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General Information - Safaris and Gorilla Tracking

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AIRPORTS - Click here to expand

There are three main international Airports that are used by people visiting East Africa. Jomo Kenyatta International airport, being the biggest and busiest, serves most international airlines that come to East Africa and is used by visitors to Kenya as well as those doing Tanzanian safaris, as it is very close to Tanzania’s main tourist circuit. Kilimanjaro Airport in northern Tanzania is very close to Arusha and serves two major international airline – KLM. and Qatar Airways. Dar es Salaam International Airport in the south of Tanzania is major airport and serves KLM, Emirates, Qatar Airways and Swiss. Moi Airport in Mombasa is also a major transport hub and serves European charter planes as well as Kenya Airways. Entebbe airport is Uganda’s gateway and serves all international airlines that ply that route.

BAGGAGE - Click here to expand

Baggage space on safari vehicles is limited. The amount of luggage one can take on safari is therefore restricted to one medium size soft sided bag plus hand baggage (on private safaris where there are less than seven persons in the vehicle are not subject to this restriction). In cases where one has to carry much luggage due to the duration of travel, town hotels will store bulky suitcases not needed on safari at no charge. Real Africa guides help guest retrieve their stored luggage on return to the towns. A baggage restriction of 15kg per person applies on all internal air safaris. Where very small aircrafts are used this may be reduced to 10kg.

BANKS AND SHOPS - Click here to expand

Banks open at 0900hrs and close their doors to customers at 1500hrs Monday to Friday. Most hotels and lodges have bureau de change services. Shop opening times are generally 0830hrs to 1300hrs and 1400hrs to 1700hrs on Monday to Friday and 0830hrs to 1300hrs on Saturdays. However, for large groups and Incentive groups, Real Africa Safaris will be able to make special arrangements with shop owners to open outside the set times for exclusive service to our guests.

CURRENCY CONVERTER
Online Currency Converter

http://www.oanda.com/convert/classic

CLIMATE - Click here to expand

Although Kenya is on the equator, climate and temperature depend on altitude and proximity to the sea. The coastal climate is tropical, being hot and humid except during July and August which is cooler with lower humidity. Inland, the days are usually warm, sunny and with low humidity. In the highland areas, nights can get quite cold especially during July and August when skies may be overcast. The long rains occur from mid-march to end of May. During this time the rain falls continuously for long period.  The short rains fall from mid November to mid December. During this time rainfall is not continuous but occurs periodically between shiny intervals.

CLOTHING - Click here to expand

Dress should generally be informal, comfortable and practical. Washable cotton clothing in neutral colors is best for safari. A light jacket and warm sweater are recommended during the early morning and evening game drives especially when visiting highland areas such as Ngorongoro, Mt. Kenya and the Aberdares. The Mount Kenya Safari Club and some Nairobi hotels require guests to wear ‘smart casual’ in the dinning rooms. Bring a sun hut, comfortable/casual shoes and swimwear (most lodges have pools). Good quality locally made clothing and shoes for safaris are now available in Nairobi shops at reasonable prices. For 'Large' and 'Incentive' groups, Real Africa can provide the services of a good safari outfitter who will set up a shop in a function room of the hotel the group will stay. Available for purchase will be safari attire such as “convertible” trousers, trousers, shorts, shirts, skirts, vests, jackets and hats in traditional colors like khaki and jungle green. Alterations are made on the spot and clothes delivered to the guest’s room.

ELECTRICITY - Click here to expand

The electrical supply in east African countries is 220/240volts. Sockets are usually three pin square (British) type. It is advisable to check that any appliances (e.g. video battery charger) operating in other voltages have a built-in adaptor, or bring one with you. In most safari lodges, guests can charge their batteries and any other electrical equipment.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS - Click here to expand

All visitors must be in possession of a valid passport. The passport must be valid for six months after the date of departure from East Africa. Visitors may or may not require visas depending on nationality - it is therefore advisable to consult the relevant embassy, high commission or representative in your area. For most visitors, it is possible to obtain visas on arrival however, there can be considerable delays. For large incentive groups, Real Africa Safaris can assist with obtaining visas on arrival at a cost. This is subject to approval by the relevant authorites at the time of application.

