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Pre-Departure Information

Visas+

IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO OBTAIN THE NECESSARY VISAS FOR YOUR TRIP.

The information provided here is for EU and US citizens
– for other nationalities please contact your nearest High Commission.  This information is correct at the time of writing and is subject to change. 

TANZANIA AND KENYA 
EU and US citizens can obtain visas for Tanzania and Kenya on arrival in each country, however your passport must be valid for at least 6 monthsafter your departure from Africa and must have at least 2 unused consecutive blank pages per country to be visited.   In any event, passengers with tight onward connections (e.g. flying between Kilimanjaro and Wilson, or connecting to the Selous or Ruaha) are strongly advised to obtain their visas in advance of travel as the queues on arrival can be lengthy and the flights will not wait.
 
The Tanzania High Commission in London is at 3 Stratford Place, London, W1C  1AS - telephone 020 7569 1470.   In the US: 2139 R Street, Washington, D.C. 20008 - telephone 202-9396125 - www.tanzaniaembassy-us.org.

When completing the visa form please put as your reference in Tanzania 'Coastal Travels, Dar, Tanzania - Tel 255 22 2117959'.  If asked for your means of financial support, you can put 'Pre-arranged by UK Tour Operator'.

The Kenya High Commission in London is at 45 Portland Place W1N 4AN - telephone 020 7636 2371.
Information about Kenyan visas for US citizens can be obtained at http://www.kenyaembassy.com/visa.html.
 
Action Visas in the UK (telephone 020 7939 8100) can also arrange visas for a fee

Luggage+

Internal scheduled and charter aircraft flights have a baggage limit of 15kgs per person - including hand luggage.These regulations are rigorously enforced so please limit your luggage to the appropriate weight.  Please also take your luggage in soft-sided bags without wheels or rigid handles - ie kit bags or similar rather than rigid suitcases.   Please note that the international airlines do lose or mislay hold luggage depressingly frequently, and we strongly suggest that you take any essential items (such as a change of clothes / malaria tablets / medicines / etc) with you in hand luggage.

Packing List+

The good news is that all safari lodges and camps offer a (usually complimentary) laundry service so you don’t need to take too many clothes with you.  Underwear is usually not accepted, although washing powder is often provided in your room / tent.  Bear in mind that this is the African bush so the service will be fairly basic - your items won’t be neatly ironed or packed in tissue paper, and you might prefer not to submit anything in any way delicate!
 
On safari casual and comfortable dress is appropriate.  Days are often hot, and early mornings and evenings are often cold, especially at the Ngorongoro Crater and in Ruaha due to the altitude.  Several lightweight layers plus a warm fleece and jacket work well so you can adapt to changing conditions as the day goes on.  Long-sleeved shirts can also be useful to protect you from both the sun and mosquitoes.  Neutral colours are best - khaki, green, beige – not white (which won’t stay white for long!), nor camouflage which is associated with the military and might inadvertently provoke a negative reaction.   Most lodges do not have a formal dress code and there is absolutely no need to change for dinner, although some people like to freshen up a little after the evening game drive.   Baraza on Zanzibar, the one exception to the general rule, requires long trousers for gentlemen at dinner.
 
CLOTHES
·         Shorts
·         T-shirts
·         Long trousers
·         Long-sleeved shirts
·         Sweater or fleece
·         Warm jacket
·         Light raincoat
·         Socks & underwear
·         Pyjamas
·         Swimsuit
·         Comfortable sturdy walking shoes
·         Sandals or flip-flops to wear around camp
·         Gloves for cold mornings
·         Thick gardening gloves if gorilla trekking (to grasp sharp foliage)
·         Sunglasses
·         Wide-brimmed hat
·         Waterproof bags for anything wet or dusty
·         A sarong / kikoy / shawl is often very useful

We are happy to recommend The Safari Store for good-quality safari clothing and equipment.  Our clients get a 10% discount, by quoting odyssey at checkout.

TOILETRIES
·         Sun block
·         Insect repellent
·         Lip balm
·         Antihistamine cream for insect bites & stings
·         First aid kit including Imodium and rehydration salts
·         Tissues
·         Malaria tablets (see your doctor before you travel for up-to-date advice)
·         Motion sickness tablets if required
·         Personal toiletries and medication

GENERAL
·         Binoculars
·         Camera plus lenses / filters etc, batteries, charger, memory cards (these are not readily available in East Africa so take more than you think you need).  We recommend a minimum zoom of 300mm for keen photographers.
·         Batteries  and chargers for electronics
·         Travel adaptor for non-UK visitors (Tanzania uses UK-style 3 pin plugs)
·         Flashlight
·         Local guidebooks and wildlife / birdlife guides
·         Credit and ATM cards (check that your bank has international ATM locations to avoid high fees, and tell them where you’ll be travelling before you leave)
·         Cash - US dollars - for camps that don’t accept credit cards, and some in small denominations for gratuities  
·         Mobile/ cellphone and charger

DOCUMENTATION
·         Passport and photocopies
·         Air tickets and vouchers
·         Itinerary and travel / accommodation vouchers
·         Travel insurance documentation
·         Yellow Fever Inoculation certificate – if travelling to Zambia or East Africa, you need to have a yellow fever inoculation (no less than 10 days prior to travel) and will need to have a certificate/card as proof when entering the country.

