The Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade strongly recommends that all visitors to Kenya obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance and consult a GP or Travel Health Clinic before travelling. The travel insurance must cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. You should check any exclusions, and check that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake. Irish citizens should note that the Irish Government does not provide funds for emergency medical repatriation or for repatriation of remains.
The current visa charge for Irish citizens entering Kenya on a
tourist visa is 50US$. For business /volunteer or
working visas contact the nearest Kenyan Embassy or
It is advisable to take a number of photocopies of your passport with you.
Safety and Security
Elections in Kenya - March 2013
The General and Presidential elections took place in Kenya on March 4 2013 and on 30 March the Supreme Court of Kenya confirmed these results.
Tensions may remain. Irish citizens are advised to be vigilant and avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings. Citizens are also advised to continue to monitor local media and this web site.
Since early December 2012 there has been a spate of grenade attacks in the Eastleigh area of Nairobi. Most recently on December 19th a grenade attack on a bus in this area resulted in the death of 1 person and several others being injured. Consequently, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade advises against all but essential travel to the Eastleigh area of Nairobi. Further attacks are likely.
There is a high risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks in Kenya, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade advises extra vigilance in public places and at public events. The threat of terrorist attacks in Kenya has increased generally and the Kenyan authorities have alerted the public of an increased risk from terrorist attacks, particularly around Nairobi. There is also a risk of public disorder and rioting in general. Large crowds , in urban or rural areas should be avoided.
On 4 March at least 15 people died including police officers after attacks by armed youths on police stations in the Mombasa area. On 28 March a gang attacked police officers guarding a casino in Malindi, a police station was also attacked resulting in 7 deaths including a police officer.
Irish citizens are advised to be vigilant and exercise caution, to follow reports on the security situation, and to be particularly vigilant in places such as hotels, shopping centres and beaches, and particularly in urban centres. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is monitoring the situation and will update this advice regularly.
Local Laws and Customs
Kenyans are welcoming and well disposed towards visitors, but visitors should be sensitive to local culture. Loud or aggressive behaviour, drunkenness, foul language and disrespect, especially towards older people, will cause offence. In the coastal regions there is a high proportion of Muslims. You should dress modestly. Women should avoid wearing shorts and sleeveless tops away from tourist resorts and in the main towns. All drugs are illegal in Kenya and those found in possession will be fined. There are severe penalties, including custodial sentences, for drug trafficking.
Natural Disasters and Climate
As Kenya lies on a fault line (Rift Valley fault) earthquakes can occur. In the areas bordering the Indian Ocean there is a risk of tsunamis but these usually occur in deep sea waters and warnings are usually issued in advance. Kenya has a tropical climate
Additional Country Info
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade advises against all but essential travel within 60 kms of the Somali borderand to the Garissa district and coastal areas north of Pate Island and Kiwayu. Western tourists have been attacked and kidnapped from beach front properties. Beachfront accommodation and small sailing boats are particularly vulnerable to such attacks. Visitors taking part in sailing activities should not sail out of sight of the coast at any time.
If you are travelling around the country you should seek advice locally either from your tour operator or from the local authorities.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade advises against all but essential travel to low income areas of Nairobi, including all township or slum areas, which experience high crime levels. Incidents of car-jacking and armed robbery in Kenya can occur in any area of the country, but are more commonplace in Nairobi and Mombasa. You should avoid travelling at night and remain vigilant at all times, particularly on the roads that link Nairobi city centre to residential areas. You should avoid stopping at the side of the road and keep vehicle doors locked and windows closed at all times.
Muggings and incidents of armed robbery can occur at any time, especially in Nairobi and Mombasa. There have been a number of armed attacks on golf courses around Nairobi. Irish citizens are advised to be alert at all times and, if possible, should avoid walking around after dark. Avoid isolated beaches especially at night. Do not carry valuables or wear jewellery in public places. It is not advisable to carry credit cards or cash cards as people have been forced by thieves to withdraw cash. Irish citizens are also advised to be aware of bogus police officers and, if stopped, should ask for identification.
Irish citizens are advised not to accept food and drink from strangers as it may be drugged. Only stay in tourist camps with good perimeter security and seek advice from your tour operator or the Kenyan Tourist Federation (Tel: +254 20 604730).
Irish citizens are advised to take sensible precautions for personal and vehicle safety, and, where possible travel in convoy in remote areas.
DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR MISSIONS
The Irish Embassy in Tanzania is accredited to Kenya. The contact details for the Honorary Consul in Kenya are:
Consulate of Ireland.
Eden Square Complex
Block 1. 7th Floor.
P.O.Box. 30659 -00100.
Tel. + 254 20 3673 353 / + 254 20 703 041 353.