Destinations

Destinations 

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Kenya

Situated on the eastern coast of Africa, set astride the Equator and bisected from North to South by the Great Rift Valley, Kenya covers a total area of 580,530 square kilometres, including 13,395 sq. km of inland water. Its Indian Ocean coastline stretches for 480 km.. Nairobi, the capital of the country, is a colourful striking city 500 km inland from Mombasa, the major port on the Indian Ocean. Official languages are Swahili and English.

With an estimated population of more than 30 million people, this country gained full independence on 12th December 1963 and was admitted to the United Nations four days later. In 1964, the country became a sovereign republic within the Commonwealth, with Mzee Jomo Kenyatta as its first president. He remained in office until his death in 1978 when President Daniel Arap Moi was elected leader of the Nation.

For the traveller Kenya is an enchanting country because few places in the world can better its varied touristic attractions. The overwhelming appeal of the wildlife sanctuaries, glorious beaches, breathtaking scenery in a vast and unspoilt land, an almost perfect climate, sophisticated accommodation and a hospitable happy people.

Kenya contains almost every known land form from true glacial ice to arid desert, mountain massifs to rich savannahs, large lakes and dense forest: Mount Kenya (5,199 m.) with its breathless snow capped peaks stands sentinel above rolling grassland plains and the fascinating semideserts are much further to the North; Lake Victoria, the first lake to be discovered and largest in Africa; Lake Turkana now known as the "Cradle of Mankind"; the Indian Ocean coast, a place of white sandy beaches, turquoise seas and archaeological antiquities...

Above all are the wildlife sanctuaries: the 25 National Parks, devoted to the absolute protection of the indigenous flora and fauna; the 29 National Reserves, where wildlife coexist from time immemorial in perfect harmony with the pastoral nomadic tribes ... These wild and lovely places vary in the abundance and variety of their animals, in scenery, in climate and altitude; from the famous savannah of Masai Mara to the ornithological paradise of Lake Nakuru.

Variations in altitude and terrain create contrasts in the climate: from the hot and humid coast to the fresh, sometimes frosty mornings of the central highlands and the dry burning heat of the northern desert; however, overall, it is seldom harsh, neither too hot nor too cold with long sun filled days.

In almost every part of Kenya there are hotels which hold their own with any in the world. Many, like the famous Treetops, the Norfolk in Nairobi and Mount Kenya Safari Club are internationally know. Some are architectural masterpieces, some are tented camps, true luxury in the bush. All have one common aim, to offer the best in comfort, quality and service in true safari style.
 
NAIROBI

Just south of the Equator at an altitude of 1,675 m Nairobi enjoys an almost perfect, healthy climate: warm sunny cloudless days with the temperature seldom rising above 25 C and cooler nights.

This city, born in the spirit of adventure in the days of the early pioneers, less than 100 years ago, was then an insignificant jumble of tents and ox wagons beside the Uganda Railhead, which halted here 500 km inland from the coast to gather steam for the way ahead. The good climate and the abundance of water made it grow quickly, becoming one of the most important and vibrant cities of Africa, truly a Babel Tower of races and cultures with a population of almost 3 million colourful people from many nations.

A city of great contrast, strikingly modern with tall imposing buildings, yet reminders of the early days are there. Look for the Law Courts and Parliament Buildings; Railway Station and Museum, with its steam locomotives so emotive of a more romantic age; Jamia Mosque; the City Market with its arrays of tropical fruits and flowers; the famous Norfolk Hotel, linked with Kenya´s history since 1904; Kenyatta Conference Centre built in 1983; the National Museum, founded in 1910, with its unique collections so relevant to Kenya´s early history and the prehistory of mankind; the Karen Blixen Museum, outside the city, a memorial to a woman admired both for her writing and her spirit; the Bomas of Kenya, the nation´s cultural centre where it is possible to watch a vivid display of tribal dancing in a rural lovely setting ...

Throughout the country and specially in Nairobi shopping is an absorbing pastime. Look around first, there is so much on offer: wood carvings and traditional handcrafts; sensuous soapstone from Kisii; colorful sisal mats; "kiondos", the famous Kenya bags; "kangas" and "kikois", traditionally worn by women and these days used as tablecloths or beach wraps; batiks, as the silk ones printed by Heidi Lange or Robin Anderson ... Also two gem stones originate in this part of Africa: the blue Tanzanite and the vivid green Tsavorite.

Visitors to Nairobi will be pleasantly surprised by the quality of the hotels in and around the city. All are well appointed with spacious rooms, most have swimming pools and the service is friendly and attentive. Most of the leading hotels offer gourmet, a la carte dining in sophisticated grill rooms. For visitors who wish to dine out the choice is appealing: the Tamarind, with superb seafood from the Indian Ocean; the Ibis Grill, in the Norfolk Hotel, an exceptional meal for a special occasion; the Carnivore, famous for its exotic game meats ...
 
MASAI MARA

Situated in the heart of the Great Rift Valley, with an area of 1,812 sq. km, limited to the East by the Talek river and Loita plains, Masai Mara, Kenya´s leading Game Reserve, lies on the border between Kenya and Tanzania and is the northern extension to the renowned Serengeti plain.

A reserve of breathless vistas, a panorama of vast rolling plains, hills and woodland groves, well watered by the Mara River, concentrating in its proximities permanent populations of wildlife: this is lion, leopard, cheetah and elephant country, with buffalo lurking in the forest and a superb abundance of plains game: zebras, Thompson and Grant gazelles, topis ... But all this richness is secondary to the Mara main attraction: the annual migration, which takes place between July and September. Over a million wildebeest, more than two hundred thousand zebra with their attendant predators cross the Mara River and spread across the plains in a seemingly endless procession.




LAKE NAKURU

With a total area of 368 sq. km, home for more than 450 different kinds of birds, Lake Nakuru is one of the finest ornithological sights in the world, famous haunt of thousand of flamingoes which feed on the algae in the 40 cm deep lake. This beautiful shallow alkaline lake, just south of Nakuru town, is surrounded by acacia woodland and rich savannah.

Superb example of conservation at work in the wild, it is now, with the assistance of the World Wildlife Foundation, providing sanctuary for Rothschild Giraffe, Black and White Rhino and Leopard who live in perfect harmony in this aquatic landscape. The edge of the lake is frequently a crimson ribbon of Greater and Lesser Flamingoes, while pelicans and other water birds swim and fish in majestic flotilla formation.

 
LAKE NAIVASHA

Few lakes have a more commanding or lovely setting than Lake Naivasha, the highest and purest of the Rift Valley lakes.

Ornithological paradise and home for hippopotamus it is surrounded by Mount Longonot, a extinct volcano of 2,777 m of altitude which shades the lake in misty blues and purples. At Hell´s Gate gorge with its steam jets, and Fischer´s Tower a pinnacle of soaring rock, game abounds and the rarest of Kenya´s birds of prey, the Lammergeyer nest.
 
SAMBURU, BUFFALO SPRINGS AND SHABA NATIONAL RESERVES

Rugged and remote, with the same faunal structure, these wildlife reserves, with a total area of 428 sq. km, lie just within the fascinating semi-desert Northern Frontier District of Kenya.

The tranquil Uaso Nyiro River, flowing through Shaba and Samburu, attract a wide number of rare wildlife and provides a natural habitat for crocodile. Long necked gerenuk, Grevy´s zebra and reticulated giraffe are species not found in the less arid areas to the south. Elephant seek solace and contentment in the shallow waters of this wide sauntering river, fringed with acacia, down palms and tamarind, which together with Buffalo Springs, support a large variety of african mammals, cheetah and leopard being particularly well represented. Doves and guinea fowl abound and the giant Martial Eagle perched on some high vantage point.

The past volcanic intensity of the area is demonstrated by the formidable lava flow at the southern end of Shaba (its name comes from a cone of volcanic rock).

With a magnificent background of jagged, purple mountains, a safari in these small gems in the wildlife wilderness, will provide some of the best and most colorful gameviewing in the country.
 
MOUNT KENYA

Mount Kenya, with its snow-capped peaks 5,199 m. high, is Kenya´s highest mountain and certainly one of the most beautiful mountains anywhere. Its slopes are covered with rich deciduous and bamboo forests and open high altitude moorland just below the glaciers and snowfields. Wildlife resident within the forest includes elephant, buffalo and even lion, with several species of antelope and other smaller animals.
 
THE ABERDARE

Within a beautiful mountain range in the central highlands of Kenya is the Aberdares National Park, a fairy tale place of dense forest, misty moorlands and alpine plants where icy rivers plunge in glorious cascades and waterfalls.

