How Safe is Kenya?
Passionately known as “Magical Kenya”, the nation attracts hundreds and thousands of tourists and since many expats doing work in the major city areas annually. While this is magical, Kenya is a hotbed of terrorism action and crime is usually notoriously high and sometimes violent. Fortunately, regarding safari tourists skipping the crime hot spots, Kenya is generally regarded a safe in addition to friendly country in order to visit.
Nevertheless, a new recent bomb strike at a high-class hotel in Nairobi completed by extremists linked to ‘Al Shabaab has spoiled Kenya’s reputation being a safe location to go to and international traveling groups have submitted substantial warnings within the potential dangers regarding visiting Kenya.
The core threat in Kenya comes from extremists from the Al-Qaeda-linked Somali group, the militant group that has been accountable for numerous terrorist assaults that have been carried away in reaction in order to Kenya’s military intervention in Somalia.
International officers all over the world possess issued stern alerts that the danger of terrorist assaults in Kenya will be ‘very likely’ to keep and that visitors have to be extremely observatory, particularly they say travel to the eastern part of the country close to the Somali border should be avoided in all costs.
Along with regards to common crime in the town centers of Kenya, foreign visitors require to be observatory and follow the particular usual precautions in order to avoid becoming a victim of a criminal offense or tourist rip-off.
Is it safe to go on safari to Kenya?
Kenya is extremely well-known being a Big a 5-safari destination. It’s national parks usually are world-renowned and since such, the federal government of Kenya can make security a large priority within the safari regions. Most guests on a safari holiday in Kenya pass fleetingly through Nairobi and Mombasa which both have got a reputation regarding high crime in addition to more recently, terrorist activities.
The most popular safari places in Kenya include: Aberdare National Park, Amboseli, Laikipia, Lake Nakuru, Masai Mara, Meru, Mount Kenya, Samburu, Shimba Hills and Tsavo. Well-known beach resorts in Kenya are normally found in Mombasa, Malindi, Kilifi, Watamu, Diani, Lamu Island and Manda Island.
Tourists typically enjoy an amazing, safe safari visit in Kenya when the travel in the particular proper care associated with a reputable tour operator and follow their instructions when this comes to venturing in open safari vehicles, behaving properly in the existence of wild animals and generally preserving out of harm’s way.
In terms of criminal threats, how safe is Kenya?
Like any busy city in Africa, Kenya has its reasonable share of felony activity. Violent offense is common, such as kidnapping, muggings, armed carjackings and burglaries. However, tourists throughout do not experience it because they usually stay in upmarket hotels in safe suburbs. Just what holiday-makers need to watch out for is petty offense such as pick-pocketing, smash & holds out of vehicles, bag snatching and theft out of rooms in hotels.
Avoid walking on your own in the occupied city centers and avoid at all cost travelling or driving by yourself after dark. In particular, avoid visiting open public beaches and leisure areas and downtown city areas at evening.
In the day, you’re properly risk-free in Kenya touring popular shopping stores, restaurants and heritage sites but possibly be vigilante when that comes to using ATMs in public places and ‘flashing your cash’. Start using a travel card having limited funds upon it so, if is considered stolen or skimmed, you won’t lose much funds.
Remember, Kenya can be a very poor country with excessive unemployment and high cost of living. Be vigilante as soon as visiting local neighborhood markets; don’t show your cash, would not wear expensive precious jewelry and keep the backpack or purse closed and near your body.
Theft out of resort rooms is going to happen if temptations is put in someone’s way. Take advantage of using electronic digital safes in hotel room rooms if attainable, avoid leaving the room with expensive equipment and funds.
Kenya national toll-free emergency police reply number: 999
Based on road safety, how safe is Kenya?
Driving in Kenya is dangerous because of reckless driving and the poor condition of the country’s roads. It’s suggested that you travel in the proper care of a reputable local travel company in Kenya because they make safety important and drive more defensively, knowing what they know about local motorists and the state of the roads.
Most road accidents happen through the night so reputable tour companies in Kenya will rarely, if at any time, travel long-distances at night. Should you be traveling around Kenya on your own, opt to use a reputable bus service as some of small operation don’t maintain their vehicles properly and their drivers are fairly reckless.
Community transport in Kenya is not advised for tourists. Typically the main form of transport for locals are ‘matatus’ that can be anything from dilapidated Peugeots to large 20-seater mini-buses. They are renowned as phony because the individuals are often dangerous and the vehicles are generally not well maintained. Generally, there have also recently been reports of individuals being robbed and hijacked.
