Visa counter @Jomo Kenyatta airport

Nov 29th, 2008, 05:33 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,085
Visa counter @Jomo Kenyatta airport

We are planning to buy our visas for Kenya when we arrive in Nairobi (Jomo Kenyatta). I gather that there is a second counter where you can apply for a visa, that is down a hallway or hidden somewhere. I gather few people know about it and the line-up there is much smaller than at the more visible counter. Can someone please tell me where this second counter is? Thanks!
canadian_robin is offline  
Nov 29th, 2008, 06:06 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,528
From memory, the two counters are just one for those who already have the visas. The other is the one where you pay for it on arrival. Simple, and didn't take long at all.....
HariS is offline  
Nov 29th, 2008, 06:41 PM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,085
My impression from someone on this forum - but I can't find the post - is that there are two counters for those without visas - and one is hidden and not nearly as busy.
canadian_robin is offline  
Nov 29th, 2008, 06:55 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,528
In that case, I guess I missed it!
HariS is offline  
Nov 30th, 2008, 04:54 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
Patty indicated there were two areas for Immigration with counters for those already with Visa and those who have to buy.

Beats me which one I've found, but on different arrivals, sometimes the "to buy" counters have been to the left and other times to the right of the counters for those who already have. Whether these have been two different areas... beats me.

Regardless, the queue for those who have to buy has never had more than 4-5/people and there have been two counters/agents handling these. Moves very quickly and then you go to collect your luggage.

sandi is offline  
Nov 30th, 2008, 05:59 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,087
If you arrive between 06h30 and 07h30 the visa counter IS a scrum. There are about 8/9 international flights arriving in that window of time. Purchasing a visa can take up to an hour. It did for colleagues of mine who had not pre-purchased.
mkhonzo is offline  
Nov 30th, 2008, 06:44 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 509
We flew into Nairobi twice during our August trip; I saw only one immigration area with signs clearly designating lines for visa purchase and for those who already had visas. If there was a separate out-of-the-way line for purchases, I never saw it.

Both times the purchase line was MUCH shorter than the I-already-have-a-visa line(s). You can further help if you download and fill out your visa application prior to arrival -- just remember to put it in your carry-on, which I forgot to do the first time Then you just walk straight into the line you need. BTW the immigration people were very helpful if you're not sure if you need multiple entry, single entry, transit visas.
skibumette is offline  
Nov 30th, 2008, 07:29 AM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,085
Thanks everyone! We are arriving at 9:00pm - hopefully, a relatively quiet time. We will be certain to have our visa applications filled out ahead of time.

Skibumette:
We will be entering Kenya twice - once at the airport in Nairobi when we fly in from Heathrow and once when we we drive from Arusha to Nairobi on our way back to Canada. If I read the info correctly, I believe we can still do that on a single-visa entry. Robin
canadian_robin is offline  
Nov 30th, 2008, 07:31 AM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,085
Sorry - single-entry visa!
canadian_robin is offline  
Nov 30th, 2008, 01:41 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
Looking at my many Kenyan visa entry stamps, not a one indicates single or multiple, just that they're good for 6/months. I don't put single or multiple on my application, simply hand it over with USD$50 and passport; agent stamps and hands it back to me. It's painless!

For as many flights that arrive in the morning, as many arrive between 7-9pm.

Whether the queue is 5 or 15 people, you still have to wait for your luggage to come off the plane, which can take more time than the wait for visa.

Your meet/greet person will wait as long (or as short) as it takes for you to exit. Best thing to do on landing is to remove your watch, take a deep breath and go with the flow... you're on holiday. Enjoy!
sandi is offline  
Nov 30th, 2008, 02:00 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 509
Hi Robin - yes, as I understand it, you only need the single-entry visa. You are still in the African Economic Community when you go on to Tanzania, so that's all part of the same entry. And Sandi's right, you still have to wait for your luggage. The whole process is relatively painless in Nairobi, especially compared to the chaos at the airport at Victoria Falls!
skibumette is offline  
Dec 1st, 2008, 03:30 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 5
It is 100% worth it to get your visa before you leave your home country.

The wait for visas at Kenyatta can be long. Add the wait to customs, and you could spend the first few hours of your trip in the airport.

Have a great trip! If you can be sure to get to Mfangano Island on lake victoria. There is rock art that is AMAZING and the people, not to mention the birds and fish are extraordinary.
rbangiola is offline  
Dec 1st, 2008, 04:21 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 290
There are two sets of Immigration counters (one for each unit), but are interlinked. Sometimes one area is very busy, and the other is not. Get one person to stand in line, and just walk across (past the Kenya Airways Business Class Lounge)to see if it is as busy.

An on-line visa application form can be found at: http://www.kenya-airways.com/home/in...m/default.aspx
roadwarriorafrica is offline  
Dec 1st, 2008, 06:42 AM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,085
Thanks RoadwarriorAfrica! I will watch for both counters! Robin
canadian_robin is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2008, 08:47 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 103
In Sept. we arrived in NBO via BA at 9pm the line was long. An employee took half of the line down the hall to another counter, so there are two counters. The airport is a complicated set up, with lots of turns and levels.

Yes anywhere in Africa you need patience!

SD
SDtravelers is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2008, 09:25 AM
  #16  
aby
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,493
canadian_robin

i've been dozens of times in Nairobi, in many cases coming with a whole airplane standing in line for visas
in most cases after waiting for the visa you still need to wait for the luggage...
so what does it matter where you\re waiting???

i wouldn't waist my time getting the visa in advance

aby
aby is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2008, 09:40 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 72
My daughter and I did not get visa's in advance. Although we had a very frustrating flight delay and various other slight hold ups we had no problem at all getting visa's. That was the easiest bit. Done in 5 minutes.
I wouldn't bother getting them before you go.
Be prepared though, Africa minutes are nothing like our minutes. Time doesn't seem too mean much to them. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. Enjoy your trip. Don't let anything spoil it, ie don't worry. Everything will be fine.
Feistybrit is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2008, 09:42 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 72
Please ignore Feistybrit's grammatical errors! Typing in a hurry at work, I know the difference between to and too, really.
Feistybrit is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2008, 01:24 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 592
canadian robin:

There is indeed an extra visa counter at JKIA.

As you come down the ramp you will see two counters, one for people to purchase visas and one for those who aleady have them. If this is busy skip it.

Instead take a left hand turn and walk down the hallway past the chapel. You will come into another large room where there is another visa counter on the right hand side.
I've used this one lately as few people know about it and one can get through it sooner than the main one with long lines.
JanGoss is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2008, 08:06 PM
  #20  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,085
Thanks JanGoss - if it's busy, we'll head to the second counter. Robin
canadian_robin is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:26 PM.