10 Most Dangerous Cities in Kenya

Updated On October 10, 2023

Kenya is among the most visited countries in Africa.

The country receives about 1.4 million visitors annually, making it number eight among the most visited nations in Africa.

But knowing which cities aren’t safe is advisable before you can take a trip.

According to crime reports, about 170 cases of crime are reported for every 100,000 people.

Some of the common crimes include pickpocketing, kidnapping, carjacking, and mugging.

The country also experiences sporadic episodes of political unrest, especially before and after elections which can make some areas quite unsafe.

According to Statistics, in 2020, crimes against individuals were the most reported in Kenya.

Knowing the most dangerous cities can help you practice caution if you ever find yourself in those areas.

10 Most Dangerous Cities in Kenya

Take a look at some of the cities you need to be most vigilant about.



Nairobi is the capital city of Kenya.

As such, it’s the center of the country’s economic activity, attracting both local and foreign investors.

One can consider it a perfect city for tourists as it has museums, forests, and plenty of outdoor spaces.

But along with all those good traits, it also attracts quite a number of criminals.

Some serious crimes such as carjacking, pickpocketing, snatch- and grab-thefts are common in the city.

Besides, the city has fallen victim to terrorist attacks a few times.

Some unsafe areas include Kibera, Kamukunji, Globe Cinema, and the National Archives.



Kiambu is Nairobi’s neighboring city.

With a few tourist attractions like parks and waterfalls, the town sees quite a number of tourists.

Unfortunately, crime in this county is quite common, with the most common being petty theft and hijacking.

Some areas to be extra vigilant include Kikuyu town and the Railway line area.

Avoid walking alone, especially in poorly lit areas.

Also, when using public transportation, watch out for your belongings, especially phones and wallets.

Some pickpocketers target unaware passengers and steal from them.

To be safe, use taxis like Uber and Bolt or transport organized by your tour company.



Mombasa is the second largest city in Kenya.

Bordering the Indian Ocean, it’s one of the main tourist destinations along the coast.

Although the crime rate in Mombasa is lower than in Nairobi, it’s still an area of concern.

Some areas you need to be vigilant about include the Likoni Ferry and Mombasa’s Old Town, as pickpocketing is pretty common.

Always ensure that your bags and belongings are safe.

There are numerous pickpocketers who devise their methods in pairs and move very quickly.

Avoid hanging out at the beach late at night, or at least not alone.

Call a taxi if you have errands, especially late at night.



In 2021, Meru was one of the cities that accounted for the most crimes in Kenya.

Over the last few years, crime has increased in this city.

That said, you can feel moderately safe walking around during the day.

However, night walks are discouraged as most crimes happen around that time.

Do not leave your items in the car, as they can be stolen.

The chances of being sexually harassed or hearing insults are very moderate.

Even with a different skin color or belonging to a different sexual orientation or religion, you should still feel moderately safe.



Kisumu is a major town in Kenya with tourist attractions like museums, national parks, and lakes.

However, it also sees its fair share of crimes from time to time.

Tourists have been the target of robberies when traveling.

Be particularly careful when using public transport, as pickpocketing is pretty common.

You may want to use transport from well-marked taxis or reputable tour companies to be safe.

Also, ensure all your travel documents are always safe, and never leave your items unsupervised anywhere.

Some areas famous for crime in Kisumu include Manyatta, Nyalenda, Bandani, and Obunga.



Although the crime levels in Nakuru are moderate, practice caution, especially in the CBD

Avoid traveling by yourself past midnight because the streets are partially deserted during those hours, and you can be mugged.

Also, avoid prepaid cabs and taxis, as they can swindle you.

There are a few rideshare companies operating in the city to help you get around.

Keep your belongings, particularly travel documents, safe, and avoid carrying large sums of money.

Trying to flaunt valuables in public places can make you a target for theft, especially on busy streets.



Eldoret is among the fastest-growing cities in Kenya.

Although it doesn’t receive many tourists compared to other major cities, it still has a few attractions, such as mountains and national parks.

