Kenya Visa Information
1. Why the eVisa
Most Governments world over are moving towards digitization of their operations. Online application makes it possible for visitors to get their Visa in advance hence removing the anxiety of whether one will be able will get it or not at the point of entry
2. The Online Application is NOT complicated
The procedure of application has now been modified and simplified to a user friendly mode that takes three simple steps. The E-Visa portal now has its dedicated website: www.evisa.go.ke. Visa approval is being done real-time.
3. Do you need to upload a passport photo to process the online application?
The applicant needs to upload a passport size photo and a copy of the passport for the online application to be complete. Photos can either be scanned or taken by a mobile phone. The system is able to resize the photo automatically to fit in the photo size requirement.
4. If your application is refused, is the fee refundable?
Visa fee is non refundable since the application will be processed for approval or non approval
5. Is it only payable in US dollars?
The online payment of visa fee is in US dollars.
6. Will you still be able to get visas on arrival at the port of entry if you do not have an E-Visa?
Yes, an applicant will still be able to get a visa at the port of entry on arrival. Visas acquired at Kenyan Embassies and High Commissions are also valid and will be honored at the port of entry. Citizens of the following countries require a visa that cannot be obtained online or on arrival at the airport but instead this must be done in advance through a Kenyan Embassy: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cameroon, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Eritrea, Iraq, Kosovo, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Palestine, Senegal, Somalia, Syria, Tajikistan.
7. If you are in transit at JKIA with an onward ticket, for example to Kilimanjaro, would you have to purchase a visa, even if you are only going to pass through immigration then check back in for your connecting flight?
If a passenger is on transit and needs to clear with immigration to enter Kenya, he or she will need a transit visa. The Department has set up a work station where they can apply for the transit visa at the port of entry in case of such unexpected circumstances.
8. What visa types are available via the online system?
The visas available online are those of countries in category two (2) of the Kenya visa regulations. They are listed on the on line visa application form.
9. For those visas you can’t currently purchase online, will visitors still be able to purchase on arrival at JKIA or the High Commissions/Kenyan Embassies abroad?
The procedures of applying for visas which are not available on line remain the same. These are in category three (3) of the visa regulations and the applicants have always applied to the Director of Immigration Services before travelling. However, further consultations are under way before this category can be put on line.
10. The East African Visa
The East Africa Tourist visa is not affected by the new system. It is still available on arrival and covers Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda. It’s also possible to apply for this manually (in writing) via the High Commissioners Offices/ Kenyan embassy abroad.
11. The procedure is in English only
The system will be modified to accommodate other languages e.g. French, Italian, Germany and Chinese through auto translation.
12. Tour Operators and Travel agent role:
The agents can apply on behalf of the applicant, as long as they provide accurate information by either attaching invitation letters or itinerary/bookings. Details of hotels and applicants telephone numbers are necessary for security and emergency purposes. The agent will use their own account (does not have to create different accounts) to apply with the details of the applicants. The Visa notification will be in the names and details of the applicant they will have applied for.
13. The details required are too many
Visitors’ details very important for a country to manage issues related to foreigners’ for keeping track of their activities and where they are staying. Contacts requested whether email, phone numbers or physical addresses of host country or place to be visited is crucial for security and emergency purposes.
14. The eVisa is now costing more
The increase of visa fee is very minimal and has been observed before that Visa fee plays a minor role in determining a tourist destination. A case scenario is when a few years back, the Visa fee was slashed by half with no notable upsurge in arrival numbers.
15. Will visitors still have their digital photo and fingerprints taken at the immigration desk on arrival?
Yes, the need to have photos and fingerprints taken upon arrival is to authenticate that the person who applied for the Visa is the same person at the port of entry. This is a best practice world over now and more so, owing to our commitment to secure our borders. Compared to the manual application, the online process saves visitors time at the point of entry as it has eliminated writing of visa stickers and receipt as they wait
16. If one is filling out the application and stop before completing, will they be able to resume from where they left?
Yes, the system allows visitors to save his/her application and continue with process at own time.
17. What safety mechanisms are in place for submission of credit card information?
If the credit card payments are processed in Kenya; most people do not like the idea of having to contact their credit card company to approve a charge made directly in Kenya. The system does not store any information of credit or debit cards. They are only used for payment. The applicant is not required to give any information on their credit/debit card. E-citizen is a government website and is highly secured with the latest technology. There are plans to include other modes of payments like PayPal.
18. How does an applicant know if the Visa has been approved?
Notifications of visa approvals are being sent through applicants email.
The system directs an application to the nearest Embassy or High Commission to the place/country of application and initiates immediate response
19. The multi-entry visa is no longer available
A visitor will not be able to get multi-entry visa online (Learn more about visas and citizenship on CitizenshipBureau). This can only be issued by immigration offices in Nairobi headquarters. Therefore, an applicant will apply for single entry on the e-visa portal, upon confirmation and arrival in the country then go to Immigration offices 7th to apply for multi-entry visa.
20. What are EVisa Kiosks?
The Immigration will introduce e-Visa kiosks at JKIA and MIA for two months to assist in the transition and to handle emergency cases only and even then one will still have to apply for the visa online from the kiosks and await confirmation on issuance which may take time and may not be guaranteed. To minimize on anxiety and the risk of applying upon arrival, we are encouraging the eVisa application as per the required timelines unless it’s an emergency beyond the applicants’ influence
For more information on the eVisa please log on to www.evisa.go.ke. Also learn about
JAMBO is one of the most common words you will hear spoken throughout Kenya. This is the simplest Swahili greeting, and is often the first word learned by visitors to Kenya.
Swahili (locally referred to as Kiswahili) is Kenya’s national language. Swahili originated on the East African coast, as a trade language used by both Arabs and coastal tribes.
The language incorporated elements of both classical Arabic and Bantu dialects, and became the mother tounge of the Swahili people who themselves rose from the intermarriage of Arab and African cultures.
The word Swahili itself came from the Arabic for ‘coast’ Sahel. But the language became a pervasive influence, and a regional lingua franca, becoming widely used throughout Kenya and Tanzania.
Today, the language is also used in regions of Ethiopia, Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, the Congo and Zambia, and is the most widely spoken African language. In Kenya, most people generally speak a tribal language at home, use Swahili as an everyday language, and English for business.
Swahili is a relatively simple language, being highly phonetic with a rigid grammar. The only difficulty in learning Swahili comes from the extensive use of prefixes, suffixes and infixes, and a class system for nouns.
Coastal Swahili remains the most pure, and the Island of Zanzibar is considered the home of the language. The further away from the coast that you travel, the less sophisticated the language generally becomes, and grammar is slightly more flexible. Nairobi has now become the home of Sheng, a fashionable Creole of Swahili, Kikuyu, English and slang.
Still, even a little Swahili goes a long way in Kenya. It is worth learning a little, and most Kenyans are thrilled to hear visitors attempt to use any Swahili at all.
The following guide will let you try out some basic Swahili:
|Jambo or Hujambo||Hello, good day, how are you? (multi-purpose greeting, means”problems?”)|
|Jambo or Sijambo||(the response)No problems|
|Habari?||How are things? (literally”news?”)|
|Nzuri||Fine, good, terrific|
|Hodi!||Hellow? Anyone in? (said on knocking or entering)|
