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Essential Tips For Your First Trip to Kenya

Kenya is a popular East African tourist destination known for its wildlife and culture. To ensure a smooth entry into the country, understanding the visa requirements is essential. Here are the important details:

Essential Tips For Your First Trip to Kenya

Kenya Visa and Requirements

Visiting Kenya requires obtaining the appropriate kenya visa based on the purpose of your travel. There are many types of visas available: the Single Entry Visa, Kenya Transit Visa, Kenya East African Tourist Visa and the Multiple Entry Visa.

The Kenya Visa is suitable for individuals traveling to Kenya for tourism, business, or medical purposes. It allows a single entry into the country within a specified period. 

Visa Types

  1. Single Entry Visa: This visa allows you to enter Kenya once and stay for a specific period. It is typically valid for 90 days from the date of entry.
  2. Multiple Entry Visa: With a multiple entry visa, you can enter and exit Kenya multiple times within the visa's validity period. This type of visa is suitable for individuals who need to visit Kenya frequently for business or personal reasons.
  3. Transit Visa: If you are transiting through Kenya to reach your final destination, you may need a transit visa. This visa allows you to stay in Kenya for a short period while in transit.
  4. East Africa Tourist Visa: This visa is valid for Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda. It allows tourists to travel freely between these three countries within a specified period. It is an excellent option for travelers who plan to explore multiple East African countries.
  5. Courtesy Visa: This type of visa is issued to diplomats, government officials, or individuals traveling on official government business. It is granted as a courtesy and exempts the holder from visa fees.

Visa Application Requirements

To apply for this visa, you need to meet the following requirements:

  • Valid passport (at least six months of validity).
  • Completed the kenya visa application.
  • Passport-sized photos.
  • Proof of itinerary.
  • Supporting documents (e.g., business invitation, medical referral).
  • Proof of sufficient funds.

Please note that Kenya visa requirements and regulations can change over time, so it is always advisable to check before plan your trip. 

Visa-Exempt Countries

Some countries don't need a visa to enter Kenya. Be sure to check the latest list and see whether your country is visa-exempt or not.

Visa on Arrival

Visa on arrival is available but applying in advance is recommended to avoid delays.



You can apply online for an e-visa before your trip. This option is available for single and multiple entries.

Health and Vaccinations

Before you travel to Kenya, it's important to take care of your health and get the necessary vaccinations. Here are some things you should know:

  • Yellow Fever Vaccinatiotn

    If you are traveling from or through a country where yellow fever is a risk, you need to get a yellow fever vaccination and carry the vaccination certificate with you.

  • Routine Vaccinations

    Make sure your routine vaccinations, like measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, and polio, are up to date before you go to Kenya.

  • Malaria Prevention

    Kenya has mosquitoes that can transmit malaria. Protect yourself by using mosquito repellent, wearing long sleeves and pants, and sleeping under mosquito nets. You may also need to take medication to prevent malaria.

  • Other Recommended Vaccinations

    Depending on your travel plans and activities, you might need additional vaccines like Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Typhoid, Meningitis, or Rabies. Talk to a doctor or travel clinic to get personalized advice.

  • COVID-19 Precautions

    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there may be specific requirements and guidelines in place for traveling to Kenya. Stay updated on the latest information, including testing and quarantine requirements, and follow the recommended safety measures.

    Remember to consult with a healthcare professional or travel clinic well before your trip to get the right advice based on your specific needs. They can give you the most accurate and up-to-date information about health precautions and vaccinations for traveling to Kenya.

Travel Insurance

Like any travel destination, it's important to stay informed about the current safety situation. Research the areas you plan to visit, follow local news, and adhere to any travel advisories issued by your government. Take precautions such as avoiding displaying valuable items and being cautious of your surroundings.

Travel insurance is a type of insurance that covers you against unexpected events that may occur during your trip, such as medical expenses, trip cancellation, and lost luggage. It is a good idea to purchase travel insurance for any trip, but it is especially important for trips to Kenya.


Kenya utilizes the Kenyan Shilling (KES) as its official currency. It is recommended to convert some currency before your journey or upon reaching the airport. ATMs are easily accessible in major urban areas, while numerous hotels, restaurants, and tourist facilities accept credit cards.

