Frequently Asked Questions PDF Print E-mail

 

1.  What is KATO?
2.  Who are your members?
3.  How do I become a KATO member?
4.  What are the benefits of joining KATO?
5.  What are the charges for KATO Membership?
6.  Who are your members and how do I get their contacts?
7.  Whom can I contact for a safari?
8.  Who specialises in bird watching/fly fishing/walking, honeymoon?
9.  How much does a safari cost?
10.  Do I have to pay a deposit for my safari and how much? What mode of payment should I use e.g. credit card, travellers cheque, etc?
11.  What is the security situation in Kenya?
12.  What are the weather patterns in Kenya?/What is the best time to visit the National parks and Game Reserves in Kenya?
13.  Please send me general information on tourism in Kenya?
14.  Where can I get a tourist map on Kenya?
15.  Could you recommend some Tour Operators who are safe, reliable and reasonably priced?
16. 

Who should I contact for further enquiries or assistance?

17.  Who requires a visa to come to Kenya?
18. 

How do I apply for a visa to Kenya?


 

What is KATO?
      KATO stands for the Kenya Association of Tour Operators, which is an organisation comprising of the leading and most experienced tour operators in Kenya licensed by the Government of Kenya.
Who are your members?
      Our members are Licensed Tour Operators operating in Kenya as well as allied foreign or trade companies whose membership is of benefit to KATO.
How do I become a KATO member?
      After one (1) year of operation as a Tour Operator, you may make a formal application in writing requesting to join KATO. Subsequent to this you will be furnished with a Membership Application form, two Questionnaires and a Notice of Categorisation. These documents are to be returned to the Secretariat duly filled and your Categorisation form certified by your Auditors. In addition, you will also be required to attach copies of your current Certificate of Incorporation, Ministry of Tourism License and any promotional materials/brochures that may enable us assess your application.
What are the benefits of joining KATO?
     

KATO is an umbrella body comprising the most experienced Tour Operators in Kenya and is the best source of information for tourist related matters. We also help promote Kenya as a prime destination locally and abroad. KATO Members are bound by a Code of Conduct that ensures that they uphold the business ethics of the Travel Profession and requires that they trade honestly. Visitors to Kenya are advised to arrange their holidays through KATO Members who are listed on our website.

  1. KATO Members enjoy the latest tourist information disseminated to them periodically through the Newsletters, e-mail circulars and sometimes through media. Communication from the Government is disseminated to KATO and NOT TO INDIVIDUAL OPERATORS. This information is then availed to the Members. KATO also holds General Meetings periodically where key persons from Tourism Bodies, Government and the Private Sector are invited to address the membership on matters related to tourism. We normally vouch for our member's reputation when requested for a reference by tourists.
  2. The Ethics & Standards Sub-Committee is set-up to oversee member discipline and ensure that members abide by the Association's Code of Conduct.
What are the charges for KATO Membership?
      There are three (3) different categories of membership of KATO.
  1. All new members join in as an Associate Member for a minimum of one year. The annual fee is Kshs: 4,000 (exclusive of joining fees of Kshs: 500)
  2. After a maximum of two years, you are required to upgrade to Full Membership. This is categorised depending on your annual gross earnings and subscriptions vary from Kshs: 9,000 to Kshs: 60,000.
  3. Affiliate Membership is for foreign tour operators or local allied trade companies or individuals whose membership of KATO is of benefit to the Association. The fees are; local ; Kshs: 1,500/= and foreign; US$100.
Who are your members and how do I get their contacts?
      For a complete listing of our members, please visit our website www.katokenya.org. You will be pleased to note that most of our members have direct links to their homepages.
Whom can I contact for a safari?
      You may contact any of our members listed on our website www.katokenya.org
Who specialises in bird watching/fly fishing/walking, honeymoon?
      With the help of an internal search engine within our website, please type in the activity you wish to undertake e.g. bird watching and a complete listing of those who provide this activity will be listed for your further action.
How much does a safari cost?
      The cost of a safari vary depending on what kind of safari you wish to undertake e.g. luxury, budget, economy, etc. This could cost anywhere between US$70 to US$400 per person per night.
Do I have to pay a deposit for my safari and how much? What mode of payment should I use e.g. credit card, travellers cheque, etc?
      It is common practice to have all costs paid for prior to commencement of the safari, as the Tour Operator has to make certain commitments to secure bookings, accommodation, flights, etc.
What is the security situation in Kenya?
      Kenya tends to be quite secure for tourists especially within the tourist circuits. You do however need to observe the basic precautions i.e. avoid walking in dark/isolated areas at night, do not wear flashy jewellery, avoid carrying valuables around, etc.
What are the weather patterns in Kenya?/What is the best time to visit the National parks and Game Reserves in Kenya?
     

We have long rains in April and May and the short rains in November. However these are not confined to the months allocated.

We have three (3) distinct tourist seasons:

High Season; this is between July-September, December-March. The weather is dry and the roads are accessible to the various Game Parks and National Reserves.

Low Season; April-June. Long rains are experienced about this time. Should you wish to travel at this time, please consult your Tour Operator accordingly e.g. what kind of vehicle to use.

Shoulder Season; October-November. Short rains can be experienced at this time.

Please send me general information on tourism in Kenya?
      For general information on tourism in Kenya, please contact the Kenya Tourist Board on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or log on to their website www.magicalkenya.com.
Where can I get a tourist map on Kenya?
      We do have a map for sale. It also features Nairobi and Mombasa with a listing of the do's and don'ts and costs about US$3 exclusive of postal charges. However, you can also get other types of maps from the various tourist shops at a charge depending on the shop.
Could you recommend some Tour Operators who are safe, reliable and reasonably priced?
      All KATO Members are bound by our strict Code of Conduct incorporated by our Ethics & Standards Sub-Committee.
Who should I contact for further enquiries or assistance?
     

All enquiries should be addressed to: -

Mr. Fred Kaigua
CHIEF EXECUTIVE

Who requires a visa to come to Kenya?
       

NATIONALS OF THE FOLLOWING COUNTRIES DO NOT REQUIRE VISAS TO ENTER KENYA. 

Barbados, Fiji Island, Malaysia (For less than 30 days stay, Samoa, St.Lucia, Uganda, Belize, Ghana, Maldives, Sierra Leone, St.Kitts and Nevis Zambia, Botswana, Grenada, Mauritius, Singapore, Swaziland, Mauritius, Brunei, Darussalam, Jamaica, Namibia, South Africa (For less than 30 days stay) Tanzania, Namibia, Burundi, Kiribati, Nauru, Solomon Islands ,Seychelles, Tanzania, Cyprus, Lesotho, Papua, New Guinea, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad, Tobago, Dominica, Malawi ,Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Vanuatu, The Bahamas, Tonga, Tuvalu, Ethiopia and San Marino.\

Nationals of Countries, Classes and Categories Of Persons Who Require Referred Visas.

Afghanistan, Armenia , Azerbaijan Cameroon Democratic People's Republic of Korea (Formerly N. Korea) 

  1. Eritrea
    Iraq
    Kosovo
    Lebanon, Libya
    Mali
    Palestine
    Senegal, Somali , Syria
    Tajikistan
How do I apply for a visa to Kenya?
     

Kenya Visa applications are now only available online and the old Manual application has been stopped.
 Visitors from countries that require a Visa to enter Kenya should now apply for the Visa online from the E-Visa portal - http://evisa.go.ke/evisa.html

Applicants will be required to follow the three stages indicated on the E-Visa website, namely:  

  1. Register -             in order to activate your E-Visa account.
  2. Complete the Application Form and provide a photo and passport copy).
  3. Pay online using a debit or credit card and await the E-Visa approval.

One should download and print the E-Visa (in PDF form) and present it at the port of entry.

Key Points to note: -

  1. The 90-Day Visa Validity commences from the date of E-Visa approval … not on the date of your arrival into Kenya.   Visitors are therefore urged not to apply too early.
  2. Some web browsers (e.g. Internet Explorer) are, for one reason or the other, experiencing problems with the E-Visa portal.   It is recommended that one uses Google Chrome which has been reported as having no problems.
  3. The E-Visa Portal is mobile enabled and one can complete the application from a mobile device (phone or Tablet) including taking and uploading a picture.
  4. The inclusion of additional languages is still pending but Google Chrome has the ability to translate an entire web page into the desired language of your choice.  The Industry is following up with Immigration authorities to hasten the provision of additional languages.
  5. It should take between 12 – 24 hours to receive the E-Visa approval.  An email will be sent to you to log in and download the E-Visa.  It has been reported that this email notification is sometimes going to the ”spam email” folder.  Kindly check your spam folder before deleting the contents as you await this notification.
  6. Tourists can upload their tour itinerary and not necessarily an “invitation letter”.
  7. In case of extreme difficulty, your local or overseas  Tour Operator/Travel Agent is eligible to register as an “Agent” and apply on behalf of clients from time to time using the same Company email address.   The E-Visa approval will be sent back to the Agent you in the client’s name for onward forwarding to them.
  8. The Single Entry Visa to Kenya allows for free re-entry to Kenya as long as one is travelling within the EAC countries.
  9. The EAC Single Tourist Visa allows travel to Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda on a single fee of $100.  This is not available online and can still be applied for and issued on arrival at any port of entry.
  10. For a limited duration of TWO months (September and October), Immigration Authorities will have E-Visa Terminal at both Jommo Kenyatta International Airport (Nairobi) and Moi International Airport  (Mombasa) from which visitors arriving without the E-Visas can apply for it on arrival.  Visitors are however strongly encouraged to apply for the E-Visa in advance of travel to Kenya so as to avoid unnecessary long delays at the Airport.  
  11. During the two month Airlines should NOT deny boarding to a traveller on account of lack of the E- Visa - unless such a person is of a nationality that is required to have the referred Visa in advance before coming to Kenya.
  12. The E-Visa Website has “Live Chat” enabled to address any challenges applicants may experience. 

In case of a problem that remains unresolved, please contact the E-Citizen Technical Team (contact details provided on their website)  or your local Tour Operator.

For those intending to visit more than one East African country, the EAC Single Visa allows for travel between Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.  This Visa is applied for and issued on arrival and is not available for online issuance

 

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