If you’re going on an African safari, the odds are that Kenya is one of the top places on your list. And why wouldn’t it be? One of the continent’s most popular destinations, Kenya is known for its stunning national parks and iconic wildlife.
Like many countries around the world, Kenya has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. International travel has been greatly reduced through 2020 and 2021.
But that’s not to say you can’t still take a trip to the country. There are just certain rules you have to follow when visiting Kenya in the era of coronavirus.
Here are 5 things you need to remember when traveling to Kenya during the pandemic:
- Remember to Get the Right Visa
This is a general rule for traveling abroad but is more important than ever during the pandemic. Some countries have suspended visa exemptions, meaning that some travelers must now have a travel permit to go to places that they can normally visit visa-free.
The first step is to check if you need a visa for Kenya. You also have to get the right type to cover your trip.
If you’re visiting strictly for leisure, get a tourist visa. If the trip is a work-related trip, you’ll need a Kenya business visa (that’s not to say you can’t still squeeze in a safari while you’re there!).
- Has Kenya Opened Its Borders?
Kenya’s borders are currently open to most visitors. Travelers arriving from most parts of the world can enter the country as long as they comply with the COVID-19 regulations.
If you’ve recently been to India, however, you will run into problems.
Flights directly from India to Kenya have been canceled for the foreseeable future. Moreover, anyone who has been in India within the previous 14 days is not allowed to travel to Kenya. This includes changing flights in Indian airports.
If you’re a Kenyan national or a foreign resident of the country, you will be allowed to return to Kenya from India.
However, you’ll need a negative PCR test result and you’ll also be tested on arrival to make sure you are COVID-free. After that, you’ll need to quarantine for 14 days — at home if the result is negative or in a government facility if you’re positive for the virus.
- Remember to Get Tested
If you’re heading to Kenya during the pandemic, you’ll need to take a test to prove you’re COVID-free.
Only PCR tests are accepted by Kenyan border authorities, so you’ll have to book to take one of these.
You have to take the test within 4 days (96 hours) before you set off for Kenya. If you’re flying, this means no more than 96 hours before the first flight departs.
You’ll have to bring the negative test result with you to show to border security when you arrive. Make sure that it is in English.
If you’re traveling with kids, the good news is that children under 5 are exempt from this rule and don’t need a test. Those aged 5 and older are required to take a test just like adults.
- Don’t Forget the Health Form
Like many countries, Kenya is now asking visitors to fill in a form with their details.
You’ll be able to find the “Travelers Health Surveillance Form” online. You have to complete it before your trip.
The form is an anti-COVID measure designed to help Kenyan authorities keep track of who is entering the country and their potential risk of having coronavirus. It also allows them to alert you if it comes to their attention that another passenger on your flight has the virus.
- Remember to Check if You Need to Quarantine
At various times during the pandemic, Kenya has introduced quarantine rules for travelers. These usually only apply if you’re arriving from certain countries.
For example, at the time of writing, those traveling from the UK have to quarantine for 7 days after arriving in Kenya. If you’re coming from one of the countries, it’ll be 14 days of quarantine for you:
The rules change depending on the current situation in each country. If COVID-19 cases rise in a particular location, then travelers from there might be added to Kenya’s quarantine list.
Conversely, if the situation improves in the states listed above, they might be given the all-clear to visit Kenya without having to isolate themselves.
The best advice is to check the regulations before you travel to Kenya to make sure that you know whether you need to quarantine or not.
Why Visit Kenya During the Pandemic?
Although many people have been put off traveling in general by the events of 2020-2021, COVID-19 is declining around the world as vaccination programs take hold. International travel is slowly beginning to reopen and many people are starting to go abroad once again.
Kenya is a great choice for anyone’s summer travel plans.
Its incredible national parks include Mount Kenya, Tsavo East and West, and Nairobi National Parks as well as the world-famous Masai Mara, where you can witness the epic wildebeest migration.
It also boasts some of the Swahili Coast’s most beautiful beaches, as well as some remarkable examples of Islamic architecture.
By Staff Writer.