Safari Checklist and Important Travel Information
We want your African safari to be safe for everyone, so we have put together a safari checklist to follow. Look it over and you should feel more comfortable when you depart.
Before You Leave
It’s better to be safe….
First, be sure to take precautions against malaria. Check your doctor or public health service for the right prophylaxis. Start taking your tablets before you depart. Yellow fever, hepatitis, and tetanus vaccinations are also recommended. Again, check with your doctor. We have taken the above regimen for years with excellent results.
We have been informed that Kenya and Tanzania are strictly enforcing Yellow Fever vaccinations. Please be sure you have proof that you have complied with their requirement.
For further information click wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/kenya.htm
❑ Health insurance
Check with your insurance agent to determine if you are covered in foreign countries. If not, it may be wise to purchase a special policy to cover you through this trip or purchase travel insurance.
❑ Travel Insurance
This type insurance covers trip cancellation or interruption, medical coverage while traveling, emergency medical evacuation and protection against baggage loss, theft or damage.
Valid passports are needed in all countries. Kenya insists your passport be valid at least 6 months after departing the country.
Required for Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and, if you are visiting Victoria Falls, Zambia and Zimbabwe and South Africa. For Kenya, please see http://www.kenyaembassy.com. All information and applications are located at this site. For a Tanzanian visa, www.tanzaniaconsul.com/visa.html
.For Uganda, go to Uganda.com. Additional information may be obtained at http://www.zimbabwe-embassy.us/ , http://www.zambiaembassy.org, or http://www.saembassy.org.
❑ What to Bring: Travel Light!
Some safaris/air charters limit baggage to 33 lbs per person. Baggage space in vehicles is limited so it is advisable that you use soft bags or soft suitcases.
Summer clothing is worn throughout the year although, at times, a light jacket or raincoat may be necessary on dawn or dusk safaris. A sweater also comes in handy
On safari, wear neutral clothes, grey, beige or khaki—bright colors may alarm the animals. Sensible walking shoes or sneakers are also recommended.
Casual wear is the norm during the safari. If you sun burn, easily, we suggest you wear long sleeves and, of course, a hat. In some hotels and restaurants, particularly in the cities, men may be required to wear a jacket and tie (very rare). Sunglasses and that hat plus swimsuits and sandals should be packed for the pool or beach.
Laundry service is available at most lodges so you don’t have to bring large amounts of clothing.
❑ Other Considerations
Don’t forget the camera, camcorder and a plentiful supply of spare batteries. Sunburn lotion, mosquito repellent, lip balm, a small flashlight, anti-diarrhea medicine, general antibiotics, aspirin, anti-histamine tablets and band-aids are also suggested. If you are taking prescribed medicines, please ensure that you have an adequate supply for the duration of your trip.
❑ For the Children You Meet on Your Journey
Books, pencils, crayons and candy are very welcome as gifts to the children of the local villages that you may pass or visit while on safari.
Once You Have Arrived
After you have passed through customs and retrieved your luggage you will be met by our representative and escorted to your hotel where you will be briefed on your safari. Here are some additional bits of information you may find helpful:
The weather is great! With the equator located near Mt Kenya and the high altitude of both countries, you will be comfortable all-year round. Kenya’s average daily high is in the 70s with the lows in the high 50s. Tanzania has a dry comfortable daily average in the 80s and lows in the 60s. Both countries have moderate rainfall with April and parts of May plus November considered the rainy seasons. Uganda and Rwanda have temperate climates with rainy seasons from February to April and November to January. Botswana has a rainy season from December through March. The rainfall is relatively light.
No matter what type safari you select you will stay in luxurious lodges and tented camps, all with private bathrooms and showers. You’ll “rough it” on certain treks or mountain climbs but there will be private toilet tents available.
If there is a single person in your party who occupies a room, he or she will be charged a single supplement for the use of that room.
❑ Flying Doctors
These famed doctors perform emergency treatment and evacuation in the unlikely event this may occur. Nairobi has excellent medical facilities. Most camps have medical professionals on site.The evacuation flight consists of, depending on the emergency, a nurse, a doctor and flight attendant and of course the crew. The aircrafts are equipped with Blood, Oxygen etc.
You will be amazed at the cuisine, which is included in your tour cost! Fresh vegetables, fruit and fish are delivered daily. Meats from nearby farms are in abundant supply. Wild game is available for those that want to try something new. Our chefs could work in the finest restaurants of Europe and America.
❑ Electricity 220/240 volts AC. Plugs are the UK type, round 2-pin or flat 3 pin.
❑ Local time GMT +3 Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda GMT +2 Botswana, Rwanda, South Africa, Zambia
English is the official language. Kiswahili is spoken throughout the country.
Tanzania shilling—Kenya shilling-Uganda shilling-Rwanda franc- Namibia dollar- Zambia-kwacha
. US dollars are acceptable but some prefer to have local currency. There are several bureaus de change (Foreign exchange) at the airport and in the city.
A commission is levied for changing of the foreign currency. However, most of the Banks and establishments including African Quest Safaris will not accept US Dollar bills printed before the year 2000.
Many travelers use their credit cards both in the cities and in the bush camps to settle charges. Most use American dollars for tipping and carry a supply of small denomination (singles and 5 dollar bills) for small tips and purchases.
Tipping is customary. While the actual amount of money to tip is left to your discretion, we would like to offer some guidelines:
Porter – per bag : US$ 1
Server in restaurant - per meal : US$ 1- per person
Driver-guide - per day : US$ 5-8 - per person
. It is customary to give guides tips at the end of their services. If you fly to a camp you will have a new guide to serve you.
❑ Airport Departure Tax
Each country has an airport departure tax, however some airlines include it in your ticket charge.
Phone service available. Internet could be sporadic. Auto roaming of mobile phones is available in Kenya & Tanzania with excellent network in the cities and in and around some of the national parks and reserves. This will however depend on whether there is a reciprocate agreement with your country. Otherwise, most lodges/hotels are connected to land lines.
There is a cost for usage of the phones.
You may also buy a Pre-Paid line from Celltel Kenya (with easy switch over from Kenya to Tanzania) or Safaricom, whilst on holiday here. This is the cheapest option. Check with our representative when you arrive
❑ Warning: Do not drink tap water
There are plenty of souvenirs to take home. Among the best buys are: wood carvings, art and batiks, ethnic and modern jewelry, semi-precious stones (such as malachite and tanzanite), tie-dye cotton clothes, safari outfits, soapstone carvings and basket ware. Some recommended outlets are the African Heritage, Nairobi, Paa ya Paa Arts center, Ridgeways, Nairobi. The Jacaranda Special School in Nairobi and the Bombolulu in Mombassa are charity based. Most lodges in all countries have small shops. US Dollars and credit cards are accepted. Many souvenir shops and kiosks are ideal for bargaining and buying. It’s lots of fun!
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