Visa and Passport
All visitors to Kenya are required to have valid passports. Visas are also required for visitors who are not citizens of the commonwealth countries in order to enter Kenya. At present visitors from Germany, Denmark, Norway, San Marino, Sweden, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Finland, Spain, Turkey and Uruguay do not require visas.
However, since visa requirements may change, it is advisable for the visitors to check the current visa requirements through airlines, tour operators or Kenya Tourist Offices, Kenya Embassies or High Commissions in their countries before coming, to avoid embarrassment.
Visas normally take up to six weeks to process and are valid for up to a three month period. Those visitors with proper documents and who also possess onward or return tickets may be given visitor’s passes free of charge on arrival at any Kenyan point of entry.
Malaria is endemic to certain areas of Kenya all visitors should begin taking anti-Malaria prophylactics two weeks before arriving in Kenya, throughout their stay and for a minimum of three weeks after leaving Kenya. Bottled mineral water, both local and imported, can be purchased in hotel sundry shops and other areas.
You will find filtered and safe drinking water in thermos, bottles in your hotel or lodge rooms, but it is advisable not to drink water from the taps, rivers or lakes. Do not bathe in rivers and lakes.
A yellow fever and Cholera vaccination certificate is required in Kenya if visitors are arriving from a country where these diseases are present. Yellow fever certificate is required in Tanzania regardless of country of origin. We advise that all clients seek advice from their doctors when planning to travel. Malaria prophylaxis is recommended.
Kenyan currency is based on the decimal system. The unit of currency is the Shilling divided into 100 cents. Visitors are advised to check currency exchange rates regularly. Banks give slightly better rates of exchange than hotels. It is a serious offense to deface or knowingly damage Kenyan currency. Visitors are strongly advised to avoid street dealers and to transact all currency dealings through official dealers.
Nairobi, Mombasa and most other principal centers in Kenya have banks with Bureau de Change. Banking hours are from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday to Friday, though some open between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. on the first and last Saturday of each month. Banks at Jomo Kenyatta and Moi International Airports operate a 24-hour service.
A Service Charge is usually included in all tariffs; however the tipping of exceptional service is always appreciated. Customary tips for bar service and room porters are 10% whereas restaurant tariffs that exclude service charge will anticipate 5% to 10%.
In keeping with many tourist centers worldwide, visitors are advised not to leave any valuables in their hotel room when they go out, but to make use of the safe deposit boxes which are available at most hotels and lodges. As in all major cities, it is advisable to avoid back streets at night (especially alone); in fact is it much safer to avoid night walking altogether and use taxis or self-drive hire cars instead. Kenya has an excellent security and most hotels have experienced security personnel and caring doormen.