Planning on travelling to Kenya and wondering about vaccinations and visas? We’ve done all the homework for you… Read on for information on health and safety as well as the passport details required for your visit to Kenya…
Health & safety
As Kenya is prone to malaria, make sure you take all the necessary precautions. The highlands are a greater risk while Nairobi is a low risk area (see this malaria map for more info). Visit your doctor at least a month before your departure to discuss the right malaria prophylactic for you. The most common pills include mefloquine (sold as Lariam) that’s taken weekly, the antibiotic doxycycline that’s taken daily, and atovaquone-with-proguanil that’s also taken daily (sold as Malarone). Your doctor will be able to advise further on which of these pills is best for you, and what the various side effects can be.
Prevention is always best – make sure you are protected against mosquitoes by covering your arms, legs and feet as much as possible in the evenings. As it’s believed that mosquitoes are naturally attracted to dark colours, pack plenty of light coloured trousers and long-sleeve shirts. Most lodges will have mosquito nets above the beds but it’s also worthwhile investing in a good quality mosquito repellent with DEET.
Sunshine & hydration
Pack high SPF sunscreen and a good pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes from the bright glare of the equatorial sun. Beware of dehydration by making sure you’re drinking plenty of fluids. Stick to bottled water which is widely available and is usually provided by your lodge.
Kenya is a yellow-fever zone and you’ll need to show your yellow fever vaccination card when you leave Kenya. An International Vaccination Certificate (IVC) only becomes valid ten days after you’ve had the vaccination, after which it is valid for ten years. You should also make sure you are up to date with your childhood tetanus and polio protection: you will need a booster every ten years.
Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months after the end of your holiday and make sure that it has at least two blank pages in it.
British travellers will need a visa to visit Kenya. This can be obtained on arrival at the airport (cash only). To save time, we’d recommend downloading the application form, and have it filled in ready for your arrival or you can even get your visas online in advance from the Kenyan embassy or high commission – in person or by post. We’d recommend checking with the Kenyan embassy website to see the most up-to-date information.
The Kenyan Embassy in London
45 Portland Place, London W1B 4AS | 020 7636 2371 | kenyahighcom.org.uk
We’d recommend taking out a good travel insurance policy before travelling to Kenya. A typical insurance policy usually provides cover for loss of baggage, tickets and cash up to a certain limit, as well as cancellation or curtailment of your journey. Planning to enjoy adventure sports? Check that your insurance plan covers diving, climbing, etc.
Find out more
- Kenya: An Introduction
- Culture & Coast
- Wildlife & National Parks
- When to Travel
- What to Do
- Where to Stay