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Country Profile


Kenya is a developing East African country known for its wildlife and national parks. The capital city is Nairobi. The second largest city is Mombasa, located on the southeast coast. Tourist facilities are widely available in Nairobi, the game parks, the reserves, and on the coast. Read the Department of State Background Notes on Kenya for additional information.



Image of Kenya
Country Name: Kenya
Continent: Africa
Capital City: Nairobi
Boundary Countries:

Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda

Recommended Hospitals in Capital:

Mombasa:  Aga Khan Hospital- Mombasa
Nairobi:  Aga Khan University Hospital- Nairobi, Gertrude’s Garden Children’s Hospital, Karen Hospital Menelik Medical Centre, Nairobi Hospital, The Mater Hospital
Diani Beach:  Diani Beach Hospital
Kisumu:  Aga Khan Hospital- Kisumu
Nairobi:  Laser Medical Services, Ltd.

Main Cities:


Country Size: 582,650 sq km
Population: 34,707,817



English (official), Kiswahili (official), numerous indigenous languages

Currency: Kenyan Shilling (KES)
Predominant Religions:

Protestant 45%, Roman Catholic 33%, indigenous beliefs 10%, Muslim 10%, other 2%

National Holidays: Independence Day, 12 December (1963)
Economic Status:

Kenya is a developing East African country known for its wildlife and national parks. The regional hub for trade and finance in East Africa, Kenya has been hampered by corruption and by reliance upon several primary goods whose prices have remained low.


Kenyan Army, Kenyan Navy, Kenyan Air Force

US Presence:

The US Embassy is located on United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, Nairobi, Kenya; tel (254) (20) 363-6000; fax (254)(20) 363-6410. In the event of an after-hours emergency, the Embassy duty officer may be contacted at (254) (20) 363-6170. The Embassy's international mailing address is PO Box 606, Village Market 00621, Nairobi, Kenya. Mail using US domestic postage may be addressed to Unit 64100, APO AE 09831. The Embassy home page is http://kenya.usembassy.gov.

Document Requirements:

A passport and visa are required. Visas should be obtained in advance, although airport visas are available. Travelers who opt to obtain an airport visa should expect delays upon arrival. There is a fee for the visa, whether obtained in advance or at the airport.  Evidence of yellow fever immunization may be requested. Travelers to Kenya and neighboring African countries should ensure that the validity of their passports is at least six months beyond the end of their intended stay, and that their passport contains sufficient blank pages for visas and immigration stamps.
Travelers may obtain the latest information on visas as well as any additional details regarding entry requirements from the Embassy of Kenya, 2249 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008, telephone (202) 387-6101, or the Kenyan Consulates General in Los Angeles and New York City. Persons outside the United States should contact the nearest Kenyan embassy or consulate. Visit the Embassy of Kenya web site at http://www.kenyaembassy.com for the most current visa information.
Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our web site. For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information sheet.

Major Airports:

Airports:  225, Airports w/paved runways:  15

Mombasa Moi International Airport (MBA/HKMO)
Mombasa Airport, Kenya, PO Box 93904, Mombasa, KENYA
Tel: +254 (0)41 433211
Fax: +254 (0)41 434434
Customs, hours: 24 hours
Tel: +254 (0)41 433855

Nairobi – Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO/HKJK)
Nairobi, Jomo Kenyatta, Kenya, PO Box 19087, Nairobi, 00501, KENYA
Tel: +254 (0)20 822111
Fax: +254 (0)20 822078
Customs, hours: 24 hours
Tel: +254 (0)20 822111
Fax: +254 (0)20 822930

Servicing Airlines:
Risks and Precautions:

US DEPT OF STATE TRAVEL WARNING, Updated 28 December 2010
Please visit the US Dept. of State website for complete details at: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_923.html

The US Department of State warns citizens of the risks of travel to Kenya. US citizens in Kenya and those considering travel to Kenya should evaluate their personal security situation in light of continuing threats from terrorism and the high rate of violent crime. This replaces the Travel Warning of July 24, 2009 to note areas of concern now include portions of Lamu district and provide additional cautions to US citizens regarding potentially threatening circumstances.

The US government continues to receive information regarding potential terrorist threats aimed at US, Western, and Kenyan interests in Kenya. Terrorist acts could include suicide operations, bombings, kidnappings, attacks on civil aviation as evidenced by the 2002 attacks on an Israeli airliner, and attacks on maritime vessels in or near Kenyan ports. Many of those responsible for the attacks on the US Embassy in 1998 and on a hotel in Mombasa in 2002 remain at large and continue to operate in the region.  Travelers should consult the Worldwide Caution for further information and details.

