Kenyan Local Laws You Should Know as a Tourist

kenya local laws you should know

Travelers visiting Kenya soon should prepare for their trip adequately by researching the customs, laws, and other aspects of travel to Kenya, such as whether it will be necessary to obtain a Kenyan visa. There are many ways to prepare for a vacation in Kenya. The following laws, customs, and travel advice for Kenya should be helpful in providing further information for your trip.

Kenyan Local Laws

Familiarize yourself with local laws in Kenya, as well as customs that you may not be aware of as a foreign citizen visiting on vacation.

While hotels and tourist resorts are more accustomed to other forms of dress codes, it is recommendable to dress conservatively, particularly when in more remote areas. During Ramadan, travelers should be more cautious and respectful when visiting religious areas, as well.

Smoking in Kenya

If you are a smoker, please be careful as to where you smoke as smoking is banned in public places in Kenya. Designated smoking areas are the safest bet when smoking. Those in doubt should not smoke as the penalties for smoking in an undesignated area can range from fines to imprisonment.

Drug Laws in Kenya

Drug laws are taken very seriously in Kenya with one of the main penalties for being found in the possession of Class A drugs being 10 years in prison. There are also serious fines and penalties for the trafficking and use of illegal Class A drugs.

Photography Laws in Kenya

Visitors to Kenya should be wary of the photos or videos they take while traveling. There are certain places, sites, and buildings where photography is prohibited. Going against these laws can result in detention. Places and buildings where photography is prohibited include airports and embassies. In general, most official buildings in Kenya should not be photographed without official permission.

Wildlife Trade in Kenya

Selling, buying, capturing or killing any protected wild animals is illegal without a license. There is a ban on the trade of ivory as Kenya is a signatory to the Convention on Internation Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Fines and penalties for trafficking or the purchase of banned goods can vary depending on the individual case and can result in prison sentences.

LGBT Advice in Kenya

Kenyan regulations regarding the LGBT community are strict as homosexual activity is illegal. Same-sex couples are not recognized in Kenya and same-sex marriage is banned under the Kenyan Constitution. Adoption is prohibited for same-sex couples and there is no legal protection against sexual orientation discrimination or discrimination against gender identity. Please be aware that public displays of same-sex couples kissing or even holding hands in public places can lead to imprisonment.

Kenyan Laws for Tourists

Travelers should also be aware of other laws in Kenya:

  • Plastic bags are prohibited due to environmental reasons
  • Destroying Kenyan currency is illegal
  • Official permission is required in order to carry a firearm in Kenya
  • It is obligatory to carry official identification on you at all times whilst in Kenya

It’s Mandatory to have a Valid Visa to Travel to Kenya

Do not forget that in order to travel to Kenya, foreign travelers will require a valid visa and are able to apply for a Kenya visa online. It will be necessary to print the Kenyan eVisa on paper ready for travel to the country. This should also be kept on your person throughout your stay in Kenya. It is also necessary to check the Kenyan visa requirements, such as the validity of your passport.

Those traveling to Kenya should ensure that they are able to abide by the law and maintain respect for the culture, as well. Kenyan laws for foreigners are taken just as seriously as for locals and it is important to remind yourself while traveling that there are different customs in foreign countries that should be taken into consideration.