An important step in the preparation for a safari or Kenya beach holiday is to be aware of the entry requirements and travel health guidelines, regulations on vaccinations and what precautions should be taken in a visitor’s travel plans.
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Any compulsory vaccines in Kenya?
There are both compulsory for entry and strongly recommended vaccination requirements for Kenya. All travellers are required to have a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate in order to gain entry to Kenya. Understanding the best time to travel to Kenya is useful in helping travellers understand what vaccines they should take.
Furthermore, for most short-term travellers, many other vaccinations for Kenya are recommended which can add to the overall Kenya safari cost.
Recommended Kenya vaccines
Some vaccines are recommended for Kenya by the CDC & WHO.
|Covid||Recommended for everyone 5 years of age and older to get fully vaccinated for COVID-19 before travel.|
|Malaria||Travelers going to certain areas of Kenya should take prescription medicine to prevent malaria many days before their trip, as well as during and after their trip.|
|Chickenpox (Varicella)||2 doses of chickenpox vaccine for children, adolescents, and adults who have never had chickenpox and were never vaccinated.|
|Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis||CDC recommends diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough (pertussis) vaccinations for everyone.|
|Flu||CDC recommends use of any licensed, age-appropriate flu vaccine as an option for vaccination.|
|MMR||Two doses of MMR vaccine to prevent measles and protect against Mumps and Rubella.|
|Polio||CDC recommends that children get 4 doses of polio vaccine. Most adults do not need polio vaccine if already vaccinated as children.|
|Shingles||Adults 50 years and old should get two doses of the shingles vaccine called Shingrix (recombinant zoster vaccine), separated by 2 to 6 months, to prevent shingles|
|Rabies||Rabid dogs are commonly found in Kenya. Visitors should consider a rabies vaccination before their trip.|
|Typhoid||Recommended for most travelers, especially those staying with friends or relatives or visiting smaller cities or rural areas.|
|Yellow Fever||Required if traveling from a country with risk of YF virus transmission and ≥1 year of age, including transit >12 hours in an airport located in a country with risk of YF virus transmission.|
|Hepatitis A||Recommended for unvaccinated travelers one year old or older going to Kenya.|
|Hepatitis B||Recommended for unvaccinated travelers of all ages to Kenya.|
|Meningococcal meningitis||Visitors should consult with their local doctor on meningitis requirements and vaccines prior to their trip.|
Malaria is prevalent in Kenya, particularly outside Nairobi. One of the highest risk areas is Mombasa which is where many travellers will find themselves at some time.
Malaria is transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito and so the first line of defence is to protect yourself against mosquito bites. Malaria Prophylaxis may be prescribed to you during your consultation depending on your itinerary.
The CDC recommends that travellers going to certain areas of Kenya take prescription medicine to prevent malaria.
Depending on the medicine you take, you will need to start taking this medicine multiple days before your trip, as well as during and after your trip. Talk to your doctor about which malaria medication and routine vaccines you should take.
Bite avoidance and counter measures are recommended. Visitors can check with a travel vaccinations medicine specialist to see if antimalarials should be considered to help prevent malaria contraction.
If travelling to a remote area remote away from medical facilities, it is recommended to carry standby emergency treatment. Visitors can find further information on Kenya vaccine details here.
Kenya health recommendations
Recommended visitor precautions
To help protect against mosquitoes, visitors should ensure to:
- Apply mosquito repellents on clothes to avoid mosquito bites
- Wear covered light clothing
- Use mosquito nets on the windows of your accommodation and in vehicles, use the air conditioning
Depending on the areas visited, preventive antimalarial treatment should be considered.
Food and water precautions that should be observed:
- Eat cooked food
- Wash and peel fruits and vegetables
- Avoid fresh fruit juices, ice creams, ice cubes, raw vegetables, reheated dishes
- Consume pasteurized or boiled milk
- Drink bottled or boiled water
Hygiene rules that should be followed:
- Wash hands regularly, before and after each meal and after using the toilet
- Don’t touch wild and stray animals to avoid animal bites and infection
- Don’t swim in lakes and non-running water
- Avoid any potentially contaminated food and water
Visitors with medical conditions should make tour guides and food catering aware of this in advance.
Vaccinations for Tanzania and Kenya
A Yellow Fever vaccine is recommended for visitors visiting Tanzania and the island of Zanzibar. The vaccination should be acquired a minimum of 10 days before travel.
Tanzania has no recorded case of Yellow Fever and efforts to ensure this superb record mean that all visitors from countries that have a high risk of Yellow Fever may have to present vaccination certificates upon entry.
Kenya Covid 19 information
Proof of immunization against COVID-19 or a negative result from a PCR test for COVID-19 that was performed no more than 72 hours before departure is needed for all travellers older than 12 years old. To be considered vaccinated, an individual must have gotten all of the necessary doses of a particular vaccine at least 14 days before arriving.
Before arriving in Kenya, all travellers are required to submit proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test result to the PanaBIOS or Global Haven website, depending on which website they choose (a QR code will be issued).
Upon arrival, passengers who are above the age of 12 and do not have a PCR test or other confirmation that they have been vaccinated will be required to pay for and submit to a Rapid Antigen Test.
Any passenger older than 12 years old who registers a positive result on that Rapid Antigen Test will be required to pay for an additional PCR test and will be required to isolate themselves in accordance with the most recent recommendations issued by the Ministry of Health.
Visitors below the age of 12
The obligation to provide a vaccination certificate or undergo a PCR test is waived for passengers who are less than 12 years old. Any travelers who arrive in Kenya exhibiting symptoms similar to influenza will be requested to fill out a passenger locator form upon arrival.
In addition, upon arrival, these travelers will be forced to pay for and undergo a COVID-19 PCR test at their own expense. It is important to highlight that pre-departure Rapid Antigen Tests or COVID-19 PCR tests could be considered for passengers who are leaving the country. This decision would be made at the discretion of the airlines.
On the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority website, you can find comprehensive information on the entrance criteria imposed by the Government of Kenya in respect to the coronavirus.
Are vaccines compulsory in Kenya?
There are both compulsory for entry and strongly recommended vaccinations for Kenya. All travellers are required to have a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate in order to gain entry to Kenya and other fully vaccinated jabs including Covid and antimalarials are recommended.
What health precautions should I take to travel to Kenya?
To help protect against mosquitoes, visitors should apply insect repellents on clothing, wear covered light clothing and use mosquito nets on the windows of your accommodation, particularly is travelling to Mombasa and Mount Kenya.