How Safe Is Kenya for Travel?

Updated On November 7, 2023
Kenya
Safety Index:
45
* Based on Research & Crime Data
User Sentiment:
73
* Rated 73 / 100 based on 17 user reviews.

Kenya FlagKenya : Safety by City

Kenya is a country located in Eastern Africa.

Apart from having a coastline along the Indian Ocean, it shares its borders with Ethiopia and South Sudan to the north and Uganda to the west.

Although it may come as a surprise to some, Kenya is the most powerful economy of East Africa, and although tourists have lately become more common in many parts of Kenya, you can expect hearing children shouting “Mzungu! Mzungu!” (which in Kiswahili means: “white person”).

As for sights and attractions in Kenya, what you shouldn’t skip in this country are some world-class reserves where you can see some of the finest African flora and fauna.

Kenyan national parks offer safaris unmatched in the entire world and are famous for lions, giraffes, elephants and huge herds of zebras, wildebeests, and buffaloes.

Apart from safari, Kenya offers gorgeous beaches for the lovers of summer activities, and several of them are located along the coastal regions and the city of Mombasa.

Warnings & Dangers in Kenya

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK: HIGH

After 2008 post-election violence that emerged in Kenya, things have quieted down and the situation is now safe for tourists. However, it is still a rather dangerous country and it is highly advised that you remain extremely vigilant at all times.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: HIGH

Armed robberies on freeways and roadway robberies are common occurrences in Kenya. This is why it is best to avoid public transport in Kenya. For anything you need, you can order a taxi, and by no means should you walk on the streets at night.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK: MEDIUM

By all means, avoid any displays of wealth in public. Never flash anything valuable, your money, credit cards, hi-tech equipment or jewelry. Pickpockets are regular in this country.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM

Kenya is susceptible to many natural hazards, out of which the most common that hit this country hard have to do with the weather. Floods, droughts, landslides, lightning/thunderstorms, wildfires, and strong winds regularly cause substantial damage to Kenya. You should also be aware of the widespread existence of HIV/AIDS.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK: HIGH

Violent crime such as robberies, muggings, armed car-jacking, armed road-blocks is all regular occurrences in this country. If you get mugged a good tactic is to wave your arms and scream at the mugger. This is not good advice for situations where the muggers are armed. In such a case, surrender all your belongings immediately and don’t resist. Kidnappings are common in areas around South Sudanese, Ethiopian and Somali borders.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK: MEDIUM

Terrorists are likely to try and carry out attacks in Kenya, as it has been the target of many attacks in recent years, particularly in Garissa, Lamu and Mandera counties and other areas close to the Somali border, most of which were attributed to Al Shabaab. Remain vigilant at all times.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK: LOW

There are no known scams specific for Kenya, but you should still be very cautious when it comes to street vendors or people offering you any kind of help that you didn't ask for.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: MEDIUM

Kenya isn’t the safest option for women traveling solo. If you do decide to venture into this country, be prepared as there have been reports of women being assaulted. Avoid walking anywhere unaccompanied, especially at night.

So... How Safe Is Kenya Really?

Kenya, generally speaking, isn’t the safest destination in Africa.

Although it is the most powerful economy of East Africa, you should be aware that petty theft and violent crime are a serious issue in this country.

Merely walking or driving through Nairobi may have severe (or some) dangers, so it would be best to have a guide with you at all times.

You shouldn’t relax even during the day, as daylight robberies and muggings in the crowdest of places occur commonly, particularly in the CBD (Central Business District, Nairobi).

When it comes to violent crimes, robberies and muggings aren’t the only things to watch out for.

There are carjackings and home invasions, burglaries with fatal consequences and they can occur any time, any place.

Avoid walking around during night and always take a taxi or a bus if you can’t afford a taxi.

Of course, as an experienced traveler, you know by now to avoid open displays of wealth and property, and flashing objects such as hi-tech equipment, mobile phones, laptops, MP3 players, etc.

Kidnappings are also common in Nairobi, so keep an eye out for anyone, at any time.

