Time Frame And Costs
First we determine how long you want to travel. A minimum of two weeks is strongly recommended.
Next we will consider your desired budget. Safaris can range from basic (mobile tent with shared facilities and which clients participate in setting up) to classic (5-star luxury lodges, hotels, and bush camps with a full staff to take care of every need). Mid-range safaris offer quality lodging with medium sized tents and a service crew to assist.
Throughout the process we pay close attention to your reasons and motivations for going on the trip. Most likely the wildlife will be a main interest (which is easily satisfied in any itinerary), but Africa offers many other wonders and opportunities. You might be interested in an action-packed trip (hiking, camping, canoeing, etc.) or in community service experiences. In addition, you may wish to focus on art, culture, archaeology, history, or geology. Regardless of your interests, we plan your adventure in a way that will maximize your enjoyment, keeping in mind the seasons, migration patterns, geography, and other factors that will affect your experience.
According to your preferred safari style we will use a combination of commercial flights, bush flights, 4-wheel drive vehicles with private drivers and – if your interests are more adventuresome – some local transport.
Selecting Camps, Lodges and Hotels
Passport and Visa Information
A passport valid for at least six (6) months past the date of your trip is required. Visas are available upon arrival at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta Airport in Kenya; the Entebbe International Airport in Uganda; and all the international arrival airports in Tanzania. Costs can vary but currently are $50 each for Kenya and Tanzania, and $100 for Uganda. If you are traveling to two or three countries in East Africa, you can get a multi-country/multi-entry visa for $100. Contact Ena for current information.
Currency and Spending Money
VISA and MasterCard are widely accepted, and some places accept American Express. Travelers Checks can be exchanged at most of the hotels/lodges/camps for fair exchange rates. You will be responsible for your own beverages and personal items such as laundry service, phone calls, souvenirs, and visa fees.
Shots and Medications
Vaccinations: For medical advice it is always best to consult your doctor or travel clinic. Anti-malarial medication is strongly recommended. Keep in mind that you will be staying in camps and lodges set up to meet the needs of American and European guests, so you do not need to worry too much. Nonetheless, it is a good idea to check with the current recommendations of the CDC at www.cdc.gov/travel/eafrica.htm
If you regularly take any medications, please be sure to take enough for the trip with you and to keep them with you at all times.
Why is travel insurance so important?
In today’s changing travel environment, it’s important to protect your travel investment so you can relax and enjoy your trip. Unforeseen events such as flight delays, baggage loss or even a sudden sickness or injury could impact your travel plans. For your convenience, we offer a Travelex Insurance Services protection plan to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. For more information on the available plans click here or contact Travelex Insurance 800-228-9792 and reference location number 33-0038.
If you elect not to procure travel insurance, you will be asked to sign this travel insurance waiver acknowledging that travel insurance has been declined.
The product descriptions provided here are only brief summaries and may be changed without notice. The full coverage terms and details, including limitations and exclusions, are contained in the insurance policy. Travelex Insurance Services, Inc CA Agency License #0D10209. Travel Insurance is underwritten by Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company, NAIC #22276. V94
My personal packing list:
- Tablet/mobile device – Wifi is available in most safari camps and hotels
- 1 pair tan/khaki slacks
- 1 pair nicer casual slacks
- 1 pair shorts
- Several tops (at least one long-sleeved, one lightweight turtleneck)
- Bathing suit and cover
- Casual dress/nice shirt and tie for men
- 4-5 pairs of underwear
- 2-3 pairs of socks
- Flip-flops OR sandals
- Lightweight hiking boots OR comfortable walking shoes
- LOTS of film/memory cards (take more than you think you will use)
- One extra set of batteries for each battery-operated device
- Books to read on planes and while enjoying quiet time
- Small notebook and pen for journal/notes/addresses
- Small pack (e.g. fanny pack) in which to keep valuable and irreplaceable items, such as cameras, film, passport, and money. Better if it has a good holder for a water bottle
- Ziplock plastic bags (gallon size) are good for all kinds of packing and organizing your possessions
- Washcloth (not provided everywhere)
- Cosmetics (most places have little shampoos and conditioner so you won’t need big bottles); don’t forget Chapstick and hand lotion
- Medications: be sure to put these in your carry-on bag
- Insect repellent (two cans per person)
- Small flashlight
- Hat, if you want more protection from the sun
- Lightweight windbreaker or jacket in case of rain
This list has worked well for me and I hope you can use the above suggestions for your packing plans.