|Karibu||Come in, enter, welcome(also said on offering something)|
|Kwaheri/ ni||Goodbye to one/ many|
|Asante/ ni||Thank you to one/ many|
|Bwana||Mister, the equivalent of monsieur in French|
|Mama||Like the French madame or madamoiselle, for adult women|
|Jina lako nani?||What’s your name?/ What|
|Unaitwaje?||Are you called?|
|My name is / I am called||Jina langu ni/ Ninaitwa|
|Where are you from?||Unatoka wapi?|
|Where are you staying?||Unakaa wapi|
|I am from||Ninatoka|
|I am staying (at / in).||Ninakaa|
|See you||Tutaonana ( Lit. “We shall meet”)|
|Yes||Ndiyo (Lit. it is so)|
|I don’t understand||Sifahamu / Sielewi|
|I don’t speak Swahili but||Sisemi Kiswahili, lakini|
|How do you say in Swahili?||Unasemaje na Kiswahili|
|Could you repeat that?||Sema tena (Lit. speak again)|
|Speak slowly||Sema pole pole|
|I don’t know||Sijui|
|(It) is (they) are||Ni (a useful connector Ni (a useful connector when you
Ni(a useful connector when you
|I’m British / American / German / French / Italian||Mimi Mwingereza / Mwamerika / Mdachi / Mfaransa / Mwitaliano|
|Where can I stay?||Naweza Kukaa wapi?|
|Can I stay here?||Naweza kukaa hapa?|
|Toilet, bathroom||Choo, bafu|
|Washing water||Maji ya kuosha|
|Hot/cold water||Maji moto/baridi|
|I’m hungry||Ninasikia njaa|
|I’m thirsty||Nina kiu|
|Is there any?||Iko… or Kuna?…|
|Yes there is…||Iko…or kuna…|
|No there isn’t any||Hakuna|
|What price?||Bei gani?|
|How much does it cost?||Pesa Ngapi?|
|I don’t want||Sitaki|
|Give me/Bring me (can I have?)||Nipe/Niletee|
|Reduce the price,come down a little||Punguza kidogo|
|I’m ill||Mimi mgonjwa|
|Travel And Directions|
|Bus/es||Bas,basi / mabasi|
|Car /s, Vehicle/ s||Gari/ Magari|
|Boat / Ship||Chombo / Meli|
|Road, path||Njia/ ndia|
|On foot/ Walking||Kwa miguu|
|When does it leave||Inaondoka lini?|
|When will we arrive?||Tutafika lini?|
|Wait! / hang on a moment!||Ngoja!/ ngoja kidogo!|
|Where are you going||Unaenda wapi|
|To where?||Mpaka wapi?|
|From where?||Kutoka wapi?|
|How many kilometers?||Kilometa ngapi?|
|I’m going to||Naenda|
|Move along, squeeze up a little||Songa!/ songa kidogo!|
|Let’s go, carry on||Twende, endelea|
|Straight ahead||Moja kwa moja|
|I want to get off here||Nataka kushuka hapa|
|The car has broken down||Gari imearibika|
|Time Calendar And Number|
|What time is it?||Saa ngapi|
|Four o’clock||Saa kumi|
|Quarter past||Na robo|
|Half past||Na nusu|
|Quarter to||Kaso robo|
|Last/ this/ next week||Wiki iliopita/ hii/ ijayo|
|This year||Mwaka huu|
|This month||Mwezi huu|
|11||Kumi na moja|
|12||Kumi na mbili|
|21||Ishirini na moja|
|121||Mia moja na ishirini na moja|
|Fierce dog!||Mbwa mkali!|
|No entry!||Hakuna njia!|
|Words Worth Knowing|
|Good||-zuri (with a prefix at the front)|
|A lot of||-ingi|
|Not bad||Si mbaya|
|Ok, right, fine||Sawa|
|Just, only||Tu (kitanda kimoja tu-just ona bed)|
|Thing/ s||Kitu/ vitu|
|Problems, hassles||Wasiwasi, matata|
|No problem||Hakuna wasiwasi/ Hakuna matata|
|It’s nothing||Si kitu|
|Excuse me (let me through)||Hebu|
|What’s up?||Namna gani?|
|If God wills it||Inshallah (heard often on the coast)|
|Take a picture of me!||Piga picha mimi!|
|Help the poor!||Saidia maskini!|
Are you a fully Registered Travel Company (and/or belong to a professional Tourism Body), where I expect to get quality services worth my money and time?
YES! We are duly Registered as a tours and Transport Company with The Government of Kenya (Ministry of Tourism and wildlife), besides being an active member of KATO (Kenya Association of Tour Operators), and licensed under the Nairobi City Council Local Authority Act to operate offices and travel businesses.
Is there any other thing of importance that I need to know before I come to Kenya?
Since Kenya is a diverse Country with so much to be experienced within, our Tour Consultants would only be too glad to glad to engage you on this on a one-on-one basis using our communication channels on “CONTACT US” Section.
How is the Security situation in Kenya? Will I feel safe while in the Country?
