Facts to assist you when travelling to Kenya



  • The Kenyan population currently stands at 53.01 million (2021).


Capital City and Largest City

  • The capital of Kenya is Nairobi, with a population of 4. 397 million (2019).


Official Language

  • The official languages of Kenya is English and Swahili.



  • The Kenyan Shilling.


Office Hours

  • 08:00 – 17:00.



  • Weekends in Kenya is held over Saturday and Sunday.


Time Zone

  • UTC+3.


Calling Code

  • +254.



  • If a service charge is not included in the bill, a tip of 10% is acceptable.



  • Most countries are represented by Embassies or consulates located in the capital city.



  • Unitary presidential constitutional republic.



  • Kenya’s climate varies from tropical along the coast to temperate inland to arid in the north and northeast parts of the country. The area receives a great deal of sunshine every month, and summer clothes are worn throughout the year. It is usually cool at night and early in the morning inland at higher elevations.


The “long rains” season occurs from March/April to May/June. The “short rains” season occurs from October to November/December. The rainfall is sometimes heavy and often falls in the afternoons and evenings. The temperature remains high throughout these months of tropical rain. The hottest period is February and March, leading into the season of the long rains, and the coldest is in July, until mid-August.



  • Main airport: Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (Nairobi). The country has an extensive network of paved and unpaved roads. Kenya’s railway system links the nation’s ports and major cities, connecting it with neighbouring Uganda. There are 15 airports which have paved runways.

Kenya has a major international port at Mombasa.



  • Main industries include small-scale consumer goods (plastic, furniture, batteries, textiles, clothing, soap, cigarettes, flour), agricultural products, horticulture, oil refining; aluminium, steel, lead; cement, commercial ship repair, and tourism.



  • The best course of action is to behave formally and follow the lead of others. The honoured guest is usually served first, followed by the men, children, and women. Do not begin eating until the eldest male has been served and started eating. If you use your hands then scoop the food with the thumb and first two fingers of the right hand.



  • Handshakes are the most common means of greeting. However, Muslim men/women do not always shake hands with women/men. The most common greeting is “Jambo?” (“How are you?”), which is generally said immediately prior to the handshake. People are generally addressed by their academic, professional or honorific title followed by their surname. Once a personal relationship has developed, you may be able to address a person by their title and first name, first name alone, or nickname. Wait for the Kenyan to determine that your friendship has reached this level of intimacy. Women over the age of 21 are often addressed as “Mama” and men over the age of 35 are often addressed as “Mzee”.



  • The Kenya currency unit is the shilling (KSH), divided in 100 cents. The Kenyan shilling has been quite stable over the years. The best currencies to bring are US dollars, UK pounds or euros. It is advisable to exchange these for the local currency as soon as possible at banks and forex bureaus. Barclays Bank is the best banking option, because their ATMs accept both Visa, MasterCard, Cirrus and Plus bank cards. The ATMs of Kenya Commercial Bank accept only Visa cards.



  • Driving is on the left-hand side of the road. Public transport is limited, unreliable, uncomfortable, slow and not recommended. It is common practice for expats to employ a driver. If driving do so carefully and slowly (speed kills), remember animals and humans can cross the road at any time, try never to drive at night, roads are often poorly maintained and pot holes are to be found.



  • As in any country, there are a few safety and security issues in Kenya. Kenya is a poor country, and there are many people who are forced to make a living by illegal means. Normal Kenyan citizens are definitely targets, but rich, naive tourists are an even bigger temptation for thieves, pick pockets, and con artists. Crime is not so common in rural areas, but is in big cities, especially Nairobi. By taking necessary precautions, however, the risks of a security incident can be reduced drastically. Violent crime is rare in Kenya, even in Nairobi.



  • In Kenya, respect for elders is important. Many Kenyans still believe strongly in the ancestor world, where the dead have powers for good or bad over their living descendants.



