Travel to Kenya

Kenya Arrival and transport

How do you get to Kenya?


There are direct flight connections to Nairobi from Vienna and Zurich as well as from Frankfurt/Main or via Amsterdam.


Regular ship connections run from the port in Mombasa to Mauritius, the Seychelles and Zanzibar. The ferries on Lake Victoria connect Kenya with various places in Tanzania.


Kenya also has rail connections from Nairobi to Voi and Moshi in Tanzania and to Kampala in Uganda, but these run relatively irregularly.


You can also travel overland to Kenya from Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan and Somalia. However, some roads should be avoided due to the uncertain political situation. Advice can be given from the consular posts.

When entering from Uganda it should be noted that the border posts of both countries in Malaba are one kilometer apart, there is no traffic connection between them.

Travel in the country

Buses and Matutas

Buses and minibuses run between most cities in Kenya, but they are often overcrowded. Overland trips with public buses are not recommended because of the poor road conditions. Some of the vehicles are also not in a roadworthy condition.

Matatus are minibuses. Together with the normal buses, they also become Wheels of the Wananchicalled, which means something like “The common people’s means of transport”. They are both cheaper than taxis, but you never know exactly which route they will take as the routes are constantly changing, even though the buses have numbers. The matatus drive the same routes as the buses, but this means of transport leads to significantly more accidents. In addition, they are often completely overcrowded. If the police become aware of an overcrowded vehicle, the drivers have to pay a fine and the passengers are simply left standing.


Kenya has around 2,800 km of railway lines, but most of them are in a completely dilapidated condition. Passenger trains run on a single-track and highly failure-prone route from Nairobi to Mombasa, Kisumu and Taveta to the Ugandan capital, Kampala. The railway is operated by the Hungarian-Kenyan company “Rift Valley Railways”. The company makes its main profit with freight transport. The Jambo Kenya Deluxe-Express, which mainly also transports tourists from Nairobi to Mombasa, brings practically no profit. But there are plans to invest many millions of euros in the development of Kenya’s railway system with the help of KfW Bank and the German Development Company.

Ferry connections

Kenya has seaports in Mombasa and Lamu. There is regular ferry service between Mombasa, Malindi and Lamu. Traditional Kenyan sailing ships are also rented out in these ports. Inland ports on Lake Victoria include Port Victoria in Kisumu, Homa Bay and Mfangano.

Air connections

The three airports in Kenya are in Nairobi, Mombasa and Eldoret. There are domestic flights between Mombasa, Nairobi, Lamu Island, Kiwayu, Amboseli, Masai Mara, Malindi and Samburu. It is also possible to rent smaller aircraft privately.

Car traffic


Between Nairobi and the coastal city of Mombasa there is a four – sometimes even six – lane expressway. Kenya’s road network covers approximately 65,000 km. The main roads are paved, especially in the north the condition of the secondary roads is not particularly good and mostly only accessible with off-road vehicles. Especially in the north and northeast of Kenya and in the coastal region north of Malindi there is an increased risk of armed attacks. Traveling to these areas is more recommended by plane. Car journeys should only be made in a guarded convoy and in daylight.

In Kenya there is left-hand traffic, but often enough people simply drive on the side of the road that is in better condition. Driving at night should generally be avoided as the road conditions are unpredictable and the headlights are inadequate. It is advisable to have an international driver’s license with you.

Maximum speed

There is a speed limit of 80 km/h for vehicles throughout the country.

Alcohol alcohol limit

There is no general alcohol limit, one should simply follow the general principle “Don’t drink and drive”.


cars Rental cars are definitely an advantage in Kenya because you can decide for yourself and control where you want to go. You need an international driver’s license and should carefully look at the contracts and the condition of the car when you pick up the car. The prices are very different, you should get information from the usual car rental companies such as Avis, Europcar or Budget before you start your journey.

International license plate

The international license plate of Kenya is:


Kenya: entry and exit regulations

Formalities, visas

Tourists from EU countries need a valid passport, a visa and a return ticket to enter Kenya and must have sufficient funds.

A valid yellow fever vaccination must be proven when entering from a yellow fever infection area.

Visa department of the Embassy of Kenya

Markgrafenstraße 63

10969 Berlin

Tel: 0049 (0) 30 – 259 26 60

Fax: 0049 (0) 30 – 25 92 66 50


Import and export of foreign currency

Local currency

There is no restriction on the import and export of local currency. However, for amounts worth US $ 5,000 and more, a document must be presented stating the origin and purpose of the sum.