As an alternative to a matatus, you can decide on a shared cab which is usually a Peugeot 505 station wagon. It will require up to 9 passengers and only leaves when it is full.
You will also find ‘tuk-tuks’ in the main towns and cities of Kenya, which usually are much like all those used in Most of Asian countries. They’re only definitely well suited for short excursions from a lodge to a shopping nearby mall, more for experience than anything else.
Boda-bodas are bicycle or perhaps motorcycle taxis which in turn are a popular feature in the key towns and urban centers of Kenya. They are well suited for a quick ride to a shopping mall or beach but make sure the driver has a helmet for you.
The municipal bus service covers suburbia and outlying regions. They’re relatively risk-free but only advised during daylight. Private shuttle chartering including the City Hopper run between city centers and international airport and are also really valuable as being a hop-on/hop-off center should you always be exploring the city.
Many expats opt to rent a car and hire a local driver to move around town. Uber is readily available in Nairobi which is a good choice for short city trips. You’ll as well find a small collection of private cabs operating outside the significant international hotels throughout Nairobi. They’re even more expensive but typically the drivers are far better along with the vehicles more reliable.
In terms of political violence, how safe is Kenya?
Kenya has one regarding the fastest-growing economies in Sub-Saharan Aafrica and has received international repute in making considerable political, strength and economical reconstructs. This has brought in sustained economic growth, social enhancement and political stableness. However, Kenya nonetheless faces major issues that include dreadful poverty, inequality, political uncertainty and a vulnerable economy.
The country is surely East Africa’s economical and communications center and is a new magnet for tourism and travel. Up until late 2007, Kenya was deemed just about the most stable places in Africa although it lost ground in this regard following after election results regarding December 2007 have been heavily disputed which in turn generated outbreaks of violent protests. Even more than 500 people were killed in the course of this time regarding civil unrest.
The state has a young democracy and polls are often free and fair. However, nearly all institutions which includes: the judiciary, parliament and the electoral commission, are submissive, obedient, compliant, acquiescent, docile to the president. The president possesses control of the appointment of the High Court Judges and electoral commissioners, controls the federal budget in addition to has the power to dissolve parliament. Because of this, the belief of true democracy in Kenya is usually somewhat precarious.
Kenya is also well known for rampant corruption in government. Parliament has instituted strict laws and restrictions to fight corruption and has obtained enormous strides to get the public’s trust upon public business; nevertheless, the nation has a strategy to use, as long since its head provides complete control.
Polls in Kenya usually are contested by several parties but right now there is a ‘winner takes all mentality’ the location where the more powerful resistance parties have tiny to no say in the running of the government. The country is in dire need of constitutional reforms that will strengthen regional government and correct the imbalance associated with regional resources.
Democracy and economic progress are inextricably connected in Kenya however the country’s prospects for future years will only really take off once there is a distribution of power among ethnic groups and true equality.
Terrorism, organized crime, and regional security
Kenya is on high alert for future terrorist attacks after having a devastating bomb blast at a luxury hotel in the capital city of Nairobi. Government has intensified security procedures to protect their citizens and visitors with additional police presence, security checks and car searches at the key airports and in public places and hotels.
Prior to the recent terrorist attack which Al Shabab claimed responsibility for, acts terrorism have been sporadic and rarely targeted at foreign visitors. The very last major incident was obviously a blast attack this season in Kampala at a venue screening the World Cup sports tournament which slain over 70 people and injured much more.
Tourists are informed to be vigilant and stay away from crowded places, night clubs and public bars, athletics and musical concert events. It’s highly advised that you travel with a reputable tour operator in Kenya who’ll ensure your safety is a priority.
No-go areas for Kenya
Foreign tourists are advised to avoid at all costs the following no-go regions in Kenya:
- Garissa County
- Areas within 60 kms of the Kenya-Somali border (eastern border)
- Lamu County; excluding Lamu Island and Manda Island
- Tana River County, north of the Tana River
- Areas within 12-15 kilometers of the coast; form Tana River down to Galana River
The government of Kenya made it a top priority to deal with a number of issues that is associated with making the country prone to terrorism, transnational crime and unusual migration across their porous borders. The particular challenge is to improve coordination between migration and boarder management, law enforcement and security firms as well as enhancing the capacity regarding its immigration in addition to border management firms to effectively control borders and stop terrorism.
