Impossible visa documents…Have to use the pricey option…Lion and a snake…

May be an image of big cat and outdoors
Photo from Facebook taken by Marloth Park Honorary Rangers post. Fluffy, who lives in Lionspruit, which borders holiday home in the back, caught a python and ate it. Whoever thought a lion would eat a snake?

Note: Today’s lion photos were taken by the Marloth Park Honorary Rangers, a group of local specially trained and uniformed local residents who donate their time for the well-being of wildlife and vegetation here in Marloth Park. We applaud this dedicated group of local citizens who work hard each day to preserve this amazing environment.

We spent all afternoon for two days in an attempt to apply for an e-visa for Kenya from the government immigration website. No matter what I tried, changing and reducing the size and the file types of the photos and documents required to upload, it was all in vain. It simply would not work. I wrote to the immigration department and also called with no response.

We were both so frustrated. There were dozens of other sites from which to apply but most of them were scam sites. It was too risky for us to proceed with one of those. Finally, we contacted the pricey US site, CIBT, which we’d used for a few visas in the past, mainly required for cruising. They are a reputable company, which is a must with less than a month left for us to leave for Kenya.

Had we known how difficult this would be we would have started the process a week ago. But, with the awful heat and humidity, it’s been challenging to be motivated. Today, I resigned myself to stay in the bedroom and get this done. Last night, due to the time difference, I called CIBT and they said I could email them the photos and documents for which they sent me a special email address.

We wondered how that tasted.

Their fees are high at US $179, ZAE 2672, per application plus the fee Kenya charges of US $51, ZAR 761, for a total of US $230, ZAR 3433 for each of us. Had we been able to apply at the Kenya Immigration site, we’d only have to pay the US $51, ZAR 761 each.

We expect that due to the pandemic, the government offices in Kenya aren’t open and no one is attending to their website or office inquiries. There’s no other explanation. Then again, we’ve had experiences with governmental offices and often have run into issues in some countries including in the USA. It’s not so unusual.

As soon as I upload today’s post, we’ll get to work on both of our applications at the same time, following each step of the way together. This is usually somewhat of a stressful process, one neither of us cares to do. Hopefully, by the end of today, we’ll have peace of mind and this will be done. We should receive the e-visa from CIBT within two weeks of submitting our application.

Over the past months, we’ve had a number of issues with our site. Our web people have been diligent in solving these myriad problems. Many of these issues don’t appear to you, our readers, but have an impact on me as I attempt to post each day. Of course, over this past almost year of the upgrade, we’ve been down for many days and many of you have been unable to read our new posts. We apologize for this inconvenience.

“It’s challenging getting this python eaten,” says Fluffy, one of two lions, including female Desi, in Lionspruit Wildlife Conservancy, which abuts our location. What a thrill to see these photos.

At this point, it’s looking as if most of the issues have been resolved and all should be fine going forward. That’s not to say we won’t have WiFi problems or any problems with the site going forward. Please know, that if our site is down, we are well aware of it and have notified our web people. Actually, WordPress sends me an email when there are problems.

The power just went out, due to load shedding. We are currently in the bedroom (no air-con working) with a fan blowing on us. The fan works off of the inverter, as does the WiFi. We have the blinds closed to keep the heat out until power returns in 2½ hours. Last night the load shedding started during the night from 3:00 am until 5:30 am. Thank goodness we have the fan.

Currently, the temperature is 95F, 35C at 11:00 am. It is expected to be 101F, 38C by 2:00 pm, 1400 hours. The humidity is through the roof. There are two more load shedding sessions today, resulting in 7½ hours without power on such a hot day. Oh well, as we said, this goes with the territory. This is Africa and we’re grateful to be here.

May you have a comfortable and safe day wherever you may be!

Photo from one year ago today, March 11, 2020:

The town of Mahabalipuram is lined with shops with supplies for locals and also an endless array of tourist trinkets. For more photos, please click here.

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