Where will your dreams take you?
PASSPORTS: A passport valid for six months beyond the planned departure date, with at least two blank pages, and a visa are required for entry into Kenya.

VISAS: Before planning travel, use the iVisa search function to verify requirements and apply for your Kenyan visa.

By Plane – Most international flights will arrive and depart from Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO).

Language – The main language in Kenya is Swahili. There are nearly 70 tribes or ethnic groups in Kenya, yet nearly everyone speaks English and Swahili in addition to their local dialect and will welcome visitors as if they were family. “Jambo” as a greeting and “karibu” as a welcome are common words heard everywhere. “Hakuna matata,” which essentially means “no worries,” is a way of life.

Learn to speak a bit of  Swahili so you can get around more easily and don’t stand out as a tourist! Read our story Start to learn languages – Top language learning apps and websites.

Language Apps We Use – Advertisement

Time Zone — UTC (+03:00)

Currency — Kenyan shilling (KES)

Best time to visit — July through September is during the dry season and coincides with the Great Migration. January through March, the climate is mild. March to May is typically the long rainy season. 

Country Code — +254

HealthProof of yellow fever vaccination is required when arriving from a country with risk of infection. Minors aged less than one year and anyone who did not leave transit areas of yellow fever infected countries are exempt. However, the vaccine is recommended for all travelers above the age of nine months if intending to travel outside Nairobi, Mombasa, North Eastern Province, and the counties of Kwale, Kilifi, Lamu, and Tana River in Coast Province).

Routine vaccines for preventable diseases, such as measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus (DPT) vaccine, chickenpox (or varicella), poliovirus vaccine, etc. are recommended for all travelers. In addition, consider talking to your doctor about the following known risks when visiting Kenya: Heptatitis A and B, Typhoid, Cholera, Rabies, Malaria.

Protect against insect bites and insect-borne diseases, such as tick-borne encephalitis or malaria, by using insect repellant and wearing long pants, long sleeve shirts, boots, and hats if possible.

Prevent foodborne illnesses by avoiding undercooked foods and unpasteurized dairy products and washing hands, especially before eating.

Medical facilities in Nairobi are generally of good quality, with trained medical professionals, although public hospitals are usually below international standards. Outside of Nairobi, facilities and services are limited, with shortages of supplies and problems with sterilization, and emergency assistance is more difficult to find outside major city centers. Many drugs in Kenya may be ineffective, improperly stored, counterfeit, or completely unavailable. Available medications may use different names compared to their counterparts in other countries. Blood supplies in Kenya are often contaminated or otherwise unsafe. Most doctors and facilities will expect full or partial upfront payment in cash or guarantee of payment or insurance coverage. Should you need a doctor or emergency care while in Kenya, be sure your health insurance will cover you internationally — and know the level of coverage. We strongly advise purchasing travel and emergency evacution insurance that that has emergency medical coverage sufficient enough to cover you in the event of an emergency.

Emergencies – To reach the police, fire department or ambulance service, dial 999.

Global Rescue Travel Insurance Rescue Banner

To check the latest weather for any destination you are thinking of heading to in Kenya, visit our weather page complete with weather radar and minute-by-minute forecasting.

Don't Get Left Behind!

Activate a HI Travel Tales Subscriber Club newsletter subscription and start receiving premium stories, photography and travel tips that do not appear on our website. And you'll become part of a fun travel community. It's FREE! By subscribing to our regular HI Travel Tales Subscriber Club newsletter you'll also have an opportunity to gain access to select e-books and recipes plus special discount offers - no spam, ever, promise.