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How safe is it to travel in Kenya

edited January 2010 in - East Africa
I am considering a trip to Kenya this year but am wary about the crime. Is it safe? Some have told me that its much better while others have said that its still quite bad... any tips?


  • edited 11:14PM
    I'm going to kenya in August and have done quite a lot of research into it, as i will be travelling round. from what i can tell as long as you keep your wits about you, don't wear anything of any expense e.g. jewllery and make sure you keep valuables locked up in your accomodation. you should be fine. i have heard mixed reviews but Nairobi seems to be the worst place, but i think the same applies there be safe don't walk around the streets after dark and be aware of any scams. but i think the rest of Kenya sounds like it is ok especially if you are sticking to the tourist paths. i think there is a lot of crime but you need to be sensible with what you carry around and if you are a victim of any mugging etc just give up your belongings and claim on insurance. These are worst case senarions and i believe the majority of people go to Kenya have a brilliant time and do not experience any crime whats so ever.
  • edited 11:14PM
    I am responding at moment from Kenya and i am very much involved i the tourism industry.Kenya is absolutely very safe, the government and other stake holders have put in place all security measures in all tourist destinations.Just as my fellow columnist have said keep valuable safe in your hotel and avoid back streets or exposing valuables like jewllery.
    Muggings have significantly been eradicated by tourist police who patrol areas mostly visited by tourist.
    Areas which are not very safe in Kenya are those bordering Somalia (North Eastern Frontier)
    Mt.Kenya, Samburu, Rift Valley, Amboseli/Tsavo, Masai Mara, Lake Turkana, Lake Victoria and Mombasa/Malindi all are at the moment safe to travel.
    The only safety concern at the moment is the heavy El NINO rains in most parts of the country but this will subside by end of February.

    Note: Eastern Africans have known the importance of tourism in their livelihoods so nobody wants to temper with it.
  • edited 11:14PM
    We've also been watching the news report and are in contact with many friends in the Nairobi area. Our family has made many trips to Kenya and are definitely planning to return in 2010 (in fact, bought tickets this week). Just be smart - don't flash cash, jewelry, or expensive items. Avoid traveling after dark. I have found Kenya to be safer than most US cities and as Nzioka posted, the locals are very aware of the impact of tourism on the Kenyan economy. The majority of the violence in Kenya is tribal - Kenyan against Kenyan. In Nairobi, some petty crime is directed toward tourists (example - purse snatching) but none at all in the outlying areas. I hope you will make the trip - Kenya is an amazing country filled with amazing people!
  • Kenya is one of the safe countries in Africa thats way we have lots of repeat clients. Like any other developing countries crime level is " almost the same" and the same precautions taken when traveling in USA, Europe and other developed countries should be taken.

    Tips n traveling please visit our site where we try o assist clients on traveling tips on our FAQ

    Hope this will assist you
  • edited 11:14PM
    Kenya is safe and nothing to worry except the usual care everyone need everywhere in the world ,people are friendly and generous.The goverment also working day and night to see veryone is safe including tourist.
    I ive about 75 ks from Maasai-mara game reserve, which i believe you would visit,i live in kilgoris.If you are christian and want to meet other christian welcome to our church or also our village.My name is julius, [email protected]

    Thank for considering visiting our country.
  • edited 11:14PM
    I confirm its enviromentaly safe to visit kenya any season of the year,theNat Met guys had predicted El nino rain phenomenah that passed with Jan 2010 with less damage to infrastracture and human live.
    for the security Kenya s a safe destination al year round.
  • edited 11:14PM
    I am staying at the Giraffe Manor for 2 nights and the going on a 3night safari, once I return to Nairobi I need a good place to stay for 3 nights. Anyone have any recommendations? 4 or 5 star I am bringing 2 children also.
  • edited 11:14PM
    Which is the best airlines to use? Should I use a travel agent or book on my own. I have been in touch with Natural World Safari's, and they are recommending visiting the Masai Mara, has anyone been there.
  • Hello Barterin

    I live and work in Kenya as a tour operator.

    Hotels in Nairobi
    I can recommend to you Ole Sereni Hotel which is located next to Nairobi national park with a very good view into the park. I will offer you a double room at US$ 238 per night on bed and breakfast. I like the hotel becasuse its not so far from the airport and one will not be affected by traffic now that you have children. I can also recommend the Nairobi Serena Hotel which is a 5 star hotel with a very good reputation at US$ 297 per double per night on bed and breakfast. What age are your children? this is because there is a specail rate for the children.

    3 nights
    For three nights in Nairobi I would say you need to be on safari. But this will depend on how you love to travel. If you like being on the road or you like to take some time to also relax. If you are one who likes to relax then depending on the destinations your first safari will take you plus the age of the children then you will need to relax instead of another three nights safari. I would recommend you try a beach stay after the safari. Please let me see your programme and know the age of the children then I can advise more on this.