Initiatives include building up border infrastructure from key border posts and getting into extensive training courses thus immigration officials usually are better equipped together with regards to their role in counter-terrorism, counter trafficking, built-in border management, evaluating documents and the particular protection of vulnerable groups.
Areas flanking the eastern boarder of Kenya need to be avoided simply by any means due to the risk regarding rebel groups in addition to extremists operating in the region.
How safe is Kenya in the event of civil unrest?
Civil unrest in the form of protests and demonstrations surface on occasion in Kenya, particular around the moments of elections. Expats and tourists are almost never affected with this civil anxiety but it’s prudent to stay up to date on current issues and try to avoid places where protests and demonstrations are going on. There’s always chance that they flip violent.
Reputable tour companies in Kenya choose a safety as a priority and may change routes to safari destinations if there is any likelihood there’ll be unrest or conflict within an area.
LGBT Rights in Kenya
Kenya does not recognize any relationships between people today that belong to the same sex and homosexual marriage is prohibited under the Kenyan Constitution. Lesbian, homosexual, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals residing or visiting Kenya need to be aware they face legal challenges if arrested for homosexual public displays of affection.
Sodomy (which is associated with male homosexuality) bears a 14-year prison sentence and any sexual practices between males has a 5-year jail sentence. Presently there are no lawful provisions to protect the rights of the LGBT community in Kenya.
Kenya society is ultra-conservative and homosexuality is definitely essentially regarded as ‘grossly indecent’ and even ‘repugnant’. The regulations governing anti-homosexuality have been put in place to so-call secure the cultural principles and morality regarding its citizens.
Different organizations will work to be able to protect and increase LGBT rights in Kenya but it is very highly a good idea that you just avoid any community altercation and probable prosecution by abiding to the country’s legal standpoint about same-sex relationships.
Is it Safe to work in Kenya?
It’s safe to live and work in Kenya as an expat if you follow the usual safeguards to protect yourself and homes, and use good common sense to avoid becoming a prey of crime. Almost all expats working in Kenya make full use of private security guards and stay in secure, gated real estate estates.
Car-jackings, muggings and petty fraud are commonplace in the busy parts of the urban centers so avoid going out to restaurants and pubs in unsafe areas, specifically after dark. Always keep valuables out of sight, handbags or backpacks zipped sealed and don’t display cash or expensive precious jewelry and cam equipment.
The spot of greatest worry for foreigners employed in places like Nairobi and Mombasa could be the state of the roads and the high rate involving fatalities due to dangerous drivers. Avoid exploring at night for the reason that roads are certainly not well lit and even drunk drivers will be a problem. Always keep your car doors locked and the windows up all times.
Tourist scams like card skimming or even swaps are the nuisance. Keep up dated about how illicit operators scam tourists in addition to be vigilante, specific at restaurants in addition to hotels.
How secure is Kenya? If You Have Been the Victim of a Crime
You should call the local authorities and your country’s embassy (see the end of this sheet or see the list of embassies and consulates). This includes the theft or loss of your passport. For example, the Embassy officials can assist you in contacting family members or friends and explaining how funds might be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime are primarily the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers and Sight View Safaris employees can assist you in understanding the local criminal justice process and, if necessary, locate an attorney.
In Kenya, the local equivalent to the “911” emergency call is “999,” although the emergency response is not similar to that of developed countries. In general, reporting a crime immediately to the nearest police station will result in a faster emergency response than dialing “999.”
In the event of a medical emergency, how safe is Kenya?
Health warnings for Kenya
Medical facilities in Kenya
Community medical facilities throughout Kenya are not enough and suffer by deficiency of resources and even staff. Gaps throughout the healthcare centers are filled by simply private healthcare zones and Church groups which run health-related outreach programmes.
You will discover three national hospitals in Kenya, Namely: Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, The National Spinal injury and Referral Hospital and Kenyatta National Hospital.
The government runs dispensaries throughout the country which are managed by enrolled and registered nurses who are supervised by the nursing officer at the respective health Centre. They provide outpatient services for simple ailments such as common cold and flu virus, uncomplicated malaria and skin conditions. Patients who cannot be managed by the nurse are referred to the health centers.
The government health-related centers offer a rudimentary service with a clinical officer in control. The main focus is on primary healthcare with a heavy attention to protective care such as childhood vaccinations.
You will discover a small number of private clinics throughout Kenya, found in the major towns together with cities. They’re managed by clinical officers and doctors together with a nursing staff. Wealthier Kenyans and overseas personnel make full use of the private clinics throughout Nairobi and Mombasa where the medical care is good and continually improving.