  • Shopping in Nairobi is convenient and safe. There are plenty of modern shopping malls, grocery stores, open-air markets, convenience stores and supermarkets located throughout the city.


To read more exciting blogs, please click on the link below:


Written by Saudika Hendricks

Edited by Eloise Williams

In Africa, there is an alarming third wave as the vaccine rollout is hampered. In recent light of the vaccine rollout in all parts of the world, third world countries vaccine rollout seems to be stagnant, experts fearing that it may take decades to vaccinate their respective countries.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) regional office has reported that the third wave of Covid-19 cases is spreading faster in Africa. On Thursday, 17 June 2021, WHO regional director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti warned, “With a rapid increase in the number of cases and increasing reports of severe disease, the latest wave threatens to be the worst to date in Africa,”

According to the regional office, for five consecutive weeks, Africa has seen an increase in Covid-19 cases, signaling the beginning of the third wave in Africa. “As of 20 June—day 48 into the new wave—Africa had recorded around 474 000 new cases—a 21% increase compared with the first 48 days of the second wave.” As reported by WHO, the pandemic is resurging in 12 African countries and at the current rate of infections, the ongoing surge is set to surpass the previous one by early July.

18 African countries have already used over 80% of their COVAX vaccine supplies, 29 have administered over 50% of their suppliers, and eight have exhausted their vaccine supply. It is important to be aware that just over 1% of Africa’s population has been fully vaccinated. Globally, 2.7 billion doses have been administered, with just under 1.5% having been administered in Africa.

Dr Moeti is urging the international community to help Africa deal with the Covid-19 vaccine supply as the surge threatens to impair not only Africa’s economy but society.



Facebook has launched a campaign in partnership with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to combat misinformation and fake news regarding Covid-19 and vaccine updates in Africa. This campaign aims to remove false vaccine claims, decrease the circulation of inaccurate health information and inform people about effective vaccine delivery.

The campaign called, ‘Together Against Covid-19 Misinformation’ is set to be launched across Zimbabwe, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo and Côte d’Ivoire. The default language on this campaign will be French and English.

Public Policy Manager, Aïda Ndiaye stated that ensuring Facebook users receive authoritative information about the Covid-19 vaccine with the help of industry experts and Facebook users are important to tackle misinformation. She further comments on the campaign gives users “additional resources to scrutinize content they see online, helping them decide what to read trust and share.”

This campaign will show up on Facebook through a series of graphics with tips on how to identify false news/ misinformation:

  1. Check The Source: Scrutinise content, even if it appears science-based
  2. Check How It Makes You Feel: False news can manipulate feelings for clicks 
  3. Check The Context: Look to public health authorities to confirm content 

A dedicated website will be launched as part of the website as part of the campaign. This website includes information on how Facebook is combating misinformation, transparency on their ‘Remove, Reduce and Inform strategy.’, their outlined community standards and steps they are taking to tackle false news around global events.




Lynn Mackenzie, J.D., LLM

Courtesy of IKM Advocates

Please see the directive from the Directorate of Immigration Services (DIS) on special passes:-

Directive The DIS has reviewed the eligibility requirements for special passes and shall going forward require all Special Pass applications to be accompanied by a contract of employment or an engagement letter.


Applicants are required to comply irrespective of the proposed duration of stay in the country.


The contract of employment or letter of engagement can be for a fixed term ( 1 – 6  months) or open ended depending on the duration of the assignment in Kenya.


Effective date 1 December 2020


Impact on business High


Applications will not be processed without a copy of a signed contract of employment or letter of engagement


Should you require any further information and or assistance please do not hesitate to contact us at immigration@relocationafrica.com.


The content of this document is provided for general information purposes. The provision of this document does not constitute legal advice or opinion of any kind; no advisory or fiduciary relationship is created between Relocation Africa and any other person accessing or using this document. Relocation Africa will not be liable for any damages or loss arising from using any part of this document.


For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].