East Africa Lodge Safari
-Camera and extra memory card/film -Extra batteries (recommended)
-Camera with extra memory cards and batteries –Personal Entertainment -Waterproof backpack cover
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels and lodges for a charge. You should write a list of items that you send for washing. It will be difficult for hotels to have your laundry ready if you arrive in the late afternoon and leave the next morning, so the lodges in the Masai Mara and the Serengeti would be best, since you are in each of those locations for at least 2 days.
Visas and Entry Requirements
All countries require travellers to have a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). The Kenyan Government has introduced an electronic visa process with effect from July 2nd. Travellers wishing to enter Kenya need to visit www.ecitizen.go.ke and follow instructions for processing their electronic visa in advance of their arrival into Kenya. As this measure was introduced with little advance notice, there is a grace period where travellers may continue to apply upon arrival into Kenya for their visa. You can obtain a visa for US$50. This visa is valid for up to 3 months with multiple entries/exits permitted to Tanzania and Uganda only (the “single entry” part means single entry within the East African Community). A transit visa, which is valid for 6 nights / 7 days within Kenya, for one entry into Kenya only, costs US$10 OR 10 GBP OR 10 EUR or 10 SWF .
A visa for Tanzania can be obtained when entering the country by land with the group, for most nationals for a standard fee of US$50, though the current cost of a Tanzanian Visa for U.S. nationals is $100. The border post we cross to enter Tanzania is called Namanga. This is also valid for up to 3 months, with multiple entries among Uganda and Kenya permitted. Please note that Kenya is now strictly enforcing a “blank pages, condition of entry”. All those requiring a visa on arrival must have at least two blank pages available in their passports. Failure to meet this requirement could mean that entry will be refused. This information is accurate at the time of writing. Though as fees and policies can change, we highly recommend that you contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. It is your responsibility to have the correct travel documentation.
East Africa Tourist Visa
An East Africa Tourist Visa allows the holder to move freely between Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda with only one Visa, and is valid for a period of 90 days. It also acts as a multiple entry Visa, so if you leave any of the above countries, you do not need a new Visa to re-enter (provided it is within the 90 day validity period). These need to be applied for in advance, and you should contact the foreign Embassy (of the country you will be entering through) for more details. The cost is 100USD.
Please see below for more information:
Detailed Trip Notes
American Dollars that are series 1999 or earlier are not accepted and very difficult to change in Southern and Eastern Africa, because of past forgeries.
REGIONAL INFORMATION Climate There are generally two rainy seasons – the short and the long rains. The short rains normally occur from late October through November, and the long rains from late March through to early June. A good time to visit is between late June and October when the rains have finished and the air is coolest. Alternatively, from late December to early March is another good time to visit, just after the short rains, but before the long rains; this is the warmest time of the year. The highest season for travellers into the region is in January and February, when the hot, dry weather is generally considered to be the most pleasant. During the rainy season it can be deceptively cold at times and evenings can be cool year round, so ensure you have adequate warm clothing such a a fleece or warm sweater. Electricity The electric current in Kenya operates on 220 volts. Electric plugs types come in at least four sizes and vary throughout the country, however, the two rounded pin standard plug is acceptable in most parts of the country. 3 pin square plugs are most common. The electric current in Tanzania operates on 230V, 50Hz. Language The official languages are Swahili and English. There are also numerous dialects spoken throughout. KENYA – Official Statistics Full country name: Republic of Kenya (Jamhuri Ya Kenya) Area: 580,367 km2 Population: 34,256,000-July 2005 est. (31,138,735- 2002 Census) Capital city: Nairobi People: 22% Kikuyu, 14% Luhya, 13% Luo, 12% Kalenjin, 11% Kamba, 6% Kisii, 6% Meru, 16% other Languages: English, Swahili, indigenous. Religion: 35% Protestant, 30% Roman Catholic, 30% Muslim, 5% Animist Government: Republic (multiparty state) President: Uhuru Kenyatta Major industries: small-scale consumer goods (plastic, furniture, beer, batteries, textiles, flour), agricultural processing, oil refining, chemicals, cement, tourism. Major trading partners: Uganda, Tanzania, UK, Germany, UAE , South Africa INTERESTING FACTS • At 580,367 km2 the country is two and a half times the size of Britain. • The population is over 30 million and has one of the world’s fastest growth rates. • Kenya gained independence in 1963 after 80 years of British rule. • Most Kenyans are subsistence farmers. • Coffee and tea are grown commercially and tourism is also a huge income for the country. The country is still in huge debt though and has few mineral resources and corruption is again a problem. • The country lies on the equator and has good national parks and Mount Kenya the second highest peak in Africa. It also has good beaches and colourful people. Nairobi is the capital and Mombassa the countries port city. TANZANIA – Official Statistics Full country name: United Republic of Tanzania (Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania) Area: 945,087 km2 Population: 38,329,000-July 2005 est (34,443,603-2002 census) Capital city: Dodoma People: 99% native African (over 100 tribes), 1% Asian, European and Arabic Languages Swahili, English, indigenous. Religion: 40% Christian, 33% Muslim, 20% indigenous beliefs Government: Republic (multi-party state) President: Benjamin William Mkapa Major industries: Tobacco, sugar, sisal, diamond and gold mining, oil refining, cement, tourism Major trading partners: India, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, Rwanda, the Netherlands, South Africa, Kenya, U.K., Saudi Arabia, China Currency: Tanzanian shilling INTERESTING FACTS • The name is name made up from an amalgamation of TANganyika and ZANzibar. • Tanzania is the largest country in East Africa (although not in Africa as a whole, the Sudan is 3 times larger); it’s landmass covering an area of just over 945,087 sq. km (including Zanzibar). – This makes Tanzania about the size of France, Germany and Switzerland combined; 3 times the size of the entire British Isles or one-tenth the size of the whole of the USA . – Tanzania’s population at the last official census was 31.3 million, with approximately one third being classified as “urban”. – Agriculture forms roughly half of GDP and agriproducts (e.g.: coffee, tea, tobacco, cashew nut, sisal, cotton) some 75% of export earnings. • Dodoma, in central Tanzania, is the political capital of the country although Dar es Salaam is the effective trading and business capital, with its safe harbour (“Dar es Salaam” means “Haven of Peace”), international airport and population of some 1.75million.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
The local currency in Kenya is the Kenyan Shilling ( KES , or KSH )., and in Tanzania is the Tanzanian Shilling ( TSH ).
