Coronavirus (COVID-19): Update on Travel to Kenya

COVID-19 LATEST UPDATE:  

On 11 March 2022 the Cabinet Secretary of Health here in Kenya made very positive announcements in terms of changes to Covid protocols and entry requirements, opening up tourism to unvaccinated visitors, removing the Covid-19 Test requirements for those who are vaccinated and easing some general restrictions. In summary:

  • International travelers who are fully vaccinated can now enter Kenya without taking a Covid-19 PCR test
  • Those that are not vaccinated can now also enter Kenya with a negative PCR certificate and by taking a rapid test on arrival – see full details below
  • Mandatory wearing of face masks in public places is no longer required
  • Indoor in-person meetings can operate at normal full capacity of the venue
  • Temperature checks for public places is no longer needed

 

Kenya is Open & Safe!

International flights resumed to Nairobi in August 2020 and since then we have welcomed hundreds of guests from the United States, Canada, Latin America, the UK, Europe, UAE, India and many other locations on safaris to Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, South Africa, Victoria Falls and Namibia (recent guest comments can be seen here on TripAdvisor).

Due to effective containment of the virus, Kenya has been fortunate to have experienced a relatively low level of fatalities as compared to most other countries in the world. With a Covid-19 fatalities rate of less than 95 deaths per one million people, Kenya is ranked below 158 other countries globally that have rates that are much higher (typically, it is 20 times higher than Kenya in most countries of America and Europe). Kenya’s successful vaccination programme prioritised the hospitality sector and front line workers and all those above 58 years of age or with any underlying conditions. At Gamewatchers Safaris & Porini Camps our drivers and representatives have been fully vaccinated as have 95% of the staff in our Porini camps with the last few camp staff due to be vaccinated in the near future.

The re-opening of tourism into Kenya follows the development of very
elaborate Protocols to govern all business operations including tourism.
The Protocols developed specifically for tourism were endorsed by WHO
and have led to Kenya being awarded the “SafeTravel” stamp by WTTC.

Our Porini Safari Camps were among the first in Kenya to be checked and certified to re-open with new Covid-19 safety standards in line with the World Health Organization and Kenya Ministry of Health requirements. Various measures are in place based on their recommended protocols, including temperature screening of guests on arrival, regular health checks of staff, social distancing, deep cleaning of camp / vehicles and more. To view full details please click here: Porini Camps Covid Protocols

 

 

Arrival procedures for our customers flying into Kenya:

1. Health Form

All international airline passengers flying into Kenya are required to complete an online Health Information form which needs to be submitted after check-in and prior to arrival:
https://ears.health.go.ke/airline_registration/

Guests should complete and submit this form online once they have checked in and have their seat number prior to boarding and they should receive a confirmation QR code by email once submitted.

In addition to submitting the forms electronically, it is recommended that they also print out a copy of the form in advance and fill it in by hand before landing, to speed up the clearing process at JKIA as port health officials may require this form before screening.

2. Proof of Vaccination OR Covid-19 PCR Test Certificate 

All vaccinated passengers arriving into Kenya must present a certificate of COVID-19 vaccination and shall be exempted from PCR requirement on arrival.

All unvaccinated passengers arriving into Kenya are required to have a Covid-19 PCR Test Certificate showing a Negative test result. (Note: children below the age of 5 years are exempt from PCR requirement). The test must have been carried out within a maximum of 72 hours before travel to Kenya and preferably should be in English. So it is important that you have the test done just before travel but leaving enough time to receive the results and the negative test certificate, giving 72 hours validity before you travel.

The Kenya Airports Authority has advised that 72 hours before TRAVEL means before the time of departure on a flight to Kenya. However it appears that some airlines are insisting that it means 72 hours before ARRIVAL in Kenya, so we recommend that you check with your airline in advance of having the test, to clarify exactly what their boarding requirements are so that you can ensure that you comply.

All unvaccinated passengers are required to take a Rapid Antigen Test on arrival (at their own cost of USD 30). Those testing positive are required to take a PCR test (at their own cost of USD 50) and self-isolate. (Note: children below the age of 5 years are exempt).

We can arrange for Covid-19 tests to be carried out whilst in Kenya before travelling back home should your airline / destination require this.

Important note: There will be no paper verification of COVID-19 test results and vaccination certificates upon arrival into Kenya. Airlines should ensure that all travelers have uploaded the documents into Global Haven before boarding via www.globalhaven.org

 

Flexible booking terms for our customers:

No Amendment Fee Guarantee for existing bookings

In order to alleviate any concerns we are offering a flexi-booking policy for our customers with relaxed Terms & Conditions regarding future changes / postponement should their travel plans be adversely affected by COVID-19:

• Those booking a safari staying at our Porini Camps in 2022 can opt to postpone their travel dates if they have any concerns relating to COVID-19 and no amendment fee will be charged.

• We will allow any payments already made for travel dates in early 2022 to be carried forward to later dates in 2022.

• The new travel dates will be subject to availability and any added cost if there are any price differences from the date originally booked (apart from Porini Camps and Nimali Camps where the same price will apply to the new date so long as travel is in the same season as the original booking)

New bookings for 2022
In addition to allowing existing bookings to be postponed, for all new bookings for travel in 2022 we will be offering our Flexi-booking terms while the uncertainty over the Pandemic continues.

For all NEW bookings that are made with us from now up to 31st March 2022 for subsequent travel dates, we can agree that the deposit of 25% (or any other pre-payments of the balance or amounts greater than 25%) is fully refundable up until 30 days before date of travel if customers decide to cancel in the event that any of the following restrictions apply due to the Pandemic:

  • Suspension of all international flights to Kenya or Tanzania from the customer’s country of residence.
  • Entry restrictions on arrivals inbound into Kenya or Tanzania from the visitor’s country of residence (including mandatory quarantine regardless of whether a visitor has a valid PCR certificate) imposed by the governments of Kenya or Tanzania.
  • Change to outbound government/state/regional travel advisory which prohibits travel to Kenya or Tanzania from the customer’s country of residence.

 

These flexible conditions apply to Porini Camps in Kenya and Nimali camps in Tanzania; other accommodation bookings will be subject to the terms and conditions of the relevant supplier(s).  Your Travel Consultant can advise on these at the time of booking.  

 

Concerned about the security of your booking and your own safety while on safari?

We fully appreciate your concerns when it comes to booking a safari in Africa and you can rest assured that your financial security when booking and your own personal safety when on safari is our highest priority. Gamewatchers Safaris is a member of the Kenya Association of Tour Operators bonding scheme, backed by a leading insurance company, to ensure your payments are fully protected if a bonded KATO member ceases trading.