Here are our updated guidelines to help you travel to Kenya now! Our team is dedicated to making your travel experience as seamless and safe as possible, and to keep you regularly informed throughout.
As we continue to monitor the ever-changing pandemic, we will be regularly monitoring and adjusting this information to keep you up to date on all the latest travel guidelines.
Firstly, international ﬂights to Kenya are open, the number of COVID-19 cases are relatively low and the Kenyan government is welcoming visitors back to our beautiful country.
Kenya has begun rolling out the COVID-19 vaccine for its citizens and all our staff have received their first injections.
Want to book but unsure? We are enabling multiple postponements of safari trips if the reason is specifically connected to COVID-19. We will work with you to make sure your safari, your health, and your peace of mind are protected.
In this document we will cover:
- Getting To Kenya
- Property Protocols
- New Bookings
- Existing Bookings
- Travelling in Kenya
Getting to Kenya
We are thrilled that Kenya opened its doors to international travelers on 1 August 2020 and we can’t wait to share our magical corner of the world with you all.
Kenya has been awarded the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) ‘Safe Travel Stamp’ in recognition of the standardized global health and hygiene protocols that the government and private sectors have put in place.
To put your mind at ease we would like to give you a ‘heads up’ on what to expect throughout your journey to Kenya and during your stay in Kenya.
It is the guests responsibility to ensure they meet all COVID-19 related travel requirements, and are up-to-date on travel restriction information. 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.
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 coverage that also includes treatment for COVID-19 whilst on vacation in Kenya.
Inbound to Kenya: COVID-19 Travel Kenyan Government Requirements
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) is open.
- COVID-19 Negative Certiﬁcate
All inbound travellers over 5 years of age, even those only transiting Kenya, must carry a PCR COVID-19 negative certiﬁcate taken within 96 hours before departure that can be digitally certiﬁed through the Trusted Travel Initiative. All travellers must register for a Trusted Travel Code (TT Code) prior to arriving in Kenya. This is an online process to be actioned as soon as the negative PCR test results have been received. Please click HERE to find out how this is done.
- Traveller’s Health Surveillance Form
All arriving travellers (including those in transit) are required to complete an online Travellers Health Surveillance Form from the Ministry of Health in Kenya. And thereafter submit daily health information for 14 consecutive days. Passengers will receive a QR code after completing the form, which they must then display to the Port Health Official on arrival and before proceeding through immigration.
Some airlines are advising that the QR code should be available prior to ﬂight departure. It is our recommendation to complete before ﬂight embarkation.
- E-Visa Implementation
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 www.evisa.go.ke. If travellers are arriving from a country that requires quarantine, their visa must be provided 24 hours before boarding. To apply for your e-visa you will need to upload a copy of our Company Registration Certificate which you can find HERE
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 requirements for your travel HERE
- Passengers are required to present a PCR COVID-19 negative certificate, TT code and QR code. Without this you will be required to quarantine for 14 days in government facilities, at your own cost.
- All travellers will be screened on arrival and required to quarantine for 14 days if they display symptoms of COVID-19.
- Passengers whose certificates expire while in transit will be required to deposit their passport with the airport Port of Health Authorities and facilitate testing in a recognized facility at their own cost. This includes those transiting through Kenya.
- Travellers from Brunei, Thailand, Kuwait and Pakistan will undergo quarantine for 14 days upon arrival and require all pre-departure documents as outlined along with proof of their booking for the quarantine locations, 24 hours before boarding.
- Travellers arriving from the UK are required to self isolate for seven days upon arrival and take a further PCR test four days after arrival, then submit their health information on the Jitenge App for 14 consecutive days after the negative result.
- Travellers from India: Only Kenyans and Indian Nationals (residents in Kenya) are allowed entry. In addition to the standard protocols, they must take an antigen test on arrival. If the antigen test is negative, travellers shall self-quarantine for 14 days at home. If positive, travellers shall be isolated while being monitored in a government facility for 14 days at their own cost.
