When it comes to wildlife watching, Kenya is considered one of the countries everyone's eyeing to visit. But what about now that we are experiencing this pandemic? Is it still possible to do all of these?
Just like other countries, Kenya has not gone intact by the pandemic. Kenya has already taken steps to keep travelers from domestic and international countries safe, including a mask-wearing mandate and an imposed curfew. Of course, safety always comes first, but if you’re ready to book a flight again, then here’s some information that you need to know before planning a trip to Kenya right now.
We provide a detailed guide on how to get everything in order before your visit to Kenya.
Kenya is open to international travelers with its health and safety measures. The Government requires all locals and travelers to wear a mask while at the airport and when they arrive in Kenya. Curfew is also implemented for all tourists. Their curfew has been set from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. through which includes all restaurants and bars.
Kenya e-Visa is a requirement for travelers from other countries to apply for a visa before entering the country. The visa process is electronic and you can get a visa online. This is digitally linked to your passport.
You can now submit a Kenya e-visa application in under 3 minutes on Atlys. Download the Atlys app on your iPhone, put in your travel details, and let Atlys handle all the paperwork for you. When you use Atlys, all the other paperwork such as entry forms and covid declarations are also taken care of!
As you apply for an e-visa to Kenya, it's important to know the difference between the different types of visas you can get, and understand which works best for you.
Single Entry Visa
A single entry visa lets you enter Kenya once, and expires after you exit Kenya. For example, if you plan on going to Tanzania, Kenya, and then Rwanda - this visa is good enough as long as you're not re-entering Kenya. It's valid for three months from the date of issue.
A Transit visa is if you are connecting through Kenya to other destinations not exceeding seventy-two (72) hours. The requirement for this visa is a valid travel document not less than six months and a return ticket.
This visa is a joint tourist visa that entitles holders to travel to and within the Republic of Kenya, the Republic of Rwanda, and the Republic of Uganda. This is highly recommended if you're going to these countries. We recommend this visa even if you're going to two out of the three countries since the cost is the same but it's one less document for you to care about. However, do note that this expires automatically if a traveler goes outside of the three (3) countries. This visa is valid for three months from the date of issue.
Multiple Entry Visa
This is for those who frequently visit Kenya. Their nationality requires a visa to enter Kenya for tourism, medical purposes, business, or other reasons. Get this if you frequent Kenya.
5yr Multiple Entry Visa
This visa is issued to nationals who require access to enter Kenya either for business or tourism. The visa is valid for 5 years from the date of issue.
Courtesy Entry Visa
It is issued to Diplomatic, Official, and Service passport holders on official duties or transit for official business or responsibilities. It is given free of charge / gratis. The essential requirement for this visa is a valid travel document not less than six months, must be a holder of an official and diplomatic passport, must provide an official letter from the country of origin/ organization/ foreign affairs, and a return ticket. Most people are not eligible for this visa.
Most tourists are eligible to apply for an e-visa in advance of their trip to Kenya. The e-visa can be applied on their official portal and takes about 80 minutes to complete.
The processing time is forty-eight (48) hours but is usually shorter. We will walk you through a step-by-step process to apply for a Kenyan e-visa.
Each new application is associated with your passport number and email. All information entered should match exactly that in your documents.
Kenya uses a central portal for all its services. For tourists, only the first option is relevant - ‘Directorate of Immigration Services (New Applications)’ and select ‘Get Service’ to open the application.
Choose ‘Adult’ if you fill-up the application for yourself; otherwise, select ‘Minor.’ You need to fill up your child’s e-visa application from your account. Children under 16 are exempt from e-visa fees.
While this section consists of straightforward options, make sure to select 'Single Entry Visa'. In most cases, you want that unless you are planning on leaving Kenya and coming back within a few weeks. The 'Multiple Entry Visa' is more expensive. However, a 'Single Entry Visa' only grants you entry once i.e. the visa is invalid as soon as you leave Kenya.
Kenya requires all applicants to upload proof of their hotel reservations (or at least draft), passport page and a photo. You can use the Atlys tool above to get a draft hotel reservation for free!
This screen often messes up the dates due to glitches. We recommend triple-checking all dates are correct and exactly what you put in before submission. Upon submission, you will be taken to a payments page.
Once approved, a Kenya e-visa has a barcode and your details along with your photo. You do not need to take a print out but we recommend having one. Kenya does not send any emails indicating that your visa is approved so keep checking the portal every few hours!
Children under sixteen (16) years of age are exempt from a Kenya e-visa.
While this section consists of straightforward options, make sure to select 'Single Entry Visa'. In most cases, you want that unless you plan to leave Kenya and come back within a few weeks. The 'Multiple Entry Visa' is more expensive. However, a 'Single Entry Visa' only grants you entry once i.e. the visa is invalid as soon as you leave Kenya.
To enter Kenya, you will have to show a QR Code of the completed Traveler’s Health Surveillance Form, including a negative RT-PCR COVID-19 test result and a valid E-Visa.
The Traveler’s Health Surveillance Form is a single document that all the tourists will have to complete and submit to the Kenyan Ministry of Health. You have to provide basic personal information.
Upon submission, you will get a QR code that must be shown on arrival. It looks like this:
If you see a blank page without a QR Code - simply wait for a few hours and refresh again. If the issue persists, try submitting a new application. Sometimes, you’ve to repeat this task several times!
We recently visited Kenya. Upon arrival at the airport, at the entrance, we were greeted by an officer who checked our COVID-19 Health Surveillance QR code. Thereafter, another officer took the temperature using infrared imaging and contactless thermal scanning.
After proceeding, an officer requested to see the e-visa, passport, negative PCR test results, and the COVID-19 Health Declaration form that airline attendants gave passengers aboard.
Some guidelines are implemented and need to be followed. Private groups are allowed once a day, and by request, this is before the pandemic. At the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife — The Giraffe Centre, staff checks everyone's temperature, and the guests are required to wash their hands before getting close and feeding the giraffes. Meanwhile, visitors can expect fewer crowds and shorter lines at other popular tourist attractions. The safari excursions and activities are temporarily canceled to keep the virus at bay.
Is a yellow fever vaccine required for Kenya?
It is recommended to get a yellow fever vaccine if you’re planning to go to Kenya but it’s not necessarily required. It still depends on you since yellow fever is a risk in certain parts of Kenya.
What is a yellow fever vaccine?
The yellow fever vaccine protects against yellow fever. Yellow fever is an infection that occurs in South America and Africa.
What are the processing time & prices for the e-visa?
The processing fees for single- and multiple-entry fees are $51. East African Entry visa costs $101. The processing time is between three (3) and fourteen (14) days.
When is the best time to travel to Kenya?
The best wildlife viewing month is from July to October. This high season usually gets Kenya crowded.