In Kenya, immigration services allow foreign nationals of some countries to enter for a period of up to three months without making a visa application. Countries benefiting from this waiver include a selection of Commonwealth countries, and various African nations. However, for most foreign nationals including citizens of the UK, the USA, Canada and Australia, applying for a Kenyan visa is an essential requirement to visit or immigrate to Kenya for any length of time.
The easiest way to obtain a Kenya visa is to get one after arrival at the airport (or any other entry point in Kenya) – for exemptions, see again below. There will be a waiting queue before the visa office at the airport, but generally it doesn’t take too long. You also need a passport that’s valid at least 3 months beyond the day of entering Kenya, and one blank page in it.
The telephone system is generally good and continually improving. Mobile services are excellent and local SIM cards can be purchased from the airport and at many locations. Internet services can also be found and the staff at The Majlis can arrange internet key connections for guests’ laptops. The international dial-in code for Kenya is +254. The dial-out code for international calls is 000.
Kenya is three hours ahead of GMT and has a single time zone.
Kenya operates a 220/240V service. Plugs are three point square plugs as used in the United Kingdom.
The currency is the Kenyan Shilling (KES) divided into 100 cents. Notes are denominated in 50, 200, 500 and 1,000 shillings. Coins are denominated in 5, 10 and 20 shillings. We recommend only changing currency at an official bureau de change, local banks or authorized hotels. The best currency to bring is UK pounds, US dollars or Euros but other currencies will generally be exchanged. There is no restriction on the amount of currency that can be brought into Kenya. However, the limit for taking out Kenyan Shillings is 500,000 unless written authorization is obtained.
Banks are open Monday to Friday from 9am – 3pm and from 9am – 11am on the first and last Saturday of the month. Banks at the international airports are generally open 24 hours. ATMs are common in the main cities and generally work well. Credit cards are widely accepted.
Business hours are generally 9am – 5pm and lunch is from 1 – 2pm from Monday to Friday. Banks are open from 9am – 3pm from Monday to Friday and some banks are open on Saturday morning from 9 – 11am. Banks at Jomo Kenyatta airport are open 24 hours.