Although we needed only two visas for all of Latin America, we’ve needed a visa for almost every country we’ve gone to in Africa. Some countries are straight forward, but others make the process a virtual nightmare and seem to change their requirements every other day. In an effort to help other traveling souls out there, here’s our guide to African Visas. All requirements are for American passports unless otherwise noted and were as of our travels December 2009- April 2010.
South Africa – 90 day multiple-entry tourist visa upon arrival at all land borders and airports. 1/2 page sticker with a barcode. Free!
Mozambique– Crap shoot, no seriously. Everyone we’ve met seems to have paid a different fee for a 30 day single entry visas, with no consistency among borders, passports, etc…We paid $60 for Mozambique 30 day single entry visas in Argentina. Traveled with people who bought them at the land border near Maputo for $25. Single entry visa at the Mozambique embassy in Harare was $130, although we picked our second ones up at the Zim/Mozambique border for $30. The process was long and we were harassed upon exit in the north for not getting it before hand. If you’re coming via land from south africa you’re fine to get it at the border, other land borders may be a crap shoot. Can pay in Rand, USD or Meticais.
Zimbabwe– $45 single entry visa upon arrival at land border. No problem obtaining the visa, process was straightforward. Can pay in Rand or USD only.
Malawi– Free tourist visa upon arrival. Straightforward and easy.
Tanzania– Can obtain at some land borders- check in advance. Recently increased the price for American passports to $100 6 month multiple entry. Some Americans receive a one year multiple entry for $100 at the Tanzania/Kenya border crossings. We had to get ours in advance in Zimbabwe (only waited 2 hours) as they were not available at the Tanzania/Malawi border when we crossed. As far as we know for all other nationalities, the tourist visa is $50. Pay in USD, but must have post 2006 bills. Tanzanian Government offices will put up a huge fight if you have pre-2006 bills and you might not get through. Full page sticker or stamp.
Kenya– Obtain at all land borders. $25 visa that says single entry- but actually is good for multiple entry as long as you don’t go outside of Uganda, Tanzania or Kenya. Full page sticker.
Uganda– $50 for all nationalities, two month single entry available at the border. Again post 2006 bills only. No $20 student visa is available to non- East Africans.
Ethiopia– Obtain at Addis Ababa airport for $20 all nationalities. Not available at ANY land borders, must arrange in advance. $20 in advance for all nationalities except Americans- $70 in advance. 24 hour processing.
Sudan– It’s very difficult to get a tourist visa for Sudan. Most travelers get a transit visa in either Cairo or Addis Ababa. This is processed within 24 hours and gives the bearer 2 weeks to transit Sudan. It’s 100USD for everyone, except Americans, who pay 200USD. Before you apply you’ll need to have a valid Egyptian or Ethiopian visa.
Egypt– Many nationalities can obtain a visa for $15 at the Airport. We purchased ours in advance in Addis Ababa in order to get our Sudanese Visas. 10 processing days in Addis. Visas were available on the ferry from Wadi-Halfa to Aswan.