Jambo! Here are all-you-need-to-know precious tips of getting around Kenya during your visit ranging from finances, health, transport and communication:
Point of Entry
International flights are most likely to first land at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport which is about 30-minutes* drive to the city centre and Mombasa International Airport, about 10-minute drive to city centre. If travelling by sea, the port of Mombasa will be your only docking point.
Most nationalities visiting Kenya require a visa to enter Kenya. Single, transit and multiple entry visas can be obtained at any Kenya High commission or Embassy in your country or a nearby country. Alternatively, one can apply for a visa online using the evisa platform. Single entry visa on arrival goes for $50 or an equivalent in Kenya shillings.
Most Kenyans speak English and Kiswahili. English is the official language while Kiswahili is national language
Though not very popular, post offices open Monday to Friday from 8 am – 5 pm and Saturdays from 9 am – 12 pm.
Telephone connectivity and Internet
Pay-as-you-Go SIM cards can be purchased from mobile service shops- Safaricom, Airtel, Orange and Telkom Kenya. You will be required to produce your identification document so remember to carry your passport.
Although there’s no Wi-Fi in public places, you may be lucky to find connectivity at Cafes and selected shops in Shopping malls. Most hotels have internet connectivity.
- Police Headquarters Dial 911 and 2240000/0726-035455/020341411,
- Nairobi Hospital 020 2845000, 020 2714400, 0722 204114/5/6/7,
- Kenya Red cross E-Plus Ambulance 1199 or 0700 395395, 0738 395395,
- Aga Khan University hospital 020 746309, 750290, 750185, 3740000.
Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru, and Eldoret have good hospitals.
Currency and currency regulations
The currency in Kenya is Kenya shillings. There are no strict regulations on the movement of currency in and out of Kenya. However, both residents and non-residents must declare amounts above $5000 with customs by showing source and intended use of this amount.
Banking and credit cards
The majority of banks open Monday to Friday 9 am – 4 pm and 9 am – 12 pm on Saturdays with some extending to 4 pm. Selected bank branches open on Sundays. Most bank ATM machines accept Visa and Mastercard cards. Check out for the sign before you withdraw.
All major credit cards are accepted in most urban places.
Traveler’s cheques are accepted in most banks and Forex bureaus available at airports and in most shopping malls. Check with your hotel to find out if they accept beforehand.
Driving in Kenya
Vehicles drive on the left-hand side of the road with most cars being right-hand drive. A valid driving license with your picture on it is acceptable for up to 3 months.
All regions in Kenya are supplied with a 240V AC. Kenya uses the UK type 3-square-pin socket.
Although restaurants and bars include a 10% levy on the bill, tipping is appreciated by the employees. Since it’s not mandatory, only tip for good service.
Getting around Kenya is pretty easy. Pay cash onboard on all city buses and vans (matatus). Stay on the look out for pick pockets.
Most hotels serve bottled water. However, if they require you to drink tap water and are in doubt, buy bottled water at the nearest restaurant, bar or shop.
Karibu and enjoy your stay in Kenya.
Carolina | My Global Attitude