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Passport and visas
Your Kenyan SFA
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British Forces Post Office (BFPO)
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Before leaving the UK for BATUK you are advised to make sure you have some additional passport size photos. Scan and then electronically store copies of personal documents such as:
- passport photo page
- completed Certificate of Medical Fitness form
- completed New Patient Registration Form
- any documents for exporting your vehicle
- any other completed forms/documents that you feel may be useful
You will fill in and send off many forms before leaving the UK; however, not all documents make it to their intended final destination and may need to be repeated when you arrive at BATUK.
Check them today!
You are responsible for ensuring that all passports are valid.
Everybody travelling must have a passport that is valid for at least the first six months of your posting. If you don’t, a new passport will be supplied for free from your soldier’s current unit.
Each dependant also needs a single entry visa – follow the instructions in the family pack which you should have received. Don’t have yours yet? Contact AFF’s Kenya Co-ordinator for more info at firstname.lastname@example.org
Travel arrangements cannot be booked until you submit a copy of your call forward notice from BATUK DIO; your soldier must contact BATUK DIO with his/her assignment order.
Depending on allocation, your SFA will either be a ‘stand-alone’, gated property or within a gated estate. In both cases either your estate or property will be guarded 24/7 by G4S employees.
All SFA are fully furnished; contact DIO and the QMs department if you wish the issues furniture to be removed; however, you will need to consider if you can fit your own furniture into your shipping allowance, arrange extra shipping or buy your own furniture once in Kenya.
Your SFA will be alarmed giving you the highest security and peace of mind.
BFBS is provided in all SFAs – DSTV (the equivalent of Sky in the UK) is also available to purchase.
Most families are posted are posted to Nanyuki; there are currently around 50 families based there. The BATUK community is relatively small with a relaxed and friendly feel to it. Families are very supportive and you can choose to be as involved with community life as you wish.
Your SFA move-in will allow you to review and sign off the SFA furniture and ‘get you in pack’ (basic kitchen items that are on loan to you until your personal belongings arrive).
You will be met at your new SFA by a Housing Officer and a rep from the QMs department; a rep from G4S will also be present to show you how to use the safe and set house alarms. Depending on availability, the Unit Welfare Officer (UWO) may also be there to meet you.
Note: the Welfare Officer conducts an arrival brief once a month for any new families.
All BATUK children aged 4-11 years go to Braeburn Nanyuki International School (BNIS), a lovely school with around one hundred children from reception to year 6; BNIS hopes to offer year 7 & 8 from September 2015. Each year groups tends to be one class with up to 15 children in that class.
All children from crèche to year 6 wear the school uniform; some uniform is available from the school suppliers in Nairobi and the rest from Nanyuki – BNIS will provide further details and an order form.
As soon as you know you are posted to Kenya, contact the school for more information and an application pack.
Braeburn Garden Estate School in Nairobi takes children from age 4-19 and follows the UK GCSE curriculum; for children aged 16-19 years, there is an International Baccalaureate offered at the school.
There are no secondary schools in Nanyuki that are CEAS approved so children aged nine and up board here Monday to Friday; transport is provided by BATUK for the three hour journey.
Because of this arrangement, some parents choose to put their children into a UK boarding school instead. You will be entitled to three Service Children’s Visits (SCV) per year – these flights are subsidised by the MOD but not necessarily fully paid for.
From the aged of 2 and a half to four year, children in BATUK can go to the crèche and nursery at BNIS; they have separate classrooms and a playing area away from the rest of the school.
There is also a Montessori nursery in Nanyuki for young children up to five years. It is good value at around 500ksh per day, including lunch, and is open all year round - even in the school holidays.
The Chocolate Factory is another nursery which also caters for children up to the age of five years. Also costing 500ksh per day, the nursery offers a comprehensive schedule of activities for children during the holidays.
After school clubs
BNIS is increasing the number of after school clubs all the time – currently it offers dance, taekwondo, swimming and LAMDA (acting, dance and music); your child can also learn an instrument or having singing lessons.
There is a small charge associated with all after school and music lessons.
If a member of your family has an additional medical or learning need, this will be assessed before departing for Kenya and you will need to register according to AGAI 108 so that your family is supported, both by housing and the medical centre.
For more information on AGAI 108, click here.
There are limited additional medical and learning resources in Kenya and it may be that, on this basis, your posting may have to be cancelled.
Please ensure your Unit Medical Officer is aware of any additional medical needs as soon as possible before departing the UK.
It’s highly recommended you buy a car on arrival in Kenya or ship a vehicle over from the UK. There is no safe/reliable public transport in Nairobi or Nanyuki. Using a taxi can become very expensive for everyday/long distance travel.
You are not advised to buy a car from a Kenyan car garage as they are very expensive. Instead, you could purchase a car before you depart the UK or even buy on arrival from another BATUK family who are leaving Kenya.
You can bring your car with you as long as it is less than seven years old and in good condition. A 4X4 is recommended to cope with the many dirt roads in Kenya.