    This also depends which flights you are talking about. International or domestic flights. For International flights its best if you book them from your current destiantion because you are likely to get a better and discounted rate than when you get an agent in Kenya to book for you. If its a domestic flight then we can easly assist you with that since we do have better rates and good business relationships with airlines within.

    Hope this will assist? for more information just drop me a line on [email protected]
  • edited 11:14PM
    I find this thread quite informative.

    Yet I have couple of questions:
    - Is it safe to use expensive photographic equipment on the streets, etc?
    - What should we do while 2 weeks in Mombasa? (beach, safari, anything else?)
    - What is the cheapest way to buy safari: on the spot or via travel agency?

  • It is safe to use your equipments in the towns and streets but like any other developed countries you will need to take protective measures, like always watching over your equipment. If you are a professional photographer the best will be for you to always have a vehicle that carries your exquipments for you cause I know they are expensive and also get insurance cover against damage and theft. If its just stand photographic equipment then make sure you carry its packing bag and just be carefull not to live it un attended.

    we have many activities to enjoy in Mombasa like city tours, diving/snorkling, cultural visit and many more.

    My advise is use a tour agent. They have the destination know how and contacts which makes it easy for you to get the information, make the booking and at the same tim saves your time and any extra expenses.

    You can always drop me an email for assistance
    Hope the above is helpfull
  • edited 11:14PM
    Can I ask how is it with native people in Kenya?
    I'm about to go there to volunteer in rural areas around Nairobi and I'm not sure how to behave and if there's something that natives wouldn't like me to do.
    Thanks a lot for your help :)
  • edited 11:14PM
    As you are going to notice kenyan people are very welcoming ,very understanding will be more than willing to assist you,when are you planning to come to kenya
  • edited 11:14PM
    Hello im am heading to the suburbs of Nairobi from the Unites States for a Youth conference and my family is worried i wont be safe. Is there worries silly or something to consider before going?
  • edited 11:14PM
    im bosco working with gyzers tours and travel its really safe in kenya,crime has subsided due to the tourist police renforcement in undertaking stern measures to criminals.
  • edited 11:14PM
    Kenya is a safe destination to visit anytime of the year - like right now we got a delegation from the EU in Nairobi and they will be visiting some other parts of the country so rest assured you will enjoy your stay here.

    For more information on how you can spend your quality time in Kenya please send us an email at ([email protected]) and we will get back to you ASAP.
  • edited 11:14PM
    Kenya is safe country like any others, I am originally from Slovakia and my husband from Germany, we live in Kenya on Diani Beach.

    After working 10 years on cruise ships and international tourism we decided with my husband to find the right place to settle down and use all the experiences we were gaining over the years. We have traveled across Africa, lived on different places and worked as a consulting managers for different lodges and resorts. Nevertheless, after researching on the African tourism market and all possibilities we decided to start business on our own and provide the best service ever for all those who do not look for off-the-counter holiday packages but are seeking for tailor made holiday focusing on reliability, professionalism, privacy and comfort.

    We have a luxurious Sunset Villa laying in within a 20 years old 6 acre – lush tropical garden with huge outdoor pool, jacuzzi and 7 rooms to the highest standards, giving each request full V.I.P. treatment and ensuring absolutely personalized services throughout their stay..

    We getting ready to open officially on June 2010 in order to provide for our visitors adventures with endless possibilities to experience east Africa from all its aspects. Scuba diving with whale sharks, snorkeling with dolphins, wildlife safaris in Kenya’s famous national parks, kite surfing, flying - over or climbing Africa’s highest mountain, the Kilimanjaro, are only few of the activities we offer our guests for whom we design only the most exclusive programs available. We are fluent in English, Russian, German, Spanish, Slovak,Check and Kiswahili.

    Experience game drives to the Shimba Hills, diving, snorkeling, beach safaris, Golf or simply relax at the pool and in the garden of Sun-set Villa, please contact us for more information on
    [email protected],
    [email protected] or call on +254 (0) 717 010 670,
    we will be looking forward to match all arrangements to your wishes!
  • edited 11:14PM
    Hi, I am a British expat who has lived in Nairobi for the past seven years and write an blog; about day to day life here.

    I can say, unequivocally, it's a great, friendly place to visit and no doubt you will fall in love with it all. The landscape and beaches are stunning - but in my opinion it's the wonderful people that make it.

    Much has been made of the crime situation here, but I think that a lot of it is drummed up by foreign aid organisations based here, to boost their 'hardship' status and allowances. If you were visiting Los Angeles, New York, Paris or London would you be overly concerned about the crime rate? Day to day, people here in Kenya nothing but friendly and happy to help.