The violence that ensued after the elections in 2008 is certainly adding to the altogether discouraging rise of crime, with thousands of unemployed and displaced Kenyans are turning to crime in order to make for a living on the other side of the law.

How Does Kenya Compare?

CountrySafety Index
Kenya45
Morocco54
Qatar84
United Arab Emirates79
Montenegro70
Denmark94
Poland84
Lithuania79
Argentina70

Useful Information

Visas

Visas

Many countries do not need a visa to enter Kenya, while there are many that may enter Kenya without a visa for stays shorter than 30 days, and others - shorter than 90 days. Visas can be purchased on entry at international airports. If you are not sure about your visa status, visit www.doyouneedvisa.com which will let you know whether or not you need a visa based on your nationality and the country you want to visit.

Currency

Currency

The Kenyan shilling is the official currency in Kenya. ATMs can be found in most medium-sized towns, so it may be wise to have a cash stash and a debit or credit card.

Weather

Weather

Kenya has a tropical climate along the coastline, with plenty of rainfall and higher temperatures throughout the year. The climate in other locations varies due to the size of this country.

Airports

Airports

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport is an international airport in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. It is located in the Embakasi suburb 15 km southeast of Nairobi's central business district,

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to Kenya since it covers not only the costs of medical problems but also theft and loss of valuables.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Kenya Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 21° C
Feb 22° C
Mar 22° C
Apr 21° C
May 20° C
Jun 19° C
Jul 18° C
Aug 18° C
Sep 19° C
Oct 21° C
Nov 20° C
Dec 21° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
262727252423222225262425
Low
°C
161616161514131313151616
High
°F
798181777573727277797577
Low
°F
616161615957555555596161

Kenya - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Mombasa63
Nairobi42

Where to Next?

17 Reviews on Kenya

  1. H
    Happens says:

    What?!

    I’d rate this review at 50% accurate. Kenya is one of the safest countries in the region presently. And many travel amenities are available in pretty much any town and city

    However, avoid any shady looking sections of any town. Petty, opportunistic crimes “may” occur.

    1. A
      Anonymous says:

      Safe

      Heaven on earth

  2. I
    Ian Walters says:

    Risky

    Never, I repeat, NEVER travel to Kenya alone. This place is not safe and it is hard to tell where the risks will be. It is always safest to go in at least a group of 6 or more and always travel in groups of 3. I went with a group from work recently to see wildlife and it is amazing but you always have a sense of feeling very uneasy. I was still happy I went.

    1. B
      Bogdan Mendaluk says:

      Safe

      I was 4 week and not even one day felt unsafe

  3. C
    Countries That Are Safe says:

    It Is All Safe

    Kenya Is Safe

  4. Too Safe

    Kenya Is Too Safe For Travelers

  5. A
    Anonymous says:

    This is a very safe country,

    This is a very safe country, and this review is written my another ignorant person who may as well be racist but Kenya is safe depending on the place and time, just like any other country. Like how in US some states aren’t safe. You white people need to stop talking bad about Africa, if you have nothing nice to say say nothing at all.

    1. YEAH some US states have many murder rates

    2. C
      Claudio Pubill says:

      Being I live in the USA I have to agree. Some areas in the USA I would never go to.

    3. A
      Anonymous says:

      Poor review

      Why do people always use this logic? It’s illogical and really these types are just offended and defending their own country. They dont use factual statistics.

  6. This is not a review of KENYA

    Unbelieveable , overall risk in KENYA is HIGH just based on a single event. If thats the case:
    1)Netherlands should be a dangerous destination because of the 2019 mosque massacre.
    2)America should also be a dangerous destination because of 9/11

    Everything about this post is an attempt to rail against the people who published this!

    1. V
      Vera Jansen says:

      Ehm? Netherlands never had a mosque massacre????

