Kenya for Digital Nomads: A Quick Guide
Amboseli National Park
Known for its large herds of elephants and stunning views of Mount Kilimanjaro, Amboseli is a must-visit for wildlife enthusiasts.
Maasai Mara National Reserve
Famous for the Great Migration of wildebeest and zebra, the Maasai Mara offers some of the best wildlife viewing in the world. It's also a great place to experience the Maasai culture.
A UNESCO World Heritage site, Lamu has a unique blend of Swahili, Arabic, Persian, and Indian influences, evident in its architecture and culture.
With its white sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters, Diani Beach is a perfect spot for relaxation, water sports, and dolphin watching
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Kenya Travel Basics
|Main Languages||Swahili and English|
|Main Airport||Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi|
|Currency||Kenyan Shilling ($1 = ~130 KES/ Ksh)|
|Time Zone||East African Time (GMT +3)|
|Plug Socket Type||UK 3-Pin (Type G plug)|
|Best Visa(s) for Digital Nomads||90-day single entry|
|Best time(s) to Visit||September – March|
|Highlights||Nature; Safari; Beaches; People; Coworking Spaces; Culture|
Quick Tips About Kenya
- There is no Visa-On-Arrival in Kenya. You have to apply for a visa online in advance. Do so at least two weeks before your arrival date in case of delays.
- Kenya is part of the East Africa Tourist Visa, a combined 90-day visa for Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda.
- Kenya has over 40 National Parks (including marine parks). The Masai Mara is the most famous for hosting the Big 5 animals and the annual wildebeest migration, but Amboseli is probably the best.
- Nairobi National Park is the only national park located within a city. You can visit it from Nairobi for a half-day.
- Get a SIM card from Safaricom to use M-Pesa mobile money – a convenient payment technology on your phone used by every business in Kenya.
- Crime is an issue in Kenyan cities at night – especially Nairobi. Don’t walk alone, and use Uber whenever possible.
- Kenya is huge, so if you’re traveling far, fly or use the train (where available). Driving is dangerous, long, and can be exhausting.
- Kenya is not a budget travel destination. Safaris are expensive if you’re traveling alone and paying tourist rates. The cost of living for digital nomads in Nairobi is equivalent to many European cities. The coast is cheaper and much better value.
- Mix of Scenery – Kenya has everything: mountains, savannahs, white sand beaches, tranquil lakes, deserts, and mangrove forests. All of which you can easily explore.
- Nightlife – Nairobi has the most famous nightlife in East Africa. But the coast is no slouch either. Diani and Kilifi have small but vibrant bar scenes.
- Friendly People – Kenyans are very welcoming to foreigners (except for immigration officers) and very interested in the outside world.
- Hiking – The country has plenty of spectacular mountain ranges and peaks, including Mount Kenya. Kilimanjaro is easy to reach from Nairobi, too.
- Diversity – Kenya is home to 40+ ethnic groups, huge immigrant communities from the Horn of Africa, and a big international community. Each of them brings something unique to the country.
- Internet – You’ll almost never struggle to find strong, reliable WiFi and 4G+ in Kenya. Google, Microsoft, Oracle, and many other big tech companies are based here for a reason.
- Youth Culture – Young Kenyans are increasingly expressing their creativity, politics, and cultural heritage through music, art, dance, and festivals, It’s exciting to witness and join.
- Cost of Living – In Nairobi, its similar to Western Europe for digital nomads, due to high rents, expensive groceries, and almost everything having an entrance fee. The coast is cheaper.
- Crime – It has increased significantly in cities recently, with violent robberies a particular concern. Stay vigilent and never walk around at night.
- Road Safety – Traffic in Kenya is notorious and road deaths are extremely high. Never take a bus unless absolutely necessary.
- Regional Flights – While it’s a transport hub, Nairobi is more often 40-50% more expensive to fly from than any of its neighbours. That’s a difference of $100s sometimes.