The 766 sq. km of the area are rich in wildlife. The Salient stretching out towards the nearby town of Nyeri, was once an elephant migration route, not used today. These great animals remain within the park together with buffalo, a wide variety of antelope, giant forest hog, the elusive bongo, rhino, lions and hyenas. Tacazze and Malachite Sunbird, Mountain Buzzard and African Goshawk are found in this area where the birdlife is abundant and varied.


 
AMBOSELI

This seasonal swamp of 3,810 sq. km, is one of the finest areas in the country for big game photography, attracting a vast population of wildlife. The landscape, with its parched alkaline pan and strange mirages, is everywhere dominated by the glistening majestic snowcap of Mount Kilimanjaro, a extinct volcano of 5,894 m. known as the "roof of Africa".

This is Masai country, a proud nomadic people, who have lived in harmony with nature for centuries. Game viewing is an adventure in this park, with lion, cheetah and buffalo almost an assured sight and hosts of antelope, zebra and other small creatures of the wild. Bird life is abundant. But the most impressive inhabitants of this arid landscape are the elephants, moving in large columns in their daily peregrination to the water.

 
TSAVO NATIONAL PARK

Forming one of the world´s largest game parks is the combined area of Tsavo East and West National Parks, together with the adjoining private sanctuary of Taita. A model national park in layout, geophysical, animal and plant diversity, situated midway between Nairobi and Mombasa.

This starkly beautiful park suffered considerable deprivation both in physical damage and animal loss in the 1970´s, but this is now well past, and today the park is thriving once more. The many natural wonders in this harsh countryside include the fascinating Mzima Springs a marvelous eruption of underground crystal waters arising in the Chyulu Hills from Mount Kilimanjaro, reaching the surface to form clear pools, a heaven for a rich wildlife pageant.

The wildlife in this park includes herds of elephant and prides of lion. Less common species include fringed-eared oryx, klipspringer, striped hyena and caracal.

South of the park is a private sanctuary with lovely lakes and waterholes, which ensures an exciting variety of animals at all times of the year. Weaver birds and their fascinating nests are found throughout the park, as are Fisher´s starling, hornbills and parrots.

 
THE KENYA COAST

480 km of vast uninterrupted white sand beaches, fringed with palms, casuarinas, oleanders and brilliant bougainvillaea, washed by the incredible sparkling blue waters of an opal Indian Ocean, refreshed by gentle monsoon breezes, makes the Kenya coast one of the most idyllic resort areas anywhere in the world.

The tropical coastline of East Africa has been recognized by historians for a thousand years, from Ptolemy to the Turks, from the Arabs to the Portuguese who took Mombasa in the 16th Century. They stayed for over a century, building Fort Jesus, eventually being starved by the Arabs.

In the North and South coast stand some of Kenya´s finest hotels, nestling in cleared beach front areas, offering a very wide variety of watersports and activities.

The Kisite Marine Park, almost at the Tanzania border, an intriguing underwater world, can be reached from Shimoni or Wasini Island in a lovely dhow trip. In the North, Nyali, Bamburi, Shanzu and Kikambala are a paradise of sand and bright blue sea, with its calm unruffled water.



MOMBASA

The second most important city of the country is the largest and most popular island on the Kenya coast.

This old but vibrant gateway to Kenya is a mystical mixture of ancient and modern, with a cosmopolitan population blending Africa, Arabia and Asia. But not everyone realizes that this picturesque port is an island with two deep water harbors. Evocative of the east, graceful sailing dhows unchanged throughout the centuries, arrive on the monsoon winds, while ocean liners berth just around the headland. Fringing the dhow harbor is the Old Town, dominated by the ancient Portuguese Fort Jesus, a maze of narrows streets overshadowed by high ornamental balconies of quaint shuttered houses and vibrant open bazaars.
 
MALINDI

Historically, Malindi dates back to the 9th Century with Arab occupation from the 13th Century onwards.

A rich trading centre with the near East with Arabic influence for more than 500 years, Malindi is now a popular beach resort.

18kms south of the ancient town, surrounded by the Sokokwe Forest, is situated the lost City of Gedi whose inhabitants inexplicably vanished over 300 years ago.

Two marine national parks with wonderful underwater coral gardens and thousands of tropical fish, secluded curved bays with incredible beaches that defy description.

 
LAMU

As one of the earliest Arab settlements along the coast, Lamu has preserved his architecture and a tempo reminiscent of the 18th Century. This swahili town, last remaining bastion of the Shirazi, the oldest of the cultures on this coast, is a delightful anachronism carrying on its daily life as it has for centuries.

There are beautiful beaches, a wonderful underwater world along the reefs in the Kiunga Marine National Park and two remote hideaways on Kiwayu and Manda for those who dream of deserted tropical islands in the sun.

Due to proximity of the coastal towns to Somali, there has been several cases of terrorist activities reported over time.  
INCENTIVE FRILLS
East Africa offers some of the finest natural attractions in the world, which combined with a network of the outstanding hotels and game lodges give visitors’ great value for money.  In terms of the sights, sounds and smells of ageless Africa, East Africa can only be described in the superlative. 

A simple safari in East Africa is inspiring and on it’s own merits, a grand affair.  It needs no additions to justify the experience and qualify it as memorable.  Having said that, the quality of experience could be improved tremendously or embellished a million times over to make it an indeed unique experience.   There are unlimited, inexpensive and value added inclusions, virtually in every area that could achieve this effect.   This is more so, for that special incentive trip, convention or congress.

These extras could start off as superior accommodations within the same unit (suites, villas, seas-facing, etc…) to sundowners and bush dinners or private gala dinner with a live band in performance.   For instance, on international arrival, a band of traditional dancers, either at the Airport or on check-in at the Hotel might be an excellent jolt into the reality of Africa, where dancing and taking a moment to enjoy/join-in is not only the essence but a custom.  In Nairobi, innumerable options could leave one entirely dazed  - an out of Africa dinner at the Karen Blixen Museum has been severally acclaimed as a highlight to many a farewell diners.  As rule of rule thumb, it is unusual when at least a lunch or dinner is not included at the famous game meat restaurant, The Carnivore.

On Safari, the options are unlimited – half a day’s treasure hunt if properly organised can create a great sense of purpose and team building for participants.  An equator Ceremony at Mount Kenya is mind boggling and a must for the curious and those in quest of ‘an additional theory’ to take home.    A sundowner, in the vast Africa open plains, maybe overlooking the great Mara/Serengeti Plains, might be a helpful insight to the sense of time and space, african style.  A bush meal, especially dinner, is travel back in time, and nothing could get one as close to nature, the sounds of african jungle, the roar of a lion close by, the hyenas howling in the periphery…..  Then the per excellence experience in the bush, limited to the Mara or Serengeti is an early morning hot-air balloon ride over the plains, forests and rivers of this expansive game area. Lions, Elephants, Buffaloes, Hippos, Crocodiles and prolific numbers of plains game are regularly seen, as are countless species of birds both in flight and atop their lofty perches in the trees.  The flight lasts about an hour, with ample opportunities for  photography and video filming from this unusual and often exciting perspective.  After landing there is a traditional champagne toast, followed by a breakfast cooked on balloon burners in the middle of the rolling plains.  Each passenger is presented with a certificate signed by the pilot to commemorate the flight.

On the East African Coast, the options are breathtaking and as plentiful, some of these towns have rich histories, going back to the 07th century. Compound this with the selection of sea food restaurants, dhow safaris/restaurants and the rich marine life/reserves! Plentiful to do and so little time!

We could not exhaust the possibilities here, contact us for comprehensive list of activities…everything is truly possible and the results could be enriching to no end.
 
SPECIAL INTEREST SAFARIS

Kenya and Tanzania offers unlimited opportunities to enrich a visit to the country with visits to establishments of special interest and meetings with professionals in a particular field.  There is a whole range of subjects which may be encompassed in a purpose built itinerary.

Kenya and Tanzania have a predominantly agriculture economy, with agriculture, horticulture, livestock, forestry and fishing accounting for a sizeable percentage of the Gross Domestic Product.  Most important cash crops are coffee and tea grown in the cool fertile uplands.

Archaeologically, East Africa is of world-wide interest being the discovery site for some extremely important excavations and findings.

The coastline of Kenya and Tanzania bears the remains of the many foreign peoples who have passed through its shores in the last 1000 years of history - Chinese, Persians, Arabs, Portuguese...; traders and invaders who have left a fascinating collection of coastal antiquities.

For lovers of geology and gemology, a safari combined with opportunities of meeting local enthusiasts and visits to areas of mineralogical interest can be an exciting experience.  The volcanic eruptions that have taken place have created fascinating structures of earth variations.