      1. i think he meant to say New Zealand lol but still pretty funny

  7. G
    Greg Smith says:

    The review is quite disheartening and biased. My fellow whites let’s stop the brainwash game. The world knows Kenya and its neighbor (of Couse except Somali) are far much the best habitable and safest places in this world. No wonder tourism is major revenue baby in East Africa. In fact, Kenya is my dream second home. The reviewer should get facts right.

  8. B
    Brandon says:

    I’ve been twice and haven’t been robbed yet.

  9. It all depends

    I’ve lived in Kenya for almost 30 years now. Sure crime happens, just like everywhere else. But I wouldn’t say I constantly feel unsafe… unless of course i put myself in unsafe situations or go to dangerous areas

  10. H
    Hamas Regular says:

    The Truth

    As with all the pages on this website, the comments section is just full of intellectual giants (by which I mean utter f***tards). I’ll cut through all of the nonsense with this post.

    “Nairobi is dangerous.”
    Yes, potentially. Which city is not dangerous? Is it more dangerous than others? Possibly, but I wouldn’t judge based on the Westgate attack a decade ago. In fact, I went to that very shopping centre for a visit and had no trouble. If anything, the attack had the marked effect of forcing almost every public space in Kenya to station armed security guards at the entrances. That might sound foreboding, but it is an extremely effective deterrent for potential terrorists. You’ll be screened and then pass with no trouble. Americans should accept this, since their schools have become shooting galleries with metal detectors for the same reason. I’m not saying terrorist attacks are not possible, but the kebab from Al Shabaab will have to contend with armed security first if you stay in the built-up areas of the city, which I do recommend. Be aware of your own personal safety, but I give that tip to anyone visiting literally any country in the world.

    “Nairobi is dirty and has lots of crime.”
    Nairobi, like any other city, has good and bad areas. Some parts are cleaner than others. The country could do with an upgrade in infrastructure and the roads aren’t well-maintained in every district. Blame government corruption and a lack of investment, which is common even in the west. William Ruto is an absolute tool of the highest order.
    I don’t recommend visiting the slums like Kibera, but there are a lot of high-end neighbourhoods and average ones too, like Westlands and Kilimani. In general, I experienced no crime anywhere I went, because I didn’t venture into some random alleyways at night-time, asking locals for “the beer” like a buffoon. Use your common sense and you’ll probably be fine.

    “The people are rude to tourists/foreigners”.
    I never once had this issue. On the contrary, I got a lot of attention, which I was informed was because I am a white guy. That actually made me rather uncomfortable, but it wasn’t an unpleasant experience. The people were all nice to me. Tinder is absolutely f****** wild, and do be careful because many of the local women on the app will ask you for money before – ahem – getting down to business. This is a sad cultural reality based on relatively high levels of poverty, and race is seen as a status symbol, especially with rampant colorism between groups like Kikuyus and those they look down on (not all of them, I’m sure, but it is an endemic problem). In other words, if you are white, women will fawn over you in comparison to what you may experience in western society. I’m sorry if this offends any Kenyans here, but it is the truth. I don’t agree that it’s necessarily a good thing, but as a single guy I wasn’t complaining. I believe in racial equality, so with any luck this will pass in time because it will no longer be seen as important.

    “Will someone drug me and harvest my organs?”
    Hopefully. You probably deserve it if you deliberately wander into a dingy backlot where you think this has any possibility of occurring.

    “Nairobi is boring”.
    In reality, the time I spent in Nairobi was very enjoyable. I took precautions, as everybody should do, and I managed to avoid attracting any trouble. Granted, I didn’t explore the city at night other than to meet with people from Tinder, so I can’t make a review about that, other than to say I was brought back to the airport at night-time and saw a woman s******* on the street. Stay classy, love. Anyway, there were lots of activities to partake in during the day, and the safaris are an amazing experience unto themselves. Go and enjoy one. Seriously.

    All in all, Nairobi was a good experience, although not perfect. Use your common sense (or that of others, if you have none to speak of) and enjoy the cultural showings, safari tours and local markets, etc. It’s worth a visit.

    4/5

Kenya Rated 3.65 / 5 based on 17 user reviews.

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