If you are a person who is closer to the jungles, national parks, and wildlife, then you should visit Kenya. Kenya is a country in East Africa with a population of about 47.6 million.

There are many animals, and you can have a real jungle experience in Kenya. But are you allowed to fly your drone in Kenya?

Can you bring a drone to Kenya?

As a foreigner to Kenya, you cannot bring your drone to Kenya. However, if you are a citizen, native, or resident of Kenya, you can bring a drone here. If you want to fly your drone as a foreigner in Kenya, you can get a special 30-day permit on a commitment.

Kenya is the most beloved country for everybody, and they allow people to visit it. But the government of Kenya also wants to keep its visitors and the natives safe from anything. This article will share some interesting thoughts on bringing a drone to Kenya.

How can you fly a drone in Kenya?

If you are a drone pilot from outside of Kenya, you are not allowed to fly your drone inside the boundaries of Kenya. On the other hand, if you are a native of here, then you have no problem.

So for the outsider, there is a special permit settled by the government of Kenya and the authority called KCAA(Kenya Civil Aviation Authority).

There are specific rules for drone pilots in Kenya that are applied while flying a drone and when not flying a drone as well. In 2020 drone flights were banned entirely in Kenya.

As I said before, there is so much wildlife in Kenya. So to keep nature and the people of Kenya safe, the government banned drones.

Can You Bring a Drone to Kenya
Kenya Africa Safari

But after 2020, the ban was lifted, and now everybody is allowed to fly a drone, but the drone pilot must follow actions. And let me clarify: flying a drone in Kenya is easy but not impossible. Flying a drone, and especially bringing a drone to Kenya, is so tough.

According to the authorities, the drone rules will be loosened in Kenya, and importing and exporting drones in Kenya will be easy.

What are the different drone categories in Kenya?

Now be ready because I will unpack all of the drone rules and the categories of the drones. The government of Kenya has made some special categories for drones. They are below.

So the Kenya government has divided drones into three main categories.

Category 1: In this category, those drones pose less threat and risk to Kenya’s people and wildlife. To fly this kind of drone, you must get a special permit and license from the KCAA.

Category 2: In this category, those drones pose a medium threat and risk to Kenya’s people and wildlife. It would help if you got the Remote Aircraft Operators Certificate to fly this drone. It is the most critical permit.

Can You Bring a Drone to Kenya?
Nairobi Kenya

Category 3: In this category, those drones pose a high threat and risk to Kenya’s people and wildlife. To fly this kind of drone, you must also get the Remote Aircraft Operators Certificate and special permission from the government.

What are the rules and regulations for flying a drone in Kenya?

If you want to fly your drone under Category 1, you must follow some rules to get the best scenes of Kenya and avoid getting in trouble.

Below are some of the essential rules.

You are not allowed to fly your drone without permission, whether a recreational drone pilot or commercial or have a small or more significant drone.

READ MORE: How to get a drone license in Texas?

In Kenya, you can only fly your drone 400 meters from the ground level. If you do fly your drone than that, then you will violate the law, and the government won’t leave you without punishment.

Can You Bring a Drone to Kenya?
Zebras drinking water

You are not allowed to fly your drone near people, vehicles, buildings, historic structures, or anything that can damage at least 50 meters.

The most important rule is that the drone pilot should be physically fit and at least 18. If you are using your drone, FPV, let me tell you that you are not allowed to fly away from your visual line of sight and should not fly your drone by wearing goggles.

You are not allowed to fly your drone when it is raining, snow, hot temperature, or other bad weather.

At night everybody in Kenya(and in the world also) rests and wants peace, so it is applied to the animals; they also sleep at night, so please do not fly your drone at night.

No matter what kind of your drone, you are not allowed to fly your drone near airports at least 10 kilometers. I recommend you keep it away as much as you can.

