240 volts, 50Hz. UK-style square three-pin plugs are
English is the official language but Swahili is the
national language, with 42 ethnic languages spoken.
Tipping is not customary in Kenya, however a 10% service charge
may be added to bill in more upmarket restaurants. Otherwise small
change in local currency may be offered to taxi drivers, porters
and waiters. On safari, however, drivers, guides and cooks often
rely heavily on tips to get by, but these are discretionary.
The taking of photographs of official buildings and embassies is
not advised and could lead to detention. It is illegal to destroy
Kenyan currency. The coastal towns are predominantly Muslim and
religious customs and sensitivities should be respected,
particularly during Ramadan; dress should be conservative away from
the beaches and resorts, particularly for women. Homosexuality is
against the law. Smoking in public places is illegal, other than in
designated smoking areas, and violators will be fined or
The international access code for Kenya is +254. The outgoing
code is 000 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 00027 for
South Africa), unless dialling Tanzania or Uganda when the outgoing
codes are 007 or 006 respectively. City/area codes are in use, e.g.
(0)41 for Mombasa and (0)20 for Nairobi. International Direct Dial
is available throughout most of the country, but the service is
expensive and inefficient. Hotels usually add a hefty surcharge to
their telephone bills; it is less expensive to either call from one
of the international phone services, which are available in larger
towns or buy a pre-paid calling card for use in the public
telephone booths. For international operator-assisted calls call
0196. All major urban areas are covered by the mobile network; the
local mobile phone operators use GSM networks that have roaming
agreements with most international mobile phone operators. Internet
cafes are widely available in most towns and tourist areas.
Travellers to Kenya over 16 years do not have to pay duty on
227g tobacco or 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars; 1 bottle of alcohol;
and 473ml perfume. Prohibited items include fruit, imitation
firearms, and children's toys pistols. No plants may be brought
into the country without a Plant Import Permit (PIP).