In July 2009, three NGO workers were kidnapped and taken into Somalia by suspected members of a terrorist group that operates out of Somalia. In November 2008, armed groups based in Somalia crossed into Kenya near the town of El Wak and kidnapped two Westerners. The US Embassy in Nairobi has designated a portion of Kenya bordering Somalia and Ethiopia as “restricted without prior authorization” for purposes of travel by US Government employees, contractors, grantees, and their dependents. Travelers should be aware that US Embassy security personnel recently expanded the restricted area to include portions of Lamu district. This designation is based on reports of Somali-based armed groups known to have crossed into Kenya to stage attacks or to commit crimes. This restriction does not apply to travelers not associated with the US government, but should be taken into account when planning travel. The restriction is in effect for the following areas: 

-All of Mandera District.

-The entire area north and east of the town of Wajir, including travel on Highway C80 and areas east of C80 and an 80-kilometer (about 50 miles) wide band contiguous with the Somalia border. Travel to and within the towns of Wajir and Moyale remains unrestricted.

-Within Garissa District, an 80-kilometer (about 50 miles) wide band contiguous with the Somalia border. Travel to and within the town of Dadaab remains unrestricted.

-Within Ijara District, an 80-kilometer (about 50 miles) wide band contiguous with the Somalia border; Boni National Reserve.

-Within Lamu District, a 60-kilometer (about 40 miles) wide band starting northeast of Pate Island to the Somalia border. Towns and resorts within/contiguous to the Kiunga Marine Reserve are now included in the restricted area.

Violent and sometimes fatal criminal attacks, including armed carjackings, home invasions/burglaries and kidnappings can occur at any time and in any location, particularly in Nairobi. As recently as spring 2010, US nationals were victims of carjacking and kidnapping. In the short-term, the continued displacement of thousands of people by the civil unrest of 2008 combined with endemic poverty and the availability of weapons could result in an increase in crime, both petty and violent. Kenyan authorities have limited capacity to deter or investigate such acts or prosecute perpetrators.

US citizens in Kenya should be extremely vigilant with regard to their personal security, particularly in public places frequented by foreigners such as clubs, hotels, resorts, upscale shopping centers, restaurants, and places of worship. US citizens should also remain alert in residential areas, at schools, and at outdoor recreational events.

US citizens should avoid demonstrations and political rallies of all kinds. Most political gatherings are peaceful, but they can turn violent with no notice. In the run-up to the constitutional referendum in June 2010, six Kenyans were killed and 100 injured at a prayer meeting/political rally in Uhuru Park in downtown Nairobi.

Mortality Statistics:

Infant MR total:  59.26 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth:  TOTAL 48.93 years  (male 49.78 /female 48.07)

Immunization Indicators:

Required: None
Recommended: Yellow Fever, Malaria, Hep A & B, Meningococcal, Polio, Typhoid, Rabies
Boosters: MMR, DPT and poliovirus

Infectious Disease Concerns:

Major infectious diseases: degree of risk: very high

Malaria risk area in Kenya: Risk in all areas (including game parks) at altitudes below 2,500 m (<8,202 ft). No risk in Nairobi.
If you will be visiting a malaria risk area in Kenya, you will need to take one of the following antimalarial drugs:
atovaquone/proguanil, doxycycline, or mefloquine (primaquine in special circumstances and only after G6PD testing).
Note: Chloroquine is NOT an effective antimalarial drug in Kenya and should not be taken to prevent malaria in this region.

Dengue, filariasis, leishmaniasis, and onchocerciasis (river blindness) are other diseases carried by insects that also occur in East Africa. African trypanosomiasis (African sleeping sickness) has increased in Africa (it is epidemic in Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Sudan; and highly endemic in Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea, Mozambique, Uganda, and Tanzania; low levels are found in most of the other countries), and an increase in travelers has been noted since 2000.  Most had exposures in Tanzania and Kenya, reflecting common tourist routes.  Protecting yourself against insect bites will help to prevent these diseases.
Schistosomiasis, a parasitic infection, can be contracted in fresh water in this region. Do not swim in fresh water (except in well-chlorinated swimming pools) in these countries. (For more information, please see Swimming and Recreational Water Safety.)
Many countries in this region have high incidence rates of tuberculosis and high HIV prevalence rates.

Overall Quality of Medical Services:

Adequate medical services are available in Nairobi.

Providers in Network:
Direct Payment: 19
Referrals: 28
View Network Providers
Recent Medical Threats/ Concerns/Warnings:

Plague occurs sporadically or in outbreaks.  Outbreaks have occurred since 2000 in Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Uganda, and Tanzania.  Ituri Distric (Oriental Province) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo reports about 1,000 cases per year and was the site of an outbreak in 2006.
Polio outbreaks were reported in several previously polio-free countries in Central, Eastern, and Western Africa beginning in 2003. Polio is still endemic in Nigeria.
Highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1) has been found in poultry populations in several countries in Africa. Avoid all direct contact with birds, including domestic poultry (such as chickens and ducks) and wild birds, and avoid places such as poultry farms and bird markets where live birds are raised or kept.  For a current list of countries reporting outbreaks of H5N1 among poultry and/or wild birds, view updates from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), and for total numbers of confirmed human cases of H5N1 virus by country see the World Health Organization (WHO) Avian Influenza website.

Communications Info:

Country Calling Code:  +254
Internet Country Code:  .ke


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