Kenya Travel Information
On March 15, 2020, Kenyan authorities imposed a ban
on travelers from all countries with the presence of
covid-19. For more information on coronavirus and travel
restrictions, see the entry Entry and Health.
On January 5, 2020, a mainland military base in Lamu
county was attacked by the Somali terrorist organization
Al-Shabaab. Three US civilians associated with the
military base perished, while there is currently no
information on possible loss of human life beyond this.
The attack illustrates well the difficult security
situation in the area of Lamu Island. The
unpredictable and unpredictable security situation is
the reason why Norway has decided to tighten up its
travel advice which now means that it also does not
advise strictly necessary stays and travel to Lamu and
Kenya held elections for president, parliament and
county level in August 2017. Uhuru Kenyatta was declared
the winner of the presidential election. However, the
Supreme Court chose to cancel the result due to fraud in
the election process. The re-election, which was held on
October 26, was boycotted by the opposition as Kenyatta
won the election with 98 percent of the votes cast and
was elected president for a new term in November 2017.
Opposition leader Raila Odinga first announced that
the opposition would not accept Kenyatta as Kenya's
legitimate leader and in January 2018 proclaimed himself
"president of the people". However, in March this year
Kenyatta and Odinga entered into a very surprising
agreement on cooperation for reconciliation and reform.
The agreement has reduced the political tension in the
country. However, it is unclear to what extent the
agreement will help to solve the many underlying
problems in Kenyan society.
Norwegian citizens are still encouraged to be
vigilant, avoid large assemblies, stay up to date
through local and international media and follow the
directions of the Kenyan authorities. One should
exercise critical judgment on news reports and social
- Countryaah: Nairobi is the capital
of Kenya. Check to find information of population, geography, history,
and economy about the capital city.
Both resident Norwegians and Norwegian tourists are
encouraged to be extra cautious. avoid traditionally
unsafe areas and larger congregations, exercise caution
when visiting malls and using public transportation,
bring cell phones with contact information to family
members, and register at www.reiseregistrering.no. One
should keep abreast of developments through the media
and the embassy's website, as well as report to the
authorities on suspicious circumstances and follow their
instructions in the event of security-threatening
For any eventuality, one should also consider having
an adequate supply of water, dry food, medicines,
candles, money, fuel, etc. in the house, as well as
always bring identification papers and phone numbers to
family and key contacts when staying outside the home.
The Embassy's website will be updated. Contact phone
numbers are + 254 (0) 20 425 1000 or +47 23 95 76 00.
Kenya is a relatively safe and stable country.
Tourism is an important trade route and Kenya has many
popular tourist destinations, especially in the
well-developed safari parks and along the coast. Kenya
also faces security challenges and has recently been hit
by several serious terrorist attacks. These have
primarily been linked to Somali armed groups operating
in the border areas between Somalia and Kenya, but also
Nairobi was hit on January 15, 2019 with the attack on
the Dusit2 complex. Kenya's authorities are taking these
security concerns very seriously and are cooperating
with international partners in the fight against terror.
Like other major cities around the world, there is a
persistent threat situation in the major cities of
Nairobi and Mombasa.
In 2017, there has been some unrest in parts of the
Laikipia area, north of Mount Kenya, which is linked to
the drought in the area. Norwegian citizens are
requested to consult with travel agencies and
accommodations, as well as follow local media, in order
to stay as informed as possible when traveling to the
As a result of a complex risk picture in Kenya, the
Norwegian authorities are encouraging Norwegians to take
the necessary precautions and be aware, especially in
situations and areas where many people are gathered.
Norwegians in Kenya are recommended to register at
The risk to travelers in Kenya is primarily related
to: 1) car traffic, 2) crime and 3) terrorism.
Road safety: Traffic in Kenya is
considered to be risk # 1. Use of public transport
should be avoided; both larger buses and minibuses,
so-called "matatu", have a high accident rate. They are
often in poor condition and run irresponsibly. When
renting a car, make sure the vehicle is in good
condition, with solid tires, good, functioning seat
belts etc. If not, reject the car and ask for a new one.
The road standard is poor in large parts of the
country. Use caution while driving and avoid roadway
driving in the dark. Do not drive the Malindi-Lamu
section; the road is poor and has been exposed to road
Car doors are locked and the windows are closed when
driving in the city center. Do not leave valuables in
It is not advisable to stop to assist the crashed
car, etc. In the event of an accident, report to the
nearest police station instead of stopping.
Crime: Crime in parts of Kenya is
high, and weapons are often involved. Armed hijackings
of cars as well as robberies and assaults are
increasing, especially in Nairobi. Tourists are cautious
and do not walk in areas where they are not known or on
deserted beaches. It is not advisable to travel on foot
anywhere after dark. One should not carry visible
valuables such as expensive jewelry, watches, camera
etc. It is not advisable to visit slums without
following local knowledge.
