"Kenya Removes Entry Fee for South Africans and Other Foreign Nationals"

Kenya has exempted passport holders from South Africa and six other countries from paying an unpopular entry fee introduced last month.

The government had previously scrapped visa requirements for all foreign passport holders, aiming to promote Kenya as a tourist destination and attract business travelers. However, a $30 (£23) entry fee was introduced, including for some visitors who previously did not require visas.

This decision sparked a backlash, with critics expressing concerns that countries with which Kenya has visa-waiver agreements might introduce similar fees, making travel more costly and bureaucratic. Initially, only travelers from the East African Community (EAC) regional bloc were exempt from paying the fee.

In addition to South Africa, passport holders from five other African states – Ethiopia, Eritrea, Congo-Brazzaville, Comoros, and Mozambique – have now been exempted. San Marino, Europe’s third-smallest nation, is the only other country on the exemption list.

According to a memorandum from Kenya’s interior ministry and immigration department, the exempted countries have either entered into “visa abolition agreements or signed bilateral visa waiver agreements” with Kenya. However, travelers from these countries are still required to obtain an electronic travel authorization (ETA) document in advance to enter Kenya, providing information such as flight details and proof of accommodation.

The ETA is valid for single entry and remains valid for 90 days.

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Piers Potter


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