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Latest Travel Updates – Jan 2021

Covid-19 in Kenya

As of mid-January 2021, there have been 98,432 cases in total and 1,716 deaths. Kenya has had 206 cases per 100,000 population (as compared to 2,000 cases per 100,000 in London). There are, in total, 224 Covid-19 dedicated beds in the top three hospitals in Nairobi. Our sources suggest that Covid-19 hospital bed occupancy remains fairly constant at about 50-60% of total bed availability at the top three Nairobi hospitals.  


It is the guest’s responsibility to ensure they meet all Covid-19 related travel requirements, however, the Cottar’s team are here to help where we can and support you so your safari is as stress-free as possible. The below document serves to support you in your travels.

Flying Doctors

For the starting price of USD $16, AMREF’s Flying Doctors offer a medevac service from rural Kenyan places to Nairobi, which is inclusive of critical/emergency Covid-19 related medical air evacuation to cover travel for a period of 30 days or less. Contact AMREF here for more details, or contact us directly to facilitate.


Prior to travelling, please make sure that you have medical insurance cover that includes treatment for Covid-19 whilst on vacation in Kenya.

E-Visa Implementation

From the 1st January 2021, all travellers to Kenya requiring an entry visa will need to have an E-visa, having applied for it ahead of travel online. Visas on arrival will no longer be available. Travellers may not be permitted to board the departing aircraft without it.

E-visas can be applied for by visiting 

Covid-19 Vaccination 

Public news about the rollout of a vaccine for Kenyans has yet to be announced.

In-Bound to Kenya: Covid-19 Travel Kenyan Government Requirements

All travellers, even those only transiting Kenya, must carry a Covid-19 negative certificate taken within 96 hours before departure that can be digitally certified through the Trusted Travel Initiative.

These are the new requirements, but they have yet to become fully operational 

As of 12th January 2021, new additional requirements have been announced in collaboration with the Africa Center for Disease Control (ACDC) and with the technical support of panaBIOS. This additional step is to improve the integrity of the testing regime. For inbound travellers, a TT (Trusted Travel) code will be needed, which can be obtained through THIS LINK  

We will continue to update you on this and let travellers know when it becomes mandatory.

Out-Bound from Kenya: Covid-19 Kenyan Government Requirements

All persons travelling from Kenya to a country where a negative Covid-19 test result is a condition of entry must have both a negative RT PCR Covid-19 test and an associated Trusted Travel code.

  • Guests can obtain a test in Kenya relatively easily through authorized laboratories (see list of authorized laboratories here), (or through a service provided at camp – see below for camp service). Once the results are in and the result is negative – the guest will receive an SMS and email from PanaBIOS platform. This SMS/email will direct the guest to the PanaBIOS platform (link HERE) where they will be prompted to create a profile. Once this has been done and the results are entered onto the platform, a TT (Trusted Travel) code will be generated.

Upon successful validation against destination country requirements, passengers will be issued with a secondary travel stamp (TC code) by the system for exit approval for Kenya.

NOTE: The Covid-19 test needs to be done 96 hours before departure.

NOTE: It is advisable to print out all your documents IN COLOUR before arriving into Kenya, as this will vastly speed up the process on arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport: your E-visa, your Health Surveillance QR code, and your PCR Covid-19 test.

You can check the travel requirements for your travel HERE

Traveller’s Health Surveillance Form

All arriving passengers are required to complete an online Traveller’s Health Surveillance Form from the Ministry of Health in Kenya. Click HERE to complete the form. Passengers will receive a QR code after completing the form, which they must display to the Port Health Official before proceeding through immigration. 

Support at Camp

Cottar’s 1920s Camp has organized a complimentary one-off virtual doctor support system for clients whilst staying at camp. This can be used for all emerging medical issues and initially for symptoms relating to Covid-19.

Testing Positive During Your Stay

Should you test positive or have symptoms whilst staying with us, Cottar’s does have an isolation tent (although we have never had to yet use it!). Patients can be isolated and supported at camp for mild cases. Virtual medical supervision would be accessible. For more severe cases that require hospitalization, we would support you and your family to connect with the relevant services.

Once you have recovered from Covid-19 you can travel with a written or electronic documentation of proof of a negative test that confirms this.

Can Cottar’s Assist With a Covid-19 Test Before Your Departing Flight from Kenya?

Yes, Covid-19 tests are readily available in Nairobi. We also offer a concierge service for Covid-19 testing at camp.

The fee for the test is $100 pp and the transport fee to get the technician to camp is $250 – this is a one-off fee and can be split between a group/groups.

How Long Does it Take to Get the Results?

The results come back within 48 hours. The test needs to be booked two days before the test needs to be taken.

Documents can be printed onsite if needed with our camp office computer.

Please contact us directly for more details on the concierge service for Covid-19 testing at camp (*terms and conditions apply).

On Your Return Home

It is recommended that you get retested 3-5 days after your trip and stay home for 7 days once you are back. Even if you test negative, stay home for the full number of days that the return country requires. If you don’t get tested, it’s safest to stay home for 10 days. This will significantly reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19.