Pre Departure Information
For visitors coming to Kenya for the first time, there are many unanswered questions — what do we pack, what are the entry requirements and so on. To make your visit a truly relaxing and well-prepared one, here are the answers to all those questions. All the information contained herein is given in good faith and has been carefully compiled. It must be accepted that details will change from time to time! And of course, please feel free to contact us with any questions you may still have.
Passports & Visas
Most nationalities require visas for Kenya; please check with your local consulate if you do not have a visa already. Visas can be issued upon arrival in Kenya at the cost of $50 required in cash (photos are not required). However, to avoid wasting time, we suggest that you print and fill the visa form in advance:http://www.immigration.go.ke/images/downloads/vsapplctn.pdf
Please consult a medical practitioner for the complete up-to date requirements. Due to the moderate malaria risk, it is essential you take a malaria prophylactic. Once again consult a medical practitioner on which prophylactic is recommended.
Climate in East Africa
The long rains are from early April through early June, and the short rains from late November through December. Dry Seasons offer excellent visibility and more reliable road Conditions and game tends to congregate around the limited Water sources, making the animals easier to find. July and August are generally extremely busy in East Africa, offering comfortable temperatures in addition to being a popular time for travel world-wide.
Generally speaking East Africa is cooler than most people expect for a region on the equator this is due to the altitude (1500-2000 meters) over much of the area. Therefore it is highly recommended to have a warm jacket or jumper for cool mornings and late evenings. During the day however it is usually quite warm. Light long sleeved shirts and trousers are recommended for the evenings to avoid mosquito bites. Natural safari colours are recommended especially if you are game walking, they are also ideal to conceal the African dust! Good walking shoes/ boots will be useful.
A sun hat, sunglasses, lotion, lip balm and skin moisturizer are important to counteract the sun, wind and dry conditions. A good insect repellent is essential to bring (brands with 50% DEET content are very good). Most toiletries and pharmaceutical products are available in the larger cities however rural areas only have a very limited selection therefore you should bring any items you may need.
It is highly recommended to bring a camera with a zoom lens of at least 200mm for wildlife shots. A bean bag or jumper is useful to rest your camera on for shooting in low light (tripods are too cumbersome for use in a vehicle). We provide bean bags to our guest. However, if you wish to come along with yours then there is no restriction. Films and memory cards are widely available in the cities and there is a small selection at some camps but not in rural areas, it is more convenient to bring a supply with you (particularly slide film if you are using this). Don’t forget to bring a spare camera battery.
Another important item to bring is a pair of binoculars. It is worth buying a pair if you unable to borrow. Small compact binoculars are fine and handy to carry around however a larger (e.g. 7×50) pair will be superior in the low light conditions in the morning and evening when most game drives take place.
Video cameras can be recharged at most tented camps and lodges (230V 50Hz). Bring spare batteries and cassette tapes with you.
It is recommended, if possible, to bring a soft bag, rather than a suitcase as they are easier to carry and are less prone to damage. On internal flights to National parks and Reserves, the baggage limit is 15 kgs per person. Excess baggage is payable at check-in at approximately $3 a kilo.
Please inform us in advance of any dietary requirements.
You will be provided with mineral water in your room and on game drive. It is unadvisable to drink from the taps.
The official languages are Kiswahili and English. English is widely spoken except in some rural areas.
The currency is Kenyan shilling. The easiest hard currencies to exchange are US dollars and UK pounds (not Scottish pounds) other major currencies are accepted but only in cities. US dollar bills before 2006 are not accepted in Kenya even to pay the visa. Traveler’s cheques provide you with more security but will give a slightly lower exchange rate. Forex bureau offer the most competitive rates of exchange followed by banks then hotels/camps. There are 24-hour forex bureaus at Nairobi’s International Airport. Credit cards can be used at most larger hotels and larger stores and restaurants. Some Camps/ lodges accept Visa, MasterCard and AMEX. Cash can also be withdrawn using ATM’s.
International and domestic departure taxes are included on your tickets.
Do not carry valuable items unnecessarily; always use safe deposit boxes at your hotels/camps. Do not wander on the streets of towns or along the beach at night. Violent crime is rare but petty crime is quite common due to the high unemployment rate.
Emergency medical evacuation
While travelling with us, you are subscribed to the flying doctors tourist membership, which covers 500 kilometres radius of Wilson Airport. With this membership, you are entitled to an evacuation to a proper medical facility in Nairobi. This service does not cover medical expenses in hospital, you travel insurance should take care of this.
It is compulsory to have a full comprehensive insurance to cover illness or unexpected events that will lead to cancellation or modification of your trip. It is advisable to contact your local Insurance Company for more details.
