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Kulula Airlines requiring a visa before boarding

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Kulula Airlines requiring a visa before boarding

I am an American traveling to Kenya next week. I will be flying from New York to Johannesburg. From Joburg, I am scheduled on a one-way flight to Nairobi. I will be joining an Intrepid tour on Sunday, July 6, which will end in Zimbabwe. I will be flying out of Zimbabwe at the end of the trip, so I did not book a round-trip flight.

I received a phone call from Kulula Airlines today. They told me I needed a visa before I arrived in Nairobi in order to board the flight I have scheduled for next Thursday, July 3, from Johannesburg. I have done extensive research before receiving this call and since receiving this call. Everything I have read and heard from travel experts says that Americans can receive their Kenyan visa on arrival in the airport.

At this point, it is too late for me to get a visa in America. I leave on Tuesday, July 2. Has anyone had a similar experience? What will happen if I do not have the visa before I get to Kenya? Can Kulula refuse to let me on the plane?

Thank you for any help.

Destination Expert
for Zambia, Selous Game Reserve, Ruaha National Park
Level Contributor
3,747 posts
1. Re: Kulula Airlines requiring a visa before boarding

I suspect they have introduced this requirement because Kenya has recently introduced a visa requirement for South African citizens. See-


I guess most of their customers are South Africans. There's no need for them to apply this requirement to people with other passports who can get visas on arrival, but whether their staff know this or not is a different matter. If the staff have been told not to allow boarding without a visa you may be in for an argument. I would try and get an answer out of them before you travel, in writing. Send them and email and stress the fact that you have a US passport.

Level Contributor
81 posts
44 reviews
2. Re: Kulula Airlines requiring a visa before boarding

Hi Jen Americans get their visa on arrival in Nairobi Kenya so that does not apply to you. US citizens do not require a visa in advance. Kenya recently imposed a visa requirement for South Africans hence the confusion.

3. Re: Kulula Airlines requiring a visa before boarding

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