Tropical fruits such as pineapples, paw paws, bananas, mangoes, cashews and macademias are all grown in Kenya and Tanzania for home consumption and export.  In the farming centre of Nakuru, it is possible to visit a pyrethrum factory (Kenya produces almost 80% of the total world production). In addition, this area is ideally suited to ranching with fine herds of beef cattle as is Naivasha and Nanyuki, with Boran, Sahiwal, Charolais and Hereford breeds.

There are four championship golf courses in and around Nairobi and nearly 30 courses throughout Kenya and Tanzania, all in beautiful settings.  The Kenya Open (handicap 3 or under) attracts world golfing stars during the months of February and March and the Kenya Amateur Championships (handicap seven of less) in November.

For deep sea fishing fans, between the months of October and March there are opportunities of landing record marlin, mako shark and sailfish as well as a plethora of game fish including kingfish, bonito, felusi and black runner along the coastline.  During this period regular competitions are held in which overseas visitors are encouraged to participate.
 
TRAVELLER information

CLIMATE
If there is a perfect climate in the world, surely it is in East Africa with cool mornings and warm middays.  Although it can be hot and sticky by the sea, inland the air is dry and even at midday the temperatures are equitable.  Due to the proximity to the equator, sunrise occurs daily between 06.00hrs and 06.30hrs while sunset takes place 12 hours later.  It can get quite chilly in the early morning and evening hence visitors should pack a sweater.  Each time of year has its special attractions.  There are two main rainy seasons - usually mid-April to the end of May and November to mid-December.  Even during the rains, the weather can be pleasant with rain occurring in the early morning and late in the afternoon or evening.


VISA REGULATIONS
Visitors must be in possession of valid visa on arrival.  The regulations vary dependent on nationality and country of origin and should be checked with the nearest tourist office or diplomatic mission.


HEALTH REGULATIONS AND MEDICAL ADVICE
Inoculation centres in the country of origin will provide updated information and advice on health regulations and recommendations.
As Kenya & Tanzania enjoy a healthy, invigorating climate, visitors need feel no concern for their general health during their stay.  However, malaria is endemic in certain areas and anti-malaria medication should be taken according to prescription recommendations. Visitor requiring special medication should pack sufficient supplies in their hand luggage.  Chemist shops are well stocked, but the same generic medication may not be readily available.  Tap water is considered safe in Nairobi.  On safari, rooms are provided with flasks of filtered and purified water.  Mineral water is readily available.


CUSTOMS AND EXIT REGULATIONS
Personal effects, film and cameras may be imported temporarily free of duty.  However professional video equipment, tape recorders, radios, musical instruments and souvenirs from other countries may require a customs bond to ensure re-exportation. Firearms need a special permit which must be obtained in advance.
Baggage is normally inspected by customs officials on arrival and departure.
Please strictly adhere to baggage limitations as advised by the airline as excess baggage charges can be quite expensive.


 AIRPORT DEPARTURE TAX
A local airport service charge is payable on departure for domestic flights.


CURRENCY
There is no restriction to the amount of foreign currency a visitor may import provided that it is exchanged through authorized dealers only.  It is essential to retain a receipt for each transaction in order to re-exchange the local currency on departure.  Foreign currency as the U.S. dollar or British pound (in cash or travellers cheque) are the most widely accepted.  Well known credit cards are also widely accepted in Kenya & Tanzania  It is a legal offence to deface local currency.


BANKS
Banking hours are from 09.00hrs to 14.00hrs Monday to Friday.  Most Hotels and Lodges change money outside these hours.


SECURITY
Normal precautions as in any other destination worldwide should be taken. Keep a close watch on handbags, wallets and cameras when walking in crowded places and avoid walking at night (take a taxi).  Place all valuables in safety deposit boxes at hotels and lodges and only carry small amounts of cash.  Wear as little jewellery as possible, if any, and never leave valuables on show in an unattended car or tour bus.  Taking photographs at airports, near military installations, of policemen, the President, the national flag, the State House, state lodges, soldiers, prisons and prisoners etc., is prohibited.  Before photographing local people, permission should be obtained and a fixed price agreed.  Seek the assistance of your driver/guide in this matter.


DRIVING
Driving is on the left for all countries.


CLOTHING
Safari clothing should be casual and comfortable.  Cotton slacks and shirts, with skirts and culottes for ladies and a light sweater or jacket, during the day.  Evening wear in game lodges and safari camps can be very casual.  In the more sophisticated clubs and hotels gentlemen will be required to wear a jacket, while ladies should dress rather more formally.  At high altitudes, where early mornings and evenings can be very chilly, warm sweaters, socks and comfortable shoes are recommended.  Pack suntan lotion, swimwear (to be reserved for the beach and pool only) and a small first aid kit. Local customs and modesty should be respected.


LAUNDRY
Most hotels, game lodges and safari camps offer  a 24-hour inexpensive laundry service.


ELECTRICITY
Voltage in East Africa is 240volts/50 cycles AC, British standard generally through three-pin square plugs.  Some lodges and camps have power only in the early mornings and evenings and, in some, video charging facilities are centralized.


LUGGAGE
We strongly recommend that luggage is limited to one piece per person. A small overnight bag is essential.  All city hotels provide secure storage for left luggage. On all itineraries where journeys by light aircraft are involved the baggage allowance is 15kgs per person. At Treetops and The Ark only one small overnight bag per person is permitted, secure storage is provided at the Outspan Hotel and Aberdare Country Club.


PHOTOGRAPHY
There is no shortage of the more usual film throughout Kenya, however it is expensive and visitors are advised to bring plentiful supplies, especially where specialist film is concerned.  As a general guide, double the amount of film normally needed in other areas.  In Tanzania films may not be available.  For wildlife photography a 35mm single reflex camera, with telephoto lens of 200mm to 300mm is recommended.  Larger lenses which require a tripod, or double reflex cameras are generally impractical.  An ultra violet filter, waterproof dust cover and spare batteries are essential.  A pair of good quality binoculars for each person will be a great asset.


HOTEL CHECK-IN/CHECK-OUT
The standard check-out time is 10.00hrs hence rooms may not normally be ready for occupancy until 12.00hrs.  Should an early arrival be anticipated, please reserve rooms from the preceding night.  Day rooms up to 18.00hrs are usually available.


MOUNT KENYA AND KILIMANJARO
No special mountaineering skills are necessary for climbing either mountain but due to the high altitudes attained, the climbs should not be undertaken unless climbers are fit and well-exercised.  Climbers should have a physical check-up and start a fitness training programme at least a month before the safari.  In Kenya and Tanzania a limited amount of equipment is available from the base hotels.  Recommended kit lists can be provided on request.


QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE
Kenya    Tanzania
Bank Hours   9.00-14.00hrs   8.30-15.00hrs
Mon to Fri   Mon to Fri

Currency   Kenya Shillings (Ksh)  Tanzania Shillings (Tsh)

Major Credit Cards  Amex, Mastercard, Visa Visa

Travellers Cheque  Most denominations  U.S. dollars and sterling pound
accepted   accepted

Tipping   10% at restaurants  10% at restaurants

Time Difference  GMT + 3hrs   GMT + 3hrs

Shopping   9.00-17.30hrs   8.30-17.00hrs
Mon to Sat   Mon to Sat

 

Tanzania

East Africa´s best kept secret is a country of stunning beauty, a kaleidoscope of landscape, wildlife and people. With an area of 939,701 sq. km., Tanzania is situated below the Equator and is bordered by shimmering lakes and the Indian Ocean, from Mount Kilimanjaro in the North to Mozambique in the South. Its landscapes varies from the green tropical 800 km of coastline, with silver sand, coral reefs and mangrove swamps, to the beige semidesert of the central plateau, the eternal snow of the northern mountains and the savannah of the largest and best game reserves in the world.

What first strikes the visitor to Tanzania is its sheer physical size and infinite variety. The country embraces the green islands of Pemba, Zanzibar and Mafia.

Over a quarter of Tanzania is made up of National Parks, game reserves, and controlled areas. In the North, the remarkable Serengeti plains support over three million animals; further east is Ngorongoro Crater, an inequalable caldera which reveals on its floor a magic world teeming with animals; nearby, Lake Manyara at the foot of the Rift Valley is a bird watchers paradise. Tanzania has 53,000 sq. km. of inland water. Lake Tanganyika is Africa´s deepest and longest fresh water lake. In the north-west, Lake Victoria, the second largest on earth, lies in a huge shallow depression.

But above all, at 5,895 m, there is mighty Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, which rises majestically out of the dusty bush of the northern Masai Steppe. Its densely forested sides give way to the blue glaciers and unbelievably white snow of its rounded peak.

 
ARUSHA

Once a small trading post, its only significance due to its geographical position in the centre of Africa, mid way between the Cape and Cairo, Arusha is today an agricultural town and the comfortable base for all safaris in the northern part of Tanzania.

The Arusha National Park, just outside the city is a string of lovely lakes with a miniature volcanic crater hidden in a forest of mahogany and olive on the slopes of Mount Meru.

 
MOUNT KILIMANJARO

Discovered by Johan Rebmann in 1848, Mount Kilimanjaro is a beautiful great shining mountain of 5,895m always bearing a glittering mantle of snow.  The highest mountain in Africa is also a national park which extends from mountain rain forest to scrub and alpine moorland and finally snow and ice fields at the summit.

 
NGORONGORO

Indisputably one of Africa´s true wonders of nature and an extraordinary place of haunting beauty, with its grand majestic mountain ring and lake, Ngorongoro, an active volcano some 8 million years ago, covers an area of 264 sq. km and is the largest intact caldera in the world.

Approaching Ngorongoro Crater is a unique experience. The road winds upwards through a beautiful area of tropical rainforest and meadows carpeted with wild flowers. Its enduring charm stems from its overwhelming physical beauty and the abundance of wildlife permanently resident on the crater floor.


LAKE MANYARA

Set around a shallow alkaline lake, surrounded by ancient baobabs, ground water forest of fig and mahogany and open grasslands, this park lies at the foot of a dramatic escarpment, offering a rich diversity of scenery and wildlife.

Considered as one of Tanzania´s most attractive game sanctuaries, it is home for the famous tree climbing lions. Birdlife is prolific, and a very high density of elephant population coexist with buffalo, zebra, wildebeest and other big game.

 
OLDUVAI GORGE

Between the Ngorongoro Conservation area and the Serengeti National Park lies Olduvai Gorge.  This remote spot has become famous as the archaeological site where Dr Mary Leakey in 1959 discovered Australopithecus Boisei dated 1.5 million years ago.

A museum overlooking the gorge displays many of their finds such as prehistoric elephant, enormous ostrich and giant horned sheep, explaining the significance of the geology, fossils and artifacts. 

 
SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK

With 14,500 sq kms., the Serengeti plain is undoubtedly the most famous wildlife sanctuary in the world, unequalled for its natural beauty and the greatest concentration of plains game anywhere.  It lies between the shores of Lake Victoria in the east and the Maasai Mara to the north west.

Serengeti is renown for its black-maned lion and other predators including wild dog, spotted hyena, jackal, cheetah and leopard. The wealth of birdlife is of a special interest including colourful rollers, bee-eaters, kingfishers and sunbirds and a large number of  birds of prey.

During May and June, Lake Ndutu at the foot of the Ngorongoro highlands, is the starting point for one of the great natural wonders of nature - the famous annual migration.  Nearly 2 million wildebeests and a quarter of a million zebra move in winding columns several miles in length towards the Maasai Mara. 

 
DAR ES SALAAM

Heaven of peace is the Arab meaning of Tanzania´s capital city.

A perfect tropical port beautifully situated on the shores of a palm fringed bay.  An intriguing mixture of african and oriental influences, this really informal and relaxed african city has narrow winding streets and low buildings dating back to the Arab period. The national museum in the botanical gardens has some fine examples of chinese porcelain, persian pottery and trade beads used instead of coins in earlier times.  The outstanding attraction is the Hall of Man with many of the first finds from Olduvai Gorge including the skull of australopithecus Boisei and other human fossils.  Kariokor is the main market, a colourful meeting place, with an exotic mixture of tropical fruits, spices and african crafts.  Bagamoyo, 64kms. north along the coast was once the capital of German East Africa.

Worldwide known as the terminus of the slave caravan route from the interior, this was also the starting point for many legendary explorers, Burton, Speake and Stanley.

 
ZANZIBAR AND ISLANDS

Few places evoke such romance as the fabled exotic spice islands of Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia. Places of great wealth and power in the turbulent history of East Africa, they are today sleepy islands with the sparkling waters of the Indian Ocean washing up on the shores of virgin white sandy beaches.
 
Lush tropical vegetation, redolent of the cloves, cinnamon and other spices flourish everywhere.

The Arabic town of Zanzibar possesses interesting relics, the former Sultans Palace set in gardens on the front near the Arab Fort and Beit el Ajaib, the Sultan´s House of Wonders, the Marahubi Palace built for the harem of a Sultan Prince, the Kidichi Baths, a gift from an early Sultan to his persian wife, the houses where Livingstone and Burton lived....

 
INCENTIVE FRILLS

East Africa offers some of the finest natural attractions in the world, which combined with a network of the outstanding hotels and game lodges give visitors’ great value for money.  In terms of the sights, sounds and smells of ageless Africa, East Africa can only be described in the superlative. 

A simple safari in East Africa is inspiring and on it’s own merits, a grand affair.  It needs no additions to justify the experience and qualify it as memorable.  Having said that, the quality of experience could be improved tremendously or embellished a million times over to make it an indeed unique experience.   There are unlimited, inexpensive and value added inclusions, virtually in every area that could achieve this effect.   This is more so, for that special incentive trip, convention or congress.

These extras could start off as superior accommodations within the same unit (suites, villas, seas-facing, etc…) to sundowners and bush dinners or private gala dinner with a live band in performance.   For instance, on international arrival, a band of traditional dancers, either at the Airport or on check-in at the Hotel might be an excellent jolt into the reality of Africa, where dancing and taking a moment to enjoy/join-in is not only the essence but a custom.  In Nairobi, innumerable options could leave one entirely dazed  - an out of Africa dinner at the Karen Blixen Museum has been severally acclaimed as a highlight to many a farewell diners.  As rule of rule thumb, it is unusual when at least a lunch or dinner is not included at the famous game meat restaurant, The Carnivore.

On Safari, the options are unlimited – half a day’s treasure hunt if properly organised can create a great sense of purpose and team building for participants.  An equator Ceremony at Mount Kenya is mind boggling and a must for the curious and those in quest of ‘an additional theory’ to take home.    A sundowner, in the vast Africa open plains, maybe overlooking the great Mara/Serengeti Plains, might be a helpful insight to the sense of time and space, african style.  A bush meal, especially dinner, is travel back in time, and nothing could get one as close to nature, the sounds of african jungle, the roar of a lion close by, the hyenas howling in the periphery…..  Then the per excellence experience in the bush, limited to the Mara or Serengeti is an early morning hot-air balloon ride over the plains, forests and rivers of this expansive game area. Lions, Elephants, Buffaloes, Hippos, Crocodiles and prolific numbers of plains game are regularly seen, as are countless species of birds both in flight and atop their lofty perches in the trees.  The flight lasts about an hour, with ample opportunities for  photography and video filming from this unusual and often exciting perspective.  After landing there is a traditional champagne toast, followed by a breakfast cooked on balloon burners in the middle of the rolling plains.  Each passenger is presented with a certificate signed by the pilot to commemorate the flight.

On the East African Coast, the options are breathtaking and as plentiful, some of these towns have rich histories, going back to the 07th century. Compound this with the selection of sea food restaurants, dhow safaris/restaurants and the rich marine life/reserves! Plentiful to do and so little time!

We could not exhaust the possibilities here, contact us for comprehensive list of activities…everything is truly possible and the results could be enriching to no end.
 
SPECIAL INTEREST SAFARIS

Kenya and Tanzania offers unlimited opportunities to enrich a visit to the country with visits to establishments of special interest and meetings with professionals in a particular field.  There is a whole range of subjects which may be encompassed in a purpose built itinerary.

Kenya and Tanzania have a predominantly agriculture economy, with agriculture, horticulture, livestock, forestry and fishing accounting for a sizeable percentage of the Gross Domestic Product.  Most important cash crops are coffee and tea grown in the cool fertile uplands.

Archaeologically, East Africa is of world-wide interest being the discovery site for some extremely important excavations and findings.

The coastline of Kenya and Tanzania bears the remains of the many foreign peoples who have passed through its shores in the last 1000 years of history - Chinese, Persians, Arabs, Portuguese...; traders and invaders who have left a fascinating collection of coastal antiquities.

For lovers of geology and gemology, a safari combined with opportunities of meeting local enthusiasts and visits to areas of mineralogical interest can be an exciting experience.  The volcanic eruptions that have taken place have created fascinating structures of earth variations.