It is customary in East Africa to tip your lodges/camps staff and driver guides. However it is not compulsory and tips should only be given if you are satisfied with the service provided.
Kenya, Tanzania & Uganda are all GMT+3 hours and do not have summertime/daylight savings.
Generally speaking, communications in Kenya are not what you are accustomed to at home. Connections can be bad to nonexistent, in addition to being costly. Communications while at the camps/ lodges are by radio and mobile phone – only via camps/ lodges management.
Things to buy
There are numerous handicrafts available such as a wide selection of carvings in wood and soapstone, textiles, jewellery and leather goods.
Laundry services are provided free of charge at the camps, though you may have to wash your inner wears. The camp will provide washing powder on request for this.
Always ask permission before taking photographs of people. It is quite common to be asked to pay a fee for the privilege. Agree on a fee before taking any photographs. When in doubt check with your safari guide.
When close to wildlife it is important to remain silent and not make any sudden movements so as not to startle the animals. Please remember wildlife is just that and the animals you will see are wild and unpredictable despite appearances. You are very safe in a vehicle but on foot you must keep a respectable distance. It is forbidden to leave your vehicle when in the reserve except in a few authorized areas.
Alteration to itineraries
It is unlikely that the company will have to make changes to a client’s tour. However, occasionally changes may be made. Most of these will be minor and the company will endeavour to advise the client of them at the earliest possible date. The company reserves the right to alter the itinerary after departure, without payment of compensation, if it is in the interest of the client to do so. Furthermore , compensation will not be payable if the company is forced to cancel or in any way change the tour due to force majeure, namely war, riot, civil strife, industrial dispute, terrorist activity, natural or nuclear disaster, fire, adverse weather conditions or other material external circumstances beyond the company’s control.
Client’s booking are accepted on the understanding that they appreciate the possible risks inherent in adventure travel and that they undertake the tour at their own volition.
- Where the Client does not suffer personal injury, the company accepts liability should any Part of the tour arrangements booked with the company not be supplied as described and/or be of a totally un-acceptable standard. In such a case, the company will pay reasonable compensation if the client’s enjoyment of the tour has been adversely affected, but will pay no compensation if there has been no fault on the part of the company and its suppliers and the reason for the failure in the tour arrangements was either the client’s fault, the actions of someone unconnected with the tour arrangements or could not have been foreseen or avoided by the company or its suppliers even if all due care had been exercised. Under no circumstances will the company’s liability for each client under this clause exceed two times the tour cost paid by the client.
- Where the client suffers death or personal injury as a result of an activity forming part of the tour arrangements booked with the company, the company accepts responsibility unless there has been no fault on the company’s part or its suppliers and the cause was either the client’s fault, the actions of someone unconnected with the tour or one with or one with neither the company nor its suppliers could have anticipated or avoided even with the exercise of all due care.
- If additional expenses are incurred through delay, accident or disruption of the tour beyond the control of the company by force majeure, such expenses must be borne solely by the client.
- In respect of hot air ballooning, scuba diving, horse riding and other hazardous pursuits, the client will appreciate that by their nature these activities carry inherent risks. The client hereby agrees to be personally responsible for assuming such risks.
The client hereby confirms that he or she is in good health. Any client with a pre-existing medical condition or illness must declare the true nature of such condition at the time of booking and make arrangements for the provision of drugs or other treatment which may be required during the tour. Such client would be required to provide a medical statement from a GP to confirm that they are fit for this type of adventure travel.
The client must take all the necessary inoculations as are required or generally recommended to the countries to be visited. Professional medical advice should be sought regarding inoculation.
Travel insurance is mandatory to all clients. Before the clients commences a tour he or she must arrange his or her own insurance with a reputable insurer, with protection for the full duration of the tour, to cover personal injury, medical expenses, repatriation expenses, loss of luggage and expenses associated with cancellation or curtailment of a tour. If a client becomes ill, all hospital expenses, Doctors’ fees and repatriation costs are the client’s responsibility and the company shall not be liable for any refund of a tour cost.
It is the responsibility of the client to be in possession of a valid passport, visa permits and vaccination or other medical certificates as may be required for the whole of the tour. The company does not accept responsibility for changes in regulations for visas or any particular requirements for visas. The company cannot be responsible for the failure of the client to obtain the necessary visas.
Jurisdiction and law
The contract shall be subject to the laws of Kenya and the exclusive jurisdiction of the Kenyan Courts.
Headings are for convenience only and shall not affect the construction of any provision. Except where the context otherwise indicates, words denoting the singular form include the plural and vice versa; words denoting any one gender include all genders; words denoting persons include firms and corporations and vice versa.
I have read the booking conditions and accept them.