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Getting your visa / eTA – dos and don’ts!

Once you have booked your safari in Kenya, you need to make sure you get into the country. For this, it’s no longer needed to apply for a visa, as since January 2024 Kenya has been officially visa-free.

Instead, visitors need to apply for a so-called electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA). This is similar to applying for a visa, as the applicant still gets an endorsement indicating that he or she is allowed to enter and stay in Kenya for three months maximum. But the process to apply is simpler, faster and cheaper! 



The good thing about the new eTA is that you can apply for it from the comfort of your own home in a short process”, tells Mees Overdevest, director of Africa Safari Trips, “and that you can apply for your whole family at once.” Clients who have booked their safari with Africa Safari Trips receive a step-by-step guide to help them navigate the application process. “Which is just a helping hand”, says Mees, “because the process is much easier than the former Kenya visa application”. 

Even though he agrees an eTA is similar to a visa, he wants to stress how much easier it has become to apply. “The previous visa process sometimes gave us headaches. Clients would for example arrive at the airport with just a proof of payment instead of a visa”, tells Mees. “And this was confusing indeed – as you received the proof of payment straight after applying but it was not communicated clearly when the visa would follow and it could take weeks.”
It led to complications. “Sometimes people had to go back home, and then we had to reschedule their safari completely.” He doesn’t expect to have those kinds of problems anymore: “The eTA gets approved much more quickly, which reduces the chance of situations like this occurring significantly.”

Be prepared 

That being said, Africa Safari Trips can never guarantee that everything will run smoothly with the new eTA. Mees points out that it’s always good to contact one of our travel consultants if the application process is unclear, so they can advise on what to fill out.
He stresses, however,  that good preparation remains key when applying. “For one, make sure you know what you need to fill before starting the process”, he says. “You can find this in our step-by-step guide. Then make sure your pictures are smaller than 10 MB, and that you have our Travel Confirmation Document ready. It shows all your hotel reservations and you will need to upload the document together with your flight confirmation.”
He ends by saying: “This eTA is a huge improvement, especially if you travel in a group. The only downside is that kids now also need to apply and pay, whereas before they entered the country freely. So even though the fee is lower, families with children will end up paying more.”



Tips and tricks 

  • Start in time! We advise you to do this application at least two weeks before departure.
  • Do this ONLY via the official eTA-website of the Kenyan government. 
  • Read the instructions in our step-by-step guide carefully before starting.
  • Have all the necessary papers ready before starting the online application.
  • People travelling together can do a group application (up to 9 people per application), which saves a lot of time. Still, each person gets a personal eTA.
  • Be aware that kids of all ages need to apply. 
  • Use an online translation program if needed, as the website is in English only.
  • When in doubt: ask our travel consultants for advice!