Here is an excellent rule for you that I like the most: “You are not allowed to publish content or information anywhere on social media that is not related to your drone operation.” So all it means is to fly your drone for your purpose and not for something else.

If you get permission, you are allowed, but if you don’t have permission, you should keep your drone away from buildings, worship areas, and government places.

Can You Bring a Drone to Kenya?
Elephant

You are not allowed to fly your drone near any borders in Kenya. Flying a drone with lousy behavior can lead you to jail. If you see anything in Kenya that can get damaged, please do not fly near it.

The locals own so many private properties in Kenya, so you must ask the authorities for permission before flying your drone over them. After then, follow the rules of the local authority.

After registering your drone with Kenya authority, you will get a certificate or registration number to attach to your drone.

Who permits flying the drone in Kenya?

The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) is the government body responsible for regulating drone operations in Kenya. They have set forth rules and regulations for the country’s safe and reliable use of drones.

These rules include obtaining a Remote Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) license, obtaining a permit for specific drone flights, and adhering to strict safety protocols. It’s important to note that failure to comply with these regulations can result in hefty fines and legal consequences.

So, educating yourself on the rules and regulations set forth by the KCAA before flying your drone in Kenya is crucial.

Can You Bring a Drone to Kenya?
Safari in Kenya

The KCAA’s regulations are in place to ensure that drone operations are safe for everyone involved. As a drone pilot, it’s essential to be aware of these regulations and to follow them to the letter.

Not only will this help keep you out of legal trouble, but it will also ensure that you don’t endanger anyone or anything while operating your drone.

So, if you’re planning to fly your drone in Kenya, do your research, obtain the necessary permits and licenses, and follow all safety protocols set forth by the KCAA.

Can you pass a drone through customs in Kenya?

Yes, you can pass a drone through customs in Kenya, but there are specific rules and regulations that you must follow.

The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) requires all drones to be registered before they can be operated in the country. So, before bringing your drone into Kenya, you must obtain a permit from the KCAA.

When passing a drone through customs in Kenya, it’s essential to declare the drone to the customs officers and provide all necessary documentation, including your permit from the KCAA.

READ MORE: Can you fly a drone in Disney World?

The customs officers may inspect the drone to ensure it meets all safety standards and not carries any prohibited items.

Now let’s talk about the other side. You must get the drone permit and bring your drone with you in your luggage to avoid being in trouble because Kenya has strict rules for obtaining a drone in the country.

Can You Bring a Drone to Kenya?
Downtown Nairobi Kenya

If you don’t have approval, bring your drone in your luggage, it will be confiscated, and you won’t get it back quickly. To get the drone back, you will need to visit the office of the KCAA, and there you will need to answer so many questions and show proof that you are not a criminal.

Please ensure that before bringing a drone to Kenya, you have contacted the KCAA and have the permit to fly and bring your drone. Let me clarify that bringing a drone for a foreign drone pilot is not allowed and is illegal.

What will happen if you fly a drone in Kenya illegally?

So you’re considering flying your drone in Kenya without obtaining the necessary permits and licenses? I have to stop you because that is not a good idea. Here’s what could happen if you fly a drone illegally in Kenya:

First of all, you could be hit with some hefty fines. The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) takes illegal drone operations very seriously, and they have the authority to impose penalties of up to 100,000 Kenyan Shillings (roughly $900) for non-compliance with drone regulations.

That’s a lot of money for a few minutes of drone footage.

But it gets worse. If your illegal drone operation causes damage or harm to people or property, you could face legal action and even criminal charges. And believe; you don’t want to mess with the Kenyan justice system.

Can You Bring a Drone to Kenya?
Kenya open field with elephants

So, you should play it safe and follow all the rules and regulations set forth by the KCAA. At last, let me tell you that your mistakes can increase fines and punishments.

How to keep your drone safe from customs in Kenya?

Here are a few tips to help keep your drone safe from customs in Kenya:

First, make sure you have all the necessary paperwork in order. This includes your permit from the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA), and any other documentation customs may require. Keep a printed copy of all your paperwork with you.

