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‘No Photography’: Protected Buildings In Nairobi You Are Restricted From Taking Photos, Videos

By Isaac Blessings

Kenyans are obsessed with social media and the internet at large. Whenever one visits a fancy place, they usually take cool pictures and videos that are posted in various social media platforms such as instagram, Tiktok and Facebook. However, Kenyans need to be very careful since there are some buildings and places where photography is forbidden and if caught, you might find yourself being a State guest. This move was made by the government in a bid to counter terrorism and crime in the country.

Here is a list of buildings in Kenya that you are not allowed to take pictures or videos as compiled by WoK.

State House

State House is the official residence of the president of the republic of Kenya and the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. It houses the family of the president including the first lady and her children. To get access to the house on the hill, you must get a written permission from the Ministry of Interior security and coordination. The place is heavily guarded by Recce Squad – a docket under the General Service Unit (GSU) that is trained and equipped to protect the president. Photography inside and outside the building is forbidden unless you have a written permission.

Also Read: Most Guarded Streets & Buildings in Kenya

Harambee House

Harambee House is a building in Nairobi CBD that houses the official office of the president of the Republic of Kenya. It is here that key decisions affecting the country are made, cabinet meetings held and government documents signed. It is heavily guarded by Recce Squad and is under CCTV Surveillance 24/7. Taking photos inside and outside the Harambee house building is highly discouraged and prohibited.

Times Tower

The Times tower is one of the most famous buildings in Kenya. At one point, it was the tallest building in Kenya before the erection of several tall buildings in the past few years. The building houses the headquarters of Kenya Revenue Authorities (KRA) – a government office mandated with the task of collecting taxes and revenues from all Kenyans. Photography inside and outside the building is banned for security purposes unless authorized by the government.

Jomo Kenyatta Mausoleum

Jomo Kenyatta Mausoleum is where the first president of the Republic of Kenya – Mzee Jomo Kenyatta was buried. It is located in Nairobi CBD just adjacent to parliament buildings and opposite the famous Intercontinental Hotel. The area is under security by the well-trained Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) for 24/7 and taking a picture near the place might land you in a police cell unless you have an official written permission.

The Vigilance House

The Vigilance house is a building that houses the headquarters of the Kenya Police. It is located in the Central Business District (CBD) of Nairobi along Harambee Avenue. It houses the official office of the Inspector General as well as other senior officers in the Kenya police. The place is fully guarded by the Kenya Police and is under hidden cameras and bomb detectors for 24/7. Photography inside and outside the building is banned and if arrested you might find yourself in jail.

Parliament Buildings

The Parliament Buildings is located along Parliament Road in the CBD of Nairobi. The building houses the National Assembly of Kenya as well as the Senate of Kenya. It is here that the elected people’s representatives sit down, debate and agree on issues affecting the country at large. New bills and amendments are also made here making it one of the most essential places in Kenya. The place is heavily guarded by the Kenya Police and taking photos around the buildings might land you in prison.

Central Bank of Kenya

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) is the monetary authority of Kenya. CBK is tasked with the role of implementing monetary policies, managing the country’s foreign exchange reserves as well as controlling the government’s domestic debt. This place is a very important facility for the government of Kenya and this explains the heavy security witnessed around the building. Taking photos inside and outside the building is banned for security reasons and if caught, you will get arrested and charged in s court of law.

United States Embassy

The United States Embassy is located along United Nations Avenue, off Limuru Road, Gigiri area of Nairobi. The place is heavily guarded by the Kenya Police as well as the American police. Hidden CCTVs and bomb detectors are also fitted around the area. Visiting the place, one must have an appointment and electronic devices such as mobile phones, laptops, cameras, compact discs and MP3s among others are strictly not allowed. Taking photos inside and outside the buildings is prohibited and you might get yourself in big trouble if caught by the security when taking pictures.

The Army Barracks

The army Barracks are the official residence of the Kenya Defence Forces of Kenya – a well equipped army tasked with the mandate of protecting Kenya’s territorial boundaries and sovereignty. The barracks are located in different locations including the Embakasi Barracks, Langata Barracks, Kenya Army Ammunition Depot in Gatharaini Nairobi, Kahawa Garrison Camp in Kahawa and Waterworks Camp in Hill Estate, Nairobi. It is a crime to take photos inside and outside these barracks.

United Nations Offices

The United Nations office is located along United Nations Avenue in Westlands, Nairobi. The offices which are the UN’s headquarters in Africa was established in 1996 and is one of the four major United Nations offices. The place is heavily guarded by Kenya’s military as well as International trained police. It is under the surveillance of secret CCTVs and bomb detectors for 24/7. Taking pictures around the offices is prohibited and you’ll be arrested if caught.

Airports

Under the Kenya Civil Aviation Security Regulations 2020 59 (1-c), a person who engages in operating a portable electronic device is liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding Sh500,000 or imprisonment not exceeding six months, or both.

The airport was listed together with The Kenya Petroleum Refineries at Changamwe and various petroleum depots in the country.