Kenya: Visas & Health

VISAS & TRAVEL DOCUMENTS:

All visitors to Kenya must have a passport which is valid for at least 6 months beyond their intended departure date. Visitors to southern Africa must ensure they have sufficient blank VISA pages (not endorsement pages) in their passports, with at least two consecutive/side by side blank pages. Our recommendation is 3 pages (or even 4 if you are travelling through more than one country on your journey). If there is insufficient space in the passport then entry into a country could be denied.

Visitors must also be in possession of outward travel documents and have sufficient funds for the duration of their stay.

Citizens of most Commonwealth countries do not require a visa for entry into Kenya. US passport holders do require a visa but this can be purchased at the port of entry, or if you prefer can be arranged in advance. The tourist visa is valid for 30 days.

For further information please refer to the relevant authorities:

Kenya Tourism: www.magicalkenya.com

Kenya Embassy in Washington DC: www.kenyaembassy.com

Any applicable visas and/or relevant documentation are the responsibility of the traveler.

HEALTH:

There are a few basic health matters that require care and attention. The following points are recommended guidelines only – all travelers should visit either their personal physician or a travel health clinic 4-8 weeks prior to departure.

Any person over 1 year of age entering Kenya from or via a country with risk of yellow fever transmission must be in possession of a valid International Certificate of Vaccination against yellow fever. 

A number of vaccinations are recommended for Kenya. For further up to date information please refer to the relevant authorities:

National Travel Health Network and Centre – Kenya: http://www.nathnac.org/ds/c_pages/country_page_KE.htm

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention – Travelers’ Health, Kenya: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/kenya.htm

There is a high risk of malaria in Kenya and you will almost certainly be prescribed a course of anti-malarial tablets. However please also remember that the best precaution is the preventative kind:
  • Avoid being bitten by using mosquito repellents liberally. The safari camps often provide a locally made repellent but please bring your own as there may be skin sensitivity.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers/slacks in the evenings.
  • Please use the mosquito net over your bed where supplied/available.
  • Where provided, please use the insecticide supplied to kill any mosquitoes that may have flown into your room.
  • Mosquito coils are also effective.

Malaria is transmitted by a very small percentage of female Anopheles mosquitoes. They are mainly active in the early evening and throughout the night. Malaria transmission is at its highest during the warmer and wetter months. There is also less prevalence in remote areas where many of the camps are situated; nonetheless, you need to consider taking preventative measures.

There is a six to seven day minimum incubation period before symptoms present themselves. If you become ill on your return, while still on prophylaxis or even once you have stopped taking them, ensure that your doctor does everything to establish that your illness is not malaria. Malaria can be prevented if you are sensible and take basic precautions. It is inadvisable for pregnant woman to visit malarial areas as malaria infection during pregnancy can be detrimental to mother and child.