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An NSF funded program

Advanced Studies Institute on Water Quality and Harmful Algal blooms in lake victoria, Kenya

Program Guidelines

Document needs for U.S. participants

This program will take place in Kisumu, Kenya, on the shores of Lake Victoria.

1) Passport: You will need a valid and up-to-date passport that will not expire within six months of entering Kenya. Your passport is your responsibility.

2) Visa: Participants will need to obtain a visa for Kenya (and any other country they are planning to travel (see "other travel")). The program will cover the costs of your visa and help guide you in getting your visa. More information to come soon. 

3) International Certificate of Vaccination or "Yellow Card". This will be provided by your international medical provider and demonstrates the vaccines you have had (e.g. Yellow Fever). See more in "Vaccines and Medical" section below.


4) Proof of COVID-19 vaccination. This will either be an individual card provided to you by the vaccination site where you recieved your shot, or the information could be on your "Yellow Card". 

5) Negative COVID-19 test that will be valid for 96 hours for arrival in Nairobi airport. 

To obtain your Visa:

Your visa will be reimbursed by the program. Please note that prior to beginning your visa, you will need electronic copies of your

  • passport cover

  • passport bio page

  • yellow card immunizations (specifically showing Yellow Fever)

  • passport photo. 

Step 1: Go to: 

Step 2: Create an Account

Step 3: Fill out forms with your information



Section 8. Travel Information

Part a. Reason for Applicant Travel: Select "Tourism"

Part d. Host details: Select "Hotel"

Part e. Full name and physical address of the Host: 

Part f. Host telephone number: 

Part g. Host email: 

Part h. Applicant arrives by: Air

Part I. Select Point of Entry: JKAI Nairobi

     2a) If you do not plan on traveling beyond this program, obtain a single-entry visa (the program covers this cost)

     2b) If you plan to travel to other African countries, and return to Kenya, you will need to obtain a multi-entry visa (the program covers the cost of a Kenya, single-entry visa only) and visas for any other countries you plan on traveling to 

  • All Vaccines and medical prophlaxis (including malaria) and associated costs are the participant's responsibility.

  • The below are guidelines, please get expert advice from health professionals regarding international travel heatlh.

1) Vaccines required to enter Kenya

  • Yellow Fever (You will not be able to enter Kenya (or East Africa) without Yellow Fever inoculation).

2) Vaccines you should have or have updated for traveling abroad


  • Hepatitis A

  • Hepatitis B

  • Typhoid

  • Cholera

  • Rabies

  • Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR)

  • TDAP (Tetanus, Diphtheria & Pertussis)

  • Chickenpox

  • Influenza

  • Polio

3) Malarial prophylaxes (anti-malarials)

  • Taking oral malaria prophylaxes is required for participants of the program. 

  • Note that daily (as opposed to weekly) malaria prophylaxes are recommended

Vaccine and Medical

Please check with your health care provider and/or an international travel clinic to determine all health aspects of traveling to East Africa.

Travel Itinerary and Agenda 

Program Travel

The participants of the 2023 program will travel as a group. Specific flight details, including departure date are still being determined. Please be prepared to depart on June [TBD]. The general itinerary will include one of the following routes:

1) Detroit --> JFK (New York) --> Nairobi --> Kisumu 

2) Detroit --> Amsterdam --> Nairobi --> Kisumu

Participants will need to get themselves to the starting point at Detroit Metro Airport

June 16 (North American participants):

  • Participants will travel and meet at Detroit airport (DTW) - or a European Destination

  • Depart DTW, Flight #, 0:00am

June 17: 

  • Arrive NBO 

  • Flight or Bus to Kisumu

June 18 (All Participants):

  • Arrive Kisumu

June 19 to July 5:

  • General program

July 6:

  • Travel to Nairobi (North American participants)

  • Depart for home (All)

July 7 (North American Particpants):

  • Depart NBO

July 8:

  • Arrive North American destinations

Program Lodging

Program participants will switch between the field excursion on the research vessel in Lake Victoria and land-based hotel. While land-based, participants will stay at the Vittoria Suites hotel, Kisumu.  

Airport Codes:

DTW - Detroit Metro Airport, Michigan

FRA - Frankfurt Airport, Germany

AMS - Schiphol Airport,  Amsterdam

NBO - Jomo Kenyatta International Airport - Nairobi

Post-Program Travel

All travel beyond the programs outlined travel is strictly at the behest of the participant. No coverage or responsibility from the program will pertain to the participants beyond the program.

There are many opportunities to explore one of the greatest regions on earth, including nearby Uganda and Tanzania, the shores and islands of Lake Victoria, Zanzibar, and the National Parks system: Serengeti, Murchison Falls, Maasai Mara, Queen Elizabeth, Ngorongoro, and hundreds more. Traveling to any of these countries or places will require more resources (malaria prophylaxes) and visas (if traveling outside of Kenya). Each time you exit and enter Kenya (or the other countries) will require an additional visa or an initially obtained multi-entry visa. Again, this program will only cover a single-entry visa into Kenya. 

Cultural Expectations

Statement of Culture and Behavior:


This program was created by members of the scientific community who understand that the stewardship of our planet is the responsibility of people all around the world. Addressing complex global issues requires the active inclusion of stakeholders with varying perspectives and identities. We recognize that to successfully address threats to our natural world, we must look beyond social constructs. Just as we value biodiversity in all of its forms, we value and engage with a multitude of diverse perspectives and people where we work.

Please realize that, though this is not specifically a cultural exchange program, being in a different country allows a wonderful and unique exposure to potentially, vastly different beliefs and boundaries than you might not be used to in your home community. It is expected of all participants to be considerate of such differences, even if contrary to their own beliefs or way of life. 

Additionally, we believe that your beliefs are just as important and will work together for mutual understanding.

ReligionThe majority of Kenyans identify as Christian (82.1% of the population) and it is the most dominant religion and is an influential force in the country. Religion plays an important role in the life of most Kenyans. Many people will visit their place of worship both to practice their religion and to socialise with friends, family and acquaintances. 

Though North America has one of the highest rates of Christianity, there is a very large range of beliefs and understanding. Christianity is does not have an overarching societal role as it does in Kenya.

This is all to say that among topics to be aware and sensitive about is religion and the role it plays, or does not play, in participants lives in this program. 

Clothing - With January verging on the hottest time of the year, it is important to ensure you wear comfortable clothing. Though it is hot, it is advisable to respect the culture and traditions in the country. Tight and revealing clothing (e.g. shorts, mini-skirts, etc) are not common among the local population. Lighter cotton clothing is advisable and will also help with sun protection.  

Internet Connectivity - Most places we will stay in Kisumu have internet connectivity (or it is available through purchasing "air time"). If you bring electronic devises (computers, phones) with internet connectivity, you will be able to communicate through the usual virtual means (email, video conferencing, voice, etc). There will likely be no to little connectivity when on the ship or in the field.

Forget Something? - Especially in Nairobi and Kisumu, you can buy pretty much anything you need. Between the local markets and other shopping areas, you can get clothing, shoes, toiletries, notebooks, etc. 

Travel Considerations
Other travel
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