Most visitors do require visas to enter Kenya. Visas should be
obtained from a Kenyan embassy or consulate in your country or from
a British embassy where there is no Kenyan diplomatic representation.
Visa applications should be made at least thirty days prior to the date
of departure. On arrival in Kenya passports are stamped with a
visitor’s pass for a specified period, extendable (if there is
no objection) from the Immigration Department in Nairobi or Mombasa
respectively. Visas for Tanzania can be obtained at crossings
along our common border but please confirm details with their High Commission.
and Banking Hours
Most banks in the major urban centers have a Bureau de Change.
Banks are open between 9.00 a.m. and 3.00 p.m. Monday through Friday
and between 9.00 a.m. and 11.00 a.m. on the first and last Saturday
of the month. Branches of banks at the Jomo Kenyatta and Moi International
Airports extend their opening hours beyond those specified above but
differ from bank to bank. Forex bureaus from 8.30 a.m. to 5.00
p.m. on weekdays and from 9.00 a.m. to 1.00p.m. on Saturdays and do
not charge commission. Hotels are also authorized to transact
in foreign currency. Offices in Kenya are generally open between 8.00
a.m. and 5.00p.m. Monday to Friday.
1st January (New year’s Day), February/March (Idd Ill Fitr)*,
March/April (Good Friday/Easter Monday)**, 1st May (Labour Day), 1st
June (Madaraka Day), 10th October (Moi Day), 20th October (Kenyatta
Day), 12th December (Jamhuri Day), 25th December (Christmas Day, 26th
December (Boxing Day). The Muslim Festival Idd Ul Fitr is also
a public holiday which is declared according to the sighting of the
moon. The dates for Easter holidays vary from year to year.
Kenya Railways operates a train service between Nairobi and Mombasa.
Nairobi to Mombasa departures are scheduled on Monday, Wednesday and
Friday while Mombasa to Nairobi is on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.
Trains are also available between Nairobi and Kisumu. The journeys
are generally overnight.
In keeping with the acceptable practice worldwide, visitors are advised
not to leave cash and valuables in their hotel rooms but to make use
of hotel safe deposit boxes or safes. Visitors should not carry
large sums of money on their person while walking on the streets.
Lady visitors are advised to be careful with their handbags in crowded
places and busy streets. Necklaces and jewellery should be left
at home or kept in the hotel custody. As in all major cities walking
at night alone should be avoided. Never leave valuables on show
in unattended car or tour bus. Kenya has an efficient police force
as well as special tourist police unit with highly trained officers.
Most hotels also employ experienced security personnel but you must
take the precautions you would anywhere else in the world.
These are no restrictions on the foreign exchange you may bring into
the country. You are also allowed to take a limited amount of
Kenya. For large amounts, however, you require written authorization
from the Central Bank of Kenya. Defacement of the Kenyan currency
is an indictable offence. The unit of the currency is the Kenya
shilling. It is recommended that you change your foreign currency
in banks, forex bureaus or authorized hotels. Surplus Kenya currency
should be changed into foreign currency prior to departure. Credit
cards are accepted in many establishments.
Electricity in Kenya is 220/240 volts. Sockets are usually 3 pins
square. For appliances operating on another voltage please bring
On departure, an International Airport departure tax is payable for
both domestic and international flights but is usually added to the
fare when purchasing your air ticket unless otherwise specified.
There are duty free shops at International airports but purchases are
made only in convertible currencies. Customs officials may require
the inspection of outgoing baggage. All baggage is weighed and
subjected to x-ray inspection before loading.
English is the official language and is mainly spoken in the urban centers
while Kiswahili is the national language and is spoken countrywide.