SAFARI TIPS KENYA,TANZANIA
Your minibus / 4WD vehicle will generally be provided with a cool box. You may therefore stock up on water prior to your safari to last you for the duration of your journey from one destination to the next. Bottled mineral water is available at all hotels and lodges and in all towns that you will pass through en route to your next stop.
Many of the major roads in East Africa are in good condition but some roads especially of the beaten tracks and in the parks on your journey may prove to be bumpy with Potholes. Flat tyres, overheating and a few unscheduled delays are all part and parcel of the safari experience!
In the event of an emergency, mechanical or otherwise, your driver / guide has a high frequency radio or mobile access to lodges, park gates and our head office.
Your driver / guide has a wealth of knowledge – be friendly and inquisitive and he will be encouraged to keep you informed.
En route to National Parks and whilst leaving your lodge on a game drive, your driver / guide may have his high frequency radio switched on. He may also stop to chat to the drivers of other vehicles. Please note that your driver is stopping to chat and to gain inside knowledge from the other drivers as to the location of the wildlife within the park so that he can provide you with the best experience possible. In the event that the noise from the radio bothers you, please know that you may ask your driver to switch it off.
BAGGAGE ON SAFARI
Baggage on safari should be restricted to one suitcase or hold-all per person, plus hand baggage. Guests staying at the Treetops and the Ark – Kenya’s two tree-lodges, are asked to take overnight bags only. Extra suitcases and baggage can be left at the base hotels at no extra cost. When visiting Treetops the base hotel is the Outspan, and in the case of the Ark, the base hotel is the Aberdares Country Club. Roaming Africa Tours and Safaris will also be glad to store any excess luggage at our Nairobi head office at no extra charge. When using domestic flights either to the National Parks or to the coast, there is a baggage weight restriction of 15 Kg per person.
Major hard currencies (US Dollars, Sterling Pounds and Euros) can be exchanged in cash or travelers cheques at banks all over the country, at forex bureaus in Nairobi and other major towns, and in the majority of hotels and lodges that you will stay at. Bank timings are from 08:30 hrs to 16:00 hrs on weekdays, and from 09:00 hrs to 12:00 hrs on Saturdays.
The best / most competitive rates of exchange can be found at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi. The Kenyan currency comprises of Shillings and Cents – 100 Cents making up a Shilling. Notes range from Kshs 50 to Kshs 1000. Approx. 1 USD equivalent to Kshs 100.
VISA, MASTERCARD & AMERICAN EXPRESS are accepted as a form of payment at most establishments in major towns, at all hotels and lodges and even at most road side curio shops. Please beware however, that you may be charged an extra 5 % mark-up on top of the price as establishments are charged a fixed percentage of their transactions. There are ATM machines in all major towns and cities from which money in cash can be withdrawn.
DRESS CODE FOR SAFARI
There is no dress code for safari, however it is advised that you were inconspicuous clothes in brown, green, beige, khaki, or other neutral colours so as not to draw attention to yourself or frighten the animals away.
As driving distances can be quite long while on safari, it is advisable that you dress lightly and comfortably. With evenings able to get quite cold, it is also advisable to bring along warmer clothes.
Please Note: Tanzania is a conservative country, so don’t dress provocatively.
Guests of certain lodges may also be expected to wear trousers and collared shirts for dinner (for men) or dresses (for women)Smart / Casual attire is required at most hotels and lodges for dinner. Gentlemen, please note no shorts permitted in the dining rooms over dinner. A collared polo-shirt with informal trousers however, will suffice. Ladies, no swimming attire is permitted in dining rooms. During breakfast and lunch a beach wrap that covers your swimming suit or bikini will be fine.
Warm clothing is essential for your early morning and evening game drives at the National Parks. In the evenings, light long sleeved cotton shirts are recommended as these will not only provide warmth, but will also protect you from mosquitoes which are more abundant at night. During the day, short sleeved cotton t-shirts and shorts are recommended. Comfortable shoes and a pair of slip-on flip-flops or slippers are a must!
PARK FEES IN KENYA & TANZANIA
National Parks: Smart cards and pre-payment of entrance fees are essential for the Nairobi, Nakuru, Aberdares, Amboseli and Tsavo national parks.
Park fees will generally be included in the cost of your safari and the relevant documentation will be given to your driver / guide, who will be responsible for and handle all your entrance fees.
Reserves: Cash payments are still acceptable at reserves such as the Mara and Samburu.
The cost of non-resident park fees in Kenya and Tanzania is currently US Dollars 65 & US Dollars 80 per person per night spent in the park / reserve.
Payment of the driver and vehicle’s entry fees is included in the cost of your safari and you are not responsible for these costs. Your driver / guide will carry his own Smart card or cash in this respect.
HEALTH IN KENYA & TANZANIA
Since rules concerning disease prevention and inoculation requirements change occasionally, information should be sought from the Kenyan / Tanzanian Embassies / High Commissions, Tourist Offices, your local travel agent or from any airline flying scheduled services into Kenya in your country of residence prior to travelling. Malaria is endemic to most parts of Kenya and Tanzania, and visitors to these countries should start taking anti-malarial tablets prior to departure from your home country, and should continue taking them for the prescribed period of time after your return home. Insect repellants should be utilized after dusk and suitable cover-up clothes should be worn in the evenings.