Second, make sure your drone is packed securely and safely. This means removing any batteries, carrying them in your carry-on luggage, and filling the drone in a sturdy, protective case.

You don’t want your drone to get damaged during transport, and you don’t want to risk having any loose batteries confiscated by customs.

Can You Bring a Drone to Kenya?
Kilimanjaro mountain

Finally, be honest with the customs officers. Declare your drone and any other electronics you may be carrying, and answer any questions they may have truthfully and politely. Remember, the customs officers are just doing their job to keep everyone safe.

If you follow these tips and stay calm and polite, you should have no problem getting your drone through customs in Kenya.

How much is spent to get the temporary drone permit in Kenya?

The cost of getting a temporary drone permit in Kenya varies based on the duration of the license and the type of drone operation you plan to undertake.

For a temporary drone permit valid for 30 days, the fee is 20,000 Kenyan Shillings (approximately $180). With the cost, you might also need to provide some other taxes and other service fees.

However, please remember that these fees are subject to change, and additional fees or requirements may depend on your specific drone operation.

Can You Bring a Drone to Kenya?
African Savanna in Kenya

To ensure you have the most accurate and up-to-date information, it is always best to check with the KCAA or a local drone operator in Kenya.

How to get a drone permit in Kenya?

This question is especially answered for the nationals of Kenya and is not for the people outside of Kenya. So there is a process for the Kenyan people to get a drone permit.

  • Complete the application form: You can download the drone permit application form from the KCAA website or obtain a physical copy from their office. You’ll need to fill out the form with your personal information, drone specifications, and the purpose of your drone operation.
  • Submit required documents: Along with the application form, you must submit a copy of your drone’s registration certificate, proof of insurance coverage, and a valid ID or passport.
  • Pay the fee: Once your application is complete, you must pay the appropriate price for your temporary drone permit. The cost varies depending on the duration of the license of operation you plan to undertake with your drone. As mentioned, the fees range from 2,000 to 20,000 Kenyan Shillings (approximately $18 to $180).
Can You Bring a Drone to Kenya?
Masai tribe silhouetted at dawn Kenya.
  • Await approval: After submitting your application and payment, the KCAA will review your application and notify you if any additional information or documents are needed. Once your permit is approved, you’ll receive a copy of your permit via email.

It’s worth noting that the KCAA also has specific requirements for drone weight and size and restrictions on where and when you can fly your drone. To avoid issues with your permit application, adhere to these regulations and provide all required documentation.

How to register your drone in Kenya?

Registering a drone is not for foreigners to Kenya as foreign drone operators cannot fly their drones locally in Kenya and will need to get a special permit. So below is the process for drone registration for Kenyans.

Here’s what you’ll need to do to register your drone:

Complete the registration form: You can download the drone registration form from the KCAA website or obtain a physical copy from their office. You must complete the form with your personal information, drone specifications, and proof of ownership.

Submit required documents: Along with the registration form, you’ll need to submit a copy of your national ID or passport, proof of ownership, and a certificate of airworthiness issued by a certified aviation expert.

Can You Bring a Drone to Kenya?
Tourist balloon in Mara Kenya

Pay the fee: Once your registration form and documents are complete, you must pay the appropriate price for your drone registration. The cost varies depending on the type of drone and its weight.

For drones weighing less than 25 kilograms, the fee is 3,000 Kenyan Shillings (approximately $27), and commercial drone pilots will need to pay more.

Await approval: After submitting your registration form and payment, the KCAA will review your application and notify you if additional information or documents are needed. Once your drone is registered, you’ll receive a registration certificate via email.

It’s important to note that registration is mandatory for all drones operating in Kenya. Failure to register your drone can result in fines or even legal action. So make sure you adhere to these regulations and provide all required documentation.

Can you fly your drone in Massai Mara National Park?

