The twenty-sixth session of the Governing Council of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) will take place in the United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON) in Gigiri, Nairobi, from 8 to 12 May 2017. This session will be subsequent to the outcome of the United Nations Conference on Housing and Urban development (Habitat III). More information about the twenty-sixth session can be found at:
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VISITORS TO KENYA
1. General Information
The Republic of Kenya is located on the Eastern coast of Africa, right on the Equator. It is a land of striking landscapes, ranging from snow-capped Mount Kenya to rich farmlands, barren deserts and tropical beaches. It borders Somalia, Ethiopia and South Sudan to the North, Uganda to the West, Tanzania to the South, and the Indian Ocean to the East. Kenya's capital city is Nairobi. Other major cities are Mombasa, the main port on the Indian Ocean, and Kisumu on Lake Victoria. Kenya is one of the world’s most popular tourism destinations attracting millions of tourists over the past years. The country is endowed with attractive tourist sites, rich culture, striking geographical diversity and landscapes ranging from beautiful beaches, to animal parks and archeological sites.
2. Arrival and Departure Airport: Jomo Kenyatta Internal Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi
Almost all participants will arrive and depart from at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) which is located in the Embasaki suburb, 15 kilometers from Nairobi's central business district and 25 kilometers from United Nations Office at Nairobi, Gigiri. Delegates arriving through JKIA in Nairobi may with effect from 5 May 2017 request assistance from UN-Habitat support staff which will be easily identifiable at the branded counters at the airport as follows:
- The first before the Immigration desks - for assistance with visa formalities
- The second counter after customs, in the arrivals lounge - for transportation and accommodation inquiries
JKIA telephone number +254 (20) 825400.
Delegates departing the airport should arrive at least 3 hours before their flight departure time.
UN-Habitat arrival protocol support: Secretary to the Governing Council, Mr. Chris Mensah +254 (0) 732689199
3. Time Zone
Kenya is GMT + 0300 hours.
It is the delegate’s own responsibility to obtain a visa for Kenya. The information provided herein acts only as guidance. A valid passport, not expiring for at least six months from the date of arrival is required for entry into Kenya. A valid entry visa is also required for most countries and may be obtained in advance from the Kenyan Embassy/High Commission in your country of residence or in a neighboring country. In the absence of either, then certain Embassies of other countries generally represent Kenya in the issuance of visas. Please note that visas prior to arrival are not required for citizens of Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Botswana, Brunei-Darussalam, Burundi, Cyprus, Dominica, Fiji, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Jamaica, Kiribati, Lesotho, Malawi, Malaysia (for less than 30 days stay), Maldives, Mauritius, Namibia, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Samoa, San Marino, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa (for less than 30 days stay), Solomon Islands, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Swaziland, Trinidad, Tonga, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Vanuatu, Zambia or Zimbabwe.
Visas can also be obtained upon arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi for certain countries at a cost of USD 50 or its equivalent in Euros or Kenya shillings. Nationals of the following countries require special advance visa clearance by the Kenyan authorities (as of January 2017): Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cameroon, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Eritrea, Iraq, Kosovo, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Palestine, Senegal, Somalia, Syria and Tajikistan. Stateless persons also require advance clearance. For more information regarding visas please visit the
A yellow fever vaccination certificate is mandatory for travelers coming from countries where yellow fever may occur. Immunization against yellow fever is recommended for travelers from other countries. Malaria risk exists throughout the year in Kenya, though there is little risk in Nairobi and the highlands therefore it is advised that you take precautions while travelling out of these areas. Any medical costs incurred during the stay in Kenya shall be borne by the meeting participants directly. It is therefore strongly recommended that the participants arrange for their own health insurance. (See also section III 10 below on UNON Medical Services as well the section on Other information which includes Emergency Numbers).
United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON) and the Kenyan Authorities are working closely together to ensure that all precautionary measures are taken for delegates’ safety and security. Participants are however, personally responsible for their movements. If you intend to stay in a hotel, you are advised to choose accommodation from the recommended list of hotels available at https://dcs.unon.org/sites/default/files/Hotel%20%26%20Guest%20House%20Rates%202016_0.pdf
For your own safety, kindly read and follow the below listed tips:
- Avoid crowded areas such as malls
- When walking, keep to the main roads and avoid shortcuts down back alleys and the like. However, where possible, take a taxi rather than walking
- Never walk at night in the city center even for a short distance – always take a taxi
- Be wary of people loitering outside hotels
- Ignore street children and people coming up to you in the streets with hard-luck tales. They may be pickpockets or part of an elaborate scam. The best thing to do is just to walk on and ignore them
- Do not carry large sums of money. Avoid carrying credit cards, wearing expensive jewelry, watches or the like when walking in the street
- Do not accept food and drinks from strangers; visitors have been known to be drugged and then robbed
May tends to be one of the coolest months in Nairobi with short rains if one goes by precedence. The average temperature is 22°C but can drop to 10°C, especially at night. It would be advisable to carry a light jacket and an umbrella.
This is 240 Volts. Kindly note that Kenya uses the 13A 3 pin wall switch socket outlet.
9. Official languages
The official languages of the Republic of Kenya are English and Swahili.
10. Money and Banking
Currency and exchange rate
The official currency of the Republic of Kenya is the Kenya Shilling (KES). They range in the denominations 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1,000 shillings. The current exchange rates are:
1 US Dollar = KES 100
1 EUR = KES 110,20.
Please note that this is subject to change. The rates quoted are those in force as of the drafting of this information
Foreign currency can be changed at JKIA, banks, foreign currency Exchange Bureaus or hotels. Banks in major centers are open from 09:00 to 15:00hrs Monday to Friday and from 09:00 to 12:00hrs on the first and last Saturday of each month.
The following currency exchange places are available near or at the UN compound in Nairobi:
- KCB Bank and Standard Chartered Bank can be found on the ground floor in the UN complex, next to the Delegates Lounge.
- Give and Take Forex Bureau at Emerald Garden. From the main gate of the United Nations, cross the road, turn right and walk about 200 m. You will find the building to your left.
- Warwick Center from the main gate of the United Nations, cross the road, turns left and walk about 100 m. The building will be to your right.
11. Automated Teller Machines (ATMs)
ATMs are available country wide with 24-hour access. Within the UNON complex there are four ATMs on the lower concourse; two next to the Kenya Commercial Bank, one next to Standard Chartered Bank and the other near the UNFCU (United Nations Federal Credit Union).
Major international cards are accepted. Credit card fraud occurs in Kenya as in most other parts of the world. The usual precautions should be taken.
Traveler’s cheques are often accepted at most banks, foreign currency exchange bureaus, hotels and stores in major malls.
Tipping is appreciated; however, most hotels and restaurants do include a service charge.
1. About the UN Gigiri Compound
The Gigiri compound accommodates almost 3,500 staff members (of the total more than 5,200 UN staff based in Kenya). The 140-acre UN Gigiri compound is a peaceful place, offering the chance of observing local wildlife such as red duikers, squirrels, marsh mongoose, sykes monkeys and olive baboons. Easily spotted bird species include: crowned cranes, Egyptian geese, crested eagles, green pigeons and hoopoes. A physical tour for a small fee of the UNON compound may be arranged through the UNON Visitors Centre: firstname.lastname@example.org . More information can be found at: http://visitors.unon.org/
2. Access to the complex
Access to the UN Gigiri Complex is via UN Avenue. Pedestrian access is through the Pavilion north of the main vehicle access. All participants need to be registered prior to the meeting to be allowed access. Registered participants will be screened and are advised not to bring weapons, ammunition, inflammable items or sharp objects. The participants will be issued with conference photo badges and are advised to wear the badge at all times during their visit to the complex. The main vehicle access gate is located opposite the US Embassy. Only vehicles with an official UN Decal will be allowed into the complex and are subject to screening. Vehicle Decals will be issued during registration.
3. On-site Accreditation
Delegates will be able to register, have their photo taken and collect their GC26 badge near the Visitors' Center Pavilion from 4 May 2017 to 12 May 2017. To avoid long queues on the day of the official opening, delegates are strongly encouraged, if possible, to pre-register online and to make use of the early start of accreditation and to collect their badges before the opening day.
4. VIP Badges for Ministers and Heads of Delegations
Ministers and Heads of Delegations will be issued with non-photo badges, provided they are pre-registered online and that an official note from the Permanent Mission in that respect, stating the name of the Minister or Head of Delegation, is presented to the registrations desk by the bearer whose name should be in the note during the time of collection.at the accreditation area for collection. Their badges will be available for collection as of Monday, 3 May 2017 from the registration tent just beyond the main entrance to UNON.
5. Delegates Based in Nairobi
Although Delegates based in Nairobi who already have a ground pass issued by UNON can use this pass during the 26th session of the Governing Council, all Permanent Representatives/Deputy Permanent Representatives, however, and other focal points are advised to pre-register online as a member of their respective delegations and pick their GC26 photo badge at the accreditation area should they wish to have their names appear on the GC26 list of participants.
Vehicles and fire-arms
For vehicles which will need to enter to the complex please email. Mr. Prince Bruce at (Prince.Bruce@unon.org) and Ms. Janet Okal (email@example.com ) 48 hours in advance with the following information:
- Registration number
- Vehicle type
- Driver name and ID number
For fire-arms which will be brought in to the complex, please inform Mr. Prince Bruce (Prince.Bruce@unon.org) and Ms. Janet Okal (firstname.lastname@example.org) at least 48 hours in advance with the following information:
- Fire-arm type and serial number
- Body-guard name and ID number
Free Wi-Fi facility will be available in the UN compound and meeting rooms. Select the Wireless Network connection named ‘VISITORS’’ or ‘DELEGATES’.
7. Restaurants and Canteens Services
There are several caterers within the UN compound contracted to provide food and beverages for breakfast, lunch as well as snacks during coffee breaks for staff and visiting delegates. In addition, there are several restaurants and bars within walking distance from the UN complex (listed in the order of distance from the main UN gate):
- Emerald Garden –Thai food
Directions: From the main gate of the United Nations, cross the road, turn right and walk about 200 m. You will find the building to your left. Website: http://emeraldgarden.co.ke/ (Online reservation services available) Tel: + 254 (0) 710886688 / 710887888
- In Warwick Centre
Directions: From the main gate of the United Nations, cross the road, turn left and walks about 100 m. The building will be to your right.