FLYING DOCTORS SOCIETY
Roaming Africa Tours and Safaris recommends that you purchase temporary membership of the Flying Doctors Society services for the duration of your stay in Kenya / Tanzania. In the event of an accident or sickness whilst on safari, the Society will fly / evacuate patients by air ambulance to Nairobi for admittance into a private hospital. The current cost for a 1month membership is US $ 30.00 per person and this can be organized by Roaming Africa Tours and Safaris prior to your arrival.
Please do not consume any tap water during your trip. Hotels and lodges generally provide a thermos flask in your rooms with safe drinking water. In addition, bottled mineral water is available at all supermarkets, lodges and hotels.
SECURITY IN KENYA & TANZANIA
During your visit to Kenya / Tanzania, you should take normal security precautions as you would in any other country. Visitors are advised not to leave cash and valuables in their hotel rooms, but to ensure that use is made of safe deposit boxes which are available at a minimal cost at all hotels and lodges. Visitors should never carry large sums of money in cash, and ladies should maintain a tight hold on their handbags in crowded or busy streets. Jewelry snatching is quite common in the city streets, and as such very noticeable adornments should be avoided. As in all major cities, walking alone or in small groups at night could be considered dangerous, and should be avoided. Reliable taxi services are available (your reception desk will assist you with this), and should be made use of.
Taking photographs at airports, near military installations, of policemen, the president, the national flag, the State House, state properties and prisoners, is completely prohibited.
Before photographing local people, please ask their permission and via your driver / guide, negotiate a price that they will charge you for the privilege of taking their photograph.
Please note that the use of your flash light may be restricted at certain locations.
SHOPPING IN KENYA & TANZANIA
Hours of opening: Generally 09:00 – 17:30. Shopping malls: 09:00 – 20:00. Sundays: 09:00 – 13:00.
Curios: Recommended a visit to see the City Market, but beware of being hassled by hawkers. Bargaining essential.
Food stuff: Kenya and Tanzania are famous for their tea and coffee. Macadamia nuts and cashew nuts are also popular with visitors. Indian spices are readily available. Materials are also varied and of excellent quality.
Brasses and bronzes of wildlife and birds; ebony carvings, soap stone chess sets, glassware….
Please note that the sale and purchase of game skins, all ivory products, marine products and trophies are strictly forbidden.
Both the mains electricity and the generated supply available in lodges provides 240 volts AC 50 cycles. Most large hotels and some game lodges provide shaving points with 110v 50 cycles. Sockets are usually 3 pin and are of the square variety.
TIPPING & PORTERAGE
Although hotels, lodges and restaurants include a service charge, it is customary to tip porters and waiters (US Dollars 2 – 5 per service rendered is acceptable), and safari drivers / guides (US Dollars 8 – 15 per person per day is acceptable).
Kiswahili is the Lingua Franca while English is the Official language in both Kenya and Tanzania. The different tribes in both countries have their own languages and dialects but in all touristic establishements, English will be spoken and understood.
Roaming Africa Tours and Safaris is in a position to provide driver / guides who speak other languages for those who do not understand or speak English. Please let us know in advance so that we can arrange this for you.
POST & TELEPHONES
Keeping in touch by email, telephone and mail is generally easy. Direct overseas dialing and email facilities are possible / available from major centers and hotels, and increasingly available from more remote locations and game lodges. Special international calling bureaus are widely available in Nairobi as are the cyber cafes for email and internet access. Like most public facilities, the post office hours are from 08:00hrs to 17:00 hrs Mondays to Fridays, and on Saturdays until noon.
CHECK-IN TIMES / RECONFIRMATION
Minimum check-in time for international flights: 2 hours.
Minimum check-in time for domestic and other flights: 1 hour.
Reconfirmation of domestic tickets is essential. Please request your hotel receptionist or travel agent to assist.
Reconfirmation of international flights: Roaming Africa Tours and Safaris will assist you with this service. For clients who have not purchased tickets through us, please ensure that you provide us with your full flight details to enable us to provide this service.
WHAT TO PACK FOR YOUR SAFARI
Packing for your first safari can be a bit daunting. What do you bring? What don’t you need? Below you’ll find our recommended list of things to bring along with you when you’re on safari.
- A backpack
- A warm sweater or light fleece
- A windbreaker or waterproof jacket
- Walking shoes or boots
- A long sleeve dress shirt and trousers
- Sunscreen and lip balm
- Insect repellent
- Batteries and/or charger for your camera
- A flashlight or headlamp
- Guide books
- Phone and charger.
You may also wish to bring your own first aid kit. While all of our Roaming Africa Tours and Safari vehicles have their own on board first aid kit, it never hurts to be prepared.
USEFUL TRAVEL APPS
Convert effortlessly prices and currencies so you know exactly how much you pay for your souvenir or other purchase. Free app for iOS and Android.
Learn the Swahili basics with this fun app and you will know how to greet and have a small talk with the people you meet during your safari! Free app for iOS and Android.
Track your route and the places that you have visited during your safari in Tanzania and Kenya! Your family and friends can follow you and afterwards you can create your personal Travel Book including all your photos. For this app only GPS is required, no internet.
Make cheap phone calls around the world without using the internet. At the moment family and friends can be called for free if they are also using the app. Free app for iOS and Android.
Book easily flights on your phone while being advised on how to do it, when to do it and how to obtain the biggest savings. Free app for iOS and Android.
Always stay up to date about the latest weather forecast in your favorite destination. Free app for iOS and Android.
ROAMING AFRICA TOURS & SAFARIS
The working hours at our head office, are from 09:00 hrs to 17:00 hrs from Monday to Friday and from 09:00 to noon on Saturdays. We do however, provide all of our clients with emergency telephone numbers which can be called 24 hours.