TRAVEL TIPS, HEALTH, WHAT TO BRING, WEATHER, VISA & PHOTOGRAPHIC AND OPTICS ADVICE
Get Travel Insurance for Tanzania, Uganda & Kenya & check that the cover is appropriate for all your Travel.
Check what vaccinations you need at least 6 weeks before you go & consider whether you need to take extra health precautions. Get a good travel guidebook and get to know your destinations and local laws & customs. Ensure you have a valid passport and the necessary Visas.
SPECIFIC HEALTH ISSUES:
All travelers should visit either their personal physician or a travel health clinic 4-8 weeks before departure. Malaria: Malaria A Prophylaxis with Lariam (mefloquine), Malarone (atovaquone/proguanil), or doxycycline is recommended for all areas at altitudes less than 1800 m.
We suggest you consult your local doctor or health department for information on malaria prophylactics and the latest health precautions. If you are on prescription medication, please ensure you have an adequate supply to last the duration of your stay and a copy of your prescription(s). However, Camps and Lodges have a doctor on call who is experienced with common travel related ailments usually and all beds have mosquito nets.
Polio : One-time booster recommended for any adult traveler who completed the childhood series but never had polio vaccine as an adult
Yellow fever : Recommended for travelers arriving from a yellow-fever-infected country
Hepatitis A : Recommended for all travelers
Typhoid : Recommended for all travelers
Hepatitis B : Recommended for all travelers
Rabies : For travelers spending a lot of time outdoors, or at high risk for animal bites, or involved in any activities that might bring them into direct contact with bats
Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) : Two doses recommended for all travelers born after 1956, if not previously given
Tetanus-diphtheria : Revaccination recommended every 10 years
It is recommended that you consult your local doctor for clarification on all health related issues before you commence your journey.
Kenya Visa: All travelers to Kenya must have current passports valid for more than 60 days after the expected departure date from Africa. A visa is required and costs $51 and a Transit visa costs $21. The visa can be obtained through a Kenya embassy in advance of your trip or upon arrival at the airport or online at Kenya http://evisa.go.ke/evisa.html, Tanzania evisa https://eservices.immigration.go.tz/visa/, Uganda evisa https://visas.immigration.go.ug/
Temperatures and climate vary drastically from region to region and even throughout a single day. Basically the traveller should come prepared for hot, cold, wet and dusty conditions. Packing requires some careful thought and consideration.
Subdued safari colours such as khaki, green, beige and neutral colours (dark blue and black clothing is not practical during game drives but can be worn at the lodges)
- Shirts with long sleeves for a chilly evening and even in summer: as protection from the sun & mosquitoes
- Golf shirt/T shirts
- Shorts or light skirts
- (Safari) trousers for evenings and cooler days
- A fleece or thick sweater is recommended for early morning and evening game drives & for use at the
- Lightweight waterproof jacket
- Swim and beachwear (Swimming pools available at each lodge).
- Comfortable walking shoes (running/tennis shoes are fine).
A good quality pair of sunglasses (tinted fashion glasses are not good in strong light),
If you wear contact lenses, bring enough solution & a pair of glasses in case your eyes get irritated.
Bring very casual summer clothes that are easily laundered and dry quickly. Visitors on safari have traditionally worn olive, tan or other neutral colors. These clothes reflect the heat, don’t show the inevitable safari dust, and do not stand out when you are trying to look inconspicuous on a game drive. With cool temperatures in the early morning and evening, layering is the best approach. Laundry service is available in most places so you can replenish your supply of clean clothing, as you need it. Much of the time on safari is spent in a Jeep Land Cruiser so lightweight and comfortable walking shoes are appropriate. Hiking boots are not necessary. The style in Africa is casual, even in the evening. Smart casual dressing may be required in some of the hotels at dinner time. Don’t forget to pack a swimsuit and cover-up, as most of the properties have lovely pools.
PHOTOGRAPHIC AND OPTICS ADVICE
A good camera with zoom function.
We recommend you bring plenty of memory cards/film and batteries. A dustproof bag ensures your camera is safe from the dust whilst on safari. 300 mm lenses are adequate for wildlife photography.
