Kenya Wildlife Service Safari Card

  1. What is the Safari card system?

This is an electronic ticketing system used at KWS by its visitors to enable them get access to selected National Parks and for services like camping in these parks.

  1. What is the difference between a Smartcard and Safari card?

The Smartcard was the initial electronic based ticketing system, which has since been overhauled in favour of the Safari card. The Safari card system provides a one-stop-shop as the Point Of Issue and Point Of Sale are merged.

  1. What are the types of Safari card issued?
  • Personalized cards: These are issued to customers who want to enjoy the conveniences of loading value to their cards prior to visiting the park. The card is issued at a one-off administrative fee of KES 1,000 only. Replacement of a spoilt or lost card will be done at the same cost.
  • Temporary cards: These are issued to one-off park visitors. Visitors have to visit the respective park headquarters on the day of visiting to be issued a card(s) and value topped up for the visit and, the card is surrendered at the gate when exiting the park. The card expires 24 hours after issue.
  1. How does the Safari card work?

The card is issued and loaded with money at the Point of Issue (POI)/Point of Sale (POS) and deducted at the park entrance Point of Access (POA).

  1. Which parks use the Safari card system?

Safari cards are used to gain access to Nairobi, Amboseli, Tsavo East, Tsavo West, Lake Nakuru, Aberdare and Malindi Marine National Parks.All other parks use the paper ticket system. These include Hells Gate, Meru, Mt Kenya, Marsabit, Oldonyo Sabuk, Mwea, Ruma, Saiwa Swamp, Kisumu Impala, Kakamega, South Turkana, Mt. Longonot, Mt. Elgon, Kora, Sibiloi, Central & Southern Island, Shimba Hills, Chyullu, Ndere Island, Kisite Mpunguti, Kiunga, Watamu and Mombasa Marine.

  1. What form of identification is needed and accepted when making payments?
  • Citizens: National ID & Valid Kenyan Passport. Driving license, military and employee’s IDs are not acceptable.
  • Residents: Passport - stamped with valid work Permit Number, Alien Certificate, Alien Card, Diplomatic Card – stamped by Ministry of Immigration or Finance.
  1. What hours do the Point of Issue (POI) and Point of Sale (POS) operate?

The Point of Issue (POI)/Point of Sale (POS) offices operate from 6:00 am – 6:00 pm every day of the week

  1. Where are the Point of Issue (POI)/ Point of Sale (POS) offices located?

I.Nairobi National Park- Main Gate and East Gate

II.Lake Nakuru National Park- Main Gate

III.Aberdare National Park- Mweiga Gate (Park Headquarters)

IV.Amboseli National Park- Iremito Gate

V.Tsavo East National Park- Voi Gate

VI.Tsavo West National Park- Mtito Gate

VII.Malindi- Malindi Marine Park Headquarters

VIII.Mombasa- Mombasa Marine Park Headquarters

  1. When does the Safari card expire?

The temporary safari card expires within 24 hours and is surrendered at the gate then leaving the park. The citizen-personalized safari cards do not expire but those of residents are renewed annually at Ksh 1,000 per card.

  1. What do I do if I lose my personalized Safari card?

Contact KWS headquarters Safari card office, request for the card to be blocked to prevent illegal/unauthorized usage. Replacement cost of Ksh. 1,000 applies.

  1. Can I get a guide at the park gate?

Visitors in need of a guide are advised to make arrangements with the park prior to their visit. However, one can get guide facilities at the park gate. This is will, however, attract charges above the park entry fee.

  1. Does KWS offer discounts or group rates?

All KWS prices are gazetted. No discounts or group rates can thus be offered.

  1. If not all the car seats are occupied do, I have to pay as per the vehicle maximum capacity?

Vehicle fees are applicable according to the number of seats per car.



Payments or deposits are accepted in cash or as cheques. Equivalent value is then recorded into the electronic microchip on the card. This process is referred to as topping up the card or loading money into the card.

In a nutshell the system: controls and debits (deducts) the different fee rates according to the service provided; records information on each visitor based on the type, place, date, and time of top-up, entry and exit; detects overstays and mis-payments; transfers data automatically to a central database; generates statistics and reports; enables reconciliation of money collected from tills with that deposited in bank accounts; tracks anomalies detected in the field; and allows hot-listing of cards held by individuals and tour operators who/which do not comply with KWS rules and regulations.