There have been some thefts of passports and the like
at the Nairobi International Airport, JKIA recently. It
is recommended to pay special attention to arrival and
departure and take good care of the travel documents.
Terrorist attack: The terrorist
threat in Kenya must be taken seriously. This is
particularly true of the areas northeast of Kenya,
including along the border with Somalia, the entire
Kenya coast, including Mombasa and Nairobi. The embassy
asks residents and travelers in Kenya to exercise
caution and vigilance, especially in public places, in
and around public buildings, hotels, tourist
attractions, shopping malls, airports, public transport,
markets and other places where many people gather. The
Eastleigh district of Nairobi should be avoided.
Kenya has been hit by terrorist attacks several
times, the largest against the Westgate shopping center
in Nairobi in September 2013 and against a college in
Garissa, northeast of Kenya, in April 2015. The militant
group Al-Shabaab in Somalia has previously threatened
new terrorist attacks in Kenya. They also claimed
responsibility for the most recent attack (January 15,
2019) against 14 Riverside Drive in the Westlands
district of Nairobi. 21 people were killed in this
Look higher up about the attack on the military base
on January 5, 2020
To give the Norwegian authorities the opportunity to
establish contact with Norwegians in Kenya with
preventative or follow-up information, it is strongly
recommended that the journey be registered at
Choice of residence for longer stays:
For longer stays in Kenya, including student stays and
work for voluntary organizations, it is recommended to
choose a residence with good security measures. Although
work or study is in poor neighborhoods/areas, it is not
recommended to settle in these areas.
Women's safety: Women should avoid
traveling alone at night if possible.
Sexual orientation: Homosexuality is
punishable under Kenyan law, although the new
constitution prohibits any form of discrimination. The
penalty clause is considered "dormant". Kenya is a
multicultural and modern society, at the same time
characterized by considerable conservative powers. There
is a burgeoning social debate about LGBTI rights. In
practice, many gays will be able to live a relatively
undisturbed life as long as they maintain a discreet
profile. Especially in Nairobi and in tourist areas it
is problematic for gays to travel.
Local conflicts: In the northern and
eastern areas, in the border regions with Uganda, South
Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia, there have been conflicts
between different ethnic groups for a long time. The
conflicts are often linked to cattle theft, land rights
and political representation. Foreigners are not usually
targets for this type of attack, but the general
security situation is unstable and caution should be
exercised. Driving should be done in convoy with escort.
Political turmoil: In light of past
political turmoil and opportunities for violence, one
should avoid meetings and demonstrations that can turn
violent. Currently, the area in and around Mombasa is
particularly vulnerable to riots, where there have been
riots related to some mosques. The same goes for the
city center in Nairobi.
Piracy: There has been a decline in
cases of Somali pirates attacking ships and other
vessels off the coast of Kenya. This is largely due to
measures such as patrolling international naval forces
and armed guards aboard commercial ships. Small, private
vessels are still vulnerable, and boat tourists are
advised to stay close to the coast.
This article is not exhaustive regarding the security
picture in Kenya. Travelers and residents are advised to
follow the local media and authorities. The Embassy's
website is updated with relevant information when the
situation so indicates.
Insurance: Norwegian citizens are
strongly encouraged to have valid travel insurance.
Emergency: In a crisis or emergency,
the public is encouraged to contact the embassy at the
following telephone number:
- In Kenya: +254 20 425 1000
- From Norway: +47 23 95 76 00
Outside the embassy's opening hours, the public can
contact the UD's 24-hour operating center at:
Coronavirus (covid-19): As a measure
to prevent the spread of the virus, on March 15, 2020,
Kenyan authorities imposed strict restrictions on entry
into the country. As of midnight Wednesday, March 25,
all international airports will close for all commercial
flights, which means it will be difficult to get in or
out of the country by air.
Please note that entry regulations may change. The
Foreign Service is not responsible if the following
information on entry regulations or visa requirements is
changed at short notice. It is the responsibility of the
traveler to ensure that travel documents are valid for
entry and to familiarize themselves with the current
entry rules for each country.
There is a visa requirement for all Norwegian
citizens to Kenya. Visas should be applied for and paid
online through the Kenyan website. Visa costs USD 51
when applying online. Please note that there are up to
several fake visa application websites for Kenya.
Kenyan immigration authorities also issue visas on
arrival at the airport if one has not applied online in
advance. However, these rules can be changed quickly.
Visa on arrival must be paid in cash with USD 50, EUR 40
or GBP 30.
Norwegians can also apply for a visa in advance from
the Kenya Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden.
The Kenyan authorities accept the following travel
- Emergency passport (We have found that people
with emergency passports have encountered challenges
when entering Kenya. However, the Kenyan authorities
confirm that this is a document approved for entry)
- Refugee travel document (green travel document).
NB: A visa for such a document mustbe
applied for in advance at the Kenyan Embassy in
Stockholm, at least three months before departure.