A pair of binoculars will enhance your game viewing experience and although your guide will have pairs available to use, you may wish to bring your own.
Please don’t forget to ask permission before taking a photograph of any East African resident. There could be a charge for this.
CREDIT CARDS :
Credit cards Kenya: Most major credit cards (MasterCard, Visa and American Express) are widely accepted. Diner’s Card is not generally accepted.
Credit cards Tanzania: Most top hotels and lodges around the country accept Visa and MasterCard. In addition to credit cards, clients are advised to bring US dollars/Euros/ English Sterling Pounds.
Kenya Roads : All major roads are tarmacked. The surface of lesser roads usually vary. Many roads within the National Parks and reserves are rough and bumpy, though are still quite navigable.
Tanzania Roads : Most of the highways are tarmacked. Road conditions in reserves and parks are rough and bumpy though very navigable.
Uganda Roads : Most of them are tarmacked. Road conditions in reserves and parks are rough and bumpy though very navigable.
SAFARI ACCOMMODATION :
Each of the Safari packages have carefully chosen hotels, camps and lodges which add to the flavor and romance of your program. They are comfortable and relatively luxurious. On safari we will encounter a variety of accommodation options. Luxury lodges blend nicely with the landscape and have rooms with all amenities you would expect from a good hotel, such as private rooms with hot running water, toilet and shower inside your room. Tented camps are on permanent foundations and have en-suite bathrooms.
The amenities can include hot water bottles to warm your bed before you turn in. Swimming pools are available in most safari camps and lodges.
The voltage is 220 – 240 as in Europe; however, the plugs are different than those in North America or most parts of Europe. As outlets may vary, we suggest you travel with a variety of international adapter plugs as well as a voltage converter, which may be purchased as a set. The most commonly used adapter plug has 3 square prongs.
It is important to note that lodges in the game parks may turn off their generators during the day and late at night, meaning that no electricity is available. Plan ahead to recharge your phones, gadgets, and video camera batteries at applicable times of the day, or carry extra batteries.
Kenya and Tanzania are year-round destination with delightful temperatures and plenty of sunshine. Although East Africa is on the equator, only on the coast is the weather tropical. Most safaris are at moderate altitudes where the days are warm and the evenings cool. The humidity is low and daytime temperatures range from 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Except at the highest elevations, it rarely drops below 50 degrees at night. July and August are the coolest months, with highs in the 70’s. The warmest months are December to March with highs in the 80’s. The principal rains occur for approximately three weeks during April. Shorter rains usually take place in late October and early November. Travel is possible during the rains. Because you will be near the equator and at an altitude of several thousand feet above sea level, it is easy to sunburn very quickly. It is wise to limit your exposure to the sun or also carry a sunscreen lotion or cream.
Guests should exercise the same common sense as one would in their country. Normal care and sensible precautions should be taken. Please do not leave cash, jewelry or travelers cheques and portable gadgets unattended in hotel rooms. Every lodge or hotel has a safe deposit facility for your valuables. As a precautionary measure, do not wear flashy jewelry, or leave handbags and photographic equipment unattended in public places.
Attractive, inexpensive baskets, copper jewellery, batik cloth, beads, carvings, Kenya coffee and tea are all for sale in the shops and markets of Nairobi and Tanzania. Boutiques sell fine art and handicrafts, gemstones and jewellery, including a locally mined semiprecious stone called tanzanite.
Most popular are items carved from wood, which range from small trinkets such as animal head salad spoons and letter openers, to world-class ebony sculpture. Carved soapstone from napkin rings and candlesticks to complete chess sets, are also attractive. Bags woven from sisal and baobab are available in myriad colors, sizes, styles and shapes much more artistic and unique than those reaching the US Market.
East African artisans have responded to the increasing appreciation of tribal artifacts with a variety of stunning original pieces and faithful reproductions: drums, headrests, stools, shields, and beaded necklaces and belts from various parts of the region. Some of the most prized pieces feature elaborately worked silver, malachite and amber beads. We suggest that you take all goods you purchase with you as shipping and duty cost may easily exceed the cost of the item. When purchasing large pieces, if you must have the items shipped, please note that freight can run into many hundreds of dollars.