East Africa Entry and Travel Requirements

East Africa Entry Requirements define the rules that travelers need to meet to ensure hassle-free travel and entry to Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Uganda. To enter all these three countries, one needs to have, i.a., a valid passport and visa.

The passport's validity must be at least 6 months from the date of planned arrival date. The visa policies of the East African countries may differ depending on the traveler's nationality, traveling purpose as well as the intended duration of stay.

Each of the countries, i.e., Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Uganda, implemented the electronic visa system, which significantly facilitated and sped up the process of getting a visa before travel. Moreover, those who wish to visit more than one country with just one document can apply for the East Africa Tourist Visa and travel to Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda without needing to apply for separate visas for each of these countries.

If the country of your citizenship is not listed among eligible ones for the eVisa, you will need to obtain a required travel permit directly from the nearest diplomatic mission of a visited country.

Additionally, some nationals can enjoy visa exemption, which means that they are allowed to stay in East African countries visa-free for a certain period of time.

Due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, East African governments introduced some protective measures to protect the health of the general public. Currently, most of these restrictions are no longer in place.

One of such restrictions introduced because of the pandemic was the mandatory submission of health declarations. While Rwanda and Uganda lifted the requirement of pre-travel registration, Kenya and Tanzania still require travelers to complete a health declaration form before arrival.

Read on to find out more information on the current entry rules to East Africa. Please, however, note that entry requirements to all worldwide destinations are subject to rapid changes. Do remember to check the latest update before going on any international travel.

Who can enter East Africa?

East Africa remains open for international tourism. The entry rules may differ a bit depending on the traveler's Covid-19 vaccination status.

Documents check-list for entering East Africa

Kenya

  • Kenya visa
  • Covid-19 vaccination certificate (if vaccinated)
  • negative PCR test result (only if unvaccinated)
  • completed Travelers Health Surveillance Form
  • travel insurance with Covid-19 coverage (optional)

Tanzania

  • valid passport
  • Tanzania visa
  • RT-PCR negative test (only if unvaccinated)
  • Covid-19 vaccination proof
  • Health Surveillance Form
  • travel insurance with Covid-19 coverage (optional)

Rwanda

  • valid passport
  • Rwandan visa
  • travel insurance (obligatory)

Uganda

  • valid passport
  • Uganda visa
  • PCR negative test (only if unvaccinated)
  • Covid-19 vaccination proof (if vaccinated)
  • travel insurance with Covid-19 coverage (optional)

Testing, vaccination, and quarantine requirements

Testing requirements

Kenya: fully vaccinated travelers do not need to produce a PCR test; unvaccinated travelers must provide a negative PCR test result issued no earlier than 72 hours prior to arrival

Tanzania: fully vaccinated travelers do not need to produce a PCR test; all unvaccinated passengers must produce a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours before arrival time

Rwanda: no pre-departure tests are required

Uganda: a negative PCR test certificate is required for unvaccinated inbound travelers

Vaccination requirements

Kenya: mandatory for travelers aged 18 and older

Tanzania: if not provided, PCR testing will be necessary

Rwanda: not required

Uganda: if not provided (by travelers aged 6 and older), PCR testing will be necessary

Quarantine requirements

Kenya: no, unless showing coronavirus symptoms or no negative PCR test is provided at an entry port

Tanzania: no, unless test positive for Covid-19

Rwanda: no quarantine information

Uganda: no, unless showing symptoms or test positive

Traveling from East Africa

All travelers departing from any of the East African countries should familiarize themselves with the entry requirements of their next or final travel destination. It may be necessary to produce a negative PCR test or submit a valid vaccination proof to board the flight.

Passengers should also find out what are other entry requirements of the country they wish to visit next such as visa requirements.

Traveling to East Africa

Most of the coronavirus-related restrictions have already been lifted in East Africa. Nevertheless, you should remember to monitor all the changes since the countries' governments may impose new requirements at short notice.

Before setting off for your trip, make sure that all necessary travel documents are ready and up-to-date. Among the most important ones are a valid passport, relevant visa, and travel insurance policy.

Do also remember to gather all required Covid-19 documents if needed and note that test results or vaccination certificates must be validated via Global Haven.

After arriving in the East African country, you should follow all Covid-19 guidelines and advisories to protect yourself and others.

Entry Rules for Children

Important! Please note that every minor traveler must hold a separate visa for a given East African country they wish to visit. It is a parent or legal guardian who should be responsible for getting a visa on behalf of every traveling child.

Kenya

All children younger than 5 do not need to take a pre-departure test before arriving in Kenya. Children aged 17 years and younger are exempt from Covid-19 vaccination requirements.

All minor travelers, however, must present a previously completed Travelers Health Surveillance Form. Both documents should be completed by their parent or legal guardian.

Tanzania

Children aged 5 years and younger are exempt from pre-departure and on-arrival testing requirements. Children older than 5 years should follow the same entry protocol as adult travelers. The protocol differs according to the traveler's immunization status.

Rwanda

There are no Covid-19 restrictions in Rwanda in place for underage travelers.

Uganda

Children younger than 6 do not need to present negative coronavirus test results to enter Uganda. Children who have not received the full regimen of the Covid-19 vaccination will need to produce a negative PCR test within 72 hours prior to the planned departure time.

Transit through East Africa

Kenya

A transit visa for Kenya is necessary if one plans to leave the airport transit zone. It is possible to get a transit eVisa to transit through Kenya. This visa is issued for 72 hours and it is the maximum time of your permitted transit stop before reaching your final destination.

Please also note that you need to have a PCR test if you plan to transit through Kenya. Moreover, you have 48 hours to board your connecting flight from the moment you arrived in Kenya. If your layover takes longer or you need to exit the transit zone, you will also need to complete the Kenyan Travelers Health Surveillance Form.

Tanzania

Passengers who plan on transit through Tanzania do not need to follow any Covid-related restrictions unless stated otherwise by the authorities of their final destination or the carrier.

All eligible applicants can obtain a transit visa online, which allows for staying in Tanzania for 7 days. Please, however, bear in mind that this visa cannot be used for other purposes than transit.

Rwanda

Transiting passengers no longer need to fill out the health declaration form prior to departure. They do not need to submit a negative Covid-19 test certificate to board the flight either. No post-arrival tests are performed at Rwandan aiports.

If your transit through Rwanda does involve leaving the transit zone at the airport, you do not need to apply for a transit visa. Nonetheless, if you wish to exit the transit area while awaiting your connecting flight, you will be required to obtain an entry permit issued upon arrival in Rwanda.

Uganda

A covid-19 vaccination certificate or negative test is required if one plans to transit through Uganda, both if staying airside or making a layover.

Do also remember to get a transit visa for Uganda. You can apply for a transit eVisa which allows for a 7-day transit stop in Uganda before traveling further.

East Africa visa policy

East Africa Tourist Visa

The East Africa Tourist Visa functions as a joint entry visa issued to all citizens coming from eVisa-eligible countries who wish to visit Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda using only one document.

The tourist visa for East Africa remains valid for 90 days in a 6-month period from the date of its issuance.

An eligible applicant can complete the entire process online without visiting any embassy or other diplomatic missions whatsoever.

It is essential to have a passport with at least 180-day validity from the intended date of arrival in the East African country.

The approved East Africa Tourist Visa is delivered to the applicant via email within around 6 business days. A valid tourist visa cannot be used for the purpose of entering and leaving any of the three countries (Kenya, Rwanda, or Uganda) twice in one day or engaging in employment or study without having received previous relevant permission granted by the Immigration Authorities.

Other visa options

Check for more details on the following East African countries' visa options and choose the best for you:

Passenger Locator Forms

Kenya Travelers Health Surveillance Form

The Kenyan Travelers Health Surveillance Form is a still-required document for every person arriving in Kenya.

Travelers are asked to provide some essential details related to their health and planned trip, as well as share contact information.

There is no specific time frame for when the form should be completed.

The health declaration form can be submitted online via any Internet-accessed electronic device. After successful completion, every traveler receives an individual QR code delivered to the email address provided in the online application. The code is verified by the border officials upon arrival in Kenya.

Tanzania Health Surveillance Form

Tanzania also introduced the mandatory Traveler Health Surveillance Form. Travelers going to Tanzania should complete the health declaration within 24 hours before the planned trip.

The Tanzanian authorities can identify infected passengers and take appropriate measures to stop the further spread of the virus thanks to the contact and personal information provided in the health form.

The form is also to be completed online and its completion is followed by receiving a confirmation via email.

Rwanda Passenger Locator Form

Rwandan authorities already removed the Passenger Locator Form requirement. Since June 2022, there is no need to have a receipt of a previously completed PLF to enter Rwanda.

Uganda Health Declaration Form

The Ugandan government followed its neighboring East African countries and also introduced the health declaration requirements. Nevertheless, it was removed in August 2022.

Travel Insurance

There is no travel insurance requirement in place in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania, while Rwanda made it required by law.

Remember that comprehensive travel insurance is an essential part of any trip to any worldwide destination, including East Africa. By ensuring that you are covered in case of an emergency, you can relax and enjoy your vacation knowing that you are protected.

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