Flights After Curfew
Passengers arriving on ﬂights after the curfew (22:00 – 04:00), with a valid air ticket and boarding pass shall be allowed to proceed to their hotels/residences. Our drivers will need a copy of your air ticket in order to be authorized to drive after curfew hours.
A negative COVID-19 test is required when departing Kenya, and all COVID-19 tests must be digitally verified and a TT code obtained.
- To obtain a COVID-19 RT-PCR, passengers are advised to visit authorized laboratories to take a COVID-19 RT-PCR test and be issued with Trusted Travel (TT) code that can be verified by airlines and Port Health Authorities. List of authorized laboratories can be accessed at https://www.trustedtravel.panabios.org or https://health.go.ke.
- The passenger will receive a text message (SMS) from panaBIOS and in addition, an email from the testing laboratory and/or firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to guide the passenger on how to generate a travel code at https://www.trustedtravel.panabios.org. Travellers are encouraged to check their emails including the spam folder for feedback. All COVID-19 RT-PCR approved testing laboratories in Kenya have been added to the TT system.
- Departing passengers can enter the TT code on their certificates online at www.africacdc.org/trusted-travel.
- All passengers transiting Kenya require a negative COVID-19 test.
- To obtain a COVID-19 RT PCR test, passengers are advised to visit authorized laboratories to undertake the test and be issued with Trusted Travel (TT) code that can be verified by airlines and Port Health Authorities. Latest requirements for testing can be obtained from www.xchange.panabios.org/countries/offers/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).
- Passengers transiting Kenya from jurisdictions where TT is not available will use www.globalhaven.org or Global Haven via the trusted travel portal www.africacdc.org/trusted-travel to generate a travel stamp.
- Upon successful validation, passengers are 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.
Flights After Curfew
Passengers departing on ﬂights after the curfew (22:00 – 04:00) with a valid air ticket and boarding pass shall be allowed to proceed to their departure airport.
There are government protocols in place for your safety and the safety of our staff, which we must comply with. We will do our very best to accommodate every guest’s personal needs and requests to ensure every one is as comfortable as possible but these are protocols that every guest must adhere to when on safari with us.
We strive to be ﬂexible, transparent and approachable at all times; we are here to help. Please do not hesitate to ask any of our team members any questions you may have, at any time.
We respect that not all of our guests will have the same needs with regards to COVID-19 protocols, therefore we have created a document to ask guests to provide details on the concerns they may have with regards to their health and safety during their stay. You will be sent this form before your arrival.
On arrival with Cottars
- The temperature of all guests taken upon arrival
- Hands washed or sanitized before entering camp
- COVID-19 Declaration Form to be completed by guest/s upon arrival
- All bags/luggage must be sprayed with disinfectant
Hand Sanitizer: There will be plenty of hand sanitizer available throughout your safari.
Daily Temperature Checks: As per the Kenyan regulations, we have to check your temperature daily throughout your stay with us.
- Guides: It is up to you whether you would like your guide to host you at all / any meals.
- Have undergone COVID-19 testing and a 14 day quarantine period prior to arrival at camp
- Have completed speciﬁc COVID-19 training, including strict hand hygiene
- Will wear their masks at all times
- Will be screened and temperature checked daily
- Full sanitization of vehicles between uses
- Groups given exclusive vehicle use
- Four-guest limit per vehicle, if not the same group
- Vehicles are kitted out with sanitizer
- Vehicles have the option of a Perspex divider between guide/spotters and clients, clients may choose to have or not have the divider
- Groups remain with the same driver, spotter and vehicle throughout their stay; the vehicle is fully disinfected after each use
- Community visits and excursions will be done under strict COVID-19 protocols and will be single groups only
- Gift shops will be open with sanitization upon entry, social distancing and UV light sanitizer left on overnight
- Deep clean and full sanitization between every guest, with special focus on high touch areas such as light switches, handles, torches, etc.