Our government has invested heavily on security for not only its locals but even its visitors in general, now that our economy relies heavily on international and domestic tourism. It works round the clock with all security agencies and Kenya Wildlife Service who are mandated to protect and manage the national parks and wildlife in ensuring security in all the tourist destinations and wider country. Other Stakeholders like KATO, KTB and KTF also play a major role constantly in monitoring the state of situations (security included) and advice their members accordingly on the same. With such information, we are always able to recommend changes on itineraries as they come.
Upon confirmation of my taking a Safari with you, what is the mode of payment and when is the latest time to do this?
Upon confirmation, you will be expected to make a wire transfer of 50% (If less can be discussed) and the balance be paid before the start of the safari. We accept cash, credit cards that is Master card, Visa card and JCB. At least a month before the safari is okay but we also accept last minute bookings.
Is it okay to book for a Safari in advance and what is the time-frame?
Yes! This is quite in order and can be done way back from the safari-date. In fact we highly recommend this as it enables us to do early lodge booking arrangements which greatly increases guarantee of availability of accommodations at your destination(s) of choice. This is especially so for those who wish to do a safari during the High Season (July – October).
Apart from the everyday itineraries in your Website, can you also come up with tailor-made itineraries that are off the beaten track, upon request?
Definitely YES! We boast having fully qualified Tour Consultants who have many years of experience in the travel and hospitality industry. They are able to come up, fast, with customized and cost-friendly itineraries while making recommendations wherever necessary to suit the customer’s holiday needs.
Why don’t your itineraries have the Safari Costs quoted on them?
Our Tour Consultants are ever ready to gladly give you the costs upon inquiry while also taking the chance to engage you on a one-on-one and provide you with extra information as and when necessary. They are all reachable via email, telephone and mobile phones indicated on our “CONTACT US” Section.
.In case I have special dietary needs (e.g. a vegan), can these be arranged and met if I opt to take a Safari with your Company?
YES! We cater for all dietary needs (from Meat-lovers to Vegetarians and even Halal). We always welcome requests for the special dietary needs prior to the Safari to give us adequate time to prepare for the same.
Am I guaranteed to see a requested (particular) animal while out on Safari with your Company?
Much as our highly qualified, knowledgeable and experienced Driver-Guides go out of their way to make your Safari a memorable and true African experience, we do not guarantee 100% seeing a requested particular animal. This is because our National Parks provide natural home environments to the animals that roam freely in the bushes unlike the case of being caged in Zoos.
Do you have an efficient back-up plan in case of a vehicle-breakdown when we are out on Safari?
YES! We enjoy a large fleet of Safari vehicles, many out in the field with an equally large number on stand-by, all manned by competent and highly experienced English-speaking Driver-Guides. The vehicles have good ground clearance, are fitted with VHF communication units and radio, and a GPRS 24-hour tracking system enabling monitoring at all times, now that security is of essence. Besides, we have a fully equipped garage and workshop that is able to handle all forms of vehicle repair, tune-ups, diagnostics, preventive and curative maintenance.
When out on Safari with your Company, can your offices be accessible to our communication round the clock?
YES! We have various operations offices including one at the Airport International Arrivals Terminal that is operational on a 24-hour basis. This office is manned by qualified personnel operating on a shift-basis, and is complete with a state-of-the-art base radio, fixed telephone lines and mobile hotline numbers where we can be reached at any time.
What types of Safaris and holidays does your Company offer?
We are an outfit that offers both Camping and Lodge Safaris. For a camping package which is best suited for budget travelers, we put you up in tents in our campsites and/or budget hotels (where applicable). For a lodge package which is pegged at slightly higher costs, we put you up in luxury lodges during your stay. Please note that we can piece up a package for you that includes both camping and lodge upon request. Aside, we also offer trekking and mountain-climbing holidays for outdoor lovers with various activities therein. We can organize beach holidays for those who just need an easy time with sun-and-sand. In addition, we offer other services such as airport meet-and-greet and transfers where you will definitely experience our incomparable high quality customer service.
When is the best time to visit Kenya?