If you take chronic medication or prescription drugs, you need to handle your own supplies which will last you before the conclusion of your holiday safari in Kenya. Do not rely on using a pharmacy or medical doctor if you run out.
On the same note, pack a selection of medical products to treat minor ailments or injuries. This can include pain relievers, cold & flu virus remedies, anti-inflammatories, anti-indigestion and the standard source of antiseptic ointment, plasters and bandages.
Travel insurance is highly recommended for Kenya. In incidences of fraud, loss and medical emergencies and evacuations. Check the small print when taking out travel insurance cover and some policies is not going to cover dangerous activities such as paragliding, scuba snorkeling, helicopter rides and even motorbiking, bicycling and hiking.
Health care insurance for Kenya is vital. You can consider it as part of your travel insurance policy cover or demand extra cover coming from your current health care company. Generally, in most African countries, doctors and medical amenities expect payment by cash if you’re a tourist. Find out from your current insurance provider if they will make payments directly to a healthcare provider or pay you when return home.
One of the important things to cover will be transport for an emergency evacuation. This particular may be an ambulance or helicopter. In case you need immediate medical help whenever you are not even close to a city or even town, sometimes the only option will be to have you evacuated by air transport.
Kenya is a medium-to-high risk malaria area, according to the season and where you are travelling to. The chance of getting malaria is higher in the humid summer and wet season. The danger is lower at altitudes higher than 2000 meters. The highest risk area for malaria in Kenya is the eastern region.
It’s strongly suggested that all travelers take anti-malaria tablets for a trip to Kenya. Malaria is a life-threatening disease. If left without treatment or not identified early, it can result in death. Speak to your doctor or a travel medical center for advice on anti-malaria tablets.
To prevent being bitten by an infected mosquito; sleep under a treated mosquito net or use coil to be able to repel mosquitos, cover your arms and even legs before the sun sets wearing long pants and even long-sleeve shirts and even apply mosquito resilient on exposed parts of your skin. Mosquitos are most active from sunset to sundown but it is very a good idea to spray yourself in daytime as a precaution.
The symptoms of malaria show between 10 to 13 days after being bitten. Depending on the severity, Malaria symptoms vary from flu-like aches and chills to stomach discomfort, fever and unconsciousness. If you encounter any of these types of symptoms once home from your vacation to Kenya, look for immediate medical attention and ask for a malaria blood test.
Bilharzia is a disease spread by minute worms that are carried by a species of fresh water snail. The parasitic organisms penetrate human epidermis when someone is paddling or swimming and then move to the urinary bladder or bowel. Signs range from a light fever and rash to blood in the stool or urine. In the event that left untreated, the bilharzia infection can cause kidney malfunction and long-lasting bowl damage.
Avoid swimming, paddling or wading in remote fresh water lakes or dams that are suspects or slow-moving rivers. If you are concerned you have been infected, visit a specialist infectious disease clinic and obtain a blood test.
Tourists need to possess a yellow fever vaccination before coming in Kenya and must carry their certificate along. This needs to become presented to the immigration official upon arrival in Kenya.
Yellow fever is spread by contaminated mosquitoes. Symptoms are usually similar to malaria which range from flu-like chills and fever to server hepatitis plus jaundice. If remained untreated or not really diagnosed early, the particular disease is deadly.
The chance of being infected with HIV is exceedingly excessive but simply a matter if you currently have unprotected sex or perhaps be given a blood transfusion in the region. Always use some sort of condom when having sex with person on a trip to Kenya that has is a stranger or trusted partner.
For an emergency blood transfusion, contact The Blood vessels Care Foundation (www.bloodcare.org.uk) which provides risk-free, screened blood moved to any part of the world within 1 day.
Is tap water safe to drink in Kenya
Natives say the tap into water in Nairobi is safe to consume because it’s treated by the Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company and natives drink it throughout their homes. Even so, if you usually are concerned, it’s a good idea that you simply opt bottled mineral water and sealed from a trusted company. Avoid drinking water from streams, rivers and lakes being a precaution against getting bilharzia.
Most places in Kenya have western-style flushing toilets. The well-known tourist hotels in addition to safari lodges in Kenya have thoroughly clean, quality toilet amenities. It’s only the more remote locations that you’ll discover public ablutions that are fairly unclean. Avoid sitting on the seats and constantly wash your hands after a trip to a public toilet.
