Visa Variations

It seems that every country has it’s own way of admitting or denying entry. In recent weeks  these have been revised and changed in such a way as to make it harder to get across the border. Whether this in response to  a perceived terrorist threat or ‘tit for tat’ responses to the way countries like the UK are making it harder for their own nationals to enter is unknown.

The fact is that our British Passports are not sufficient to enter most of the countries we plan to visit even though we will be remaining in the Commonwealth* throughout our travels.
We start in Tanzania where we are resident, then we cross into Malawi before a potential crossing into Mozambique on route to Zimbabwe, from here we enter Zambia at Victoria  Falls close to the ‘Four Corners’ a place where four countries almost touch at a Quadripoint (Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia). Our return to Tanzania will take us north and was due to take us to Kenya where we would drop my son for three weeks in Nairobi.

Eight African countries in four weeks! Possibly not but an option nonetheless. 

These are the current requirements, information courtesy of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Malawi – $0 (it was going to be $75 per person)

The Malawian government has advised that plans to introduce an entry fee for UK visitors (and nationals of other countries that charge a visa fee for Malawian nationals) on 1 July have been postponed. 

Mozambique -$70 pp

British nationals need a visa to enter Mozambique. Those travelling for work purposes must obtain a work or business visa before travelling.
Tourists may be able to get a single-entry visa valid for 30 days on arrival. However, there have been reports of visitors being refused this service and being turned back from border posts and airports. It is therefore much safer to get a visa before you leave the UK. You must present on entry a return air ticket (for air travellers) and either an invitation from family / friends or a confirmed hotel reservation.

Zimbabwe -$75 pp

You will need a visa to visit Zimbabwe. You can get a visa from the Zimbabwean Embassy in London or on arrival in Zimbabwe. If you have not obtained a visa before travelling, bring enough cash with you in small notes to pay for your visa on arrival. 

Zambia -$50 pp

British passport holders need a visa to enter Zambia. You can get a visa from the Zambian High Commission in London before you travel. Single and double entry visit visas are available at all ports of entry, but multi-entry visas are not. If you plan to get a visa on arrival, make sure you have the correct amount of cash with you as change may not be available.

Botswana -$0

British nationals do not need a visa to enter Botswana for stays of up to 90 days.

Namibia -$0

Although British nationals can enter Namibia for a holiday or private visit of up to 90 days without a visa, there have been cases where visitors have only been given permission to stay for periods much shorter than 90 days, sometimes as short as only 7 or 10 days. 

Kenya -$50 pp – rules have just changed whereby a visa must be obtained before traveling I.e. not at the border!

British nationals need a visa to enter Kenya. You can get a visa from the Kenya High Commission in London, or at the airport on arrival. For visas on arrival, payment is in cash (£30) and sterling is accepted. For more information about visa requirements, visit the Kenya High Commission website.

So our plans will probably not include Mozambique or Zimbabwe as the costs outweigh the benefits.  

Sadly for us the combined UNIVISA giving entry to both Zambia and Zimbabwe will not be issued at land borders other than Victoria Falls which means we can’t get one on arrival in Zambia. Whether we can see the Falls from Zimbabwe is highly unlikely but if we can we will. 

We’d love to step into Botswana and Namibia if we can and spend a short time there – just to say we’ve been. 🙂

Kenya is out for three of us but my son will fly into Nairobi where paper visas are still issued.
* Zimbabwe is currently suspended from the Commonwealth.


8 Comments Add yours

  1. And, of course, any of these may change before your intended date of travel… even if you’re leaving tomorrow, and may be influenced by the mood of the official at the point of entry.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. makagutu says:

    You don’t know what we go through to get travel visas to the UK or the USA. The people who work in your visa offices think all of us are immigrants or would be immigrants. You literally have to lick ass. So paying 50$ is nothing really.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tanzalongs says:

      I agree with you – too many restrictions everywhere – I don’t blame you guys for doing the same.


      1. makagutu says:

        if I had anything to do with it, I would double the requirements. I know this sounds crazy because as a country we may need the money tourists are bringing in. I however see no reason why everyone must be made to beg for a visa to the US or UK


      2. Tanzalongs says:

        Our country has become a little xenophobic – not just from Africa – even from Europe. However, not all of us are wealthy enough to accept a doubling. We get paid in TZS – so this is a big deal for us. Double it we wouldn’t come. You might think that’s a good thing but we are contributing our relative wealth (even in TZS) to the places we will visit / stay.


      3. makagutu says:

        You and I are in agreement. I did say the country needs the revenue but I think it is wrong to make every visa applicant beg for a visa like they wouldn’t return

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Frank says:

    This is very important information. I just wish all countries reviewed their regulations and we became one biiiiig country- no visas etc for we would all be brothers and sisters!


    1. Tanzalongs says:

      Not so sure about one big country I like the variation but an end to visas where passports were all you need 🙂


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