    The best hotel in Nairobi at the moment is 'Tribe' based at The Village Market. There's lots for kids to do at The Village Market too, it's a sophisticated open plan shopping centre with cinema, water slides, bowling, golf and a masai market on Fridays etc.
  • edited 11:14PM
    Wow I am really really concidering going to Kenya next June 2011. Looks wonderful! I am planning to go to Diani beach. many friends have gone here and say it is a beauty of a place and the people are amazing who live there! so I am going I have 2 children who will be 9 and 6, will going to this place be safe for them? for some reason I think they will get kibnaped! or worse we will get kibnapped by pirates on the way there! yeah I know I have an over reactive imagination!
  • edited 11:14PM
    To Chiere:
    Only if you will be sailing to Mombasa will Pirates be a real concern. You should definately go to the Kenyan coast with those kids and have a hell of a time, there's a lot of fun things from beaches, coral reefs, shopping malls, historic sites, nature trails, safari challenges like the rhino charge, even butterfly farms! Just make sure you have your tour guide with you. You should definately try places like Malindi and Lamu island.
  • edited 11:14PM
    Hello Chiere,

    Kenyan coast is amazing with hospitable people, natural white sand beaches and lots of fan and scene tic places to visit and experience.
    you may combine beach holiday with safaris, June being the start of peak season there's abundant wildlife,big five in both Amboseli and Maasai mara with the wildebeest migration the spectacular 7 th wonder of the world. this couple with a visit to and indigenous visit to a maasai boma makes you to always come back for more feel of Africa.
    i promise you you will definite fall in love with the people and the place.

  • edited 11:14PM
    I am hoping to go to Kenya in the next couple of months and hope to stay at Diani Beach. Whilst there I hope to go on a safari for a couple of nights. I am a single parent with a teenager. Is it safe to go on safari just the 2 of us, or should I really be looking at joining a group of people for the safari ? Should I wait until I get to Kenya before booking a safari, or should I book through my travel agent ? How will I know whether the guides on safari are really qualified and safe drivers ?
  • edited 11:14PM
    Hi there,I am the same. Looking ot travel to Kenya in December and safari with my friend (two females). Will this be safe? I have also looked at Julius Safari he seems to have a good reputation. Any comments would be greatly appreciated.
  • edited 11:14PM
    my daughter is arriving in Mombasa this Friday night at midnight she will be alone....can you recommend a safe taxi service she can look for to get her to her hotel. She is spending 6 months working to support women and children with HIV/AIDS in Mombasa. I am so nervous that she is arriving so late and alone.
  • edited November 2010
    Before traveling to any country particularly in Africa, you are supposed to know all the travel dynamics involved including cheap flights, security of your destination, health hazards and insurance you need. Kenya especially is no exception and you should take the necessary precautions before you make that trip to this beautiful East African Country. Much as Kenya is an appealing travel destination, consider these before setting off;
    . Contact a local travel guide
    . Make hotel bookings well in advance
    . Vaccination is paramount
    . Consider the weather
    . Clothing is also important
  • edited 11:14PM
    @Sammol, Diani resort is among the best hotel in Mombasa.You need to book asafari before visting the country to avoid last minute rush.Its advisable to book with a Registered travel agent to avoid dissapointment and they will definately give you experienced driver guides.If you want to travel with you son alone its still possible therefore being a private safari alittle bit expensive.Travelling on agroup is still okay which contain of 6pple per vehicle.Ihope you have agood stay in Kenya.Good luck
  • edited 11:14PM
    Dear Kenya experts , I am french citizen 50 y.o. and I have been invited by one of our customer to come to Nairobi as I have helped him while in Europe. Can you recommend a 10 days program (or maximum two weeks) for me as I have no idea what to do there and not so much time to organise ? I have heard taking the train between Nairobi to Monbassa should be interesting . I am not so interested in "main stream" tourist attraction such as touristic game parks or sun bathing on the beach . When should be the months to avoid , as I have heard ot can be quite rainy.
  • edited 11:14PM
    I am planning on traveling to Nairobi to do voluteer work w/ oprhans,teach English for 1 month in Feb 2011.Does anyone know about IFRE Volunteers?Also I have United miles how many would this take?Ballpark?Also what shots do you need?And do you need a visa to volunteer?
  • edited 11:14PM
    hi, i am going to mombasa in jan 2011. can you please advise of a really nice beach resort in mombasa? something romantic?
  • edited 11:14PM
    see sarova hotels - whitesands
    Indiana beach resort n hotels
    nyari beach hotel
    south coast
    grand-reef resort
    sun n sand
  • edited 11:14PM
    Have a child going to Nairobi with a Christian mission trip in summer of 2011 and will be visiting a church in Mukuru and traveling to the Limuru area traveling back through the Rift Valley. They will also visit Garissa and also visit Masai Mara. It will be a fairly large group and they are using an organization that does a lot of work in Kenya. Will my child be safe visiting these places? Can not help but be overprotective parent.
  • edited 11:14PM
    I'm planning a tour at Christmas 2011 starting in kenya and going through Uganda and back.