And while crimes happen, it’s primarily petty and once in a while, especially in the CBD.

Secure your valuables at all times, or avoid flaunting them.

Only carry the cash you need, as the city has a few pickpocketers who tend to hide among crowds.   

Also, avoid walking alone at night, especially in poorly lit areas.

If you’re traveling late at night, use taxis to reach your destination.




Lamu is one of the historic towns located in the coastal area.

With some very interesting attractions sites, this Island receives quite a number of tourists.

Unfortunately, crime is also common in this area.

Because the town is closer to Somalia, it has fallen victim to serious crimes, including kidnapping, carjacking, and terrorist attacks. 

Some petty thefts, such as pickpocketing, are also common, especially near attractions sites where tourists are likely to be in plenty.

You’ll want to secure your valuables in such areas.

When leaving hotel rooms, ensure your door is locked correctly and put the ‘do not display sign’ so that any potential thief thinks there’s someone inside.



Located in Eastern Kenya, this town experiences crimes, although occasionally.

The crimes that happen here are mostly among communities, such as home robberies.

While pickpocketing can happen in the CBD, it’s not that common.

Still, as a tourist, you’ll want to be vigilant as you can be a target of pickpocketers, especially in busy streets.

Being drunk and disorderly is pretty common in Machakos.

Avoid getting into altercations with the locals when you go to a bar.



Lastly, we have Turkana, located in Rift Valley, bordering South Sudan and Ethiopia.

The town experiences violent crimes such as kidnapping, armed carjacking, mugging, and bandit attacks.

These crimes can happen anytime and aren’t just limited to nighttime.

Also, the local police take time to respond to criminal activities, and emergency medical services are limited.

Stay alert when visiting locations frequented by tourists.

If you’re robbed, don’t physically resist to prevent the issue from escalating.

Carry a copy of your travel documents and keep the original ones safe.

5 Safety Tips for Traveling to Kenya

Don’t walk alone at night

Walking alone at night is not advisable, particularly in isolated areas.

There might be thieves lurking in the corners waiting for unsuspecting victims.

In a crowd, it’s harder to be attacked.

Leave flashy jewelry at home or the hotel

Leave flashy jewelry at home to avoid becoming a target of theft.

What people don’t see, they can’t steal.

While you can wear your fancy jewel in Kenya, only do it in a safe place, such as when dining in your hotel or visiting a high-end place.

Also, use rideshare services and not public transport when wearing flashy Jewel.

Make a copy of your travel documents

Because pickpocketing is common, your travel documents, like your passport and visa, can be easily stolen.

If that happens, you’ll be safe because you’ll still have the original documents.

Use taxis when going downtown areas

While there are public buses going to downtown areas, it’s better to use taxis.

Petty crimes such as pickpocketing and phone snatching have happened in public transport.

Also, snatch and grabs occur mostly in downtown areas as they are busy and populated.

If you suspect someone is too close to you, duck into a shop or building.

Ask about unsafe areas

Most Kenyans are friendly and will gladly inform you of areas to avoid.

This will help you avoid being robbed or pickpocketed.

Kenya Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: Kenya Safety Review

Safety Index:

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is the most dangerous city in Kenya?

The most dangerous city in Kenya is Nairobi.

The capital city leads with high crime rates.

The most common crimes include pickpocketing, mugging, and carjacking.

Which is the safest city in Kenya?

The safest city or town in Kenya is Watamu.

It’s located along the coast and has some amazing tourist attractions, including the beach.

Is Kenya safe for women travelers?

Mostly you should have no problem traveling to Kenya as a female traveler as the locals are respectful, friendly, and hospitable, and most of them speak English.

However, there have been a few instances of women being harassed by men, especially at the beach,

Avoid hanging out alone at the beach late at night and take a taxi for a night out.

1 Comment on 10 Most Dangerous Cities in Kenya

  1. Knowing the most dangerous cities in Kenya can help you practice caution and stay safe while visiting.

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