VISA INFORMATION & ONLINE APPLICATION

KENYA
http://www.immigration.go.ke/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=43&Itemid=113

TANZANIA
http://www.tanzania.go.tz/visa.html

RWANDA
http://www.migration.gov.rw/page.php?article23

UGANDA

http://www.travisa.com/Uganda/uganda.pdf

FOOD - Click here to expand

Food on safari is excellent and prepared to the highest standards. European cuisine is standard fare. Due to our wonderful climate, fruits and vegetables are fresh and plentiful, and feature frequently in menus. Kenyan-grown coffee and tea are served universally. Breakfast usually consists of eggs cooked to order accompanied by bacon, sausage, potatoes, grilled tomatoes and baked beans. Also served are cereals and toast as well as a large selection of fresh tropical fruits and juices. Lunch is often buffet with soup, a selection of salads, several main courses such as roasted meats or casseroles, pasta and vegetables and an assortment of desserts. According to the lodge or camp, dinner will also be buffet or frequently table d’hôte with starters, soup, salad, choice of main course and dessert. Most lodges and camps do Barbecues on alternate days. Occasionally and only in a few licensed restaurants/hotels, game meat such as impala, crocodile or ostrich is offered and sometimes traditional African foods like ugali (stiff maize meal) and sukuma wiki (Kale or Collards or wild Spinach). The most common complaint about the food is the over-abundance of it!
Meal plan in Nairobi is usually bed and breakfast, in the safari lodges it is fullboard while on the beach it is halfboard (breakfast and either lunch or dinner).

GAME DRIVES - Click here to expand

Game drives start early to increase the possibility of observing wildlife while it’s active. Morning tea, coffee and biscuits are served before dawn and then it’s off in the vehicles to see what adventure awaits you. The vehicles are comfortable and modified for maximum view. Vehicles also have guide books for species identification. Game drives usually last about 2-3 hours before returning to the lodge or camp for meals and relaxation. Late afternoon affords another opportunity to explore until sunset. For those so inclined, it is possible to do a game drive during the mid-morning hours.

HEALTH - Click here to expand

Health requirements for entry into east African countries depend on country of origin and may change from time to time. It is recommended that visitors consult there doctors or inoculation centers before traveling. Malaria is endemic in East Africa. Malaria Prophylaxis is highly recommended.

We also highly recommend that visitors are adequately insured both with medical and traveler’s insurance.  Health care services in Nairobi are quite good and up to world standards.

Real Africa Safaris are members of the AMREF (African Medical Research Foundation) Flying Doctors and all guests who book a safari with us are automaticaly covered through out their safari duration in East Africa. In the event one requires urgent specialized medical attention while on safari, the Flying Doctors will fly them (subject to on the spot assessment by the medical team) by Air ambulance to Nairobi for admittance to hospital. Hospital bills are born by the patient.Membership to the flying doctor's service is strongly recommended. This covers you with-in East Africa for the period of your safari . In the event one requires urgent specialized medical attention while on safari, the Flying Doctors will fly patients (subject to on the spot assessment by the medical team) by Air ambulance to Nairobi for Admittance to hospital. Hospital bills are born by the patient. Inquire from the Real Africa team at the time of booking.

HOTEL CHECK-IN & CHECK-OUT - Click here to expand

Checkout time at most hotels and lodges is 1000hrs. Check-in time varies from hotel to hotel and is usually between 11.00hrs and 14.00hrs. Rooms can not therefore be guaranteed before that time unless the room has been pre-booked from the night before. Day rooms up to 1800hours can usually be arranged with hotels.

LIGHT AIRCRAFT - Click here to expand

Many safaris include segments of flying on light aircraft. These flights reduce travel on sometimes long, dusty, bumpy roads considerably and increase time in the parks and reserves. Chartered and scheduled airlines within Kenya are operated to the highest safety standards. Reputable scheduled flight and charter companies which operate aircraft seating from four to forty eight passengers. On all of these flights luggage is strictly limited to a maximum of 15kgs (approx. 30 lbs.) per passenger, plus reasonable carry on bags. It’s imperative that guests are aware of and adhere to these weight restrictions.

LANGUAGES - Click here to expand

Swahili is the linguafranca in East Africa, while English is the official language in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Kiswahili is widely spoken in Rwanda while French and English are official languages. In addition, most tribes have their own mother tongues. English is widely spoken by most in east Africa while French, Spanish, German, Japanese and Italian are spoken by a few as additional foreign languages in the travel industry.