Our Country is good all year round for safari even though it gets better between July and October when the world-famous wildebeest (gnu) migration is deep in Masai Mara National Park from the Serengeti in Tanzania. As these wonder- animals move, they attract alongside, a huge big-cat population that preys on them and an equally huge number of herbivores which are sure not to miss the attractive pastures and water that these migrants source. With two rainy seasons, the longer one from late March to May and the shorter one in November, the country is still blessed with abundant sunshine now that it is astride the equator. At this time certain places may be muddy and hence slippery but still manageable
What are the main touristic attractions in Kenya?
Due to our diverse endowments of natural resources, breathtaking landscapes and very beautiful beaches, Kenya remains the country of choice as a tourist destination, in fact the “whole of African continent in one shop”. Our national parks are wildlife-rich, with some like the Mara (Lion Country) hosting all of the Big Five game and unique ones where game drives can be done on foot. Our lakes, some inside the parks, provide arrays of birdlife, e.g. Nakuru (Birdwatchers’ Paradise) that hosts 1000’s of flamingos and over 450 species of other birds. Others provide unforgettable boating experiences and fishing expeditions. Kenya also offers climbing experiences of snow-capped mountains and the best view of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain (5895M). The Beaches within are incomparable to any other for fulfilling sun-and-sand experiences. Kenya’s ultra-modern cities and country towns will provide you with a chance to meet and mix with the locals (wananchi) and their interesting diverse cultures some of which are as traditionally old as time itself, not to mention our Museums which showcase our various historical and cultural heritages.
What to Carry for your SAFARI
Here are some tips on what to carry in Kenya
The weather in Kenya is usually hot. Cotton and linen are the most comfortable fabrics to wear. So when packing your wardrobe for your Kenyan safari or trip: think cotton. Natural fabrics like cotton absorb perspiration well. They also feel cooler to the skin. Being properly covered up in well fitting clothes is a good way to ensure you don’t get burned to a crisp. Underwear absolutely has to be made of cotton. A warm jacket is a good idea if you intend to spend time in Nairobi or the Kenyan highlands where the weather is cold at night.
• Facial Spritz and wet wipes
Again, it is quite hot in Kenya. A facial spritz to cool your skin and plenty of wet wipes will do you a lot of good.
• Bug spray/cream
Most safari lodges out in the bush provide mosquito nets, but it does not hurt to carry some bug spray with you. While we are on the topic of bugs, try to carry a few pants to wear instead of only coming with shorts to avoid bug bites, dust, brushing against coarse grass etc.
Carry plenty and plenty of sunblock. It can get really hot in Kenya and sunblock is absolutely necessary for those moments when you can feel the sun beating down on you. Remember that Kenya is smack on the equator. While we are on the topic of the sun, a wide brimmed hut never hurt anyone.
• Corkscrew/bottle opener
You never know when you will be thirsty and in need of a bottle opener!
It is good to carry a small pack of aspirin or panadol in case they are not immediately available. If you take prescription medicine make sure you are well supplied before coming to Kenya.
• Extra memory cards and batteries
You can take hundreds or even thousands of pictures. Don’t forget to carry extra memory cards for your camera. They will ensure you don’t run out of memory. Different lenses and all the camera equipment you will need. You also don’t want to be stuck with a dead camera so extra batteries are a must.
• Toilet paper
Carry your own toilet paper. You never know when you might find a toilet without toilet paper.
• Flashlight or torch
Some of the lodges turn off their generators during the night. So you might need a flashlight to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
• Dress pants and shirt
Some hotels have a dinner dress code. Carrying one pair of dress pants and one shirt will ensure that you are never caught err pants down.
Swimsuits and bikinis are important for visits to swimming pools and beaches. Don’t wear them outside the beach or hotel though
Keep it simple. Expensive jewellery should be left at home. It is not necessary while on safari and if you plan on exploring Kenya’s cities, expensive jewellery can attract the wrong kind of people.
Hiking boots are necessary for any outdoor excursions in the bush. Casual shoes in case you need to visit a nice restaurant and sandals to wear the rest of the time are also important.
There are a lot of toiletries that you can carry. Hand sanitizer is vital. Sun burn ointment, zip lock bags, tweezers that can be used to remove splinters, toothpaste and toothbrush, gauze, ace bandage in case you need it, and malaria medication.