Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

  • Reviewed: 25 July 2017, 14:47 NZST
  • Still current at: 24 January 2018

Extreme Risk

There is extreme risk to your security in areas bordering Somalia due to the significant threat of terrorism, kidnapping and cross-border attacks and we advise against all travel to these areas. This includes Garissa county, Mandera county and areas within 60 kilometres of the entire border with Somalia, including Kiwayu and coastal areas north of Pate Island. 

There is extreme risk to your security in the border areas with Ethiopia and South Sudan and we advise against all travel within 30 kilometres of these borders, with the exception of the A2 Highway and Moyale border crossing. Cross-border kidnapping and armed banditry make these border areas extremely unsafe.

High Risk

There is a high risk to your security along the A2 Highway north of Turbi and the Moyale border crossing due to sporadic civil unrest and we advise against all tourist and other non-essential travel along this route.

There is high risk to your security in Lamu county and coastal areas of Tana River and Kilifi counties north of Malindi due to the threat from terrorism and we advise against all tourist and other non-essential travel to these areas.

Some Risk

There is some risk to your security elsewhere in Kenya due to the threat of terrorism and violent crime and we advise a high degree of caution.

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There is a heightened risk of terrorism throughout Kenya. The Somalia based terrorist group Al Shabaab has carried out a number of past attacks in Kenya and continues to publicly threaten to carry out further attacks.

The majority of attacks occur in coastal regions and in the north-east of the country and have included shootings, bombings and grenade attacks.

There remains an ongoing threat in Nairobi and Mombasa. This is demonstrated by the 2013 attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, which resulted in 68 deaths, including foreigners. There have been number of attacks since then and we continue to receive reports that terrorists are planning attacks in these cities.

Future attacks are possible and could be directed against locations frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers or identifiably Western targets. Potential targets could include hotels, bars, restaurants, nightclubs, tourist resorts, markets, shopping malls, educational facilities (such as schools and universities), sporting events, churches, mosques, buses, airports, transport hubs, Kenyan government buildings, embassies and United Nations facilities.

New Zealanders in Kenya are advised to be security conscious at all times and follow any instructions and restrictions issued by the local authorities. Particular care should be taken in crowded and public areas known to be frequented by expatriates and foreigners, as well as on and around public transport. Additional security measures such as avoiding areas with large crowds and visiting businesses during off-peak hours should be considered.

Violent crime
Violent crime, including carjacking, mugging and armed robbery is common throughout Kenya, particularly in urban areas. In the past, foreigners have been the target of home invasions in Nairobi.

There is a significant risk to your security in the high density, low income areas of Kenya due to the level of violent crime, particularly in the Nairobi suburbs of Kibera, Mathare, Kasarani and Eastleigh.

New Zealanders in Kenya should avoid walking or travelling alone, particularly at night and to isolated areas. Avoid displaying or wearing items that appear valuable, such as mobile devices and jewellery. No resistance should be given if you are the victim of an armed robbery, mugging or carjacking as this could lead to an escalation in violence.

When travelling by car, it is advisable to keep doors locked and windows up at all times, hide valuables from view and not stop to assist with vehicle breakdowns, clear debris from the road or pick up hitchhikers. Travel in remote areas should be undertaken in convoy.

There is an ongoing risk of kidnapping in areas close to the border with Somalia, Garissa county and coastal areas north of Pate Island in Lamu county. Westerners have previously been the target of kidnappers in these areas, including in the Dadaab refugee camp, and further attacks are considered likely. New Zealanders in Kenya are advised to be particularly vigilant about their personal security in these areas and keep a low profile in public places.

Civil unrest
New Zealanders in Kenya are advised to avoid all demonstrations, protests and large public gatherings as even those intended as peaceful have the potential to turn violent with little warning.

Banditry, tribal clashes and sporadic violence have occurred in parts of north and north-eastern Kenya. Foreigners are not normally involved or targeted but could be incidentally caught up in violence. 

Since early 2017, there has been an increase in armed incursions by herders onto private farms and wildlife conservancies in central and northern Kenya. A British national was killed on his property in Laikipia on 5 March 2017. If you are travelling to this area, check with your accommodation provider about conditions on the ground.

Piracy remains a significant threat in the coastal waters off Kenya. In the past Somali pirates have attacked vessels as far as 1000 nautical miles from the Somalian coast. Mariners are advised to be vigilant and take appropriate precautionary measures in these waters. For more information view the International Maritime Bureau's piracy report.

General travel advice
It is a legal requirement to carry a form of identification with you at all times.

New Zealanders travelling or living in Kenya should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place that includes provision for medical evacuation by air.

New Zealanders in Kenya are strongly encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Travel tips

The New Zealand Embassy Addis Ababa, Ethiopia is accredited to Kenya

Street Address New Zealand Embassy, Apartment 381, Hilton Hotel, Menelik II Avenue, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Postal Address P.O.Box 25656 code 1000 Telephone +251-11-515-1269 Fax +251-11-552-6115 Email Web Site Hours Monday – Friday, 9am-12pm & 1pm-4pm Note In case of an emergency outside of office hours, please call the after-hours duty service on +251 935 021 436

New Zealand Honorary Consulate Nairobi, Kenya

Street Address 2nd Floor, Block B, Nairobi Business park, Ngong Road, Nairobi Postal Address PO Box 1063-00502 Telephone +254 20 8045100/1 Mobile +254 720 630 100 Email

See our regional advice for Africa

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Accredited New Zealand Embassy Ethiopia

Street Address
New Zealand Embassy, Apartment 381, Hilton Hotel, Menelik II Avenue, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Telephone: +251-11-515-1269

Fax: +251-11-552-6115



Hours: Monday – Friday, 9am-12pm & 1pm-4pm

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