Kenya Visa. Requirements, Exemptions and more

Kenya is the place where safari travel originated, and it still holds a good place among the top African countries to visit.

From the wildlife, landscape, culture, and the coastal Indian Ocean, Kenya offers unique safari experiences that millions of people have enjoyed - and continue to. This article is going to look at what you need to get a Kenya visa for your safari travel. 

Before you visit Kenya, a visa is required for your entry. However, citizens of some countries do not need a visa to enter Kenya so be sure to look over the table below of Kenya visa-exempt countries.

kenya visa

Kenyan Visa can be applied for at the foreign embassies, on arrival at the ports of entry, and online. The East African Tourist visa can also be used to enter Kenya.

You can visit the official government site http://evisa.go.ke/evisa.html and apply for your e-visa.

Requirements

  • A valid passport for at least 6 months after the date of your arrival
  • Already set arrival and departure dates
  • Passport-type photo (with head and shoulders)
  • Copy of your passport's Bio-data page
  • Confirmation of hotel booking, or
  • Letter of invitation from a Kenyan organization/inhabitant or
  • Booking confirmation for a return flight
  • 50 USD for visa fees or 51 USD if you apply online (includes bank processing charge) 

Visa exemption

Kenya visa policy
Image credit: Wikipedia

Citizens of all the following 43 countries do not need a visa to enter Kenya for up to 90 days - unless indicated otherwise.

Citizens of Uganda, Rwanda, and Kenya are allowed to travel freely from their respective countries to the others using their National Identification cards. The East African Tourist Visa issued by either Uganda or Rwanda can also be used to enter into Kenya.

Bahamas The Gambia Nauru Solomon Islands
Barbados Ghana  Papua New Guinea South Africa (30 days)
Belize Grenada Rwanda Tanzania
Botswana Jamaica Samoa Tonga
Brunei Kiribati St Kitts and Nevis Trinidad and Tobago
Burundi Lesotho St Lucia Tuvalu
Cyprus Malawi St Vincent and the Grenadines Uganda
Dominica Malaysia (30 days) San Marino Vanuatu
Eswatini Maldives Seychelles Zambia
Ethiopia Mauritius Sierra Leone Zimbabwe
Fiji Namibia Singapore  

Required Visa

Citizens of the following countries must first obtain a visa before travelling to Kenya.

The visa cannot be obtained online and the application has to be reffered to the Director of Immigration services for processing and approval.

Afghanistan Lebanon North Korea
Armenia Libya Kosovo
Azerbaijan Palestine Tajikistan
Eritrea Somalia Yemen
Iraq Syria  

This means that no visa can be awarded on arrival and the process could take longer. It is advisable that you apply at least 2 weeks before your intended travel and allow a bit of flexibility with your dates.

Minors

Here are some things to keep in mind if you are travelling with children below the age of 18.

  • You will need a valid passport for the child.
  • Children are only allowed to travel with their parents or with the formal written permission of their parents/guardians.
  • Children below the age of 16 can enter Kenya without paying for a visa.

East African Visa

The East African Visa can be issued by Kenya, Uganda or Rwanda -  and allows the tourists to move freely through all the 3 countries for the entire period of their stay. The visa allows for multiple entry.

This is the ideal visa to apply for when you would love to see more of East Africa on one trip. This makes it possible for one to see the gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda, do white water rafting on the Nile and Witness the wildbeest migration in Masai Mara, thus ticking off very exciting adventures in one go.

The East African Tourist visa costs 100 USD.

Related article: East African Tourist Visa - all you need to know.

Notes

  • The visa fee is a processing cost and thus non-refundable
  • Incomplete applications are rejected (and not refunded)
  • Possession of the visa is not the final authority for entering Kenya
  • Your Visa application should be with 90 days of BOTH your arrival and departure

Final Thoughts

Kenya's modernized visa application process makes it easy for you to get your visa sorted out in time. Getting your visa before your arrival gives you peace of mind and that is a great way to start exciting things.

In the event that you are unable to get your visa online, you shouldn't panic. You can still get it on arrival and the process is straightforward. If a Kenyan embassy of yours is nearby, you can also visit it and apply for your visa.

You will find many online websites that charge a fee to help with visa applications. We advise that you do this with discretion and be certain to trust that they will respect your information and privacy. 

In the event that you will travel to Kenya and your safari is being handled by a company or tour operator, you can easily ask them and they could help for a small fee or even for free.

Related articles: