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Visas - Best Currency

Cheltenham, United...
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Visas - Best Currency

Hi,

Can anyone clarify what the best which is the best currency to pay the Visa when we arrive at the airport in Mombasa. Some people have stated that paying in £'s is cheaper than $'s, is this true?

Thanks,

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Mombasa
Mombasa
Coast Province, Kenya
Mtwapa, Kenya
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1. Re: Visas - Best Currency

$50 is currently around £33 to £34 at tourist rates, paying in sterling you pay £30

Cheltenham, United...
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2. Re: Visas - Best Currency

Thank you for the reply.

Is it the same with the charge when we leave Kenya?

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3. Re: Visas - Best Currency

Departure tax is $40, it is included in the price of your air ticket except if you are flying with Thomson. Thomson customers have to pay it at the airport, where according to a TA member who paid it a week or two ago they are asking for £30, so at moment it costs slightly less to pay in dollars ($40 is about £27). You can also pay in shillings if you have any left over, around 3,400/- or 3,500/-

Diani Beach, Kenya
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4. Re: Visas - Best Currency

Hi US$ is the Best currency to use for the Visa's and Departure tax-Because of the variations in exchange rates the airport authorities play safe by inflating the exchange rate,To make it easy for you the Thomson flight crew will give you the necessary forms to fill while still airborne so when you land in Mombasa just have them all tucked in your passport plus the relevant forms & the $50,The trick in Mombasa is after landing one of you joins the Immigration cue and the other waits for the suitcases at the conveyor belts-Saves you a reasonable amount of time!Remember most items and services are mainly priced in US$ or euros-

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Manchester, United...
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5. Re: Visas - Best Currency

LetsGoWildSafari, I don't think your advice is correct at the minute as each person has to get their photos & fingerprints taken before getting your visa stamped so it is impossible for one to join the queue and the other to reclaim the baggage, both have to wait.

A bit off the subject but last October coming off an Ethiopian Airways flight with some friends at Mombasa, I paid for my visa with US$ and waited for them to follow, as they were very excited they were talking up at the booth about Mombasa, on producing their Irish Passport and £30 each for the visa they were told that with an Irish Passport you had to pay in Euros which they did not have, what ensued was a complete farce.

The clerk took offence to them talking and being "disrespectful" and as a result said they could only pay with Euros, I then pointed out that I had paid in $US whilst travelling on a British Passport so where did he get that rule from.

After a twenty minute stand-off he relented and accepted £GB, so the lesson learnt is show respect and no matter how excited you are about your upcoming holiday don't be chatting at the Visa Desk !!

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Mombasa
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6. Re: Visas - Best Currency

Let's go wild,

It makes no sense for people from the UK to buy dollars to pay for the visa as the price is fixed at £30 is fixed and is never varied by the Immigration Authorities at the airport.

Departure Tax as it only applies to Thomson customers and is collected by airport staff will vary with exchange rates as they will round up to the next £5 as coins are no use in a foreign currency.

Are you saying that Immigration will allow people through before they have been processed? Sounds extremely unlikely to me, and what time would you save anyway? If they bags come off while you are in the queue they are there on the carousel waiting for you when you come out, if they don't you will end up waiting anyway

As for everything being priced in dollars, that is not the case, some agents will price their tours, etc in dollars, but almost everything else is priced in shillings. Also anyone who will accept dollars will accept pounds, though at the same poor exchange rate, shillings are by far the best currency.

Edited: 09 May 2013, 09:34
nairobi
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7. Re: Visas - Best Currency

Having worked as a rep for First Choice and Thomson for over Seven years I spent some quality time at the Airport and understands their system very well,There is a lot of shoddy underhand deals going on at the airport especially with the custom and immigration departments.The Visa prices are in US$ and it is advisable to pay in US$, In cases where you have no $ they will accept other currencies but mainly KSH at their inflated rates.If you stand your ground and ask for a Supervisor your issues will be resolved.

If you are traveling with Thomson Airways their ground handlers are Kenya Aeronav and can be handy in such cases.Also Thomson/Firstchoice holidays have duty airport representatives that could be of assistance.Mombasa airport is known for its disorganization especially when handling 2 or more flights that land at short intervals and in such incidences the immigration/customs officers take the advantage of the long cues and use that to rip off the visitors who are often tired and not aware of the procedures,The bottom line is the the Visas are priced in US$ and can be paid in any acceptable currency but at an inflated exchange rate-Just to correct my previous post,All currencies ie $,£,€ are readily accepted in Kenya but the $ more popular.Please do take a minute of your time after or during your holiday to correct me if i am wrong.

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Mombasa
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Mtwapa, Kenya
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8. Re: Visas - Best Currency

Beg to differ the visa prices are fixed in Dollars, Pounds, Euros and Swiss Francs and those prices do not vary with exchange rates. The sterling price of a visa was fixed at £30 on 1st July 2011 and it has not changed since

Tewkesbury, United...
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9. Re: Visas - Best Currency

one other point to make regarding earlier comment - when we arrived with thomsons a couple of weeks ago, we were given customs forms to fill in for both entry and exit and a form you hand in at passport control, but they do not give you or mention the visa form which you have to fill out along with your visa fee! we had people getting to immigration and being turned away because they hadn't filled in the form or had their visa money ready, it seems quite a few people weren't aware of the fact they either needed a visa or had to pay for it - it was not mentioned by thomsons ( we only became aware of it from the TA forum). they do have the forms in the arrivals hall but easier to download and print it off from kenya high commision website before you go, as they do not give you this form on the flight! we paid in sterling, but agree with doff for being sure of the amount you pay use us dollars ( we weren't using dollars for anything else, so didn't bother changing sterling)

South West England...
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10. Re: Visas - Best Currency

Reps always seem to congregate outside the arrival hall/baggage reclaim area at Mombasa airport so miss the mayhem going on at the immigration desks so are of little help.

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Mombasa
Mombasa
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