How To Be Safe In Kenya

Safety in Kenya is a concern for many residents and new arrivals. Crime is, undeniably, an issue, especially in Kenya’s larger cities of Nairobi and Mombasa. Still, with the necessary precautions and a bit of common sense, ex-pats should be able to live a safe life in Kenya.

Expats who want to go on safari and see and do things in Kenya should be aware of the risks when viewing wildlife, especially on foot. Most visitors to national parks and game reserves encounter no issues, but all should follow the guidance and instructions of the park.

How To Be Safe In Kenya


There is a risk of terrorism in Kenya. The main threat comes from extremists connected to Al Shabaab, a militant group in Somalia which has issued public threats against Kenya because of its military involvement in Somalia.

Terrorism and piracy are also dangers off the coast of Somalia around the Horn of Africa, so ex-pats interested in sea travel should be aware of the potential threats and not take matters lightly.

We urge ex-pats to follow any information and guidance provided by the authorities.

Road Safety

Those who decide to drive in Kenya should always do so defensively and be vigilant. Due to the risk of carjackings, especially in Kenya’s bigger cities, it’s essential to have windows and doors locked at all times. Be careful, especially when driving outside cities, and avoid driving at night.

be cautious of travelling long-distance buses at nighttime as there have been several serious accidents involving intercity buses in Kenya. Opt to travel with a reputable bus company as some smaller operations use poorly maintained vehicles, which are often driven recklessly.


You should be vigilant at all times and take into account any security advice given by your hotel, employer or your hosts. If you’re attacked, don’t resist. Avoid walking around after dark, especially in isolated areas like empty beaches. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash and don’t wear expensive watches, jewellery or items of sentimental value.

Beware of thieves posing as police officers or private Security Guards. Always ask to see identification. Don’t accept food or drink from strangers as it may be drugged.

For urgent help (for example, you have been attacked, arrested or someone has died), call +44 (0) 20 7008 5000

Air travel

There are some concerns about the lack of security arrangements in place at Wilson airport in Nairobi. The airport is mainly used for domestic flights, including charters.

If you plan to charter a private aircraft, check with the company about the condition of the aircraft and the runways to be used. If the company has no Safety Pilot, find another company that does.

Local rules and regulations prohibit photography at airports. You could be fined or imprisoned.

Be vigilant at all times when transiting airports.

You must carry a form of ID with you at all times. A copy of your passport is normally acceptable, but recently some police officers have been insisting on the original document.