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East African Visa Beware!!!

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Oct 1st, 2015, 09:11 AM
  #1
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East African Visa Beware!!!

We just returned from our trip to Uganda, Rwanda, and Zanzibar. All went well with the exception of the East African Visa. Upon our arrival to Entebbe, we requested the East African visa and paid the $100 fee. Our passports were stamped. We did not arrive until after midnight and had waited in line for at least an hour as several large jets arrived at the same time. We assumed that the officer gave us what we requested. Wrong! When we crossed the border to Rwanda, we discovered that the EA visa requires that a special sticker the size of a passport page be affixed which we did not have. Thus, we ended up paying $30 per person to get into Rwanda and another $100 per person to return to Uganda followed by $20 for a transit visa into Nairobi, all of which would have been avoided had the immigration officer done what we asked.

MAKE SURE YOU GET THE STICKER THAT SPECIFICALLY SAYS "EAST AFRICAN VISA"!
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Oct 1st, 2015, 08:18 PM
  #2
 
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It seems to me that as glitches go, this wasn't much of an inconvenience or expense. Things happen, quit whining. I fear your inexperience is showing.
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Oct 2nd, 2015, 08:20 PM
  #3
 
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Really MmePerdu??

I'd be pretty miffed having to pay another 150% for anything regardless the amount!

I fear your rudeness is showing.
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Oct 2nd, 2015, 08:40 PM
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I guess it is showing but it's how reading it made me feel. Things happen when we travel, some are predictable, some not. It seems a shame to me to ruin a unique experience in one's life being pissed off about not very much money, in the travel scheme of things. I cannot reinforce such silliness.
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Oct 6th, 2015, 02:23 PM
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I agree with you, KathBC. I've been to Africa 15 times and get the whole "T.I.A." thing, but it's still upsetting when incompetence rears its ugly head. In this case, I appreciate the information that the OP shared. The East Africa Visa is new, so knowing what to look for is helpful.
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Oct 6th, 2015, 07:56 PM
  #6
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Dear Mme Perdu: Your reply was extremely rude! I wrote not because we were pissed off but in an effort to be helpful to fellow travelers with respect to a relatively new procedure that needs to be fixed. After taking time from a very busy schedule to do so, reading your comment is very disheartening and makes me wonder why I wasted my time!
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Oct 7th, 2015, 10:40 AM
  #7
 
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Good to know. Thanks for the warning!
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Oct 8th, 2015, 08:25 AM
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"I fear your inexperience is showing."

Really MmePerdu?? Nankar123 has been contributing to this forum for more than 10 years - hardly inexperienced! I agree with KathBC - your comments were rude and unnecessary.

"Reading your comment is very disheartening and makes me wonder why I wasted my time!"

Take heart Nankar123! I am planning my 4th trip to East Africa, and found your warning very helpful. Thank you!
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May 5th, 2016, 07:31 PM
  #9
 
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I appreciate the warning, Nankar. Thank you.
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May 6th, 2016, 06:55 PM
  #10
 
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Definitely something I'm glad to hear about so I know what to watch for. Thanks, nankar123.
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May 14th, 2016, 06:27 AM
  #11
 
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... just sadly amazing how when someone comes to give advice so one of US does not fall into the same trap.. they can be scolded for WHINING? Oh.. please.

And this is not the only poster this happens to.

THANK YOU FOR POSTING THIS WARNING.

I have no near future trips but I certainly hope to remember this piece of advice should I ever get to this part of the world.. or.. any other part of the world, for that matter, where an immigration officer's mistake could cause us border crossing denial plus additional expenses best spent on other things... not someone's ineptness
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May 14th, 2016, 09:39 AM
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Without some bumps in the road there would be no adventures and only really boring stories. Je ne regrette rien.
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Jul 29th, 2016, 09:42 PM
  #13
 
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I am a tour operator in Uganda and run my safaris through Kenya and Rwanda. Your experience with the immigration officer was unfortunate though it is not to be taken as a negative. You said "Our passports were stamped. We did not arrive until after midnight and had waited in line for at least an hour as several large jets arrived at the same time. We assumed that the officer gave us what we requested."

You did not double check with the officer.
The officer was hurriedly stamping passport to process the others in line.

These kinds of experiences are to be expected but they are not the worst of experiences.

To me this @KathBC this ain't a negative but a learning experience for you.
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Aug 25th, 2016, 09:14 AM
  #14
 
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I think this post is important and helpful. The same almost happened to me - I had requested the East African Visa in Entebbe, and the officer gace me an Uganda Visa. But she noticed her mistake herself before returning my passport and corrected it.
So always check that you get the visa you need!

@ Shardak: of course it is a negative experience when, on an already VERY expensive trip, you need to pay $150 for nothing, just because an officer made a mistake while you trusted him/her. But I have encountered your attitude often among tour operators from African countries, you seem to think that tourists have unlimited financial resources and must not complain when asked to pay for extras...
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