Kenya is one of the safest tourist destinations in Africa and the world. This is because more than 80 percent of the country is safe and free from any serious security threats. This is the area where the main tourism circuits are located.
The region with an increased security risk runs along the Kenya-Somalia border owing to the dysfunctional nature of government in the neighboring country. However, the potential danger has largely been contained through increased ground and aerial border patrols. Thorough security checks in all airports and other ports of entry have also made Kenya less likely to attract terror attacks.
It is worth noting that the Kenya security services take the potential danger of attack seriously. But this is not unique to Kenya. Other countries, including the U.S., are also potential targets of global terrorist attacks. This is not a reason to live in fear.
But, what is the security status for tourists visiting Kenya?
When the U.S. Department of State issued a travel advisory against Kenya in March, it warned its citizens about an increased risk of insecurity in some areas of the country. The intention of such an advisory is to raise awareness of the citizens who are planning to visit, so that they can take precaution by avoiding areas perceived to have an increased security risk. This is as it should be. (1)
Global Peace Index Ranking
The Global Peace Index places Kenya, with a peace index of 2.254 at position 116 out of 163 countries. On the same list, Iceland is ranked the most peaceful with an index of 1.1, while Afghanistan is ranked last with an index of 3.631. This indicates that Kenya has an average security status. In fact, Kenya is in the same peace index range as countries like Morocco with an index of 2.015, Thailand with an index of 2.205, Mauritania with index of 2.29, and the United States with an index of 2.337. (2) It is worth noting that as paradoxical as it may sound, a resident of the United States will enjoy more relative peace when in Kenya than at home in the U.S.
On the Travel Risk Map, Kenya is listed in the medium risk category. Other countries in this category include Cameroon, Bahrain, Belize, Brazil, Tunisia, South Africa, Tanzania, Myanmar, and Trinidad and Tobago. By contrast, countries like Egypt, Mali, Nigeria, Mauritius, Burkina Faso and Mauritania are in the extreme and high risk categories. (3)
If the question how safe is it to visit Kenya, is still on your mind, the listings above should provide you with fact-backed answers.
Why Travel to Kenya?