Kenya: Applying for the visa
This image below was taken on our first evening in Masai Mara in 2011. We were only a few minutes in the park when our friend Jackon spotted this family of lions. Jackson could smell the lions. So often we were the first car to arrive at a lion sighting. Jackson's ability to sense and spot the animals was truly impressive.
Time is shortening and we are completing the final logistics for our upcoming Kenya trip . We got our malaria medication and luckily we ordered it in time as there appears to be still a shortage of malarone but our friend pharmacist managed to get us sufficient supplies. When I see the bill I am surprised how expensive Malarone is (4EUR/day/pp) and as we are a family of five it adds up fast.
On Friday we applied for our Kenyan visa at the embassy in Brussels. Prices have doubled from 20 EUR to 40 EUR since 2011. I know we could easily get the visa upon arrival at Nairobi airport but I feel more comfortable getting them upfront especially as we live in Brussels and have easy access to the embassies. As we are travelling with children, being stuck at Nairobi airport after a long flight does not really appeal to me.
We already had the experience in 2011 when flying home from Tanzania over Nairobi arriving at 9pm at Nairobi airport while our return flight only left at 4am and it was not possible to check the luggage through so we had to first exit the transit zone, pick up our luggage and then be stuck at the departure hall until 2am when the counter opened to check in for the next flight.
On Monday we picked up the visa from the Kenyan embassy in Brussels. Generally when you apply in the morning the visum is ready in the afternoon the same day. The visa process went very smoothly and it was very calm at the embassy. It seems as if we are the only Belgians going to Kenya this time of the year.
Is it because it is the rainy season or is it still the aftermath of the recent elections? Odinga has filed an appeal against the results before the Supreme Court. The timing of the Supreme Court's decision is not ideal as it is due to be rendered on our arrival day in Nairobi. Both Odinga and Kenyatta have indicated that they will accept the Supreme Court's decision so we hope that the situation will continue to remain calm.
After a shortage of Malarone it now appears that insect repellants containing DEET are difficult to get hold off. They were banned in Belgium last September. My local store tried to convince me that the natural version is as good as the one containing DEET. Luckily I still have some stock of DEET repellants from last year's trip to Zambia so I will be able to do the comparative test.
My friend Jackson is a big Arsenal fan and the postman just delivered a small package to take with me to Kenya. At least I got the club right, let's hope that I got the size right too.
I have also ten footballs to distribute to the village kids if I can get them somehow packed.
A few more days to go until we meet our friend Jackson again and hopefully see some more beautiful lions on this upcoming trip
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