Learn more about where you will be traveling! You are going to experience new sights, sounds and activities on your safari. So many in fact, that you won’t be able to absorb them all without some advance preparation.
getting ready is half the fun! It is advised to read about the history, geography, climate, culture and customs of your destination. The more you know the better you will enjoy your trip.
Some frequently asked questions are shown below and will help prepare you for your upcoming adventure:
DO I NEED A VISA? WHERE DO I GET ONE?
U.S. citizens are currently required to have a visa for Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Rwanda, Uganda, Ghana and Egypt. Visa applications and instructions will be sent to you with the confirmation of your reservation. Allow 2 weeks
processing time for each country. Non U.S. citizens should contact their consulates directly for their particular requirements.
WHAT MEDICAL REQUIREMENTS ARE THERE?
For inoculations refer to your doctor, Health Center, or the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, for the current requirements for the countries you will be visiting. Many countries have rigid health regulations and if visitors are not carrying appropriate health documents at the port of entry, they may be refused admission.
WHAT ABOUT MONEY AND AIRPORT TAXES?
On arrival in many countries you will be required to complete a currency declaration form which has to be submitted to the authorities on your departure.
It is recommended that you change only as much money as you think you may spend (ie, carry travelers checks/cash of small denominations), as many local currencies cannot be removed from the country or reconverted.
Airport taxes are payable in many countries on departure. Double check this on arrival. As this is often payable in local currency be sure to have enough cash.
WHAT ABOUT LUGGAGE AND LAUNDRY?
For your own comfort and convenience we request you bring a minimum of luggage on your tour. There is currently a restriction of 15kg of luggage in light aircraft. Most lodges and hotels have laundry service and it is possible to store heavy luggage safely in the city hotels. There is restricted luggage space in safari vehicles; however, everything will be done to accommodate your luggage at all times.
WHAT ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHIC ADVISE?
A 35mm camera, telephoto lens (between 200mm and 300mm are most manageable), sun filters, and a good stock of film (ranging in speeds from 600asa for early mornings/evenings to 100asa for daytime) are probably the best accessories to take good wildlife pictures. Due to the dimensions of the safari vehicles it is not practical to take a tripod, and any lenses larger than 300mm will be difficult to manage.
You are advised to carry twice as much film as you think you will need. Film is not available everywhere and is very expensive. A spare camera battery is also a must, as these are not available. A plastic bag and/or carrying case are essential to protect your camera equipment from the dust on the roads.
Video cameras/camcorders. Some lodges have generators that put out a 240-volt supply; however, in general the generator supplies re not stable (lots of variation in output, ie: power surges, etc.) It is suggested that you bring a converter/minivoltage regulator to protect the battery charger.
You are encouraged to bring a good pair of binoculars. They will open up the world of birds, allow you to following a hunting cat, and much more. There are many brands that are good and reasonably priced.
SHOULD I BUY TRAVEL INSURANCE?
Yes, insurance is strongly recommended.
WHAT CLOTHING SHOULD I BRING?
Casual and comfortable clothing is best on safari with comfortable, low-heeled shoes. A swimsuit is essential for lodges with pools. Bright colors are only to be worn in towns and resorts. A change of clothes for the evening is useful. Gentlemen are required to wear a jacket and tie for dinner in some hotels and restaurants.
A warm sweater or jacket should be carried, as the evenings and early mornings can be cool. A sun hat and sun glasses are useful protection from the strong sun and dust from the roads.
CAN I USE MY ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT?
Most lodges/camps outside the main towns generate their own electricity. The voltage is 220-240 AC. Some lodges/camps can only operate their generators in the early morning and evening. It would be best to bring a battery operated razor or flashlight and gas operated curlers. Bring a universal travel adaptor, as the electrical outlets are different.
HOW IS THE FOOD? The food at hotels, lodges and bush camps is all fresh, well prepared, abundant and delicious. The menu is mainly meat, although there are plenty of non-meat or vegetarian dishes available. Meals are continental cuisine with some African dishes for an interesting mix. Coffee and tea are served with meals. Wine, beer and cold drinks are always available.
WHAT TYPE OF VEHICLE WILL WE BE IN?
While in East Africa, your transfers, game drives and all safari transportation are via modern safari vans. The vans have ‘pop-up’ roofs, and all passengers are guaranteed a window seat. In other areas game drives are often via 4-wheel drive vehicles. Transportation in Africa varies, but all vehicles are comfortable and best designed for the particular area.
WHAT LANGUAGE IS SPOKEN?
English is spoken and understood throughout most of Africa.
CAN WE GET OUR OWN VAN?
Families or small groups traveling together may want to request a private vehicle. Please contact us for any additional cost.
CAN WE DESIGN OUR OWN TRIP?
Our experienced FIT and group departments will be happy to assist you in the planning and presentation of your personal itineraries.
WHAT CAN YOU SUGGEST FOR READING? There are many good books available to help prepare you for your trip. You will receive an extensive list prior to departure.
REMEMBER – this is just a taste to whet your appetite for the possibilities available to you