No, flying a drone in the Maasai Mara National Reserve is strictly prohibited by the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS). Using drones in the park is considered a disturbance to wildlife and can be dangerous to animals and visitors.

The KWS aims to protect the natural habitat of wildlife and preserve their natural behavior, which can be easily disturbed by the noise and presence of drones. Therefore, flying a drone in the Maasai Mara National Reserve can result in hefty fines and legal action.

Can You Bring a Drone to Kenya?
Nairobi skyline Panorama Kenya

However, in some areas in Kenya, drones are allowed to fly, subject to obtaining necessary permits and adhering to regulations. It is essential to check with the relevant authorities and obtain proper permits before flying a drone in any location in Kenya to avoid getting into any legal trouble.

What are the beautiful places to fly a drone in Kenya?

Many excellent places to fly a drone in Kenya offer breathtaking aerial views and unique perspectives. Kenya’s best drone-flying areas include the Rift Valley, home to stunning landscapes and scenic vistas.

The vast expanse of the valley offers ample space to fly a drone and capture some stunning shots of the surrounding mountains, lakes, and grasslands.

Another great place to fly a drone in Kenya is along the coastline, where you can capture incredible footage of the Indian Ocean and the beautiful beaches.

The coastline is dotted with small fishing villages, palm trees, and coral reefs, making an excellent backdrop for aerial photography. During the annual migration season, you can also capture fantastic shots of marine wildlife like dolphins, turtles, and even humpback whales.

Just make sure to obtain the necessary permits and follow the rules and regulations set by the authorities to ensure a safe and enjoyable flying experience.

Can You Bring a Drone to Kenya?
Kenya Africa safari

Important FAQs

What is a Kenya drone temporary permit, and how can I obtain one?

A temporary Kenya drone permit is issued by the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA), allowing you to operate a drone in Kenya for a limited period. To obtain a temporary license, you must fill out an application form and submit it to the KCAA, along with the required documents and fees.

What is the price of a drone license in Kenya?

Drone license prices can vary depending on the drone type. So you will need to ensure you know what your drone is. According to my research, a drone license can cost about twenty thousand Kenyan shellings.

Where can I buy drones in Kenya?

You can buy drones in Kenya from various online and offline stores. Popular online stores such as Jumia, Kilimall, and Masoko offer a wide range of drones at competitive prices. You can also find drones at physical stores such as electronics retailers and camera shops in major cities like Nairobi and Mombasa.

How much does a drone cost in Kenya?

The cost of a drone in Kenya depends on the type, features, and specifications. Entry-level drones can be found for as low as KES 10,000 (approximately $90), while professional-grade drones can cost upwards of KES 500,000 (roughly $4,500) or more.

Can I buy drones in Kenya from Jumia?

Yes, Jumia is one of the largest online stores in Kenya and offers a wide selection of drones from various brands and price ranges.

How can I get a drone license in Kenya?

To get a drone license in Kenya, you must complete a training course from a KCAA-approved training organization, pass a written exam, and submit your application for a Remote Pilot License (RPL) to the KCAA. You must also provide the required documents and pay the necessary fees.

Are military drones used in Kenya?

The Kenyan military has been known to use drones for surveillance and other military operations.

Is drone insurance available in Kenya?

Yes, drone insurance is available in Kenya from various insurance companies. It is recommended to have insurance to cover any potential damages or liabilities that may arise from operating a drone in Kenya.
Can You Bring a Drone to Kenya?
Turtle Beach Watamu Kenya

Final Thoughts

Kenya is one of the most beautiful places. To fly your drone in Kenya as a foreigner, you must get special permission from the KCAA. If you are a resident of Kenya, you can get a permit and license from the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority.

If you have any other queries, can you bring a drone to Kenya? Then you can ask in the comments box because I am ready to answer them.

What did you learn from the article: Can you bring a drone to Kenya?

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