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Important Information for Kenya and Tanzania Visas - Maddeingia -- Maddening

Important Information for Kenya and Tanzania Visas - Maddeingia -- Maddening

Old Feb 2nd, 2009, 02:41 PM
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Important Information for Kenya and Tanzania Visas - Maddeingia -- Maddening

I know there has recently been a thread about getting the visas in Nairobi or Kilimanjaro, but I have seen those visa lines get really long.

I am in the process of obtaining visas for my upcoming trip to Kenya and Tanzania, and it is really irritating! The Kenya consulate in New York will not accept cash or personal checks (only money order). The Tanzanian consulate has now made it a requirement that you get a letter from your bank saying that you have sufficient funds to pay for things during your stay in Tanzania. The alternative is to give them a copy of your bank statement (yeah, right!)

Zambia, last year, jacked up the visa fee to $135.

When will these countries learn that the key is to make it easy and comfortable for tourists to travel there?
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Old Feb 2nd, 2009, 03:02 PM
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I recall years ago when I got Visa prior departure for Kenya, that it was payment by Money Order only... so this makes sense. No one at office can walk away with cash or whether your personal check doesn't bounce like a Spalding.

As to Tanzania... that's strange as with few exceptions safaris are prepaid, with no added expenses for visitors other than tips, souvenir purchases.

For sure, if obtaining Visas on arrival, visitors won't be carrying such docs; will they send them back on the next flight departure. I'd just wait in queue, regardless how long.

Like you, can't imagine visitors turning over their bank statements or banks writing such letters. Besides, what's the correct amount to cover for whatever once in country? $1K or $10K or anything in-between? Though this might pertain to "business" visitors rather than leisure travelers? Beats me.

I'm following up with peeps in Tanzania and will advise any feedback.

As the cheshire cat said "curiouser and curiouser." Not very "visitor friendly"
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Old Feb 2nd, 2009, 03:05 PM
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When? Probably when the USA does. In any event, I haven't found the Visa lines to be all that bad. You either have to stand in the Immigration line to get your passport stamped, or the Visa line to get your visa and get your passport stamped. It's a line, either way. No bank statements or photos are needed if you get your visas in-country. I agree with the suggestion in another thread to use two $50 bills, not $100 for Tanzania. The US$100 bill is the denomination most often counterfeited, so they might be reluctant to accept one.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2009, 09:41 AM
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We are due to do this in JRO in just over a week so will appreciate any feedback from your 'peeps" Sandi!
J
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Old Feb 3rd, 2009, 09:58 AM
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Zambia dropped the single entry fee to $50 already. They learned.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2009, 11:39 AM
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We had to send in bank statements last year with our visa applications. It is just a formality. Mine was my checking account and at the time had $125 balance! They did not say a word!
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Old Feb 3rd, 2009, 11:40 AM
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To finish the above - my visa was not held up by this lack of money in my account.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2009, 01:40 PM
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As Sandi says, safaris are usually prepaid. My experience with the Tanzania embassy in Washington, DC,(I personally stopped in) was that a statement from the safari company/travel agency showing full payment was sufficient. There was no need for me to give them proof of sufficient funds or any bank statements (I agree, "Yeah, right!").
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Old Feb 3rd, 2009, 02:53 PM
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Luangwablondes, yes, the $135 visa fee for Zambia was stiff. Last August, our charter flight from Kasane to Livingstone got caught behind a British Air flight that had just come in. It took us 40 minutes to get our visas (I vowed that I would never again travel to Africa without getting my visa in the U.S.) There were three people "working" at the counters at Livingstone. One lady who was processing the visas, and the two men who were playing video games on their computers (I kid you not).
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Old Mar 16th, 2009, 02:21 PM
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I am in the process of pursuing the Visa for Tanzania for my whopping 2 day trip that from what I can see is going to cost us $100 per person! eeek. Also, the bank statement? I was leery of that working in finances to, but thought maybe I could black out account numbers. Maybe a letter would be more efficient. Ideas, suggestions, or concerns, always welcome.Thanks!
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Old Mar 16th, 2009, 02:48 PM
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solsenz - why bother with the TNZ Embassy for a 2/days trip (or any length of stay)... just get on arrival. Present completed application (which they often don't even look at), hand over your passport and $100 (for US Passport folks; $50 for most all else) and you're set to go.