Tropical fruits such as pineapples, paw paws, bananas, mangoes, cashews and macademias are all grown in Kenya and Tanzania for home consumption and export.  In the farming centre of Nakuru, it is possible to visit a pyrethrum factory (Kenya produces almost 80% of the total world production). In addition, this area is ideally suited to ranching with fine herds of beef cattle as is Naivasha and Nanyuki, with Boran, Sahiwal, Charolais and Hereford breeds.

There are four championship golf courses in and around Nairobi and nearly 30 courses throughout Kenya and Tanzania, all in beautiful settings.  The Kenya Open (handicap 3 or under) attracts world golfing stars during the months of February and March and the Kenya Amateur Championships (handicap seven of less) in November.

For deep sea fishing fans, between the months of October and March there are opportunities of landing record marlin, mako shark and sailfish as well as a plethora of game fish including kingfish, bonito, felusi and black runner along the coastline.  During this period regular competitions are held in which overseas visitors are encouraged to participate.
 
TRAVELLER information

CLIMATE
If there is a perfect climate in the world, surely it is in East Africa with cool mornings and warm middays.  Although it can be hot and sticky by the sea, inland the air is dry and even at midday the temperatures are equitable.  Due to the proximity to the equator, sunrise occurs daily between 06.00hrs and 06.30hrs while sunset takes place 12 hours later.  It can get quite chilly in the early morning and evening hence visitors should pack a sweater.  Each time of year has its special attractions.  There are two main rainy seasons - usually mid-April to the end of May and November to mid-December.  Even during the rains, the weather can be pleasant with rain occurring in the early morning and late in the afternoon or evening.


VISA REGULATIONS
Visitors must be in possession of valid visa on arrival.  The regulations vary dependent on nationality and country of origin and should be checked with the nearest tourist office or diplomatic mission. may a countries now ahve access visa on arrrival .  East Africa To     HEALTH REGULATIONS AND MEDICAL ADVICE
Inoculation centres in the country of origin will provide updated information and advice on health regulations and recommendations.
As Kenya & Tanzania enjoy a healthy, invigorating climate, visitors need feel no concern for their general health during their stay.  However, malaria is endemic in certain areas and anti-malaria medication should be taken according to prescription recommendations. Visitor requiring special medication should pack sufficient supplies in their hand luggage.  Chemist shops are well stocked, but the same generic medication may not be readily available.  Tap water is considered safe in Nairobi.  On safari, rooms are provided with flasks of filtered and purified water.  Mineral water is readily available.


CUSTOMS AND EXIT REGULATIONS
Personal effects, film and cameras may be imported temporarily free of duty.  However professional video equipment, tape recorders, radios, musical instruments and souvenirs from other countries may require a customs bond to ensure re-exportation. Baggage is normally inspected by customs officials on arrival and departure.
Please strictly adhere to baggage limitations as advised by the airline as excess baggage charges can be quite expensive.


 AIRPORT DEPARTURE TAX
A local airport service charge is payable on departure for domestic flights.


CURRENCY
There is no restriction to the amount of foreign currency a visitor may import provided that it is exchanged through authorized dealers only.  It is essential to retain a receipt for each transaction in order to re-exchange the local currency on departure.  Foreign currency as the U.S. dollar or British pound (in cash or travellers cheque) is the most widely accepted.  Well known credit cards are also widely accepted in Kenya & Tanzania it is a legal offence to deface local currency.


BANKS
Banking hours are from 09.00hrs to 14.00hrs Monday to Friday.  Most Hotels and Lodges change money outside these hours.


SECURITY
Normal precautions as in any other destination worldwide should be taken. Keep a close watch on handbags, wallets and cameras when walking in crowded places and avoid walking at night (take a taxi).  Place all valuables in safety deposit boxes at hotels and lodges and only carry small amounts of cash.  Wear as little jewellery as possible, if any, and never leave valuables on show in an unattended car or tour bus.  Taking photographs at airports, near military installations, of policemen, the President, the national flag, the State House, state lodges, soldiers, prisons and prisoners etc., is prohibited.  Before photographing local people, permission should be obtained and a fixed price agreed.  Seek the assistance of your driver/guide in this matter.


DRIVING
Driving is on the left for all countries.


CLOTHING
Safari clothing should be casual and comfortable.  Cotton slacks and shirts, with skirts and culottes for ladies and a light sweater or jacket, during the day.  Evening wear in game lodges and safari camps can be very casual.  In the more sophisticated clubs and hotels gentlemen will be required to wear a jacket, while ladies should dress rather more formally.  At high altitudes, where early mornings and evenings can be very chilly, warm sweaters, socks and comfortable shoes are recommended.  Pack suntan lotion, swimwear (to be reserved for the beach and pool only) and a small first aid kit. Local customs and modesty should be respected.


LAUNDRY
Most hotels, game lodges and safari camps offer a 24-hour inexpensive laundry service.


ELECTRICITY
Voltage in East Africa is 240volts/50 cycles AC, British standard generally through three-pin square plugs.  Some lodges and camps have power only in the early mornings and evenings and, in some, video charging facilities are centralized.


LUGGAGE
We strongly recommend that luggage is limited to one piece per person. A small overnight bag is essential.  All city hotels provide secure storage for left luggage. On all itineraries where journeys by light aircraft are involved the baggage allowance is 15kgs per person. At Treetops and The Ark only one small overnight bag per person is permitted, secure storage is provided at the Outspan Hotel and Aberdare Country Club.


PHOTOGRAPHY
There is no shortage of the more usual film throughout Kenya, however it is expensive and visitors are advised to bring plentiful supplies, especially where specialist film is concerned.  As a general guide, double the amount of film normally needed in other areas.  In Tanzania films may not be available.  For wildlife photography a 35mm single reflex camera, with telephoto lens of 200mm to 300mm is recommended.  Larger lenses which require a tripod, or double reflex cameras are generally impractical.  An ultra violet filter, waterproof dust cover and spare batteries are essential.  A pair of good quality binoculars for each person will be a great asset.


HOTEL CHECK-IN/CHECK-OUT
The standard check-out time is 10.00hrs hence rooms may not normally be ready for occupancy until 12.00hrs.  Should an early arrival be anticipated, please reserve rooms from the preceding night.  Day rooms up to 18.00hrs are usually available.


MOUNT KENYA AND KILIMANJARO
No special mountaineering skills are necessary for climbing either mountain but due to the high altitudes attained, the climbs should not be undertaken unless climbers are fit and well-exercised.  Climbers should have a physical check-up and start a fitness training programme at least a month before the safari.  In Kenya and Tanzania a limited amount of equipment is available from the base hotels.  Recommended kit lists can be provided on request.


QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE
Kenya    Tanzania
Bank Hours   9.00-14.00hrs   8.30-15.00hrs
Mon to Fri   Mon to Fri

Currency   Kenya Shillings (Ksh)  Tanzania Shillings (Tsh)

Major Credit Cards  Amex, Mastercard, Visa Visa

Travellers Cheque  Most denominations  U.S. dollars and sterling pound
accepted   accepted

Tipping   10% at restaurants  10% at restaurants

Time Difference  GMT + 3hrs   GMT + 3hrs

Shopping   9.00-17.30hrs   8.30-17.00hrs
Mon to Sat   Mon to Sat


 

Madagascar

Madagascar is a beautiful island, ringed by golden beaches and palm trees. With an interior resplendent in, its variety from grassy plateaus to volcanoes and opaque forests and natural reserves. It's long isolation from the neighbouring continents has resulted in a unique mix of plants and animals, many found nowhere else in the world. Rich with wildlife, there are 10 different species of lemur that inhabit the island, and about half the world's 150 or so species of chameleons. The island is also a mass of unusual and colourful flowers and other flora. In terms of biodiversity alone, Madagascar really is one of a kind.
Some ecologists refer to Madagascar as the "eighth continent".


