Kenya Overland Travel - Visiting Kenya
Visiting Kenya is an experience that should be on everyone's bucket list. It is a lot safer than many conclude and its outskirts are quite serene. Border crossings are relatively straight forward. The Maasai mara should definitely be visited, and i found that there are some pretty good campsites in Naivasha and Nakuru. The DSWT elephant orphanage is also a great place to visit as they rescue injured and orphaned elephants and rehabilitate them!! Apply for Kenya Visa online for tourist and business purposes.
Entering Kenya with a Car or Motorbike
Paperwork Drivers of cars and riders of motorbikes will need the vehicle's registration papers, liability insurance and driving licence. Many travellers bring their own vehicles into Kenya as part of overland trips and, expense notwithstanding, it’s a great way to see the country at your own pace. Otherwise, there are numerous car-hire companies that can rent you anything from a small hatchback to a 4WD, although hire rates are very high.
- Carnet de Passage
- Original Vehicle registration
Paperwork Drivers of cars and riders of motorbikes will need the vehicle’s registration papers, liability insurance and driving licence; although not necessary, an International Driving Permit (IDP) is also a good idea. You may also need a Carnet de passage en douane, which is effectively a passport for the vehicle and acts as a temporary waiver of import duty. The carnet may also need to specify any expensive spare parts that you’re planning to carry with you, such as a gearbox. This is necessary when travelling in many countries in Africa, and is designed to prevent car-import rackets.
A minimum age of between 23 and 25 years usually applies for hirers. Some companies require you to have been driving for at least two years. An International Driving Permit is not required, but you will need to show your passport.
Vehicle condition It’s generally true to say that the more you pay for a vehicle, the better its condition will be. The larger companies are usually in a better financial position to keep their fleet in good order. Always be sure to check the brakes, the tyres (including the spare), the windscreen wipers and the lights before you set off.
Check the Kenya Visa Requirements online here
Process at border
Independent travelers will need to clear immigration first prior to starting customs clearance with the vehicle. A valid Carnet de Passage is required, along with 3rd party insurance. Cost of entry: $40 for foreign vehicle road tax
Permitted length of stay
- 1 year is permitted for foreign vehicles entering Kenya with a Carnet de Passage. USE OF UNREGISTERED MOTOR VEHICLES ON OUR ROADS
- 3 months is permitted for foreign vehicles entering Kenya on a TIP (Temporary Import Paper) which is issued at the border.
Very few checkpoints exist for private vehicles however random police checkpoints are spontaneous and usually have no impact to the independent traveler.Gas and Diesel Availability / Frequency
Gas shortages are known to occur in rural areas of Kenya. Distance between petrol stations can be as long as 200km.Driving at night
Driving at night should not be encouraged due to the roadworthness of local vehicles, wild and domestic animals.Vehicle parking
Vehicles should not be parked on the street due to theft. look for parking in secure areas.Camping in Kenya
Organized camping in Kenya is very popular. The average price is roughly $10.00 USD per person. Wild or bush camping is possible and encouraged however the independent traveler might find the population density to high to bush camp without visitors.
General Road quality: The general road quality will be bitumen in varying conditions from new to severely potholed. All minor roads will be gravel.
Road signs: Road signs are limited with the occasional speed sign, warning sign and distance sign.
Toll roads: There are only a few Toll roads for private vehicles. Large trucks are required to stop at weigh bridges and are required to pay tolls to proceed.Bribery in Kenya: In certain government agencies, Bribery is often expected especially with traffic police. Independent travelers should avoid paying bribes and patiently negotiate an exit strategy. See the Bribery tips page for general advice.