The business with bank statements is for business travelers. If as a tourist for short or long stay, you only need copy of your itinerary and name of your ground operator (or friends if staying with) if applying thru the Embassy. Of course, along with application, passport and payment.

Friend recently went to NYC office of both Kenya and Tanzania Tourist offices and for an extra $10 at each, with payment made by money order had them turned around in 15/minutes. No request for bank statements, not even asked for copy of itinerary.
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Old Mar 16th, 2009, 06:48 PM
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I just returned from Kenya and Tanzi on friday. I was a nervous wreck about this visa stuff, but obeyed what I was told here.....and everything was perfect! Thank God for this bb!!! The Kenya line was long, but I bought my visa when I got off the plane, and my luggage showed up just as I came down the stairs...all total.....about 90 min!

Crossing the border into Tanzi.....there is a very nice building where you go, and we stood in a short line and within about 15 min we had our visas. It cost $100 and all I had to show was the form and the money! I am a US citizen.

What surprised us... NOBODY EVER....ANYWHERE wanted to see our yellow fever cards!!! The cost for all that was high and I was disappointed no body cared!!! I kept flashing it but they just kept handing it right back!
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Old Mar 17th, 2009, 11:56 AM
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Good info. Maybe I'll get the Kenya one prior to leaving and get the Tanzania one when we arrive. I've heard that from others about the Yellow Fever, but who wants to chance it right? I just didn't want to spend the bulk of vacation standing in line. Did that in Zimbabwe and after a long flight it's not something that is welcome. Glad all went well. Thanks for the info.
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Old Mar 17th, 2009, 12:51 PM
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There are separate immigration desks at NBO for those with visa and those needing to buy visas, so either way you may have to wait in one line or the other. In my experience, luggage off loading at NBO is slow so getting through immigration quickly may or may not matter if you're checking bags. There are also two sets of immigration desks at NBO (each having a visa desk) so you could try checking the other set of desks to see if it's any quicker. Walk through the corridor that passes by the prayer room and Kenya Airways lounge to get to the other set of desks.
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Old Mar 17th, 2009, 01:17 PM
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I'm with Patty, it can take 30/min or more for checked bags to get to the carousel, so might as well have something to do than be tapping your toe and being annoyed. I've seen the queue for those already with the Visa longer than that for those who need to purchase.... and vice versa. One never knows.

You're on vacation, so why not forget about what annoys when at home and just go with the flow. Unless you have a plane connection (not usual), you just have to wait for your bags and for certain your meet/greet person isn't going anywhere until you depart Baggage Claim.

Doesn't pay to get huffy about something you can't control and why upset yourself before even starting your holiday. TIA - "this is Africa" where things don't ordinarily get done as quickly as some think they should.

Chill!
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Old Mar 17th, 2009, 06:33 PM
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Sandi, As a mature matron the most delightful phrase I heard for the entire 3 weeks was: "Go pole pole mama!!! Sawa Sawa!!" It was so nice to be forgiven for not being rapid!
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Old Jun 10th, 2009, 06:51 AM
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Leanna-
When you got your Visa in Tanzania, did you need more than one photo for your passport or anything? I just read in a Fodors book something about 2 pictures. I couldn't tell if they were speaking about sending it in or getting it at the airport. Thanks.
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Old Jun 10th, 2009, 10:23 AM
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I have got visas on arrival at JRO 3 times (most recently Feb 09) & never been asked for photos or the paperwork just the passport & money! However....I always carry a couple of photos & fill out the visa appl form(printed from Tz consulate web site) & have them with me. You can never tell when something could change.
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Old Jun 10th, 2009, 06:27 PM
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I did not need anything more than my money and my passport. BUT...I did have my yellow fever stuff, but like I say they just handed that right back to me!

I also always carry passport copies and extra photos...I have heard no matter where you are if you lose your passport its faster to replace it if you have that much w/ you. But none of that was needed when I bought either visa for Kenya or Tanzi.

OH goshes..just have a great trip...you are going to love every single second...its a vacation like no other and I have traveled a great deal of the world,
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