Kenya Travel Advisory

Travel Advisory
September 12, 2022

Kenya - Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

O D K E N H U T C

Last Update: Reissued with updates to health information.

Exercise increased caution in Kenya due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, and kidnapping. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Do Not Travel to:

  • Kenya-Somalia border counties and some coastal areas due to terrorism and kidnapping.
  • Areas of Turkana County due to crime.

Reconsider Travel to:

  • Nairobi neighborhoods of Eastleigh and Kibera at all times due to crime and kidnapping. Be especially careful when traveling after dark anywhere in Kenya due to crime.

Country Summary: Violent crime, such as armed carjacking, mugging, home invasion, and kidnapping, can occur at any time. Local police are willing but often lack the capability to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents and terrorist attacks. Emergency medical and fire service is also limited.

Terrorist attacks have occurred with little or no warning, targeting Kenyan and foreign government facilities, tourist locations, transportation hubs, hotels, resorts, markets/shopping malls, and places of worship. Terrorist acts have included armed assaults, suicide operations, bomb/grenade attacks, and kidnappings.

Demonstrations may occur, blocking key intersections and resulting in widespread traffic jams. Strikes and other protest activity related to political and economic conditions occur regularly, particularly in periods near elections. Violence associated with demonstrations, ranging from rock throwing to police using deadly force, occurs around the country; it is mostly notable in western Kenya and Nairobi.

Due to risks to civil aviation operating in the vicinity of the Kenyan-Somali border, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Notice to Air Mission (NOTAM). For more information, U.S. citizens should consult Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions, and Notice.

Some schools and other facilities acting as cultural rehabilitation centers are operating in Kenya with inadequate or nonexistent licensing and oversight.  Reports of minors and young adults being held in these facilities against their will and physically abused are common.

Read the country information page for additional information about travel to Kenya.

The Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC) has determined Kenya has a low level of COVID-19. Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.    

If you decide to travel to Kenya:

  • Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan any travel and read the Embassy COVID-19 page for country-specific COVID-19 information.
  • Stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners.
  • Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
  • Monitor local media for breaking events and be prepared to adjust your plans.
  • Make contingency plans to leave the country. in case of an emergency Review the Traveler’s Checklist..
  • Always carry a copy of your U.S. passport and visa (if applicable).  Keep original documents in a secure location.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Country Security Report for Kenya.

Kenya-Somalia Border Counties and Coastal Areas – Level 4: Do Not Travel

Due to terrorism concerns, U.S. government personnel are prohibited from traveling to the below Kenya-Somalia border counties and coastal areas:

Kenya-Somalia Border Counties:

  • Mandera due to kidnapping and terrorism.
  • Wajir due to kidnapping and terrorism.
  • Garissa due to kidnapping and terrorism.

Coastal Areas:

  • Tana River county due to kidnapping and terrorism.
  • Lamu county due to kidnapping and terrorism.
  • Areas of Kilifi County north of Malindi due to kidnapping and terrorism.

Turkana County – Level 4: Do Not Travel

  • Road from Kainuk to Lodwar due to crime, and armed robbery, which occur frequently.

Nairobi neighborhoods of Eastleigh and Kibera – Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Violent crime, such as armed carjacking, mugging, home invasion, and kidnapping, can occur at any time. Street crime can involve multiple armed assailants. Local police often lack the resources and training to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents.

Consider carefully whether to use the Likoni ferry in Mombasa due to safety concerns.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Travel Advisory Levels

Information for Vaccinated Travelers

The CDC's latest guidance on international travel for vaccinated people can be found here.

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Nairobi
United Nations Avenue
Gigiri, Nairobi, Kenya
Telephone
+(254) (20) 363-6451
Emergency
+(254) (20) 363-6170
Fax
No Fax

Kenya Map