Each of the countries visited on this tour has their own currency, and all can be obtained locally by changing foreign currency or by using ATMs (where available) which will disperse local currency. Your CEO will inform you where you can change money throughout the tour and approximately how much money you will need for each country. The easiest foreign currency to exchange for locally for any of the local currencies is the $US; however the British Pound and Euro may also be exchanged as well. Please note that due to past problems with forgery, $US notes that are older than year 2006 are not accepted in Africa. Large note ($US 50, $US 100 etc) can be difficult to change in some places, but will gain you the best exchange rate.
If you plan to rely on cash, please bring foreign currency (Euro, Pound, USD ) with you, as it is often expensive to buy these currencies locally. And in more rural areas, it is often not likely. If you plan to buy your visas at borders, you will need to bring $ USD cash to pay for these visas. Please note you cannot use the local currency or any other currency to buy these visas- they must be purchased in USD .
Please do not bring Travellers’ cheques toAfrica. They are difficult if not impossible to exchange in many places.
Visa/Plus system cards are the most widely accepted debit cards. it is harder to find machines Mastercard/Cirrus cards. We highly recommend that if you hold a Mastercard, you obtain a Visa card prior to departure and travel with both. This is also useful should somethingunforeseen happen to one of your cards during your travels. While there are many ATMs in the major centres, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in Africa. Check with your bank.
Credit cards can be used in major cities and towns ONLY but please do not rely on them as a method of payment because they are generally not widely accepted. You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies. The majority of our optional activities can also be paid by credit card. Your CEO will advise on these.
Please note that in many areas there may be occasional power-outages, where there will be no electricity for hours at a time. In addition, ATMs outside of larger centers often run out of cash or can be out of order unexpectedly. These factors could affect your ability to access money from ATMs. As such, please do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of foreign currency and debit/credit cards for cash advances is best. Always take more rather than less, as you don’t want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.
As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com.
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an ‘emergency’ fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
USD30, usually included in most international air tickets.
Tipping during your tour is optional, but the gesture is expected as a way to show your satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour.
Although it may not be customary for you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, as an important source of income for those in the tourism industry. It is one of the most direct ways that you can have a positive economic impact within the communities that you visit.
Giving a tip should be seen as a formal ‘thank you’, and the action should in no way be awkward. The best method of tipping someone that has served the whole group is to plan in advance, and not rush when it comes to saying goodbye. A suggestion would be for each group member to contribute anonymously by putting their tip into an envelope. This often works the best and the group as a whole should gather to present the gift to the recipient(s), offering their thanks and showing their appreciation. This method brings the action out into the open, allowing for a friendly and appreciative interaction between the group and the recipient(s).
You may use the following as a guideline, all given in a per client format:
G CEOs and drivers: $3-4 USD each, per day worked.
While on safari: Certified Safari Guide/Driver: $5-10 USD (full day) Supply Driver $3-5 USD (full day).
Restaurant/Café servers: 10% of cost of bill, especially when in a large group (no envelope required).
Local guides: $1 USD for every couple of hours
Please see the itinerary for information on optional activities, descriptions and estimated pricing.
We recommend you contact your family physician, or your local travel clinic for the most up-to-date health information at least one month before departure. Travellers should also carry a basic first-aid kit and hand sanitizers/antibacterial wipes on their travels. Medical facilities are basic throughout these countries. For your own safety, we strongly recommend that you advise your tour leader of any medical condition that may affect you while travelling with the group. Your tour leader will be able to inform you of local health advisories (e.g. drinking water quality). Please ensure you have all the inoculations recommended by your doctor. Yellow Fever Certificate Note: (Updated: May 2017) It is compulsory to show a valid Yellow Fever Certificate if you are travelling to the following G Adventures-visited countries from a Yellow Fever endemic country: