Visa Requirements for Africa

Costs can vary between US$10-50 for a single entry free and up to $200 for a 3 month multiple entry fees. Extensions are usually available for extra fees. The price can vary depending on where you buy the Visa and sometimes on the mood of the person you are buying it from. Irish Citizens will get a lot of their Visas for free.

Rules vary for different nationalities: British and Australian citizens may not need a Visa for southern African countries.  French citizens don’t need them in most of West Africa. Americans need them in a lot of African countries.

Most visas are issued within 24 or 48 hours.  Always go to Embassies in the morning.  Sometimes the process can take a week or more!  They may want you to prove you have enough money to cover the trip.  Some embassies require up to six passport photo copies.  So, bring a lot of copies just in case.

West Africa: get a Visa Touristique Entente – This is a one entry per country Visa that covers Benin, Burkina Faso, Togo and Côte d’Ivoire and sometimes Niger.  Some people have reported they were refused entry with this one. It takes 24hrs, however over weekends and depending on the person in charge it can take up to 6 days.  You can drop your passport in before noon at ‘Services des Passeports’ on the road out of Ouaga to Bobo before the first set of traffic lights on the long straight road, pay 25,000CFA roughly US$50 (the currency rates can fluctuate a lot) and pick it up the next afternoon.  Some people say it is valid for 30 days and others say it is 60 days.  It really depends who you buy through and how well your negation skills are.  Sometimes Israeli stamps in your passport may be a red flag to some North African countries like Libya.

Egypt: Travelers need and at least 2 blank visa pages. U.S. citizens will be granted an Egypt visa upon arrival. Embassy of Egypt

Kenya: Travelers need at least 3 blank pages for visa and immigration stamps. If you are continuing on to Tanzania, and connecting in Nairobi, Kenya for your final departure flight to the US, then you do not require a transit or multiple entry visa; just a single entry visa for connecting flights. If you are continuing on to Tanzania from Kenya you must carry proof of yellow fever vaccination.

It is strongly suggest obtaining your visa before departure although they do allow some US citizens a visa upon arrival, it is not guaranteed. Embassy of Kenya.

Madagascar:  U.S. passport holders need a visa for entry into Madagascar, however it is free up to 30 days and will be issued at the airport.   You have to show proof of your round trip ticket, they don’t want you to stay forever.  Embassy of Madagascar

Morocco:  Have at least 2 blank visa pages. U.S. passport holders do not need a visa for entry into Morocco. Embassy of Morocco.

Nambia: Have at least 2 blank visa pages. U.S. passport holders do not need a visa for entry into Namibia. Embassy of Namibia

South Africa: Travelers from Europe, most commonwealth countries, the USA, Scandinavia and Japan do not need to apply for a visa for vacation purposes. A free entry permit for a period of up to 90-days will be issued on arrival. For visitors wishing to stay longer, an official visa needs to be applied for.

Embassy of South Africa.

Tanzania: Have at least 2 blank visa pages. U.S. passport holders must obtain a Tanzania visa prior to departure. Passengers must carry proof of yellow fever vaccination. Embassy of Tanzania

Zimbabwe: U.S. passport holders will be granted a Zimbabwe visa upon arrival. More information is Embassy of Zimbabwe.

Visas in General:

Visa is a document issued by a country’s government allowing the holder to enter. Regulations often change.  You can get a Visa before you leave home, or some countries allow you to purchase a visa in a neighboring country through their embassy.  Some even allow you to purchase it at the airport right before you take off/arrive.  Some visas are valid from when they are issued, but some visas let you enter in your arrival dates if it is within a month. Depending on your location and if you are buying in person the cost can depend on the mood of the worker issuing it and your negation skills. Do your research and come prepared.

Rates:  differ depending on your nationality.  The price can fluctuate depending on where you buy the Visa from, online may be less expensive than a consulate, embassy or at the airport, so look around for the best price. Depending on the country you are entering, you may even be able to negotiate prices.  Some will let you pay in another currency than their own, but you may be charged extra fees. If you go over the expiration date you can be charged a hefty fine.  For more than 60 days overstay travelers risk deportation or imprisonment.

Requirements: Most customs require seeing your passport and it must be valid for up to 6 months before entering/departing their country.  They usually like to see at least 2 unused pages in your passport. Pay special attention to international flight routing. Some countries require visas for transiting through their airports, even if you are just passing through en route to another country.

Time of Issuance: Some Visas are issued within minutes, and others can take 1-6 business days or longer depending on your situation.  Some entry points require up to 6 copies of your passport.  If you are in a populated city they may not charge extra, but if you are going remote it is a good idea to make copies before you leave home.

Extensions: Depending on the Visa you may be able to apply for an extension if you need one. Or if you are in a rush you may be able to pay extra for an expedited Visa.

Visa Types: There are different kinds of Visas.  Some are for a single entry and others are for multiple entries, if you want to leave the country and come back within a time frame. They have Tourist/Visitor Visas, Student Visas, Artist/Entertainer Visas, Religious Worker Visas, Transit Visas, Immigrant Visas and more.






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