- Sanitizer in rooms wiped down and reﬁlled between every guest
- Protective gear worn by team members when cleaning rooms/tents and sterilized between each room/tent
- The same room steward and cleaning staff are assigned to one room for the duration of a guest’s stay
Seating at Meals
- No communal tables or buffet-style dining
- Private dining on verandas, lawn and at the swimming pool Mess Tent available
- Focus on outdoor dining and bush meals
- Thorough sanitization of all areas for eating before meals, including arm rests, salt and pepper, menus, etc.
- All F&B staff will observe the mandatory preventative measures at all times (waiters will be in a face mask and wearing gloves)
- Seats and tables are cleaned and sanitized after each dining experience
- Each group has their own dedicated and separated dining table and area, at a safe distance (at least 2 meters) from other guests
- Mess Tent and communal areas: We thoroughly sanitize all public areas regularly, including especially armrests, cushions, toothpick holders, sugar dishes, salt and pepper shakers, butter dishes and other items that guests will hold on the table must be disinfected after use.
- Reusable, complementary metal water bottles will continue to be provided
- Reﬁll stations require hand sanitization before use
Support at Camp
Cottar’s Safaris have 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. 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. AMREF can medevac you to Nairobi safely and securely.
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.
All our partner properties and third-party companies are adhering to strict safety protocols that match our own standards; strict hygiene protocols apply to all suppliers and deliveries.
We are open and delighted to be welcoming guests to our properties once again. Due to the impact of COVID-19, we have eased our rates, booking, deposit and cancellation terms to support greater ﬂexibility, postponement and ease of travel.
We also have developed some incredibly exciting and inspiring travel offers which focus on safari travel for Purpose, Privacy, Protection and Pampering.
- 2020 rates extended, applicable to postponed 2020 and 2021 bookings only**
- Zero deposit to conﬁrm your booking for all new bookings.
Provisional bookings held for 10 days. Thereafter a 20% deposit to secure the booking.
- Full payment received 60 days prior to arrival for all new bookings
- No cancellation fees up to 60 days prior to arrival for all new bookings
- Multiple postponements enabled, to be taken by the end of 2022 (rates will remain the same as at year of booking)
Please note that we have updated our Terms & Conditions as of March 2021. We think you’ll be very pleased with our very generous new terms. Please make sure you read through them thoroughly so you’re up to date – you will need to agree and submit them before continuing with any new bookings with us. Get in touch to receive our new T&Cs: email@example.com.
Our recommendation is that you wait until closer to your travel dates before deciding whether to cancel or postpone your trip. We are trying to be as ﬂexible as possible for existing bookings, so please contact us if you would like to discuss further. Our team will be happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Travelling in Kenya
The Kenyan Government has introduced a digital domestic travel locator card system, which will generate a QR code to present to Port Health Officials at domestic arrivals and departures. Please note that it is mandatory for all domestic travellers to fill out this form 24 hours prior to their domestic flight. Upon submission of the digital locator form, a QR code will be sent to your email address which we can then present to the Port Health desk for clearance.
Please find more information on the new system HERE
It is mandatory that you wear your masks when out in public
Your temperature will be taken when entering most establishments. You may ask for them to take it on your wrist if you prefer.
There is a curfew in place in Kenya from 22:00 – 04:00.
Can you get a COVID-19 test before your departure?
Yes, COVID-19 tests are readily available in Nairobi. We also offer a concierge service for COVID-19 testing at camp.
There are two options
Option 1: The fee for the test is $100 pp and the transport fee to get the technician to camp is $250, which is a one-off fee that can be split between a group/groups. This option is more expensive but has a shorter turnaround time – usually 16-18 hours.
Option 2: Pumba based in the Mara cost $180 if they come to camp and $140 if they are met in the park somewhere – their turnaround time is 48 hours.
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.
If you would like more information or further support, please do not hesitate to contact us: email@example.com.
Please note that the information on this page is correct to the best of our knowledge, but may be subject to change as government and airline policies change. For all third party regulations and rules please double-check requirements directly.