Is Kenya a safe travel destination?
Safety aspects we consider are: road conditions, conflicts and crime.
Road safety in Kenya
Most roads are well maintained and most traffic users know and obey the driving rules quite well. However, always drive defensively and at limited speed, lock your doors and avoid driving after dark due to badly lit roads and livestock that can cross the road unexpectedly. Do not leave valuables in your car when it's unattended and always carry cash, water and a charged mobile phone with you. Check the Driving in Kenya section for more travel tips.
How about crime in Kenya?
People in Kenya are generally super friendly and willing to assist you. It could happen that people offer their services as a guide, and then ask for a small incentive. If you want to avoid uneasy situations, just be upfront and ask if the person is expecting a remuneration, before accepting their guiding services.
With regards to crimes such as theft, be streetsmart, as you are traveling in a country where the population is considerably less wealthy than you are. Don’t leave valuables in the car, always park the car at a secure spot, leave your diamond rings at home and try not to leave your valuables up for grabs in your hotel room. However, hotel theft is not a big problem.
Inter-tribal conflicts in Kenya have diminished in recent years, but the Northern part of Kenya is still a no-go zone for tourists. Check our restricted areas section here. Unfortunately, Kenya has, like many countries in the recent past, faced some terrorist attacks. These attacks were never specifically aimed at tourists. Although it is a very sad thing, we can only hope that it never holds people back from doing what they really love: travelling. Tourism is usually one of the first economic sectors hit hardest as tourists shy away, whilst so many people depend on it for their livelihoods.
Some safety tips for tourists in Nairobi
Safety in Nairobi has really increased, and for tourists, the city is not more unsafe than any other big city in an emerging economy. If you are driving around in Nairobi, lock your doors, and pay attention to not making phone calls with your windows fully open. Beware of people hanging around when you are going to the bank or the ATM, and preferably use ATMs inside shopping malls.
We find Karen or L'angata the best place to stay; these are green and affluent residential areas, where you also find plenty of nice restaurants and shopping malls. There is little traffic in these neighbourhoods, and because of the expressways ( bypass), it's easy to get out of the city. The use of Uber taxis is common and widespread in Nairobi.