- Food Scene – Restaurants in Kenya can be mediocre and overpriced, targeting wealthy expats and elites. Street is only really worth exploring on the coast.
- Apartments – Like most African countries, finding reasonably priced, well-furnished, and affordable apartments with no leases is difficult. Use our guide to serviced apartments in Nairobi to find the best.
Coliving Spaces and Digital Nomad Retreats
Kenya is home to a growing number of coliving spaces and retreats occurring throughout the year. Most of them are located on the coast, and offer a fantastic opportunity to explore its best beaches, kite surfing, and Swahili heritage in the company of fellow nomads.
- Skippers coliving, Diani – Coliving and kitesurfing in Kenya’s top beach destination! Comfortable rooms, a private pool, fantastic hosts, endless activities, motorbike rentals, and much more.
- Remote Year coliving, Nairobi – The Kenya chapter of the global retreats brand offers month-long stays in the heart of Nairobi. You’ll be walking distance to the best nightlife and restaurants, staying with amazing nomads from across the globe, and spending your weekends exploring Kenya together.
- Africa Nomads retreats, Lamu – Month-long retreats on the oldest Swahili settlement in East Africa. Lamu is a tiny island at the Northern tip of Kenya and feels like a completely different country to the mainland. There’s no cars, no nightlife, just an idyllic slice of island life.
When to Visit
November to February
Even though this is the ‘short rains’ season in Kenya, it’s also the most laid-back and fun. The weather becomes more unpredictable, with possible flooding. But there’ll still be plenty of beautiful, clear blue sunshiny days.
The end of December is one of the busiest periods for tourism in Kenya, especially on the coast, as Nairobians make the most of the Christmas holidays, and foreign tourists escape Winter.
In Nairobi, there’s a distinct feeling of ‘Summer’ as the city comes alive with festivals and events – many outdoors. The areas around the city also enjoy crisp, breezy weather that’s great for day trips and weekend getaways.
This is also the best time to visit Northern Kenya destinations like the Chalbi Desert and Lake Turkana.
March to May
March usually marks the beginning of Kenya’s long wet season. However, these days it may not start until April. The months leading up to the long wet season are the most unpredictable. One day it’s stiflingly hot and humid. The next, it’s overcast and chilly.
The long rains at the coast start a bit later, running from April to June. May is the wettest month. Coastal towns start getting very quiet, with many hotels, guesthouses, and restaurants shutting for a couple of months.
Not much happens in these months, but there are still low-key festivals, underground concerts, and plenty to do in Nairob . But the weather might spoil a lot of outdoor travel plans.
June to July
Kenya’s ‘winter’ is in full bloom.
It gets really cold, misty, and generally miserable. However, the coast is warm all year round, so even though there might be some rain in June, it’s probably the best place to escape the cold.
August to October
This is peak tourist season in Kenya’s national parks, but still, a great time to visit. By November, crowds grow smaller, and prices drop once more. On the Masai Mara, the spectacular Great Migration will be in full swing, winding down towards the end of October.
It’s generally hot in Nairobi during this period, with little to no rain. The coast experiences brief spells of rain and a very slightly cooler temperature.
Kenya Tourist Visas
Since 2021, Kenya no longer offers visas on arrival for any nationality. You must apply for your Kenya visa online at the e-Visa website.
But here’s a quick summary of the tourist visas available.
|90-Day Visa Exemption||N/A||Citizens of 42 countries in Africa and the Caribbean can travel to Kenya visa-free for 90 days.|
|90-Day Single Entry||$50||You can extend this visa up to 90 additional days once you’re in the country. However, these days, most immigration officers will only give you an extension of 1-2 months.
You can only extend 2 single-entry visas in a row.
|12-Month Multiple Entry Visa||$100||Once you’ve traveled to Kenya on two single entry visas, you might be eligible for a 12-month visa, there are a few conditions, and you’ll need the help of a visa agent.|