- Travel document for people staying on a
humanitarian basis (blue travel document). NB: A
visa for such a document mustbe
applied for in advance at the Kenyan Embassy in
Stockholm, at least three months before departure.
All travel documents must be valid for at least six
months upon entry.
It is the responsibility of the traveler to ensure
that travel documents and visas are valid. It is also
noted that these rules may change.
All Norwegians who will be traveling to Kenya or
residing in Kenya are encouraged to register at
reiseregistrering.no, exercise special care and follow
the directions of the Kenyan authorities.
It is recommended to take out comprehensive travel
insurance for visits to Kenya.
Coronavirus (covid-19): Kenya has
currently reported a small number of cases of infection.
The authorities have implemented a number of preventive
measures. Updated information on these can be found on
the Ministry of Health website.
On March 15, Kenyan authorities imposed a ban on
travelers from all countries with the presence of
covid-19. Persons who have arrived in Kenya from abroad
are quarantined for 14 days. The injunction has
retroactive effect for persons arriving after March 1,
2020. As of midnight Wednesday, March 25, all
international airports will close for all commercial
flights, which means that it will be difficult to get in
or out of the country by air. Norwegian travelers should
keep abreast of the development of the corona virus.
Follow local authorities' advice, guidance and
instructions on how to deal with the situation.
You can find more information and guidance from the
Norwegian health authorities on the website of the
Norwegian Institute of Public Health. See also UD's
answers to frequently asked questions about travel and
Before leaving for Kenya, it is recommended to
contact the National Institute of Public Health for
official health travel advice and health guidance.
Kenyan authorities require yellow fever vaccine if
visitors come from an area with yellow fever. For
persons planning to stay in the border areas of Somalia
or traveling to Somalia, it should be noted that
Norwegian health authorities recommend vaccination
against polio when traveling to Somalia, especially if
staying for more than four weeks. The background is the
recent increase in cases of polio (poliomyelitis) in
several parts of the world, including Somalia.
Malaria medicine is needed in large parts of Kenya,
with the exception of Nairobi/Highlands. East Africa is
also a high risk area for HIV/AIDS. The high air
pollution in Nairobi can also be troublesome.
Nairobi and Mombasas have several good private
hospitals, doctors and dentists that can be used. The
range of medicines is also satisfactory.
All Norwegians traveling to countries outside Europe
and North America are recommended to register with the
Foreign Service. This also applies to Norwegian citizens
staying in Kenya for an extended period. Voluntary
registration for Norwegians during foreign stays is done
Kenyan immigration authorities require your passport
to be valid six months after leaving Kenya. Some
businesses require you to submit a passport when paying
by credit card. It might make sense to have a copy of
your passport on the trip. Should you be unlucky to be
stolen or lose all of your identification documents, a
copy of your passport could serve as identification for
any emergency passport issuance. Scan the page that
contains the personal information in your passport and
send to your own email. Then you always have a copy
Power/phone. Current voltage: 240V. Three pins
outlet. There is GSM coverage in the cities, urban areas
and tourist areas. Several carriers offer 3G networks.
The most common are Safaricom, Orange and Airtel.
Telenor/NetCom subscription from Norway can be used. The
country code for Kenya is +254.
Currency: Kenyan Shilling (KES). 100 KES = NOK 8.20
Visa and Mastercard as well as some other
international credit cards are accepted. ATMs are
available in the cities, and most hotels, restaurants as
well as major grocery/business accept credit cards.
Normal opening hours bank, public office and shops.
Bank: Monday-Friday at. 09-15, grocery store:
Monday-Saturday at. 08-18, Sunday at. 08-13, Public
Offices: Mon-Fri 7 p.m. 08-17
Emergency telephones: Police, ambulance, fire
National Holidays: 1st New Year's Day, Idd Ul Fitr
(date varies), Good Friday, 2nd Easter Day, May 1st
(Workers' International Match Day), June 1 (Madaraka
Day), October 20 (Mashujaa Day), December 12 (Jamhuri
Day), 1st and 2nd Christmas Day.
Kenya is one hour ahead of Norway summer time, and
two hours ahead of winter time. English and Swahili are
The use, possession and sale of narcotics is
punishable by fines and imprisonment.
There are no strict dress codes in Kenya. But be
aware that the coastal areas are mainly Muslim. Women in
particular should therefore dress conservatively outside
the hotels, with their shoulders and legs covered.
Nudism is prohibited by law.
Gay acts are criminalized in Kenya. However, the
section of the Criminal Code in this field is considered
to be "dormant". Especially in Nairobi and in tourist
areas it is unproblematic for gays to travel. One should
probably avoid demonstrating gay acts publicly.
Smoking in public areas is prohibited in Kenya and is
particularly enforced in Nairobi and in the surrounding
areas of airports.
In September 2017, the use of plastic bags was banned
in Kenya. Avoid having plastic bags in your luggage upon
arrival in the country.