First Timer Questions on K & T VISAs

Looking to all of my new best friends for advice on applying for these visas on line myself or using VisaCentral that Tauck uses. Looks like if I do it myself, the total cost for my husband and me is about $300 and if I use VisaCentral the cost would be around $740. That's a big enough difference to entice me to do it myself. The evisa site looks legitimate but when I click on the Terms and Conditions, I get Page Not Found. LOL That makes me a little worried about putting all our personal info into a database in Africa. If hackers have easy access to all of that, the damage they could do would far exceed the extra $440 to use a supposedly secure company (whose Terms and Conditions are for all to see). As always, I look forward to reading the sage advice from this group!

Comments

  • edited October 13

    When we did K&T in 2015 we applied through the Embassies in Wash, DC, but had no trouble with the eVisa for Zambia. Most countries are now using e-visas. With e-visas you collect and submit the data yourself- with a service like VisaCentral- you still collect the data by yourself so I don't see what value is added by having a service submit it.

    Make sure you are on the true official site for visas from the governments- it should have TZ and KE in the URL. At one time there were a number of "official looking" websites, but they are not official government websites!

    Also, download/print the form, read the instructions, and make sure you have all the info you need before attempting to complete and submit your applications online. Check with Tauck for specifics that seem confusing- like the addresses of hotels and phone and address of the in-country point of contact- it probably will be the outfitter that works with Tauck and not Tauck directly. Again have everything ready to go. Some of the government online visa application websites don't allow saving to complete later or don't allow you to go back and make corrections, etc.

    Here are the correct URL's for the both websites:

    https://eservices.immigration.go.tz/visa/ (the link to "Terms and Conditions" works fine- https://eservices.immigration.go.tz/visa/termsandconditions )

    https://evisa.go.ke/evisa.html (the link to "Terms of service" works- https://evisa.go.ke/terms-of-service.html )

  • If you decide to use VisaCentral, make sure that you carefully check the visa when your passport is returned to you. I found errors on my visas for Egypt (I had requested a month's visa, but it came back as a 7 day visa when I was arriving on the 1st and leaving on the 8th, so I would be there for part of 8 days) and one of the 3 countries that I went to on the SE Asia trip (I don't remember which country or what exactly the problem was). I had to return my passport to VisaCentral for them to correct the errors. So, make sure that you do it far in advance.

  • Do your own visas. The evisas are easy and no more complicated than VisaCentral.

  • I used VisaCentral and agree that it was almost as much trouble as doing the whole thing yourself. I just thought it might be “safer.” That is probably not the case.

  • Thank you again everyone! I love you all! You just saved me over $400! And I'm so happy to learn that some of the sites don't save your info if you need to complete later. So special thanks to Alan S. for that tip that will save me time and frustration!

  • So nice that both Kenya and Tanzania are evisas. No need to mail in your passport. The visa comes in an email that you print out. When we went Tanzania wasn’t doing evisas and we had to mail in our passport which made me nervous.

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