Weather and Clothing 

When preparing for your trip to Kenya, it's crucial to consider the weather and pack appropriate clothing. Kenya's diverse landscapes result in varying climates throughout the country. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  1. Research the weather patterns for your specific destination(s) in Kenya. This will help you understand the typical climate during your visit.
  2. Pack lightweight and breathable clothing, such as cotton or linen, to stay cool in generally warm temperatures. Opt for loose-fitting clothes to allow for air circulation.
  3. Layering is essential as temperatures can fluctuate throughout the day. Bring a mix of light clothing for the heat and warmer layers for cooler moments, especially during the evenings or in higher altitude regions.
  4. Sun protection is vital due to Kenya's abundant sunshine. Pack a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and high-SPF sunscreen to shield yourself from the strong rays.
  5. If you're visiting during the rainy seasons, which vary by region, pack a lightweight rain jacket or poncho, and a compact umbrella. These items will come in handy during unexpected showers.
  6. Comfortable walking shoes are a must, particularly if you plan to explore national parks, go on safaris, or engage in outdoor activities. Choose shoes that provide good support and have sturdy soles for varied terrain.
  7. Respect local customs and dress codes, especially when visiting religious sites or more conservative areas. Modest clothing that covers shoulders and knees is recommended out of cultural sensitivity.
  8. Don't forget insect repellent to protect yourself from mosquitoes and other insects, particularly during dusk and dawn.

By considering these factors and packing accordingly, you'll be well-prepared to enjoy your trip to Kenya comfortably, regardless of the weather conditions you encounter.


English and Swahili are the official languages of Kenya. While English is widely spoken, particularly in urban areas and tourist destinations, learning a few basic Swahili phrases can be helpful and appreciated by locals.

Wildlife and Nature 

Kenya is renowned for its wildlife and natural beauty. If you plan to go on safari or visit national parks, research the best time of year for wildlife viewing and the specific parks you want to explore. Consider booking tours or hiring local guides who are knowledgeable about the flora and fauna.

Cultural Etiquette 

Kenya boasts a rich and diverse culture, comprising more than 40 different ethnic groups. When visiting this culturally vibrant country, it's important to show respect for local customs, traditions, and dress codes. This is particularly crucial when exploring religious sites, where modest attire is often expected.

In Kenyan culture, greetings hold great significance. It is customary to greet people with a handshake, accompanied by a warm smile and a friendly exchange of pleasantries. This gesture is considered a sign of respect and is widely practiced throughout the country. Embracing this tradition will help you connect with the local community and create positive interactions.


Exploring Kenya is an adventure in itself, and the country offers a range of transportation options to help you navigate its diverse landscapes. Here are some key methods to consider:

  1. Matatus: These minibusses are a popular mode of transportation within cities and towns. They are affordable and readily available but be prepared for crowded and lively rides.
  2. Boda Bodas: Motorcycle taxis known as boda bodas are convenient for short trips within urban areas. Exercise caution, choose reputable operators, and prioritize safety by wearing a helmet.
  3. Taxis: Metered taxis are available in major cities like Nairobi and Mombasa. They provide a comfortable and secure transportation option. Ensure the taxi is licensed, negotiate the fare, or request to use the meter.
  4. Car Rental: Renting a car gives you the freedom to explore Kenya at your own pace. International and local car rental companies operate in major cities and airports. Have an international driver's license, familiarize yourself with traffic rules, and consider hiring a driver if needed.
  5. Domestic Flights: Kenya has a well-connected domestic airport network, making air travel convenient for longer distances. Several airlines offer regular flights between major cities and tourist destinations, saving you time and reaching remote areas quickly.
  6. Trains: Kenya's railway network is expanding, and train travel is becoming increasingly popular. The Madaraka Express, for example, connects Nairobi to Mombasa, providing a comfortable and scenic journey.
  7. Public Buses: Long-distance travel between cities is often done by public buses. Companies like Modern Coast, Easy Coach, and Mash operate reliable bus services with varying levels of comfort. Book your tickets in advance and expect longer travel times.

When using any mode of transportation in Kenya, exercise caution, choose reputable operators, and keep your belongings secure. Consider factors such as distance, cost, safety, and convenience to determine the best transportation option for your needs. Enjoy the breathtaking landscapes and vibrant culture of Kenya as you navigate the country's transportation system.

Local Cuisine

Kenyan cuisine offers a variety of flavors influenced by indigenous traditions and colonial history. Try local dishes such as nyama choma (grilled meat), ugali (maize porridge), and sukuma wiki (collard greens). Be cautious about street food hygiene and drink bottled or purified water.

Remember to have travel insurance that covers medical expenses and trip cancellation, and it's always helpful to have a copy of important documents like your passport and visa. Enjoy your trip to Kenya, and embrace the unique experiences and beautiful landscapes the country has to offer!




Get eTA to Kenya

  • Step1: Apply on-line Provide the information from your passport to eTA application.
  • Step2: Make an online payment Payment Methods: Credit Card
  • Step3: Check your e-mail address If your payment is confirmed, your eTA will be sent to your e-mail
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