Before you arrive

2 min read
07 Sep 2023

People traveling to Kenya from a country with risk of yellow fever transmission are required to provide a certificate of vaccination. Talk to your doctor about what other medical precautions to take, including whether to be vaccinated for hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, cholera and rabies. The weather in Nairobi is mild year-round, with an average temperature of 16.7 degrees Celsius (62.1 degrees Fahrenheit). There are rainy periods from March to May and November to December, so be sure to pack appropriately. Light layers are recommended, with at least a couple of long-sleeved shirts or jackets for when it gets cool at night and a rain jacket in case of showers. Most ATMs in Kenya accept international credit and debit cards, so you’ll be able to easily withdraw cash, but consider bringing enough with you to cover incidentals for the first few days.

Visas and Work Permits

Visitors to Kenya should buy a visa before travel at To work in Kenya, you’ll need a work permit and to register as resident, both of which can only be completed from within the country. Information about the different classes of permits and what documents, qualifications or investment are required for each can be found at the Foreign Nationals Service website ( You can start the application for a work permit and register your residence through the same site. Fill out the forms and pay online, then print the completed application and deliver it with your relevant supporting documents to Nyayo House in the Central Business District. Note that any documents in foreign languages must be translated into English by an authorized institution. A successful application will get you a work permit, a residency stamp in your passport and a foreigner ID card, all valid for two years. A perk of having these is significant discounts at national parks and other sites around Kenya. Student permits are available for those who’ve been accepted at an approved educational or training institution and for those coming to Kenya for an internship or to undertake academic research. Dependent passes are issued to those who are married to or dependents of a Kenyan citizen, Kenyan permit holder or a permanent resident.


Kenya’s public health service is provided through the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF). Employers are required to pay their employees’ contributions. Foreigners living in Kenya can register for state health insurance using their resident card at However, since NHIF insurance is minimal, it’s recommended you also take out private medical insurance. AAR ( and Resolution Health ( are two options. Depending on the activities of your company, you may need public liability insurance. Car insurance is compulsory and renewable annually. Fully comprehensive rates are a percentage of the value of the vehicle, while third-party insurance is KSh 7,700 ($74) for all cars. If you’re planning to spend time traveling around Kenya, it’s a good idea to get AMREF Flying Doctors membership ( This air ambulance service will provide you with medical evacuation from remote regions.

Main photo by Shalom Mwenesi