MEALS - Click here to expand

Meals included in any of our itineraries are only as indicated in the particular itinerary. Unless otherwise indicated, beverages are not included. Following is a legend for the meal abbreviations used on our itineraries:

B=Breakfast
L=Lunch
D=Dinner

MONEY - Click here to expand

There are no currency restrictions in East Africa and most foreign currencies are accepted in the main cities. US Dollars are accepted all over, however, the exchange rates are best in the cities. Major credit cards are widely accepted in the towns as well as in the game lodges.

Note: US Dollar bills printed before the year 2000 are not accepted in East Africa.

CURRENCY CONVERTER
Online Currency Converter

http://www.oanda.com/convert/classic

PACKING LIST FOR SAFARI - Click here to expand

We advise all clients to pack as little as possible to minimize ‘headaches’. Space on Safari vehicles is limited and on all domestic charter and scheduled flights baggage allowance is limited to 15kg / approx. 30lb per person. Following are some items we recommend for carrying:
•    Shorts
•    Long Trousers or Skirts (for women)
•    Swim suite
•    A smart evening attire
•    T-shirts
•    Long sleeved shirt or blouse
•    A pullover or sweater
•    Smart casual shoes or safari boots
•    Underwear and socks enough for 4 days
•    Light sleepwear
•    Personal toiletries and insect repellent (although most lodges and camps provide them)
•    Small carry on bag
•    Sun protection cream
•    Sun glasses

PACKING LIST FOR GORILLA TRACKING - Click here to expand

•    Long pants (jeans/khakis)
•    a long sleeved shirt
•    Good well-worn hiking boots
•    Light raincoat
•    Cap/Hat
•    Camera (use of flash is not permitted when in the presence of gorillas.
•    Personal camcorder
•    Lastly do not forget to carry your Passport, money and credit cards.

PHOTOGRAPHY - Click here to expand

It is recommended that you take enough film with you to last the trip (double the number you first thought of) All types of film can be found in the towns as well as in some the lodges. Zoom and/or telephoto are a must and ultra violet polarizing filter is a good idea. Lodges do provide facilities for battery charging. Bring a dust proof bag for cameras and accessories. You will find many interesting and beautiful subjects for photography from the time you arrive till you depart.

RATES - Click here to expand

Unless otherwise indicated, the following are not included in our prices: Visa fees, excess baggage charges, baggage and personal insurance, gratuities, optional tours, beverages, other items and expenses of personal nature and any items not specifically mentioned in the itinerary or on the tour inclusions section. Real Africa reserves the right to adjust tour prices in the event of any unexpected increase in airfares, government taxes and fees, fuel surcharges, entrance and park fees as well as currency fluctuations.

REAL AFRICA SAFARI GUIDES - Click here to expand

Their knowledge of Africa is a bottomless treasure trove! They are keen naturalists with in-depth knowledge of east Africa’s history, culture, wildlife and traditions. They are professionally trained and with boundless enthusiasm they will give their best to ensure you have a safe, rewarding and fun tour.

What would be a better way to experience Africa than having a ‘Real African guide’ showing you around?

SAFARIS - Click here to expand

All our safari packages include luxury accommodations with private facilities (except where otherwise indicated), full buffet breakfast on all days, lunches and dinners while on safari, game viewing drives in specially converted safari vehicles with pop-up roofs or hatches, services of some of the best safari driver- guides in Africa, all entrance fees to game parks and reserves featured on the itineraries, airport transfers in towns and cities with meet and greet services and all government taxes.

SECURITY - Click here to expand

East Africa is no different from anywhere else in the world - just apply commonsense. Remember that excessive displays of jewelery or large wads of cash in your back pocket are a temptation. Do not leave valuables in hotel rooms – use the safe in your hotel room or at the reception.

SAFARI VEHICLES - Click here to expand

On safari, guests travel in vehicles specially modified for comfort and ease of photography and wildlife observation. We use custom built 5 and 7-seater four wheel drive vehicles with pop-up roofs or roof hatches however on request we can provide 7-seater safari vans with pop up roofs. For large groups we may use larger vehicles including air-conditioned buses which can also be used by smaller groups and familes upon request.

Real Africa Safari Vehicle
Real Africa Safari Cruisers
 

VEHICLE INTERNAL ARRANGEMENT

Below is a diagram of the seating arrangement in a safari micro bus and a four wheel drive vehicle:

Real Africa Vehicle Arangement Seating

 

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