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Important Travel Information

Important Travel Advice For Kenya

Passport, Visa, and Medical Advice

Passport & Visa

Additional requirements and restrictions may apply for travel during the Covid-19 pandemic. Travel Butlers aim to highlight these requirements to affected clients, however the onus remains with the traveller to ensure they are aware of any requirements and restrictions that will apply to their own trip.

For up-to-date travel information from the UK government, please check:

UK Government Advice: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/kenya

It is expected that these rules will be lifted and that the entry requirements will revert to normal as soon as the government of Kenya deems it safe to do so.

As of 01 January 2021, all foreign citizens wishing to travel to Kenya will need an eVisa, except citizens from countries who are exempt. A full list of the exempt countries can be found here: evisa.go.ke/eligibility.html.  From this date, you can no longer obtain a visa on arrival.

You can apply for your eVisa online via the eVisa portal www.ecitizen.go.ke/evisa.html. Please ensure that you apply at least 3-4 weeks prior to your travel dates as approval for the eVisa takes up to 7 working days to process. Once the eVisa is issued, it is valid for 3 months. You must print a copy of your visa to present to the Immigration Officer at your point of entry.

The following eVisa types are available (please note there are no visa fees for children under the age of 16) - all costs subject to change:

Single Entry - Allows you to enter into Kenya once - current cost USD 51.

Transit - Allows a short stop over (up to 3 days/72 hours) in Kenya - current cost USD 21. This is ideal if you want to leave the secure area of the airport, for example for an overnight stay inbetween flights, or for a period not exceeding 72 hours. No visa is required for a direct transit (not leaving the secure area of the airport, aka staying ‘airside’, within the airport terminal) between 2 flights.

It is also possible to get an East Africa Tourist Visa which is valid for 90 days and allows holders to travel to and within Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda - current cost USD 100 per person (subject to change) - you can apply for this via your local Embassy.

Your passport should also be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Kenya. Make sure you have 2 blank pages in your passport on arrival.

IMPORTANT:  Plastic bags are banned in Kenya. Arriving visitors are requested to avoid bring plastic bags into the country and being in possession of a plastic bag is an offence and offenders could be penalised.

Visitors are advised to avoid packing any plastic bags in their suitcases or in carry-on hand luggage before flying to Kenya. Items purchased at the airport before boarding the aircraft should be removed from plastic bags.

Travellers coming into Kenya with plastic duty-free shop bags will also be required to leave them at the airport. Please check hand luggage before disembarking and any plastic bags (including the transparent ziplock plastic bags that some airlines require passengers to use for keeping liquids, cosmetics, toiletries etc) should be left in the plane. This does not apply to people in transit.

All single use plastics, such as plastic water bottles and straws, are banned in all National Parks, forests, beaches and conservation areas.

PLEASE NOTE: Countries can change their entry requirements at any time. Travel Butlers try to ensure that the information displayed here is correct, but the onus remains with the traveller to verify the information with the relevant High Commission or Embassy and ensure that they can comply with the applicable entry requirements.

 
 

Medical

You are advised to contact your doctor or clinic around 4-8 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations and to get their professional medical advice regarding travel to Kenya.

To help prevent diarrhoea, avoid tap water – drink only bottled water and use bottled water for tooth brushing, and avoid ice made with tap water – and only eat fruit or vegetables that are cooked or can be peeled.

To help avoid heatstroke, drink plenty of bottled water/fluids, and keep out of the midday sun.

There is a risk of malaria in all areas of Kenya, except Nairobi and the highlands - check with your doctor about suitable antimalarial tablets. Dengue fever can also be transmitted via mosquito bites. Try to avoid mosquito bites wherever possible - wear loose long-sleeved clothing and trousers, and use a repellent on clothing and exposed skin.

Kenya falls into the yellow fever region in Africa. There is only a low potential for exposure to yellow fever in Nairobi, Mombasa, Lamu, Malindi and Shimba Hills National Park, but in the rest of the country there is a higher risk. It is therefore advisable for all travellers aged 9 months and older to obtain a yellow fever vaccination no less than 10 days prior to travel, but depending on the rest of your travel plans and country of origin, it is not compulsory:

Travellers from the UK who are only travelling directly to and from Kenya are currently not required to produce a vaccination certificate upon their return to the UK but this can change with no notice so do please check with your doctor and take their advice

If you are arriving into Kenya from a country which has a risk of yellow fever transmission, you will be required to provide a certificate of your vaccination upon entry into Kenya. These countries include Angola, Argentina, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Peru, Rwanda, Uganda and Venezula but it is up to the traveller to check the full list here https://www.who.int/health-topics/yellow-fever

Certain countries including South Africa and Tanzania will deny entry if you are arriving from Kenya without the vaccination. Please ensure you check the full list here https://www.who.int/health-topics/yellow-fever to see which countries impose this rule.

If your doctor advises that it is not safe for you to have the vaccination then you should obtain a medical waiver and travel with this instead.

 

Time Zone

Kenya Standard Time is 3 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+3). Kenya does not operate Daylight-Saving Time.

Languages

English is the common commercial language, therefore it is spoken in the major towns and at all lodges and hotels. There are 52 tribes in Kenya, each with their own tribal language. The national language in Kenya is Swahili.

We would ask that all travellers are respectful of the local culture as follows:

Showing anger is not acceptable – Kenyan people pride themselves on their emotional control and expect the same in others. Try to remain patient, polite and friendly, even if the situation is very frustrating. Pointing with your finger at someone is considered very rude and is deemed to be an obscene gesture.

The coastal areas are predominantly Muslim so it is important to dress conservatively out of respect for the Muslim culture. On the beaches and within the confines of hotels, normal swimwear is acceptable but nudity/topless sunbathing is not. Away from beach resorts (especially in Mombasa, during the holy month of Ramadan or if you visit religious areas), women should avoid walking around in public areas displaying their legs and upper arms/shoulders - ‘short’ shorts, mini skirts, vests and tank tops may be frowned upon and viewed as a sign of disrespect. Long, loose hair is also seen as very provocative, so to avoid unwanted attention ladies may wish to tie their hair back or wear a headscarf.

Homosexuality is illegal in Kenya. Whilst everyone is of course entitled to their own sexual preferences and gender identity, we would advise all clients of the LGBT+ community to refrain from public displays of affection (including kissing and holding hands) and to be as discrete as possible about their relationship.

You should always ask permission before taking anyone’s photograph, or before photographing official buildings including Embassies.

Smoking in all public places (except in designated areas) is prohibited.

You must carry a form of ID with you at all times. A copy of your passport is normally acceptable, but recently some police officers have been insisting on the original document.

Currency

The monetary unit is the Kenyan shilling. There is no limit to the amount of currency or traveller's cheques that you can bring into the country. US dollars are widely accepted too, however, notes dated before 2001 are no longer accepted and high denomination notes may also not be accepted.

All the major Credit cards are widely accepted in the city hotels, city restaurants and city shops but this may not be the case in the rural areas or whilst on safari.  A commission charge is normally added to any transactions using a credit card.

Travellers cheques may be cashed in a bank but this can be a somewhat lengthy process.

The smaller safari lodges and camps or rural hotels may not all accept travellers cheques or credit cards and where they do they may give an unfavourable exchange rate or add a surcharge, so it is recommended that you obtain whatever local currency you may need on safari in advance by drawing cash from an ATM at a bank in Nairobi or there is a bank at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport which is located in the far corner of the Baggage hall, so you can obtain money while waiting for your luggage to come through.

Reverting your Kenyan shillings into hard currency is easily done at the airport, hotels and banks. The rate of exchange varies between banks, foreign exchange bureaus and hotels. Do NOT change money on the black market, or destroy Kenyan currency as both acts are illegal.

Electricity in Kenya

Voltage in Kenya is 240 volts, and plugs are generally square 3-pin UK style. In some properties power is only available in the early morning and evening, and some do not have power points in the rooms/tents. Where power points are not available, there will be charging facilities for cameras, phones and computers in the main areas.  

Water in Kenya

Hotels and lodges supply clean drinking water but whenever in doubt, please drink only bottled mineral water (which is available in hotels and safari camps). Drinking water from the tap is not encouraged.

Using The Phone in Kenya

The international dialling code for Kenya is +254. Most areas of Kenya have some form of mobile phone network, however it is often weak or unreliable, so please do not always rely on it.

Important Travel Advice For Seychelles

Passport, Visa, and Medical Advice

Passport & Visa

CURRENT ENTRY RULES IN RESPONSE TO CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) - Updated 16 June 2021:  Seychelles is fully opening their borders to all visitors, with the exception of visitors who have been to South Africa, Brazil, India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan within 14 days preceding arrival to Seychelles (until further review). Visitors from these destinations will not be authorised to enter Seychelles.  All other visitors who have stayed at least 14 days in another country will be allowed entry into Seychelles but  they must provide proof of their stay in that other country.

Visitors allowed to enter will also be required to present a negative PCR test taken 72 hours prior to departure. All travellers must apply for a Health Travel Authorisation (HTA) from 72 hours before the day of their departure to Seychelles via https://seychelles.govtas.com/.

There will be no quarantine requirement or restriction on movement upon entry into Seychelles. Additionally, minimum stay in establishments upon arrival will no longer be applicable. Travellers are strongly encouraged to be fully immunized before travel.

You can only stay at a Certified Tourism Accommodation and you must show proof of this at Immigration on arrival.

Once on the islands, all visitors must still abide by the public health measures still in place, such as wearing face masks, social distancing, regular sanitisation and consistent washing of the hands. These new measures will give visitors access to all communal areas within hotel premises inclusive of bars, swimming pools and Kids Clubs.

It is expected that these rules will be lifted and that the entry requirements will revert to normal as soon as the government of Seychelles deems it safe to do so.

Normally, irrespective of the nationality of the visitor and his or her family members (with some exceptions* - see below), there are NO VISA requirements to enter Seychelles. However, the following documents must be shown in order to obtain immigration clearance at the Seychelles International Airport:

A passport valid on the date of entry to and exit from Seychelles

Return or onward ticket

Proof of accommodation including contact details

Sufficient funds for the duration of the stay

Presentation of all of the above documents will grant you a Visitor’s Permit that will be issued upon arrival by the Seychelles Department of Immigration. The Visitor’s Permit is initially valid for the period of visit of up to one month.

Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Seychelles and have sufficient blank pages for the Seychelles entry/exit stamps (at least 2).

* If you are a passport holder from certain African countries, please contact your local Seychelles High Commission or Embassy for up-to-date visa requirements, as nationals from certain countries are required to obtain temporary visas before travelling to Seychelles.

Please note that if you are applying to the Embassy for your visa, some visas can take a long time to be processed so please do take this into consideration, as it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct visa in place before you travel.

PLEASE NOTE: Countries can change their entry requirements at any time. Travel Butlers try to ensure that the information displayed here is correct, but the onus remains with the traveller to verify the information with the relevant High Commission or Embassy and ensure that they can comply with the applicable entry requirements.

 
 

Medical

You are advised to contact your doctor or clinic around 4-8 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations and to get their professional medical advice regarding travel to Seychelles.

To help avoid heatstroke, drink plenty of bottled water/fluids and keep out of the midday sun.

Tap water meets W.H.O. (World Health Organization) specifications and is safe to drink nationwide. Because tap water is chlorinated, however, visitors are advised to drink bottled water but there is no imperative to avoid soft drinks, alcoholic drinks and ice. If you are in any way concerned about drinking water, bottled water is widely available in shops, restaurants and hotel bars.

There is NO risk of contracting malaria in Seychelles as the anopheles mosquito does not exist in Seychelles. However, some cases of dengue fever transmitted by mosquitoes have been reported. Try to avoid mosquito bites wherever possible - wear loose long-sleeved clothing and trousers and use a repellent on clothing and exposed skin.

There is no risk of yellow fever in Seychelles, so a yellow fever vaccination is NOT required for travellers whose sole destination is Seychelles. However, in accordance with International Health Regulations, Seychelles requires all travellers over one year of age arriving from a yellow fever risk country, or having been in transit longer than 12 hours at the airport of such a country, to have a yellow fever certificate. These countries include Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda but it is up to the traveller to check the full list via http://www.who.int/ith/2015-ith-annex1.pdf?ua=1.

 

Time Zone

Seychelles is 4 hours ahead of GMT, 3 hours ahead of British summer time and 2 hours ahead of European summer time.  Visitors may enjoy almost 12 hours of daylight throughout the year with sunrise occurring just after 0600 and the sun setting around 1830.

Languages

There are 3 official languages in Seychelles: Creole (a lilting, French-based patois), English and French. Many Seychellois also speak fluent Italian or German.

We would ask that all travellers are respectful of the local culture as follows:

Topless sunbathing is uncommon and not tolerated on some beaches. Nudism is not acceptable.

Homosexuality is not illegal in Seychelles. However, local attitudes do and can vary, so whilst everyone is of course entitled to their own sexual preferences and gender identity, we would advise all clients of the LGBT+ community to refrain from public displays of affection (including kissing and holding hands) and to be as discrete as possible about their relationship.

Please resist the urge to collect seashells along the beaches as many are used as habitation by hermit crabs.  Collecting shells is prohibited in nature reserves, marine parks and reserves in Seychelles.  The unique and unusual tropical flora is beautiful and for it to remain so, it is important that you admire it, but leave it for others to enjoy. 

Be considerate towards the fauna and sensitive to its sometimes fragile nature.  Please walk carefully on the reefs and do not feed sea birds, mammals, turtles or tortoises or disturb them or their nesting grounds.

Currency

The local currency is the Seychelles Rupee (SCR) which is divided into 100 cents. Coins come in 5, 10, 25 cents and 1 and 5 Rupee denominations. Notes come in 10, 25, 50, 100 and 500 Rupee denominations.

MasterCard/Access and Visa cards are widely accepted while Diners Club and American Express cards are honoured to a somewhat lesser extent. Such cards may be used for car hire, hotel and restaurant services, for all of which the visitor will be charged in foreign currency.

ATM facilities exist at major banks on Mahe, Praslin and La Digue and at the airport on Mahe and Praslin.

Most restaurants, hotels, taxis etc. already include a 5% to 10% service charge, so  tipping is not obligatory in Seychelles.

Electricity in Seychelles

Throughout Seychelles the voltage is 220-240 volts AC 50 Hz. Seychelles uses the British standard square 3-pin, 13 amp sharp electric plug.  Visitors from countries other than the United Kingdom are advised to bring their own adaptors.

Water in Seychelles

Tap water meets W.H.O. (World Health Organization) specifications and is safe to drink nationwide. Because tap water is chlorinated, however, visitors are advised to drink bottled water but there is no imperative to avoid soft drinks, alcoholic drinks and ice. If you are in any way concerned about drinking water, bottled water is widely available in shops, restaurants and hotel bars.

Using The Phone in Seychelles

The international dialling code for Seychelles is 248.

Seychelles enjoys modern, efficient communication services. At present, there are 2 GSM networks - Cable & Wireless and Airtel.

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