In Kenya, main roads are generally in a good condition but minor roads are poorly maintained. In the rainy season, some roads are impassable. Before travel by car, drivers should make sure that they have the correct vehicle and equipment.
Foreign visitors can drive in Kenya with their domestic driver licenses and International driving permits for 90 days. For temporary importation a foreign registered vehicle, a temporary carnet is required. It is also required foreign vehicle permit and a third party insurance cover.

The main road traffic rules:

  • Driving is on the left hand side of the road.
  • Overtaking is on the right hand side. Animals which are being led may be passed whichever side is the safer. It is not permitted to overtake other traffic when such vehicle is rounding a corner.
  • The minimum driving age for driving motorcycles is 16 years, for vehicles 18 years.
  • To hire a car, a driver must be at least 23 years old and have held a driver license for two years.
  • While driving, seat belts are mandatory.
  • The speed limit is 110km/h on highways and 50km/h in towns. Every public service vehicle, except taxi cabs, and commercial vehicle whose tare weight exceeds 3048 kg cannot exceed the speed of 80 km/h.
  • While driving, it is not permitted to use a mobile phone or any other communication equipment not permanently fixed to the vehicle, which distracts or is likely to distract the driver from driving.
  • It is not permitted to carry more than one person in addition to the driver on any two-wheeled motorcycle.
  • It is not permitted to leave unattended on a road any motor vehicle with the engine running.
  • Any person who drives any vehicle over the bridge except by the central or main thoroughfare of the bridge shall be guilty of an offence.
  • It is not permitted to overtake any other moving vehicle except a hand cart on the bridge.
  • It is not permitted to stop on the bridge.
  • The legal speed limit on the bridge is 10 miles per hour (mph).
  • The maximum weight of any vehicle driven across the bridge must not exceed 12,000 kg.
  • The driver of a vehicle which is going to enter a roundabout must give way to any other vehicle that is already in the roundabout and stop, if necessary, before entering the roundabout in order to allow any such other vehicle to proceed.
  • When turning to the left from one road into another road, every vehicle must keep close to the left side of each such road.
  • Every vehicle when turning to the right from one road into another road must drive round the point of intersection of the centre lines of the two roads or round any island or mark which may have been erected or marked for the guidance of traffic.  
  • Vehicles ascending any hill must, where necessary, be given the right of way by oncoming vehicles.
  • The driver of any vehicle which is being driven on its offside of the road must give way to any oncoming traffic.
  • It is obligatory to have in the car an efficient fire extinguisher, which shall be maintained in perfect order and be carried in such a position as to be readily available for use at any time.
  • The owner of every trailer or towed vehicle must have affixed in a conspicuous position on the rear thereof the letter “T”.
  • Every vehicle and motorcycle must be insured against third party risks in accordance with the Motor Vehicle (Third Party) Insurance Act.
  • It is not permitted to have flashing or blinking lights with the exception of direction indicators.
  • Every motor vehicle must be equipped with a reflecting mirror, so constructed and fitted as to enable the driver to be or become aware of the presence in the rear of any other vehicle.
  • Any person driving a motor vehicle on a road must carry his driver license and on being so required by a police officer, produce it for examination.
  • It is legal to any police officer in uniform to stop any vehicle, to enter any vehicle, and to drive any vehicle or cause any vehicle to be driven.
  • It is not permitted to drive commercial vehicle having a tare weight of 3 tones or over, while carrying agricultural produce, on any road between the hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.
  • A person may not ride on a motorcycle without wearing a helmet and a jacket that has reflectors. He/she must also provide a helmet and a jacket that has reflectors to be worn by the passenger, and shall carry only one passenger at a time. A passenger must wear a helmet and a jacket which has reflectors.

 Driving Overseas - Short Information