Foreign currencies

The import and export of foreign currencies is unlimited. However, for amounts worth US $ 5,000 and more, a document must be presented stating the origin and purpose of the sum.

Import and export of goods

The following articles can be imported into Kenya duty-free by persons aged 16 and over: 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 227 g tobacco, 1 bottle of spirits or wine and 68 ml of perfume.

Ban on imports of

drugs, pornographic material, fruits, plants and plant seeds. Firearms and ammunition may only be imported with permission from the police.

Export ban

The export of gold, diamonds, animal skins and other hunting trophies is prohibited without the approval of the Kenyan government agency. Furthermore, the export of plants and animals protected under the Washington Convention on Endangered Species is prohibited.

Entry with pets

For the owners of dogs and other animals, when traveling abroad, the question arises whether they can even take their animals with them to the chosen travel destination, and if that is possible, then of course the question of the respective applicable conditions arises. Here with us you will find all the important information on this topic, seriously researched at the embassies or the Foreign Office.

An import permit is required to bring pets into Kenya. This can be requested from the Livestock Officer, Veterinary Department in Kabete. A health certificate and a rabies vaccination certificate are also required for import. The health certificate must confirm that the animal is in good health and free from parasites. The rabies vaccination must have taken place at least 30 days before entering Kenya, but not more than a year ago. The vaccination certificate must also contain the name of the vaccine.

Animal transport on the plane with an accompanying person (owner)

The animal is located in the machine in an air-conditioned area between the passenger deck and the cargo area. As a rule, no member of the crew takes care of the animal during the flight, not even to give water or food. However, experience has shown that the stress of checking in and the take-off phase is so stressful for most animals that they sleep for most of the flight. The administration of sedatives before check-in is not only not recommended, as their effects cannot be foreseen under these conditions, but is even prohibited for reasons of security (smuggling). Many airlines also exclude a number of dogs (attack dogs) from transport.

However, it should be ensured that the animal is picked up at the arrival airport by someone who is familiar to the dog. And of course all import regulations for pets for the country have to be explored beforehand and strictly adhered to.


It has proven to be very helpful if you have accustomed the animal to such a transport container at home a few weeks before the intended flight.

Kenya: Travel Medicine, Vaccinations and Warnings

Infectious Diseases

The following infectious diseases can be expected in Kenya:

  • Malaria: There is a national risk of developing malaria, especially during the rainy season. Exceptions are regions over about 2,500 m as well as the urban area of Nairobi. About 85% of the infections occur with the very dangerous malaria tropica, the rest with malaria tertiana.
  • AIDSor HIV infections, there is a high risk of infection throughout the country, but especially in the third largest city in the country, Kisumu
  • Schistosomiasis, there is a risk of infection nationwide
  • Lyme disease
  • cholera
  • dengue fever
  • Intestinal infectionsfrom contaminated food or water, including amoebas, lamblia, salmonella, shigella, worm infestation and all kinds of viruses and bacteria
  • Ebola, outbreaks of this extremely dangerous viral infectious disease occur again and again, albeit mostly locally
  • Filariasis
  • Typhus
  • Yellow fever
  • Hepatitis A and B
  • Kala-Azar, isolated occurrence
  • Leishmaniasis, isolated occurrence
  • Polio, polio
  • Plague, isolated occurrence in the south of the country
  • Rift Valley Feverepidemics with Rift Valley fever occur again and again – especially after a particularly long rainy season.Two effective and well-tolerated vaccines are available to protect against the mosquito-borne infectious disease. These must be administered on days 0, 10 and 28 of the trip and refreshed again after 6 months.
  • Sleeping sickness
  • tetanus
  • rabies
  • Tuberculosis (TB),TB, is becoming a major problem for the country
  • typhus
  • Tick bite fever

Vaccination recommendations

  • Diphtheria– a vaccination against diphtheria should always exist, also in the home country.
  • Yellow fever
  • Hepatitis A and B
  • Polio, polio– vaccination against polio should always exist, also in the home country.
  • Meningococcal meningitis
  • Tetanus– a vaccination against tetanus should always exist, also in the home country.
  • Rabies– but only for high-risk travelers who can come into contact with the vector animals.
  • Typhoid– but only for travelers who can come into contact with polluted water or contaminated food.

Compulsory vaccination

For all persons older than one year and coming from a yellow fever infection area designated by the WHO, there is a compulsory vaccination against an illness with yellow fever.

Malaria prophylaxis

When traveling in the country, it is strongly advised to undergo malaria prophylaxis. However, if the side effects seem questionable, you should at least have a “stand-by preparation” with you.

