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Kenya Health & Safety Advice

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Health

Adequate medical services are available in Nairobi. Frequent outbreaks of cholera and malaria are endemic in Kenya outside Nairobi. In addition, diseases such as Ebola, Rift Valley Fever, and anthrax from handling sheep skins are concerns, have potential and do occur periodically. Travelers who become ill with a fever or flu-like illness while traveling in a malaria-risk area and up to one year after returning home should seek prompt medical attention and tell the physician their travel history and what antimalarials they have been taking.

Safety

There is a high rate of crime in all regions of Kenya, particularly Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, and at coastal beach resorts. There are regular reports of attacks against tourists by groups of armed assailants. Pickpockets and thieves carry out "snatch and run" crimes on city streets and near crowds. Visitors have found it safer not to carry valuables, but rather to store them in hotel safety deposit boxes or safe rooms. However, there have been reports of safes being stolen from hotel rooms and hotel desk staff being forced to open safes. Walking alone or at night, especially in downtown areas, public parks, along footpaths, on beaches, and in poorly lit areas, is dangerous and discouraged.

Violent criminal attacks, including armed carjacking and home invasions/burglary, can occur at any time and in any location, and are becoming increasingly frequent, brazen, vicious, and often fatal. Thieves routinely snatch jewelry and other objects from open vehicle windows while motorists are either stopped at traffic lights or in heavy traffic. Vehicle windows should be up and doors locked regardless of the time of day or weather. Thieves on matatus, buses and trains may steal valuables from inattentive passengers. Purchasing items from street vendors is strongly discouraged – visitors should only use reputable stores or businesses. Many scams, perpetrated against unsuspecting tourists, are prevalent in and around the city of Nairobi.

When driving in Kenya, remember that animals and humans can cross the road at any time. Roads are also ofter poorly maintained with lots of pot holes. It's a good idea to keep the doors and windows locked while driving in the major cities. Beware of thieves posing as police officers; always ask to see identification.




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