don’t light up.

The use and trafficking of illegal Class A drugs in Kenya carries heavy fines and jail sentences. The penalty for possession is 10 years in prison.

Taking photographs of official buildings, including Embassies, can lead to detention. If in any doubt, don’t photograph or film around them. Photography is also prohibited at airports.

You must get permission to carry any kind of firearm before you enter the country.

Plastic bags have been banned for environmental reasons.

It is illegal to destroy Kenyan currency.

Homosexual activity is illegal. Public displays of homosexuality like holding hands or kissing in public places could lead to arrest and imprisonment. See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.

You must carry a form of ID with you at all times. A copy of your passport is normally acceptable, but recently some police officers have been insisting on the original document.

It is illegal to buy, sell, kill or capture any protected wild animal or trade any of its parts without a licence. Kenya is a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) under which there’s a ban on the international commercial trade in ivory. Those caught purchasing or trafficking banned goods will be prosecuted and receive prison sentences and/or fines.

This page has information on travelling to Kenya. Check what you must do to return to the UK.

This page reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British Citizen’ passport from the UK, for the most common types of travel.

The authorities in Kenya set and enforce entry rules.

All travellers

All passengers over 18 arriving in Kenya must present proof of vaccination against COVID19. Vaccinated travellers are not required to take a PCR test before travelling to Kenya.

You must upload your vaccine certificate to the Global Haven website before boarding your flight. You should be prepared to present a printed or digital copy of the Global Haven confirmation certificate when travelling.

See Exemptions below for more information for unvaccinated travellers.

Unvaccinated travellers who meet the criteria for an exemption from presenting proof of vaccination will need to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate, conducted within 72 hours of your departure, to enter or travel through Kenya. You must upload your negative PCR test certificate to the Global Haven website before boarding your flight.

Unvaccinated travellers may also be asked to take a rapid antigen test on arrival. These tests will cost 30 USD. Anyone who tests positive may be asked to take a PCR test at a cost of 50 USD. Passengers aged under 5 are exempt from these requirements.

You must also fill in a traveller’s locator form before travel on the Kenyan Ministry of Health web portal. On arrival, you will be prompted and required to submit daily health information on the Jitenge platform for 14 consecutive days.

If you have been in, or transited through, South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, Mozambique, Zambia, Malawi, Ghana or Nigeria in the past 14 days, you may be required to take a free rapid antigen test on arrival for surveillance purposes.

Full details of the Government of Kenya’s entry requirements in relation to coronavirus can be found on the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority website.

Data collection

All travellers arriving in Kenya must complete a COVID-19 Travellers Health Surveillance Form before their arrival, even if only transiting. The online registration form can be found on the “Jitenge” platform, accessible via the following link or the “Jitenge” App (available on the Google Play Store).

After submitting the form, travellers will receive a QR code which must be presented to port health officials for them to be allowed to proceed to arrival immigration.

If you’re fully vaccinated

Most adults require a full dose of a COVID vaccine to enter Kenya.

The vaccine must be approved by the World Health Organisation.

Proof of vaccination status

You must present proof that you have been fully vaccinated to enter Kenya.

Kenya will accept the UK’s proof of COVID-19 recovery and vaccination record and proof of COVID-19 vaccination issued in the Crown Dependencies. Your NHS appointment card from vaccination centres is not designed to be used as proof of vaccination and should not be used to demonstrate your vaccine status.

You must also upload your certificate of vaccination to the Global Haven website.

Some airlines may request that British travellers show proof of vaccination on the NHS App at check-in.

If you’re not fully vaccinated

Most unvaccinated individuals cannot enter Kenya, however there are several exemptions. See Exemptions below for more information.

If you’ve had COVID-19 in the past 90 days

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days, you can enter Kenya without a vaccination. You must provide a letter from a medical practitioner confirming your recovery from COVID-19. You will still need to provide a negative COVID-19 PCR certificate, conducted within 72 hours of your departure to Kenya.

If you have a medical exemption from vaccination

If you have a medical exemption from vaccination, you can enter Kenya with a letter from a medical practitioner confirming your exemption from COVID-19 vaccination. You will still need to provide a negative COVID-19 PCR certificate, conducted within 72 hours of your departure to Kenya.

If you are aged under 18

Children and young people

Children aged 4 and under do not need a negative PCR test to enter Kenya.

Children aged 17 and under do not require a COVID-19 vaccination to enter Kenya.

Exemptions

Crew on layover do not need a negative PCR test to enter Kenya.

Check your passport and travel documents before you travel

Passport validity

If you are visiting Kenya, your passport should be valid for 6 months from the date you arrive.

You should have at least two blank pages in your passport on arrival.

Check with your travel provider to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.

Visas

You need a visa to enter Kenya. Kenyan entry visas are exclusively issued electronically, with passengers required to obtain their e-visas before departure. You can apply for single entry and transit visas on the e-visas website.

British passport holders visiting Kenya aged 16 and over require a valid individual visa for Kenya.

For more information, see the website of the Kenyan High Commission in London.

Work permits

You must have a work permit before starting employment in Kenya. It’s illegal to work without one. This needs to be applied for before coming to Kenya to work. This also applies to voluntary work and the self-employed. You can apply for a work permit at the Department of Immigration Services website. The government of Kenya has promised swift action against those who do not comply, including deportation. The Government of Kenya is prioritising the availability of high quality jobs for Kenyan nationals, and may not grant a work permit to a British national if the job in question could be done by a Kenyan national.

