About Kenya

World Leading Safari Destination

Welcome ~ Karibu

Kenya is a country that will not leave you indifferent. It  will seduce you by the meeting of its tribes, the discovery of its culture, and the exploration of its landscapes.


Presidential Representative Democratic Republic


Swahili (National Language), English (Official Language)


580,367 km²                224,080 sq miles


56,053, 400 (2022)      43 Tribes 




William Samoei Ruto


Kenyan Shilling (KES/KSH)

Time zone

East African Time (UTC+3)

Kenyan flag
The Flag of Kenya
The Nairobi City Centre
At the roof top of Kenyatta International Convention Center

Before you arrive


Kenya has transitioned from visa requirement to Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) from January 2024. The official link for eTA application is https://www.etakenya.go.ke/en

If you already applied for the normal visa, you will still use it during this transition period. Below is your eTA application.

Procedure: –

  1. Log in to the website above, create an account, agree to the terms and conditions, and select your country of residence.
  2. Upload your passport biodata page, then your selfie picture or passport-type photo
  3. Enter your contact information
  4. Enter your travel itinerary information
  5. Choose your reason for travel as tourism and enter your accommodation address in Kenya as follows: -Full Name and Physical Address of accommodation: CIVS Kenya, Mumias South Road, Buruburu Business Center, Nairobi Kenya
    Host Telephone Number: +254 722 210968
    Host Email: info@civskenya.com
  6. Upload the invitation letter in place of the accommodation booking confirmation
  7. Confirm and proceed with payment (34 USD)

A yellow fever certificate will only be required if you first travel to other countries in Africa or Latin America before entering Kenya. In some instances later during the processing, our ID or CIVS registration may be required and you can contact us if this issue arises.

ETA processing can take up to 3 days but if it takes longer, there is usually an error on the side of the application and the immigration department will contact you by email. CIVS will offer assistance in case of a problem. The ETA certificate is valid for 3 months and can be extended for 3 more months upon expiry.

The system is still undergoing new updates and we will update you accordingly.

When you arrive

Arrival in Nairobi

Arrival is at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi. The airport is about an hour’s drive from Nairobi city center. 

Arrival in Kisumu

Arrival is also through the Kisumu International Airport, Kisumu, situated in the Western part of Kenya.

Lost Luggage

Visit the lost luggage desk in the baggage hall before going through customs.

Practical Information

Getting Around

Hire a car: Most international car-hire companies operate in Kenya (with offices at the airport). Vehicles travel on the left-hand side of the road and most cars are right-hand drive. A current driving license with a photograph is accepted for three months stay.
Take public means: City buses operate at reasonable low rates. Matatus (private minibusses) are abundant but usually overcrowded.

Exchange rates


Post Office

These are easily accessible and open from 8 am to 5 pm on weekdays, and 9 am to 12 pm on Saturdays.


It is considered rude to speak to someone without first greeting them, so even if you only want directions, greet the person first. You can easily learn some Swahili as long as you are interested in communicating with the local people and actually try it. Here are a few greetings, common words, and responses you could give:
How are you? -Habari yako?
I’m very fine -Mzuri sana
Hello - Hujambo!
Please – Tafadhali
Thank you – Asante
Sorry -Pole
Goodbye - Kwaheri


Foreign currency can be changed at banks, foreign currency bureaus, or hotels. Banks are open from Monday to Saturday.


Kenya uses the 240V system. Power sockets are of the three-square-pin variety as used in the UK. To charge your phone or run other appliances you can bring a universal adapter or buy it in Kenya at any bigger supermarket.


Nairobi, Mombasa, and Kisumu have international standard hospitals offering all services. For Ambulance Services, dial 999.


Photographing people remains a sensitive issue in Kenya. We advise asking for permission before taking pictures of locals. You should never get your camera out at border crossings or near government or army buildings as this is an offense punishable with jail and heavy fines.


Drugs are illegal in Kenya. Even soft drugs like marijuana are not permitted during your stay in Kenya. CIVS Kenya discourages the use of any drugs and will not take responsibility for your actions. Getting into jail in Kenya is one of the last things you want.

Mobile Phones

Kenya uses the GSM 900 system, which is compatible with Europe and Australia but not with American GSM 1900. If your phone is not locked into a network, you can buy a prepaid mobile starter pack from Kenya mobile phone companies. You can top up by purchasing a scratch card, sold practically on any street corner anywhere in Kenya. International SMS costs around 10 Ksh each, while international calls cost around 50 Ksh per minute.

Internet Access

Internet is easily available from cyber cafes and hot spots in restaurants all around Nairobi. Internet access costs around 1 Ksh per minute. Internet speeds vary but you will get your e-mail read and sent without effort.


Kenyans are generally quite conservative, and particularly concerned with modesty in dress. Out of respect for the local communities (especially in the Muslim-dominated areas, such as cost, parts of Nairobi) and also to protect yourself from getting a sunburn you should wear clothes that cover the body from the shoulders to the knees. For women, it is useful to bring a long, wide piece of clothing to use as a covering.


Smoking in public is prohibited in Kenya.

Want to know more?

CIVS Kenya will promptly respond to any question regarding Kenya.


The Center for International Voluntary Service (CIVS Kenya) is a Community Development Organization working with local marginalized communities in Kenya to support them in their development and fight the poverty through volunteering and community development programs.