Greetings from Nairobi, Kenya! I am so glad to be back home given the fact that I had to cancel this trip last year due to the pandemic and the general uncertainty of things at the time. Since then, entry requirements into Kenya have changed so I figured it would probably be a good idea to touch on this as my first post for this trip before we get to the fun stuff, here goes:
Visa - First things first, check if you need a visa to enter Kenya based on your country of origin. I know for sure if you travel with a US passport for instance, you will need a visa to enter Kenya.
- Cost - It depends on what kind of visa you require, a single entry visa costs $51 while a multiple entry visa costs $101.
- eVisa - Before, you could easily get a Kenyan visa upon arrival at the airport or you could also get it in advance by applying online. Starting January of 2021 Kenya decided to make an eVisa a mandatory entry requirement meaning, no more visas upon arrival at the airport instead you have to go to this website https://evisa.go.ke/evisa.html to apply for an eVisa in advance. Once you get the visa which is usually within two business days, make sure to print it out in color.
- Application for an eVisa - The application itself is easy enough although I found it easier to apply for a single entry visa than a multiple entry visa (my Kenyan passport expired so I am traveling with a US passport). Since I will be traveling to another country as well during this trip and coming back to Kenya, I just applied for the single entry visa twice.
- Tip: This might or might not happen to you. After you are done with your application and are ready to pay with a card (visa or master card only), depending on the browser you are using you might get a message indicating that your payment could not go through. This happened to me so many times even when I tried using different cards, my bank was already aware of the transaction so the issue wasn't related to them blocking the transaction. I read online that trying a different browser might help, I was using Safari but when I switched to Explorer then my payment went through without a glitch.
Covid test - You will need to show proof of a negative covid-19 PCR test taken within 96 hours so plan accordingly.
Electronic Travelers Surveillance - Prior to entering Kenya all travelers are required to fill this form which can be found here: https://ears.health.go.ke/airline_registration/ it's best to fill this after you have received your negative covid-19 test. After submitting this form a QR code will be generated, print this and include it with your travel documents.
Conclusion: The 3 documents that I mentioned above are mandatory before entering Kenya and they will be checked at each point of your departure and entry into Kenya. In my case they were checked at the US airport that I traveled from, at the Paris CDG airport where I was transiting and finally at the Nairobi airport when I arrived to Kenya. Do expect some delays as the whole process of checking for these documents from all passengers takes time.
That's it folks! tomorrow the adventures begin so watch out for any updates.