Kenya, celebrating 60 years of independence from Britain, will make a significant change in its travel policy from January 2024. President William Ruto announced that global visitors would be able to enter Kenya visa-free, a move aimed at enhancing accessibility and boosting tourism and business travel.
What Kenya Visa-free Means for Tourists and Business Travelers
The visa-free policy generally applies to tourist and business purposes, allowing short stays ranging from 30 to 90 days. However, visitors will still need a valid travel document, such as a passport. An Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) will be required for entry, which links electronically to the traveler’s passport. This policy aligns with the global trend of digitizing travel processes, aiming to identify visitors in advance and streamline entry procedures.
Best Ways to Travel to Kenya
Flying is the primary and most straightforward method of travelling to Kenya. Nairobi, the country’s major hub, offers a range of competitively priced flights. However, cheaper tickets usually have fixed dates and changing them might incur extra fees. It’s important to book flights well in advance, especially during peak times from early July to late October and mid-December to mid-January.
Connecting Flights and Package Deals
For travellers from the UK, direct flights to Nairobi are available from London Heathrow, operated by Kenya Airways and British Airways. Indirect flights via mainland Europe or the Middle East might be more economical for those coming from other UK cities. Similarly, for travellers from the US and Canada, there are no direct flights, with the fastest routes involving two nonstop legs via European cities or Middle Eastern airlines. Package trips, which include flights and accommodation, can be a cost-effective option, especially when planning to visit popular tourist destinations like Mombasa.
With Kenya visa-free status, the following five key destinations encapsulate the essence of this vibrant nation.
- Maasai Mara National Reserve
- Amboseli National Reserve
- Tsavo National Park
- Lake Nakuru National Park
- Lamu Island
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Lamu Island is a historical and cultural gem. Its Old Town, the oldest continually inhabited settlement in Kenya, showcases a fusion of Swahili, Arab, European, and Indian influences. The island is known for its traditional dhows, donkey transportation, and beautiful Shela Beach. It’s a unique destination offering a blend of history, culture, and natural beauty.
In addition to these five, destinations like Mombasa, Eldoret, and Nairobi offer diverse experiences, from coastal cultures and historical sites to urban explorations. Mombasa’s blend of Swahili and Indian cultures, Eldoret’s nature and culture centers, and Nairobi’s bustling city life with attractions like Nairobi National Park and the Kenyatta International Conference Center enrich Kenya’s tourist tapestry.