What visas do you require to visit countries in East Africa?
If you enjoy cross-border travel then this is the blog for you. We’ll cover the different types of visas required to visit eastern africa. The idea is to have a single Tourist Visa to visit multiple countries in East or West Africa and experience the majestic colour and form Africa has to offer. With one visa you can visit the Land of a Thousand Hills in Rwanda, journey across the Pearl of African-Uganda and end your journey in magnificent Kenya.
The East Africa Tourist Visa
This visa allows you entry in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda under one application and a single application fee. The visa was made possible by the Heads of State of the respective countries in an effort to boost tourism and create an opportunity for tourists to explore East Africa’s diversity.
The application process and cost differs depending on which country you start your travels. If you do not have an East Africa Tourist Visa you would need to apply for a new visa (plus the fee) to enter each country. The visa allows you to travel between the 3 countries as many times as you like however the visa automatically expires if you if you go outside of the 3 countries.
The East Africa Tourist Visa was launched in 2014 and one of the main challenges regarding this visa is that Tanzania is not included in the East Africa Travel Program.
How to apply:
You would need to know in advance which country you intend to arrive in first as that is the country you need to apply through in order to obtain your visa. For example, if you are arriving in Rwanda you cannot apply through the Kenyan consulate and enter through Rwanda. You will need to apply through Rwanda and enter through Rwanda and then move between the 3 countries.
If you are starting your trip in Rwanda then the application process is a bit easier for you as you can apply through the online East African Visa form. If you are entering through Kenya or Uganda, you will need to apply through the correct consulate in your home country.
Applying for your East Africa Tourist Visa
Any foreigner who wants to visit Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda for tourism purposes may apply for the visa.
Your application must go through the respective country’s immigration office in your home country by submitting an EATV Form 1 or on-line where applicable.
The visa allows for multiple entries within the 3 countries and is valid for a period of 90 days.
The application must be made prior to the intended date of travel or upon arrival at the first port of entry in Kenya, Rwanda or Uganda.
The application must be accompanied with the East Africa Tourist Visa fee which is 100USD or its equivalent at the time of writing this article
Work is not permitted on this visa
Extensions are not permitted on this visa
You will also need to provide supporting documentation to your visa application.
This will typically include:
- Passport photo
- Visa application letter
- Flight bookings and itinerary
- Proof of financial means to sustain travel and day-to-day expenses