Who pays for vaccinations in Germany?

Most people in Germany are vaccinated against a number of infectious diseases at an early age. However, the vaccination protection only lasts up to 10 years, in some cases even shorter. Therefore, before traveling abroad, you should carefully consider against which infectious diseases a vaccination is necessary or useful in the country concerned and whether the vaccination protection, if applicable, was not too long ago.

Most statutory health insurances have been reimbursing the costs for the following vaccinations since June 2007. There is even no 10 € practice fee – but the insured usually have to pay the statutory additional payment, which is 10% of the vaccine price – that is at least 5 € and a maximum of 10 €. Under these conditions, the following vaccinations are free of charge. Some health insurance companies also reimburse the cost of malaria prophylaxis. As a rule, private health insurance companies (inquire beforehand) also cover the costs mentioned.

  • cholera
  • diphtheria
  • Early summer meningoencephalitis (TBE)
  • Yellow fever
  • Hepatitis A and B
  • Meningococcal meningitis
  • Pneumococci
  • Polyo (polio)
  • Tetanus (tetanus)
  • rabies
  • typhus

Current warnings

Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany

Citizens Service

Tel: 0049 – (0) 30 – 5000 – 2000

Fax: 0049 – (0) 30 – 5000 – 51000

Kenya: currency, shopping and exchange rate

The national currency of Kenya is the Kenyan Shilling.

1 Kenyan shilling = 100 cents

The following Kenyan shilling notes are valid and in circulation in the country:

  • 20 KES
  • 50 KES
  • 100 KES
  • 200 KES
  • 500 KES
  • 1,000 KES

Exchange rate

You can find a currency converter here:

Bank opening times

Banks in Kenya are generally open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and on the first and last Saturday of the month from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. The airport banks are open daily until midnight.


Shop opening times

The shops in Kenya are usually open Monday to Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Inexpensive or country-specific goods, souvenirs

Popular souvenirs from Kenya are wood carvings, batiks, traditional clothing, pearl jewelry and stone work.

Kenya: Diplomatic missions

Representations of Kenya in Germany

Embassy of the Republic of Kenya in Berlin

Markgrafenstrasse 63

10969 Berlin

Tel: 0049- (0) 30-259 2660


German representations in Kenya

Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Kenya

Ludwig Krapf House, Riverside Drive 113

00100 Nairobi, Kenya

Riverside Drive 113

Tel: 00254 – (0) 20 – 426 2100

00254 – (0) 20 – 445 1702

E-Mail: info@nairobi.diplo. de

The German embassy in Kenya is still responsible for:

  • Seychelles
  • Somalia

Austrian representations in Kenya

Embassy in Kenya

2nd floor, City House, Corner Wabera Street/Standard Street

00100 Nairobi

Tel: 00254 – (0) 20 – 319 076/077/078


The Austrian embassy in Kenya is still responsible for:

  • Burundi
  • Comoros
  • Congo (Democratic Republic)
  • Rwanda
  • Seychelles
  • Somalia
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda

Honorary consulate in Mombasa (without passport authorization)

3rd floor, Ralli House, Nyerere Avenue


Tel: 00254 – (0) 41 – 231 3386


Representations of Kenya in Austria

Embassy in Vienna

Neulinggasse 29/8

1030 Vienna

Tel: 0043 – (0) 1 – 712 3919/20


Honorary Consulate in Linz

Harrachstraße 6/3

4020 Linz

Tel: 0043 – (0) 732 – 657 070


Swiss representations in Kenya

Embassy in Kenya

International House, 7th floor, Mama Ngina Street

00100 Nairobi GPO


Tel: 00254 – (0) 20 – 222 8735


The Swiss embassy in Kenya is still responsible for:

  • Burundi
  • Rwanda
  • Seychelles
  • Somalia
  • Uganda

Consulate in Mombasa

c/o Orion Hotels Limited

PO Box 10283

80101 Bamburi


Tel: 00254 – (0) 727 – 695 452


Representations of Kenya in Switzerland

The responsible embassy is the British Embassy in London.

Embassy in London

Portland Place 45

London W1N 4AS

Tel: 0044 – (0) 20 – 7636 2371


Consulate General in Geneva

Avenue de la Paix 1-3

1202 Geneva

Tel: 0041 – (0) 22 – 906 4050

Tourist office

Kenya Tourist Board

Kenya-Re Towers, Ragati Road

PO Boy 30630

00100 Nairobi, Kenya

Tel: 00254 – (0) 20 – 274 9000

00254 – (0) 20 – 271 1262

Travel to Kenya