- Four Café Bistro – Mediterranean food
Tel: + 254 (0) 721445444
- Asia Bar – Japanese and Italian food
- Mediterraneo – Italian food
Tel: + 254 (20) 7123000
- Java Coffee House – Sandwiches and salads. Directions: From the main gate turn left and walk to the end of the road. Turn left on Limuru Road. It is next to the Petrol Station on your left.
Website: http://www.nairobijavahouse.com/ Tel: +254 (0) 721425403
- Big Square – Burgers
Directions: From the main gate turn left and walk to the end of the road. The restaurant is at the corner to your right. Website: http://big-square.co.ke/
Tel: +254 (0) 707970968 / 739464707
- Dominos - Pizza
Directions: From the main gate turn left and walk to the end of the road. The restaurant is at the corner to your right. Website: http://dominos.co.ke/
Tel: +254 (0) 730165111
- Village Market - Food court – It is a 3 minutes taxi drive.
- Lord Errol – French – It is a 5 minutes taxi drive.
Website: http://www.lord-erroll.com/ (Online reservation services available)
Tel: + 254 (20) 7122433, 7121308, 7122302, 7122636
8. Postal/ Courier Service
The Post Office is available in the UNON complex
- Open Monday to Friday, 08:00 to 17:00hrs
DHL courier mail service, lower concourse, next to the Post Office
- Open Monday to Friday, 08:00 to 17:00hrs
- Tel: +254 (20) 7622580, 7622579
9. Medical Services
The UNON Medical Clinic emergency and first aid assistance, including on-call (24-hour) ambulance services are available. On-site medical assistance is available during all meetings, conferences and events. The UNON clinic also offers general medical assistance, vaccinations and a broad range of medical services.
Location: Block F, room 117
Tel: +254 (20) 762 2267 Emergency line: +254 (20) 762 5999
Open Monday – Thursday: 10:00 to 12:30hrs and 14:00 to 16:00hrs
Friday 08:30 to 13:30hrs and during meeting hours.
No service is available on weekends. For assistance over the weekends please dial the 24-hour UNON control room: +254 (20) 762 6666.
10. Travel Agency
For participants interested in arranging a sightseeing tour or safaris during their visit to Kenya, the following agent is available to provide assistance:
BCD TRAVEL (on the compound)
Tel: + 254 (20) 7622492
1. Accommodation in Nairobi
Participants are kindly requested to make their own hotel reservation. You are advised to choose accommodation from the list of hotels recommended by UN Security available at the following link: https://dcs.unon.org/sites/default/files/Hotel%20%26%20Guest%20House%20Rates%202016_0.pdf
The following guest houses are also available in the vicinity of the UN complex. However, these have not been subjected to UN security survey and therefore not included in the ‘recommended list’. The following list is provided only to assist delegates who are unable to find a room in the recommended hotels/guest houses.
Tel: +254 (0) 722553794 / 722553794
BONSAI VILLA HOME STAY
Tel: +254 (20) 506534
Tel: +254 (20) 2014010
DAISY HOMES LTD
Tel: +254 (0) 721703333
DREAM PLACE ACCOMMODATION
Tel: +254 (20) 2608720
Tel: +254 (20) 2723013 / 203087
Tel: +254 (0) 722 901335
JUST AT HOME
Tel: +254 (0) 714393907 / 0734743218
Tel: +254 (20) 2691911 / 0700 333404
Tel: +254 (0) 720225531 / 737657032
Tel: +254 (20) 2554995 | +254 (0) 712-680542
2. Shuttle and Taxi Services
Many hotels provide courtesy shuttle services to/from airport and in some cases from the hotel to the UN compound. Visitors should pre-advise their hotel of their transportation needs. In the absence of a courtesy bus, visitors may use reputable taxi companies. It is advisable to use taxis which are clearly branded with the companies name, as there are many private car owners offering taxi services, but are not registered as such and not insured.
Recommended taxi companies are listed below:
- Hilltop +254 (20) 272 3218
- Jatco +254 (20) 444 8162/444 6096
- Jimcab +254 (20) 712 2565/712 0344
- Kenatco +254 (20) 230771/2 or 3166117
Kindly note the unpredictability of Nairobi traffic. While there is only 25 km from the airport to the UN compound, the trip can take between 45 and 120 minutes depending on the time of day. City rush hours are 07:00 – 09:00hrs and 16:00 – 18:00hrs
3. Emergency Numbers
Governing Council Secretariat +254732689299
- UNON Security +254 (20) 7626666
- Kenyan Police +254 999 or +254 (20) 2724201
- Diplomatic Police +254 (0) 726283030 or +254 (0) 735356506
- Nairobi Hospital +254 (20) 2845000
- Aga Khan Hospital +254 (20) 3662000
- John Ambulance Service +254 (20) 2210000/2241000