    To be blunt I'm a young white female and am wondering how safe it is...

    Any advise?
  • edited 11:14PM
    Kenya is pretty safe as long as you dont intend to visit the areas close to the somali border. Just keep valuables abit concealed while on the streets in nairobi. Avoid dark and lonely alleys at night. Otherwise, people are always willing to help out if you need to know directions.....etc. Im a kenyan, in germany at the moment and what i see in news about East Africa is abit dont rely on what you see on news too much...have it in mind though. Enjoy Kenya and uganda
  • edited March 2014

    Hi there, on a personal note I have not once been to Kenya, but
    my interests in it started awhile back when I was considering studying abroad
    in Africa, because of this I had done some research on Kenya that includes the
    safety and crime rate. My conclusion on the subject matter is if you go now
    (currently year 2014) you are putting yourself in some danger.

    There were many discussions out on the internet about
    the country and I found a lot of mixed reviews on the safety. Many would talk
    about specific areas like Nairobi and Mombasa district. In February of this
    year police raided a Mosque in Majengo which is part of the Mombasa district, and
    resulted in several deaths. Going back further there was a bombing at the Jomo
    Kenyatta Airport and more bombings throughout the country in December.   During September
    of 2013, a major attack took place at the Westgate shopping centre in the
    Westlands district of Nairobi.  These
    attacks are mainly classified as terrorist attacks and not random suicide
    bombings (

    Many government cites such as Canada and the United
    Kingdom have posted recent travel advisory warnings cautioning visitors to not
    go (
    ).  However these warning pertain to
    certain regions of the country like Nairobi, Somali border, Mombasa district,
    and for the most part east of the country.  There are some discussion forums that have
    posts of stories from people who have been to the country. Some like the ones
    from say that going to do safari’s in the country is safe and
    open in the public, also claiming that coast resorts are often protected and
    seem to be out of the region of these bombing attacks.

    The safari’s seem to be the reason 1.25 million people
    tour the country every year and is the reason why Kenya attracted my attention
    when looking for places to study abroad. If safety is going to affect whether
    or not you go then my advice would be to reconsider as of now. In some ways it
    should depend on why you are going to Kenya. I feel as though the longer you
    stay some where the higher the chances of you being affected by the environment.
    For someone like me who plans on studying abroad and would be in the country
    for a few months, might have a higher chance of getting caught up in some
    trouble. Yet, we can’t necessarily rule out the idea that anything can happen
    at any given moment. It also depends on the location. As mentioned before if
    you are trying to travel closer to the east of Kenya there is a higher
    possibility of running into problems. My biggest suggestion would be to keep
    watching government advisory reports for updates on the safety, stay closer
    inland away from borders, always stay in public places, and avoid certain times
    such as elections where there can be high tension throughout the area. My extra
    sources that you can check out on the matter are listed below. I hope that this
    helps answer your question.

  • Hammertime is right. Kenya is a mixed bag safety-wise. My advice to travellers would be to spend as little time as possible in the cities as the majority of safety and security concerns in the country are related to urban areas. If you are sensible, take precautions and avoid dangerous areas a safari holiday in Kenya can be glorious and trouble-free. Just do your research and go prepared.
  • edited March 2014
    Kenya is a beautiful place with lot of things to do and activities to take part in.., even though it may sound unsafe for some people... i would advice that yopu put your trust in some of the reliable travel companies like the one we used #wildraceafrica safari, thus, they were realy helpful.

    We did a four day safari with mombasa and the trip was just wow...
    the guide was more helpful and more flexible, more knowledgeable and experience.., if you have any question, you can always contact them, their team of proffessionals are always available 24/7
  • edited June 2014
    Is Kenya Safe? The answer is yes!
    It is true that there
    has been some insecurity in both major cities of Nairobi and Mombasa as
    retaliatory attacks by the members of Al Shabaab on account that Kenya
    entered Somalia to neutralize them (terrorists).
     However, most of it has been confined to marginalized areas of the
    cities and has not affected areas and establishments frequented by travelers/tourists. Moreso, security has been beefed up in all parts of the country. We have not heard before of tourist being affected. Travelers arriving at JKIA, spending the night in a
    Nairobi hotel, and then traveling on to a safari destination are quite
    safe.  Homeview Adventures ground handlers, and safari planners have
    taken steps to ensure our clients' safety. For more info:

  • You haven't heard of tourists being affected? How about the British tourist who was kidnapped from Lamu in 2012? If you're going to try to convince people to visit your country at least be honest about the situation.
  • Kenya is the safe place to go. People are freindly, but still you should be aware off, dont take expensive things with you. dont go alone at night in streets.
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