Updated May 2021

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.

Covid-19 in Kenya
As of 1 May 2021, there have been a total of 160,422 confirmed cases of Covid-19 with 2,763 deaths. On the 26th March 2021, the Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta directed a localized lockdown in 5 counties which has contributed to a declining number of covid cases. As of 1st of May 2021, the lock down has fully been lifted.

Covid-19 Vaccination
Kenya has begun rolling out the covid-19 vaccine for its citizens and our front-line 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. 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 travellers on the 1st of 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 standardised 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.

The Official Kenyan Government Protocol Document



It is the guest’s 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.

Flying Doctors

For the starting price of USD $16 AMREF’s Flying Doctors ofer 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 also includes treatment for Covid-19 whilst on vacation in Kenya.

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

  1. All inbound 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. 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 travelers 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.
  2. 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 Ofcial 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.

  3. 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 www.evisa.go.ke

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


  • Government Health Check
    Once you have disembarked the aircraft, you will proceed through the government health checks before immigration and customs. All arriving passengers on international flights whose body temperature is NOT above 37.5° C (99.5°F); do NOT have a persistent cough, difficulty in breathing or other flu-like symptoms; have a negative PCR based COVID-19 test carried out within 96 hours before travel.
  • Quarantine
    Quarantine is not a requirement if you have all of your documents in order including a Negative Covid-19 PCR test and if on arrival your temperature is normal. However certain countries are restricted from travelling to Kenya and/or require quarantine at a government-designated hotel. Please check the details in this regard.
  • 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.


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 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


  • Wearing a Mask: Wearing a mask at all times in public spaces is compulsory by law in Kenya, so please make sure to travel with a mask/s, we do provide a mask at each of our properties for your stay in Kenya. Masks to be worn at all times when not in your tent/room, except when you are eating and drinking.
  • Hand Sanitiser: There will be plenty of hand sanitiser 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
  • 4 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: Vehicle is fully disinfected after each use.
  • All community visits and excursions currently suspended
  • 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 staf are assigned to one room for the duration of a guest’s stay


Seating at meals:

  • No communal tables or bufet 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 staf 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
  • Thorough sanitization of 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.

Drinking Water

  • Reusable complementary metal water bottles will continue
  • Refill stations require hand sanitization before use
For our full Covid-19 standard operating procedures, please click HERE



All persons traveling from Kenya must have both a negative RT PCR Covid-19 test and an associated Trusted Travel code prior to flying. Some airlines may require an additionnal requirements and or different timelines for the taking of tests. Please check requirements of countries travelling and transiting through and of airline requirements.

  • 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.

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.


Support at Camp

Cottar’s 1920s Camp have organized a complimentary one-of 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.

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 ofer 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 of 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).


All our partner properties and third-party companies are adhering to strict safety protocols which match our own standards, strict hygiene protocols apply to all suppliers and deliveries.

New Bookings

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 ofers which focus on safari travel for Purpose, Privacy, Protection and Pampering.


  • 2020 rates extended, applicable to postponed 2020 and 2021 bookings only**
  • 20% deposit to confirm a 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 in light of the ongoing situation we find ourselves in, we have updated our Terms & Conditions as of May 2021. 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&C’s: marketing@cottarsafaris.com)

Existing Bookings

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 call us if you would like to discuss further. Our team will be happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have – bookings@cottarsafaris.com

Travelling in Kenya


  • It is mandatory that you wear your masks when out in public TEMPERATURE


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 10:00 pm to 4:00 am and within the 5 Counties under lockdown from 7:00pm to 4:00am (the 5 Counties are Nairobi, Kajiado, Machakos, Narkuru and Kiambu)


Can you get a Covid 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.

The fee for the test is $100pp and the transport fee to get the technician to camp is $250 – this is a one of 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.

If you would like more information or further support, please do not hesitate to contact us: info@cottarsafaris.com

Please note that the information on this page is correct to the best of our knowledge, but maybe subject to change as government and airline policies change. For all third party regulations and rules please double check requirements directly.