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Kenya Fact File

OFFICIAL NAME: Republic of Kenya

Kenya covers an area of 586,600 sq km, 10,700 km of which is inland water, including part of Lake Victoria. The coastline is 536 km long.

Kenya is bordered by Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania.
Kenya has tremendous topographical diversity, including glaciated mountains with snow-capped peaks, the Rift Valley with its scarps and volcanoes, ancient granitic hills, flat desert landscapes and coral reefs and islets.

As with any country anywhere in the world, petty theft takes place. Ensure your valuables are safe and don’t exchange cash or wave your cash around in the streets; you might be the victim of a pickpocket.

POPULATION: Kenya has a population of 33.9 million (2005 estimate)


SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT: Democratically elected parliament

HEAD OF STATE: Uhuru Kenyata

INDEPENDENCE DAY: December 12th 1963

LANGUAGE: English is the official language and Kiswahiliis the national.

RELIGION: Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism and traditional beliefs.

TIME ZONE: GMT + 3 all year round. Kenya maintains an almost constant 12 hours of daylight.


ELECTRICITY: 220-240 Volts AC with standard 13-amp three square-pin plugs.

A valid entry visa is required and may be obtained in advance from the Kenyan Embassy or High Commission in your country of origin, or upon arrival in Kenya. We recommend purchasing prior to travel as queues at the airport can be long.

A valid passport not expiring for at least six months is required for entry into Kenya.

The Kenya currency is Kenya shilling (KSh); slang ‘bob’.

Foreign currency can be changed at banks, foreign exchange bureaus and at hotels and airports. Travellers’ Cheques are accepted at most banks, bureaux and hotels. All major international credit cards are accepted.

Numerous international carriers serve Kenya, and Nairobi is the hub of the East African region. Kenya has three international airports; Jomo Kenyatta International Airport; Nairobi, Moi International Airport; Mombasa and Moi International Airport, Eldoret.

Frequent flights for both scheduled and charter flights operate from Nairobi’s Wilson Airport and from Mombasa and Malindi to the main national parks and towns.

8½ hours to Nairobi.

10 hours to Mombasa via Nairobi.

Kenyan motorists drive on the left hand side of the road – in general European-styled traffic regulations apply.

Average daytime temperature in Nairobi is 21-26 ˚ centigrade and the coast has a higher daytime average temperature of 27-31˚ centigrade.

July and August mark Kenyan winter and Nairobi can become cold enough for coats and fleeces.

January – February is dry

March – May is wet

June – September is dry

October – December is wet

Temperatures elsewhere depend on altitude.

A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required ONLY if you are arriving in Kenya from an infected area.

Inoculations against hepatitis A and typhoid are recommended.

www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk is a good source of information.

Kenya Tourist Board