To drive in Kenya you must sit the Kenyan matrix test (a Kenyan driving theory test) soon after arrival. This can be booked through the MTO in BATUK.
Driving is on the left hand side and main roads are tarmac but have many pot holes – most side roads are dirt which becomes very slippery after the rains.
Driving at night is not advised in Nanyuki as there is no street lighting and poor road surfaces; driving between Nairobi and Nanyuki is restricted to daylight hours.
Note: a high level of awareness is needed when driving in Kenya due to frequent unexpected manoeuvres from other drivers!
You are advised to start the vaccination process as early as possible, as some courses of vaccinations can take weeks to complete.
For up-to-date advice on vaccinations needed for Kenya go to: www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk
BATUK has a medical centre in NSG (Nanyuki Show Ground) staffed by two GPs and a military nurse.
There is also a small clinic in Kifaru Barracks, Nairobi. This is staffed by a medical liaison officer and an assistant medical liaison officer.
There is a limited dental service, provided by a local dentist in Nairobi and a local physiotherapy service provided once every fortnight for those referred by the BATUK medical centre.
If you are on long-term medication, you are advised to contact BATUK Senior Medical Officer (SMO CHECK THIS) to inform them and bring at least six months’ supply of medication with you as it can take up to eight weeks or longer to receive specific pharmaceutical items from the UK.
There is no equivalent of the UK 999 service; ALL families posted to BATUK are insured for rescue cover with private ambulance provider, AAR.
The AAR card entitles you to emergency rescue and transfer from anywhere in Kenya to the approved hospitals in Nairobi where military medical services will be available.
To use the card, call the 24hr number (given on the card) and give the operator your membership number explaining that you are a member of BATUK; an ambulance will then be dispatched from Nairobi.
You must have this card in place as soon as possible after you arrive in Kenya; telephone advice can be given by the BATUK duty medical team if required.
Families posted to Kenya may bring pets if they wish.
Your pets will fly into JKIA (Nairobi International airport).
There is currently no quarantine requirement but your pet will require a passport. For the latest information, please visit the DEFRA website.
All family members, regardless of age, will require an ID card; your BATUK ID card will be issued to you soon after your arrival. You will need to present this when entering and leaving both Kifaru Barracks in Nairobi (BATUK rear) and NSG (Nanyuki Show Ground, BATUK main).
You are entitled to allowances such as Get You Home (Overseas) Allowance and Local Overseas Allowance (LOA) while in Kenya. These allowances are designed to offset some of the extra costs of living abroad as a family.
LOA recognises the amount by which average day-to-day living costs in a particular overseas location differ from those in the UK and takes into account the differences in local lifestyle where appropriate. It isn't a financial incentive for overseas service or a second income supplement. LOA is calculated by comparing the costs of a wide range of goods and services with similar ones in the UK.
We don't publish details of the allowances available because they are renewed regularly and there is a danger of providing you with out of date information. Please contact us at email@example.com and we will get back to you with the most recent rates.
The LOA rates for Kenya are scheduled to be updated in November 2015.
It is advisable to bring cheque books as well as a UK chip and pin credit/debit card(s). Chip and pin cards can be used at British Forces Post Offices in Nairobi and Nanyuki to withdraw Kenyan shillings (KES); the amount will be debited from UK account at the GAR (general accounting rate - often the best exchange rate with no commission charges).
You can also cash a UK cheque at the BFPOs if you prefer; please note that cheques can take between six to eight weeks to clear from your bank account.
It is unlikely that you will need a vast amount of KES on arrival; however, you may wish to bring some with you to purchase refreshments from the airport for your onward journey to BATUK which is around three hours.
Note: if you have not obtained your entry visa before leaving the UK, you will need either £30 or 5,000KES to pay for this on arrival at Nairobi airport.
KES can be purchased at most foreign exchange shops in the UK; however, it is a much better exchange rate once you are in BATUK.
- Camp supplies, based in Nairobi, sell a huge choice of alcohol, toiletries etc. Prices are good and they stock well-known brands. They offer a good service and usually, once your order is placed, within a few days your items arrive in camp for you to collect. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for joining instructions.
- Farmer’s Choice offers a good choice of products such as meat, fish, pet food etc. They take email orders on Tuesday for a Friday delivery, and Friday for a Tuesday delivery and come direct to your home collecting cash payment on delivery. Contact MGichoya@farmerschoice.co.ke
There is a BFPO in both Kifaru Camp Nairobi (BATUK rear) and NSG (Nanyuki Show Ground, BATUK main) which provide normal BFPO facilities; airmail letters to and from the UK take five days and parcels ten days.
The correct postal address is:
Your solder’s number Rank Name
BFPO 10 (for Nairobi) and BFPO 680 (for Nanyuki)
Do not put Kenya in the address as this will cause unnecessary delays to your mail and may incur a cost.
For more information regarding any aspect of your posting to Kenya, contact our AFF Kenya Co-ordinator email@example.com