Is Kenya Safe?
Nairobi has a longstanding reputation as a bit of a crime hotspot, one that is largely justified but unlikely to affect those who stay at a suburban hotel since crime targeted at tourists is mainly associated with the city center.
The triangle of streets between Moi Avenue and River Road should be avoided at all times unless you have a trusted local escort, and it’s best to use a taxi if you leave your hotel after dark.
Crime is also a problem on some parts of the coast but far less so in small upcountry towns, game reserves, and other rural areas. However, the majority of visitors to Kenya have hassle-free holidays, and so should you if you follow the commonsense dos and don’ts below:
- Carry a scan or electronic version of all important travel documents in case they are lost or stolen. You might also want to email all such backups to a webmail address you can access anywhere on the road.
- Padlocking your luggage might not prevent a determined thief from slashing it open, but it’s a solid deterrent to casual light fingers.
- Never leave valuables (cash, mobile phones, electronic devices, etc.) lying around in your hotel room; where possible, stow your passport and other important documents, as well as spare cash and cards, in a hotel safe.
- Leave expensive jewelry at home.
- Avoid exposing cameras, laptops or large amounts of cash in urban areas.
- Avoid walking around towns after dark. If you must, do so as part of a group and stick to busy and well-lit streets.