Vaccinations needed for Kenya
Consult with your doctor or perhaps travel clinic for vaccination advice for Kenya. The following are recommended by World Health Organization (www.who.int) for Kenya:
- TDP (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis)
- MMR (measles, mumps, rubella)
- hepatitis A and B
- typhoid fever
- polio (proof of vaccination may be required upon exiting the country if you’ve been in Kenya more than four weeks)
- meningococcal infections (type ACWY vaccine)
- yellow fever for high-risk areas
A varicella (chicken pox) vaccine and your yearly flu shot are also recommended preventative measures.
Proof of a yellow-fever vaccination is mandatory for travel to Kenya.
How safe is Kenya for women and children
Is Kenya safe for women travelers?
Kenya is a secure country to go to and there’s not necessarily real risk for female tourists provided that they consider the usual safety measures to avoid turning into a victim regarding crime, rape or even other serious accidents. Avoid wearing uncovering clothes like brief shirts and halter tops, mainly out of respect for the Kenyan culture. Local women generally dress conservatively, covering their shoulders in addition to legs.
Is Kenya safe for children?
Is considered safe to take a trip around Kenya having children as longer as you abide by the usual precautions to keep them out of harm’s way. Children happen to be welcome at dining establishments and safari lodges and it’s an opportunity of some sort of lifetime for these kids to go on a safari throughout the Kenya National parks.
However, it comes with an age restriction in safari tours throughout Kenya, in certain travelling on open safari vehicles. Young children between 6 to 12 years may join a safari tour in Kenya with the discretion of the professional game ranger in charge. Youthful than that may well only join a new safari tour as part of a private safari group and at the discretion of the game ranger in charge.
Top Safety Tips for Kenya
Take good care when walking in big towns in addition to cities of Kenya. Pickpocketing, bag snatching and petty theft of phones in addition to electronics is reasonably common in congested market areas. Stay away from attracting undesired focus to yourself within the large towns in addition to cities in Kenya. Don’t flash extravagant camera equipment, money or expensive necklaces; leave your belongings at home or inside your hotel.
Stay away from walking in the dark, particularly if you’re on your own. Most crimes committed in the city usually are non-violent but it may be not worth the risk. At the particular very least, a mugging where you lose your digital camera, phone and perhaps important documents could derail your holiday plans.
Don’t do drugs in Kenya
The possession, use and trafficking of drugs inside Kenya is illegal and offenders can be fined intensely and face potential jail time. Carry not another person’s luggage from unknown suspicious source in your suitcases as you may be used as a drug mule.
Be careful what you photograph in Kenya
You are prohibited to take pictures of military, government buildings and border points. Just in case you are not sure of the place restriction, ask your tour guide for guidance on how to go about it.
Don’t drink and drive in Kenya
Drinking and driving is against the law and punishable by a serious fine or attainable incarceration. The very same applies to using your mobile phone while driving. Remember, in the event you get drunk at night, you are vulnerable. Your senses happen to be dulled and you make poor judgements. You risk currently being followed home, falling victim to some sort of crime and currently being seriously hurt.
Do your research on common tourist scams
Regardless of whether you’re in Paris, France or Nairobi, you must watch out for relatively the same old tourist scams. This consists of card cloning, internet fraud and overcharging. Research on typical ways tourists are usually cheated in overseas countries and always keep your wits on so that you don’t fall prey to whatever is definitely popular in that country. Don’t have confidence in people too swiftly, rather count about the advice and even help of your respective tour guide.
Book your holiday in Kenya with a reputable tour operator
To get a memorable safari visit in Kenya, constantly book a visit with a reliable local safari company. These tour operators choose a safety as a priority and they will be fast to alert a you of any potential dangers that could get you hurt or put in a hazardous situation that can get you murdered.
Be respectful of local cultures in Kenya
Kenya’s citizens are conservative as a whole, safeguarded from modern ways and behavior. It may be essential to remember that will you are visitors and you want to respect their cultural values and beliefs. Avoid putting on skimpy clothes in public and be polite and helpful towards the local people you encounter.
Be law abiding
I guess it is not your will to be locked in a Kenyan jail so, I highly recommended that you adhere to the country’s laws in addition to staying out of trouble. Kenya’s legal system is efficient and relatively uncorrupted, despite the fact that it’s fairly frequent you’ll be asked to pay a bribe to get off a traffic fine. When arrested, you’re dealt with as ‘innocent till verified guilty’ inside Kenya and you have a right a lawyer.
Note: Watch out for thieves posing as police officers. When you have a challenge, ask your tour and travel travel agency or even the manager or even receptionist at the at your place of residence to call the police.