Heading to Kenya? Here's what you need to know about staying healthy.
Kenya offers a range of unique attractions, from the breathtaking Amboseli National Park, known for its stunning views of Mount Kilimanjaro and large elephant populations, to the flamingo-lined shores of Lake Nakuru.
While the excitement builds, it's important to tick health preparations off your list, especially vaccinations. This guide walks you through the necessary vaccines, ensuring you're all set for a smooth trip. At iVisa, we're not just about visas; we want to ensure every part of your journey, including your health, is taken care of.
Do I need a visa for Kenya?
Traveling to Kenya now requires an ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization), which has replaced the traditional eVisa system.
Citizens of countries that are not part of the East African Community must apply for an ETA before their trip. While the ETA application may initially seem simple, some requirements must be followed to avoid a visa denial.
Learn more about the Kenya ETA.
Do I need to be vaccinated to go to Kenya?
With the relaxation of COVID-19 protocols, no mandatory vaccines are required for Kenya. However, certain vaccinations are recommended to protect your health during your visit.
Which vaccines are required to enter Kenya?
It's highly recommended to be up-to-date with routine vaccinations such as chickenpox, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, flu, measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), polio, and shingles before traveling.
To keep yourself in top shape for your Kenya visit, think about also getting the following vaccines:
Cholera: Recommended if you're visiting regions with known outbreaks.
Hepatitis A: Advised for almost all visitors.
Hepatitis B: Recommended for those under 60 without immunity.
Malaria: You'll want to talk to your doctor about preventive medications based on where you're headed in Kenya.
Rabies: Important if you're likely to be in contact with animals.
Typhoid: A good idea if you're exploring beyond the big cities or staying with locals.
Is yellow fever vaccination required for Kenya?
Travelers coming from or through areas with a risk of yellow fever must present a yellow fever vaccination certificate.
Vaccination should be done at least 10 days before travel.
Additional health considerations
When preparing for your trip to Kenya, it's not just vaccinations you need to think about. There are other health considerations to keep in mind.
- Food and water safety: Avoid tap water and go for bottled or treated water instead. Be cautious with ice, as it may be made from contaminated tap water. Ensure that hot drinks like coffee or tea are served steaming hot, and consume pasteurized milk products only. Avoid freshly squeezed juices unless you've prepared them yourself under safe conditions.
Sun safety: Kenya's equatorial sun can be particularly intense, so wearing sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15, protective clothing, and seeking shade during peak hours (10 a.m.–4 p.m.) is advisable to protect against UV radiation and heat-related illnesses.
Insect bite prevention: Diseases like dengue, Chikungunya, and African tick-bite fever can be transmitted by insect bites in Kenya. To minimize risk, wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats to cover exposed skin, use DEET-based repellents, and sleep in air-conditioned or screened rooms or under a mosquito net if outdoors.
Travel health insurance: Have travel insurance that covers medical treatment and unexpected trip cancellations. This provides you with access to medical care if needed and protects you against unexpected travel-related expenses.
Traveling with restricted medication: If you're traveling with prescription medication, check Kenya's regulations on those medicines to avoid issues at customs. Carry a doctor's prescription and ensure the medication is in its original packaging.
Disease risks: Besides the vaccines already mentioned, travelers to Kenya should be aware of risks from non-vaccine-preventable diseases such as leptospirosis and schistosomiasis. Drinking only safe, treated water and avoiding swimming in fresh, unchlorinated water, such as lakes, rivers, or ponds, can help prevent these diseases.
Where can I get more information?
For more detailed information on Kenya's vaccine requirements and health advice for traveling to Kenya, the Kenya Ministry of Health website is the best resource.
If you have questions about the Kenya ETA or need assistance with the application, you can get in touch with our customer support team. Please send us a message on our live chat or at [email protected].