If you’re already in Kenya, and your application for a work permit is successful, you will be required to hand in your passport to immigration for a permit stamp to be inserted. During this period, you should always carry a certified copy of your passport for identification purposes. A local lawyer can provide this.

Yellow fever certificate requirements

You may need a yellow fever certificate when entering Kenya from certain destinations. Check whether you need a yellow fever certificate by visiting the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s TravelHealthPro website.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are accepted for entry, transit and exit from Kenya. ETDs must be valid for at least six months.

Returning to the UK

If you are 18 or over, you will be required to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination to leave Kenya, unless you have a letter from a medical practitioner confirming your exemption from COVID-19 vaccination. The vaccine must be approved by the World Health Organisation.

You will also be required to show compliance with entry requirements for the UK and any transit countries.

You can use the UK’s proof of COVID-19 recovery and vaccination record to demonstrate your vaccination record when leaving Kenya.

Check what you must do to return to the UK.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Kenya on the TravelHealthPro website.

See the healthcare information in the Coronavirus section for information on what to do if you think you have coronavirus while in Kenya.

At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website. Each country-specific page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad. Guidance is also available from NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website.

On 3 March 2022, Kenya’s Ministry of Health confirmed an outbreak of yellow fever in Isolo county. Other counties at high risk of transmission following this outbreak are: Wajir, Garissa, Marsabit, Meru, Samburu, Baringo, Elgeyo Marakwet, West Pokot and Turkana counties. You should discuss yellow fever vaccination with your health advisor before you travel to Kenya.

General information on travel vaccinations and a travel health checklist is available on the NHS website. You may then wish to contact your health adviser or pharmacy for advice on other preventive measures and managing any pre-existing medical conditions while you’re abroad.

The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or purchased in the UK can be different in other countries. If you’re travelling with prescription or over-the-counter medicine, read this guidance from NaTHNaC on best practice when travelling with medicines. For further information on the legal status of a specific medicine, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

While travel can be enjoyable, it can sometimes be challenging. There are clear links between mental and physical health, so looking after yourself during travel and when abroad is important. Information on travelling with mental health conditions is available in our guidance page. Further information is also available from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).

Medical treatment

Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, first deal with the emergency with first aid skills if possible and then move onto the nearest, largest Accident and Emergency department. In Nairobi this is either Nairobi Hospital or the Aga Khan University Hospital.

Other health risks

Cholera, malaria, dengue fever and other insect-borne infections occur in Kenya. You should take precautions to avoid being bitten by insects.

On 1 August 2018, an outbreak of Ebola was declared in Béni territory, North Kivu Province in the Democratic Republic of Congo. On 11 June 2019, the Ugandan government confirmed an outbreak of Ebola in Kasese District in western Uganda. Kenyan authorities have put in place additional screening measures at some airports and border crossings in Kenya for those arriving from affected areas. The latest updates can be found on the WHO website. If travelling in the region, you should check FCDO Travel Advice for the relevant countries.

You should drink or use only boiled or bottled water and avoid ice in drinks. Don’t eat food prepared by unlicensed vendors. See food and water hygiene.

Kenya lies on an active fault line and tremors occur from time to time. The last significant earth tremor to affect the region was of magnitude 5.2 in 2007.

The US Federal Emergency Management Agency has advice about what to do before, during and after an earthquake

The currency of Kenya is the Kenyan Shilling (KES).

ATMs are widely available in Nairobi and the main towns and credit cards are widely accepted. It’s unlikely you’ll be able to exchange Scottish or Northern Irish banknotes in Kenya.

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. If you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad, contact the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) in London on +44 20 7008 5000 (24 hours).

Foreign travel checklist

Read our foreign travel checklist to help you plan for your trip abroad and stay safe while you’re there.

Travel safety

The FCDO travel advice helps you make your own decisions about foreign travel. Your safety is our main concern, but we can’t provide tailored advice for individual trips. If you’re concerned about whether or not it’s safe for you to travel, you should read the travel advice for the country or territory you’re travelling to, together with information from other sources you’ve identified, before making your own decision on whether to travel. Only you can decide whether it’s safe for you to travel.

When we judge the level of risk to British nationals in a particular place has become unacceptably high, we’ll state on the travel advice page for that country or territory that we advise against all or all but essential travel. Read more about how the FCDO assesses and categorises risk in foreign travel advice.

Our crisis overseas page suggests additional things you can do before and during foreign travel to help you stay safe.

Refunds and cancellations

If you wish to cancel or change a holiday that you’ve booked, you should contact your travel company. The question of refunds and cancellations is a matter for you and your travel company. Travel companies make their own decisions about whether or not to offer customers a refund. Many of them use our travel advice to help them reach these decisions, but we do not instruct travel companies on when they can or can’t offer a refund to their customers.

For more information about your rights if you wish to cancel a holiday, visit the Citizen’s Advice Bureau website. For help resolving problems with a flight booking, visit the website of the Civil Aviation Authority. For questions about travel insurance, contact your insurance provider and if you’re not happy with their response, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Registering your travel details with us

We’re no longer asking people to register with us before travel. Our foreign travel checklist and crisis overseas page suggest things you can do before and during foreign travel to plan your trip and stay safe.

Previous versions of FCDO travel advice

If you’re looking for a previous version of the FCDO travel advice, visit the National Archives website. Versions prior to 2 September 2020 will be archived as FCO travel advice. If you can’t find the page you’re looking for there, send the Travel Advice Team a request.

Further help

If you’re a British national and you have a question about travelling abroad that isn’t covered in our foreign travel advice or elsewhere on GOV.UK, you can submit an enquiry. We’re not able to provide tailored advice for specific trips.

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