Please note: Madagascar is not for the faint of heart. Tourism infrastructure is very limited and accommodation levels are quite basic. English is not widely spoken, French and Malagasy are the primary languages spoken on the island. You will need to have a 'go with the flow'attitude to fully enjoy and appreciate this unique land.
THE COUNTRY
Republic of Madagascar is an island nation located in the Indian Ocean, off the eastern coast of Africa (east of Mozambique).
Capital: Antananarivo
Time: +3 GMT
Size: 587,040 sq km with a coastline of 4828km. Madagascar is slightly less than twice the size of Arizona and is the world's fourth-largest island. Madagascar has 6 provinces which consist of Antananarivo, Antsiranana, Fianarantsoa, Mahajanga, Toamasina and Toliara.
Geography: The east coast of Madagascar has lowlands leading to steep bluffs and central highlands. The Tsaratanana Massif in the north has volcanic mountains. The west coast has many protected harbors and broad plains, while the southwest is a plateau and desert region.
Biodiversity: Madagascar is the home to 5 percent of the world's plant and animal species, greater than 80 percent of which are endemic to Madagascar.
Climate: Tropical along the coast, temperate inland and arid in the south.
Population: Around 18,595,469. The vast majority is a blend of Malay, Polynesian and African ancestry, with two small minorities of Indian or French origin.
Currency: Madagascar Ariary (MGA)
Credit Cards: Credit cards are not widely accepted in Madagascar, they are sometimes accepted in the main cities, hotels and larger restaurants. Mastercard is NOT at all accepted outside of Antananarivo. It is recommended you do not rely on your credit cards for payment, it is recommended you have enough cash with you to cover the needs of your stay.
Languages: French & Malagasy. The primary language spoken in Madagascar is Malagasy followed by French. English is not spoken outside of major hotels and tourist attractions.
Public Holidays: In addition to the public holidays below, Good Friday and Easter Monday, the following public holidays are recognized.
1 January - New Year's Day
29 March - Commemoration Day
1 May - Labour Day.
26 June - Independence Day.
15 August - Assumption.
27 September - St Vincent de Paul's Day.
1 November - All Saints' Day.
25 December - Christmas Day.
30 December - Anniversary of the Republic of Madagascar.
26 June - Independence Day.
Electricity: 110V and 220V.
Banking: Monday to Friday 08h:00-11h:00 and 14h:00-16h:00
Economy: Agriculture, including fishing and forestry, is a mainstay of the economy. Major exports are coffee, vanilla, sugarcane, cloves, cocoa, rice, cassava (tapioca), beans, bananas, peanuts and livestock products. The Malagasy economy took a brief downturn during the 1980's when Coca-Cola, the world's leading purchaser of vanilla, switched to the New Coke formula that contained synthetic vanillin. The situation reversed itself when the company reintroduced its classic formula.







National Parks & Reserves:

Today Madagascar is arguably the highest conservation priority in the world and its protected areas system in one of the more advanced in sub-Saharan Africa. Some of the protected areas in Madagascar:
Ankarana Reserve: Ankarana Reserve is a small vegetated plateau in northern Madagascar with elevations that exceed 1220m (4000ft) above sea level. Ankarana has the highest density of primates of any forest, many different species of lemurs call it home. It's composed of 150-million-year-old limestone. With an average annual rainfall of 1,800 millimeters (70in), the underlying rocks are susceptible to erosion, thereby producing caves and underground streams. The rugged relief and the dense vegetation have helped protect the region from human intrusion.
The plateau slopes gently to the east, but on the west it ends abruptly in the "Wall of Ankarana", a sheer cliff that extends 25km (15 miles) north to south, and rises as high as 280m (920ft). To the south, the limestone mass breaks up into separate spires known as tower karst. In the center of the plateau, eons of rainfall have dissolved the limestone away in deep gorges, and sometimes re-deposited it in ribbons of flowstone. In places where the chalky upper layers have been completely eroded, the harder base rock has been etched into channels and ridges known as tsingy.
 
Madagascar is home to nine-tenths of all the world's lemur species, including the dwarf Microcebus, no bigger than a mouse; the very friendly Macaco; the Catta, with a distinctive gray body and long black-and-white striped tail; the Sifaka, which can leap 30 feet or more from branch to branch; the Indri, tallest of all lemurs; and the rarest of all lemurs, the Aye-aye.
Madagascar is considered a must-see by all serious birdwatchers. Visitors to the island are often amazed by the wide variety of rare and breathtakingly beautiful birds, including the marvelous Vangas, the beautiful Crested Coua, the remarkably colorful Roller bird, over 70 different species of singing birds and parrots, an abundance of gorgeous waterfowl, including herons and flamingos; and graceful birds of prey, such as the lightning-fast eagle and graceful falcon.



MADAGASCAR NATIONAL PARKS & RESERVES

 


Things you should Know Before Visiting Madagascar
PASSPORT AND VISA:
A valid passport is mandatory. All foreign visitors to the Republic of Madagascar require entry visas. Visas are issued for stays of up to 90 days and are valid for six months from date of issue.
ENTRY & EXIT REQUIREMENTS:
A passport valid for six months beyond the date of entry, visa and evidence of yellow fever vaccination (if coming from an infected area) are required.

HEALTH:

Yellow fever vaccination certificate & cholera vaccination certificate are required if you are arriving from or have transited an area considered infected by the Malagasy authorities. Malaria Prophylaxis is recommended as is a vaccination for typhoid, polio and Hepatitis A. It is not recommended to drink tap water. Boil it or buy bottled water from the shops. It is strongly advised that visitors to the country take full health insurance. Availability of health care is very restricted and where available, the services are in high demand and can be expensive. Bring any special medication you may need. For your own comfort take a mosquito repellent. Bilharzia is present in some of the lakes, and swimming is not recommended except in designated areas.
WEATHER:
Tropical/subtropical climate with two seasons: Hot and rainy from November to April, cooler and dry from May to October. The south and west regions are hot and dry. The mountains, including Antananarivo, are warm and thundery from November to April and dry, cool and windy the rest of the year. Monsoons bring storms and cyclones to the east and north from December to March.
Lightweight clothing is worn during the summer on the high central plateau and throughout the year in the north and south. Warmer clothes are recommended during the evenings and winter in mountainous areas. Rainwear is advisable.

Rwanda

"The land of a Thousand Hills", Rwanda is a green undulating landscape of hills, gardens and tea plantations. It offers tourists a one of a kind journey - home to one third of the world remaining Mountain Gorillas, one third of Africa's bird species, several species of primates, volcanoes, game reserve, resorts and islands on the expansive lake Kivu, graceful dancers, artistic crafts and friendly people.

Uganda

Uganda is the Pearl of Africa, a country with fantastic natural scenery and a rich mosaic of tribes and cultures. Travelling through Uganda you will be captivated by its beauty, overwhelmed by the friendliness of its people and intrigued by all that Uganda has to offer.

Ethiopia

Location:
Ethiopia is a ruggedly mountainous country covering 1,098,000 sq kms and surrounded by Kenya, Eritrea, Somalia, Sudan and Djibouti.

Climate:

Ethiopia has two main seasons, a dry season from October through May and a rainy season from June through September. Temperatures vary according to altitude, but are commonly on the mild side.
Main Rains in Rift Valley occur from March – June and light rains from October – December.

Time:
Ethiopia is in the GMT + 3 hrs time zone and follows the Julian calendar which consists of 12 months of 30 days each plus a 13th month of 5 or 6 days.

Communications:
Telephone, fax and email are available in most main towns but are most reliable in Addis. The IDD code for Ethiopia is +251.

Electricity

Electric supply is 220 volts, 50 cycles AC. The wall socket accepts two circular-shaped prongs, so an adapter is required. Video camera batteries may be recharged at hotels along the route.

Photos
Photographs should not be taken of military or strategic buildings or airports. Ask permission to take photos of any person or home. Sometimes money is requested for photos.

Religion
There is mostly Orthodox Christianity and Islam through most parts of Ethiopia. Traditional African beliefs such as animism and totemism in the Rift Valley Southern Region.

Language
Amharic is the official language, although over 80 local languages are spoken throughout Ethiopia. English is understood by most educated young people. About 45 languages spoken in Rift Valley Southern region.

Begging
Beggars are common especially in Addis Ababa and larger towns. Children will often crowd around asking for money or other items. Tour guides will inform you on ways to deal with beggars. Have pens for kids, basic medicine for locals in the Simien Mountains. Giving to one person where there is a group usually ends in a scramble.

Customs at Arrival
Cameras, computers and major electrical items may need to be declared on arrival.
Spending Money
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
Money Exchange
American Dollars that are series 2006 or earlier are not accepted and very difficult to change in Southern and Eastern Africa, as there are a lot of forgeries. As a result, these notes CANNOT be accepted as Local Payment.

Credit cards are useful for cash advances in Addis Ababa, but you must remember to bring your PIN number (be aware that many ATM machines only accept 4-digit PINs). Advanced cost a 12USD fee locally for transactions under $200 and a 5.5% commission for any transaction over $200.

International debit cards do not generally work in Ethiopia.

While ATMs are available in Addis Ababa, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in Africa. Check with your bank, but you are encouraged to bring cash. Large denominations, such as $50 and $100 notes are most easily exchanged. We do not recommend bringing traveller's cheques.

Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of US dollar cash and cards is best. Always take more rather than less, as you don't want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.

If you have extra Ethiopian Birr at the end of your trip that you wish to change back to a major foreign currency (USD, Euro), this can be done at banks of the Hilton, Sheraton and Ghion hotels or at the bank in the airport.

As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com.


Emergency Fund
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!


Departure Tax
USD20, usually included in most international air tickets.


About our Transportation
For this tour we use a combination of flights, minivans, minibus and boats. We use a 12-seater minivan when the group is 7 passengers or less. For larger groups, we will upgrade to a 23-seater coaster bus with cushioned seats, and sliding windows. This style of transportation is a comfortable way to travel through the region. No matter the size of the group there will be extra space to benefit the group. Many of the roads in Ethiopia are under construction. Though at times the quality can be quite good, much of the time we will need to slow our traveling speed, and accept the bumps and dust along the way.
Solo Travellers
We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.


About Accommodation
Accommodation in Ethiopia is not to the standard of the west or other parts of Africa where tourism is more developed. Hotels don't always have much character, as they are made more functional than decorative and the choice is limited due to both lack of local and foreign demand. As such customer service standards are lower, due to lack of a large tourism industry and lack of exposure to western service standards. Plumbing can be simple and not always reliable and water pressure is weak, especially in dry season. Safety, location, and cleanliness are our top criteria when choosing hotels. We choose the best one that meets our criteria, and constantly evaluate the options that are out there.


Joining Hotel

Bole Ambassador Hotel
Millennium Apartment Hotel Road, which is off the better known Airport Rd .
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
+251 11 618 8284


Joining Instructions

An arrival transfer is included with all Classic-Comfort style tours when you arrive on Day 1, or when you arrive up to three days prior to the tour, provided that you have booked your pre-accommodation through Africa Esapades Ltd in our joining hotel. Due to customer experience and quality considerations, all services related to the tour must be continuous.

If you are obtaining your visa upon arrival at the Bole International airport, the queue is just before you go through immigration check point. After completing immigration procedures and claiming your luggage in the airport, exit to the large arrivals hall. Turn right at the meet/greet area and look for the Ambassador Hotel booth. It is the first one in the far right corner of the hall. The Ambassador Hotel staff at the booth will show you to the shuttle bus that will take you to the hotel. There is a Dashen bank that you can change your US dollars into Birr there. It gives the current bank rate.


Arrival Complications
We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your DRIVER OR LOCAL  GUIDE (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details. If you have a pre-booked airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.


Emergency Contact
Should you need to contact Africa Esapades Ltd during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call our local Africa Esapades Ltd operator - EthioGuzo Tour and Travel. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

Africa Esapades Ltd Operator - EthioGuzo Tour and Travel (Ethiopia)
Open 5 days a week, 9am to 6pm local time (GMT +3).
Tel: Int. Dialing Code +251-11-6299863 (during office hours) (EthioGuzo staff)

After hours emergency numbers: Steven or Eyerusalem +251911478058


What to Take

You will be on the move a lot, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible. Your baggage should be clearly labeled and restricted to one large waterproof duffle bag or backpack, maximum 15kg, plus a daypack. Luggage limits on airlines are strictly enforced and space on vehicles is limited. Porters are not available, so be prepared to carry your own bags.

It is important to pack clothes for warm days and cool evenings, a warm jacket is recommended. In the Simien Mountains, you will be trekking in at high altitudes, and you will be passing through a number of different climate zones, and should pack to prepare for a number of extremes – hot and sunny, cool, cloudy, and misty, fog, rain, wind, and lastly cold. You may experience one or all of these conditions in the same day on your trek. The use of lightweight, breathable, easily removable layers of clothes works best to allow you to adapt to the local conditions. We recommend breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics made of wool or synthetic fibers. Cotton is not recommended for hiking as it does not allow for heat or moisture to enter or escape, and it will not dry once wet. Please note that it gets cold at high altitude, and for this, in addition to several warm layers and good boots, you will need warm protection for your hands and head. Lastly, though only a few degrees north of the equator, and at altitude, the sun’s effects are heightened. Use a hat, sunglasses, sun screen, and wear proper clothing to protect yourself from the sun, to reduce the risk of sunstroke A set of smart casual clothes is also advisable.

It is suggested to bring a few items to give to locals in the community. Clothing and toiletries are very much appreciated. One suggestion is it to bring along quality old clothes for your own use in the Simiem Mountains, and then give them away afterwards to the local guides, scouts, cooks, and drivers.


Checklist

Suggested Items:
- Warm Fleece or wool jumper/jacket
- 4 shirts/t-shirts, cool and breathable
- 1 Long-sleeved shirt
- 1 pair of shorts, mid-thigh or longer
- 2 pairs of long hiking trousers, lightweight, breathable
- 1 pairs of long trousers
- Waterproof Hiking Boots, or very sturdy shoes
- Tennis shoes or sandals for lounging in the evening
- Comfortable, breathable socks (wool or synthetic fibers recommended)
- Winter hat/Warm hat,
- Warm gloves/mittens
- Day pack, for you to carry
- Water bottle, and water purification tablets or purifier (bottled water is also available for purchase) - Sun hat, Bandana (many uses - head protection, handkerchief, wrap injuries)
- Sunglasses
- Headlamp / torch / flashlight (with extra batteries and bulbs)
- Camera and extra memory card/film
- Extra batteries (recommended)
- Pocket knife / Utility knife
- Electricity Plug Adapter
- Personal First Aid kit (should contain Lip balm with sunscreen, Aspirin, Ibuprofen , Malaria pills, band aids/plasters, adhesive tape, anti-histamine, Antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, re-hydration powder (salt and sugar mix), throat lozenges, insect repellent, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
- Toiletries (soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, razors, etc)
- Hand sanitizer gel/Sanitizer wipes
- Toilet paper - can be purchased in Addis Ababa and other larger towns along the way.
- Candles, matches - can be purchased in Addis Ababa and other larger towns along the way.
- Plastic bags for packing (rain protection)

Optional Items: Hiking poles, Hiking Gators (protective covers) for your hiking boots, reading/writing material, binoculars, cover for backpacks, Playing cards, games, frisbee, notebook, pens/pencils

For donation in the local communities: clothing, notebooks, pens, pencils, pins, flags, pictures, postcards from your country for local villagers or children.

Documents:
- Passport (with photocopies)
- Travel insurance (with photocopies)
- Yellow fever certificate
- Airline tickets (with photocopies)
- USD cash
- Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
- Africa Esapades Ltd vouchers, pre-departure information and Trip Details document
- Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
Laundry
Hand washing of clothes can be done at most of the hotels where we stay. We recommend you bring a non polluting/biodegradable soap, as well as a roll of simple string to act as a drying line for your clothes. If you arrive in the late afternoon, or if there is poor weather, it may not be possible for your clothes to completely dry. Your start/end hotel may also have laundry service for a fee.
Visas
All countries require travellers to have a valid passport (with a minimum of 6 months validity). Please note that upon arrival by air to Addis Ababa, nationals of some countries can obtain a visa for approximately US$20. There is often a queue for this. Please do your research before travelling. This information is accurate at the time of writing. Though as fees and policies can change, we highly recommend that you contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. It is your responsibility to have the correct travel documentation.
Important  Trip Notes
American Dollars that are series 2000 or earlier are not accepted and very difficult to change in Southern and Eastern Africa, because of past forgeries.


Tipping
Tipping is an expected - though not compulsory - component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. It is one of the most direct ways that you can have a positive economic impact within the East African community. Although it may not be customary for you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, as an important source of income for those in the tourism industry.

Giving a tip should be a seen as a formal 'thank you', and the action should in no way be awkward. The best method of tipping someone that has served the whole group is to plan in advance, and not rush when it comes to saying goodbye. A suggestion would be for each group member to contribute anonymously by putting their tip into an envelope. This often works the best and the group as a whole should gather to present the gift to the recipient(s), offering their thanks and showing their appreciation. This method brings the action out into the open, allowing for a friendly and appreciative interaction between the group and the recipient(s).

You may use the following as a guideline, all given in a per client format: Restaurant/Café servers: 10% of cost of bill, especially when in a large group (no envelope required); Tour Driver US$3 (full day); Local Guides (ex. forest, village walks) Trek assistants US$1 per day; DRIVER OR LOCAL  GUIDE: $20 per week. These amounts vary depending on the number of people in your group.


Optional Activities
Optional activity prices are subject to change and can fluctuate in relation to the high/low season and the number of people on a specific excursion. Not all excursions listed here may be available, due to season, or weather conditions. As generally not a lot of time is spent in start/end cities, you may want to arrange to arrive early, or stay longer after the trip in order to allow sufficient time to participate in optional activities there.