Tipping+

We recommend a tip of US$15 per guest per day for a driver/guide while on safari.  We also recommend a general tip of of $10 per guest per day at safari lodges / camps, and $5 per guest per day at beach hotels / resorts, to be shared amongst the general staff.

Insurance+

It is absolutely imperative, and a condition of booking with us, that all travellers have full travel insurance including medical repatriation.  We are not permitted to sell insurance or recommend an insurer, however many of our European clients use TAGIS (tel 0845 345 3456) or Campbell Irvine (020 7937 6981), and many of our American clients use Travel Guard from AIG (tel 1 800 826 4919).  There are of course many other excellent insurers and we recommend that you shop around to find the policy that best fits your requirements.

Health+

YELLOW FEVER
All travellers arriving into Tanzania, Kenya and Mozambique from any Yellow Fever infected country (such as Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Uganda etc) must carry a valid Yellow Fever certificate which you will be asked to show on arrival even if you have just transited through the airport of an infected country.  Entry may be denied if you do not have the necessary certificate.
You do NOT need a Yellow Fever certificate if arriving from Europe or the US, or if you are flying into Zanzibar from mainland Tanzania (or vice versa). 
However, since these rules are subject to change overnight, and also to misinterpretation from overzealous immigration officials, we strongly recommend that you travel with a Yellow Fever certificate or exemption certificate.  Please also note that the Yellow Fever vaccination only becomes effective 10 days after vaccination. 

MALARIA
Malaria is endemic throughout East Africa.  Seek the advice of your doctor before you travel as to which prophylactics are currently recommended.  If you feel unwell and feverish at any time while travelling or within a year of your return, seek medical advice as soon as possible and tell your doctor that you have been in a malarial zone. 

STOMACH UPSETS
It is not unusual to suffer a mild stomach upset in the first few days of your trip due to a change in the food and water.  You may wish to carry some Imodium and rehydration salts with you in case of this eventuality. 

OTHER
It is normally recommended that travellers to East Africa should be inoculated against typhoid and hepatitis.  Consult your doctor before you travel about these and any other recommended inoculations.  The BA Travel Clinic (020 7439 9584) or Trailfinders (020 7938 3999) can also advise. 

PERSONAL MEDICATION
Remember to take with you sufficient supplies of any personal medications to last the duration of your trip.  It is also a good idea to carry a copy of your doctor’s prescription in the event of any issues arising at customs.   Essential medications are best carried in hand luggage in case hold luggage should go astray.

Electricity and Photography+

For keen photographers, we advise a minimum zoom of 300mm, a 70-300mm lens is recommended.  Binoculars are also very useful on safari, especially for keen birders; a specification of 10 x 40 would be ideal.  It is possible to rent a pair from the The Safari Store.

The mains electricity supply is 240 volts, 50 cycles, and uses UK-style plugs.  On safari, many lodges and tented camps operate their own generators which offer intermittent electricity.  Short power cuts may be expected – rather than being a cause of frustration this should be seen as part of the charm of the safari experience!  We recommend taking a small flashlight.  It is possible to charge cameras, phones and tablets in all camps at some point during your stay.

Hairdryers requiring extra power cannot be used in some camps and lodges.

Internal flights+

Please note that ALL internal flights within Africa will stop off at (sometimes several) different airstrips on the way to your final destination. The exact route is decided by the airline the night before.

Language+

Swahili is the first language for most Tanzanians, although English is very widely spoken and is the other official language of Tanzania.  There is absolutely no need for visitors to speak any Swahili, however any effort you make to say a few words in the local language will be greeted with great delight. 
 
Jambo                                 Hello
Habari ya asubuhi              Good morning / how are you this morning
Habari ya mchana              Good afternoon / how are you this afternoon
Habari ya jioni                    Good evening (or late afternoon) / how are you this evening
(In response) Mzuri!           Fine / good!
Na wewe?                           And you?
 
Tafadhali                             Please
Asante                                Thank you
Karibu                                 Welcome
Sana                                   Very much  (e.g. Asante sana – thank you very much)
Ndiyo                                   Yes
Hapana                               No
 
Chakula kizuri                    Good food
Lala Salaama                     Sleep well
 
Simba                                  Lion
Tembo                                 Elephant
Mamba                                Crocodile
Twiga                                  Giraffe
Swala                                  Impala

Currency and Cash+

Tanzania’s official currency is the Tanzania Shilling.  However US dollars are widely used and all your prices and payments will be in dollars, thus there is no need to take Shillings.  Please be aware that US dollar notes dated before 2006 are not usually accepted because of the risk of counterfeiting. Credit cards are widely accepted, however a large surcharge is often added.  Some camps do not accept cards and you will need to settle your drinks bill in cash.  You may also wish to take sufficient dollars in low denominations for gratuities.

Cultural Awareness+

While Tanzania is broadly Christian, much of the swahili coast is Muslim and it is important to respect all cultural differences. Swimwear is appropriate at all beach resorts and at your hotel / lodge pool, but not in town.  Topless sunbathing is prohibited. Throughout the country, permission should be requested before taking photographs of local people.  Although most safari lodges offer a laundry service, this often excludes underwear. 

Airport Tax+

Flights departing Zanzibar are subject to a departure tax of $46 per person for international flights and around $15 per person for internal flights.  Flights from Kigali are subject to a departure tax of $40.  These amounts must be paid locally in cash. All other taxes within Tanzania are prepaid.

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