Official Travel Advice for Kenya
Terrorism section (Kidnapping) - British aid workers in Kenya should be satisfied that they have sufficient security arrangements in place
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Advice current as at 4:00 am 22 May 2019.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all but essential travel to:
- areas within 60km of the Kenya-Somali border
- Garissa County
- Lamu County (excluding Lamu Island and Manda Island)
- 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 areas to which the FCO advise against all but essential travel (marked in amber on the map above) don’t 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 and Tsavo), nor does it include the beach resorts of Mombasa, Malindi, Kilifi, Watamu, Diani, Lamu Island and Manda Island, or Mombasa (Moi International), Malindi and Manda airports. If you travel to Lamu Island or Manda Island, you should do so by air to Manda airport and not by road.
However, there’s a heightened threat of terrorism, including terrorist kidnappings, across Kenya, including to people travelling in or through Nairobi, the coast and resort areas around Mombasa and Malindi, the towns of Narok, Naivasha, Nanyuki and Meru and their surrounding areas, and the northern border counties. Attacks, including terrorist kidnappings, could target Westerners, including British nationals. Attacks could be indiscriminate in places frequented by foreigners including hotels, bars, restaurants, sports bars and nightclubs, sporting events, supermarkets, shopping centres, coastal areas including beaches, airports, buses, trains and other transport hubs. Places of worship including churches and mosques have also been targeted. Be particularly vigilant in these areas.
You should consider making personal contingency plans, and refer to our advice on travel when planning your journeys. Keep up to date with this travel advice by subscribing to email alerts. See Safety and security
On 15-16 January 2019, there was a terrorist attack at the 14 Riverside complex in Nairobi, resulting in injuries and loss of life. One British national was killed. The Inspector General of the Kenyan police has called on the public to adopt a higher level of vigilance and report any suspicious people or activity straight away. See Terrorism
In light of security concerns, the Kenyan government has imposed a curfew in Mandera county and large parts of Lamu county, Tana River county and Garissa county for the hours 6:30pm to 6:30am. This curfew doesn’t apply to Lamu Island, Manda Island or Pate Island. Check local media before you travel.
President Kenyatta was inaugurated for a second five year term on 28 November 2017 following a tense election period which saw an increase in protests across the country, some of which turned violent. The situation has calmed but further demonstrations and clashes are possible. You should exercise caution 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.
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. You can also apply for these, and other types of visa, at the Kenya High Commission in London. For more information, see the website of the Kenya High Commission. See Visas
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
Around 100,000 UK residents visit Kenya every year. Most visits are trouble-free.
If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.
Consular support is limited in parts of Kenya where we advise against all but essential travel.
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.
Quick Facts Tourist Information for:Kenya
Drive on the: left
Visitors/Tourists: 1,470,000 in 2010
Swahili (official language) 66%
Nairobi (also largest city)
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