All prices are in US dollar amounts, per person.

Tour of Addis Ababa: 1 pax = US$ 100, 2 pax = US$ 65, 3 pax = $50, 4 or more pax = US$35
Bahir Dar market (self-guided) FREE
Lake Tana papyrus boat weavers (self-guided) $5
Bezawit palace of Haile Selassie (self-guided) FREE
(entry not allowed but good views of the surrounding landscapes and lake Tana if it’s not hazy)

All prices are per person (unless stated otherwise), and are subject to change as services are provided by third party  party operators.


Health
Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.      Disclaimer  Disclaimmation in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.

VERY IMPORTANT:
Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
Itinerary Disclaimer
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.

VERY IMPORTANT
: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.


Itinerary Disclaimer
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
    

We recommend you contact your family physician, or your local travel clinic for the most up-to-date health information at least one month before departure.

Please ensure you have all the inoculations recommended by your doctor for travel in Ethiopia. Immunization against Hepatitis A & B, Tetanus & Typhoid is recommended. Be aware that Ethiopia has regions where malaria is present, including Bahir Dahr. We thus recommend that you take malaria medication; your doctor should be able to recommend the necessary prophylactics. Travellers should also carry a basic travel first-aid kit, hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as medical facilities are basic throughout these countries. An important item to include is a liquid or gel hand sanitizer and/or alcoholic/sanitary wipes, as they will aid in personal cleanliness and hygiene throughout the trip. The local tap water should not be consumed, so any water treatment tablets (ex. iodine), drops, etc, would help. If you have any pre-existing medical condition, you must inform Africa Esapades Ltd prior to the purchase of the tour, and upon arrival, to the DRIVER OR LOCAL  GUIDE so he/she can be prepared to help you.

Sand flies and Mosquitoes

Are found in the areas visited. Mosquitoes are more prevalent in areas that receive more rainfall, and sand flies, though generally found on the coast, can also be found in dry & dusty conditions inland. Both tend to come out in the early evening and early mornings. Protective clothing, and insect repellent are highly recommended during these times.

Malaria
This infectious disease is transmitted by mosquitoes carrying the parasite. These mosquitoes are found at altitudes of under 1,800m, and thus can be found in a couple of the towns visited. You must have prophylactics which you can obtain from your local doctor at or health clinic.

Sun

It is very important that you wear sun block, even on a cloudy day, or at high altitudes when it feels cool, as we are near the equator and the sun is very strong. A sunburn can turn a pleasant trip into a painful trip.

Hydration
Even when days are cool please be sure to drink a minimum of two litres of water and refrain from drinking to many diuretics, as while when travelling outdoors the breeze can dehydrate you quickly as well as the heat.

Diarrhea:
It is normal for people travelling overseas to get an upset stomach due to a change of climate and food. Please make sure that you wash your hands and stay away from street food.

Physical Fitness

Although our trek is not a technical one, you will have to be in moderate to good physical condition. Regular hikes are one of the best ways to prepare. All aerobic exercises such as cycling, running, swimming and funnily enough aerobics are good for strengthening the cardiovascular system. Generally, any exercise that increases the heart rate for 20 minutes is helpful but don’t over do it just before the climb.

Altitude and Acclimatization

Altitudes are generally defined as follows:
• High altitude 2,400m – 4,200m
• Very high altitude 4,200m – 5,400m
• Extreme altitude above 5,400m

We stick almost entirely just to “high altitude” zones, and it is likely that you will experience at least some form of mild altitude sickness. It is caused by the failure of the body to adapt quickly enough to the reduced level of oxygen in the air at an increased altitude. There are many different symptoms but the most common are headaches, light-headedness, nausea, loss of appetite, tingling in the extremities (toes, fingers) and a mild swell of ankles and fingers.

These mild forms are not serious and will normally disappear within 48 hours. But if the situation gets worse, medical attention should be sought.


Safety and Security

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your DRIVER OR LOCAL  GUIDE has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your DRIVER OR LOCAL  GUIDE will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your DRIVER OR LOCAL  GUIDE will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.

Protests and Demonstrations-
Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our DRIVER OR LOCAL  GUIDEs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.

We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety.

 

Family Experience| Couples| Solo Travelers | Small Groups Daily DepartureA chance to spot big game on this safari over the open plains of Amboseli National Park.With the African landscape as your backdrop, head out in search of lions, elephants, rhinos and other large animals, and meet the famous Masai in Amboseli and Masai Mara.

$ 2,899 Tax included

Small Groups| Weekend adventures| Family Experience| Couples|Meeting Break| Take a weekend off and take a ride to the birds paradise. L. Nakuru is not only a flamingoes hub but also a haven for endangered rhinos.

$ 870 Tax included

Couples| Small Groups| Family outing| Solo Travelers| Educational Trips| Photography Departures:  Every Wednesday, all year round A chance to spot big game on this safari over the open plains of Amboseli National Park.With the African landscape as your backdrop, head out in search of lions, elephants, rhinos and other large animals, and meet the famous...

$ 3,479 Tax included

Solo Traveler| Small Groups| Couples| Family Outing| Departures every Monday, Wednesday ,Friday  Named in honor of the Maasai people (the ancestral inhabitants of the area) and their description of the area when looked at from afar: "Mara," which is Maa (Maasai language) for "spotted," an apt description for the circles of trees, scrub, savanna, and...

$ 784 Tax included

Couples| Volunteers| Solo Travelers| Gap Year| Trip starts Every  Sunday A guided tour of Wanjohi Happy Valley offers a glimpse of the fascinating  waterfalls oozing from the Aberdare ranges. This now sleepy valley was the playground for English and some not-so-English aristocrats in the 1920s and 1930s. Welcome to once theater of actions,beautiful...

$ 3,359 Tax included

Camping Experience Departures: Tuesdays and Thursdays Lake Manyara in Tanzania  offers a contrasting with the intimacy of the forest is the grassy floodplain and its expansive views eastward, across the alkaline lake, to the jagged blue volcanic peaks that rise from the endless Maasai Steppes. 

$ 986 Tax included

Family Package| Solo Traveler| Family Outing| Weekend break Departures: Every Saturday of the month Besides elephant watching, you also get to know the culture preserving the Amboseli National Park who is the Maasai. You can also get a glimpse of the snowy Mount Kilimanjaro peak covered with snow that is behind the epitomy of the national park. This is...

$ 998 Tax included

Family Experience| Couples| Solo Traveller| Small Groups Departures: Friday An opportunity to embrace wildlife in Tanzania's parks  with an expert wildlife driver guide, relax in the middle of nature in comfortable tented camps or spend the night camping in the skies.

$ 3,584 Tax included

Family Experience| Small Groups| Couples| Solo Travelers Daily Departure Located on the equator west of Nanyuki, between the foothills of the Aberdares and Mount Kenya. The Ol Pejeta Conservancy works to conserve wildlife, provide a sanctuary for great apes and to generate income through wildlife tourism and complementary enterprises for re-investment in...

$ 1,260 Tax included

Family Experience Take a short trip to Kenya Parks and enjoy a wildlife thriller

$ 2,632 Tax included

Family Experience Indulge in all prime safari route in Kenya, enjoying wildlife, sceneries and nostalgic feel of the century old safari extravaganza

$ 4,987 Tax included

Family Experience | Solo Traveler | Small Groups Enjoy The Marvels that is in Ngorongoro Conservation Area is in northern Tanzania. It’s home to the vast, volcanic Ngorongoro Crater and “big 5” game (elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino).

$ 997 Tax included

Family Experience | Solo Travelers | Small Groups An opportunity to embrace wildlife in Kenya Tanzania's parks  with an expert wildlife driver guide, relax in the middle of nature in comfortable tented camps or spend the night camping in the skies.

$ 4,977 Tax included

Family Experience | Honeymoon Epic Hover around Tanzania inStyle, enjoying the finest of Tanzania’s bush hospitality....If you prefer a romantic luxury tented camp, or the amenities of a lodge, Tanzania national parks offer accommodation options that are extraordinary for every price range

$ 14,961 Tax included

Family Experience| Small Groups | Couples - All year RoundWILDLIFE VIEWING, RAINFOREST, TSINGY, HIKING, BEACH HOLIDAYSThis is a trip combining a beach vacation and wildlife safari to three large and distinguished Madagascar biodiversity hotspots: Andasibe National Park, Montagned'Ambre National Park and Tsingy of Ankarana.

$ 2,094 Tax included
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