Notes from around the world to make your safari a success
ARRIVALS AND DEPARTURES
Kenya has two main ports of entry by air: Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and Moi International Airport. The former is located 16 km from Nairobi City Centre and the later is located 12 km from the Mombasa town center. Mombasa is the main port of entry by sea in Kenya.
Hard currencies can be exchanged in cash or travelers cheques at banks all over the country, at forex bureaus in Nairobi and at most large hotels. US Dollars and Sterling Pounds are most acceptable and will cause the least delay. As a norm, always ask what commission and charges will be deducted first and prior to transaction. Banks are usually open from 9.00 am to 3.00 pm, Mondays through Fridays and from 9.00 am and 11.00 am on Saturdays.
Normal precautions as in any other destination world-wide should be taken. Visitors are advised not to leave cash and valuables in their hotel rooms but to make use of safe deposit boxes and safes. One should never carry large sums in cash and women should keep a tight grip on handbags in crowds or busy streets. Jewellery snatching is quite common in city streets. As in all major cities walking alone or in small groups at night should be considered a hazard and avoided. Reliable taxis are available at all the principal hotels. Taking photographs at airports, near military installations, of policeman, 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.
POST AND TELEPHONES
Keeping in touch by mail and telephone is generally easy. Direct overseas dialing are possible from major centers and increasingly from remote places such as game lodges. Call home bureaus are in plenty in Nairobi as are the Cyber café for e-mail and Internet access.
OPENING AND SHOPPING HOURS
Major stores, tourist services, offices and museums open from 8.00 am to 5.00 pm in large towns though offices often break for lunch. In rural areas and out in the bush small shops can be open at almost any hour. Souvenirs to take back home can include wood and soap stone sculptures and carvings, ciondos (sisal baskets), beadwork and tribal regalia, masks, textiles and gemstones set in unique jewellery pieces.
AIRPORT DEPARTURE TAX
International Airport departure tax equivalent to US$ 40 per person is payable on departure from the International airports. A local airport service charge is also payable on departure for domestic flights. As this varies from country to country, please check with us on the prevailing amounts payable prior to your flight departure
VISA, MASTERCARD and AMERICAN EXPRESS are widely accepted for tourist services. There’s usually a 5% mark-up on top of the price as establishments are charged a fixed percentage of their transactions.
Kiswahili is the national language while English is the official language. In addition, most tribes have their own language.
Since rules concerning disease prevention change from time to time, a check should be made with the nearest Kenyan High Commission, Kenya Tourist Office or any airline flying scheduled services into Kenya. Malaria is endemic to most parts of Kenya and intending visitors should start taking anti-malarial tablets before departure and continue taking them for the prescribed time after their return. Insect repellents should be made use of after dusk and suitable cover up clothes should be worn in the evenings.
FLYING DOCTORS SOCIETY
Membership of the Flying Doctors Society is strongly recommended. In event of accident or sickness while on safari, the society will fly patients by air ambulance to Nairobi for admittance to hospital.
Drinking water from the tap must be considered risky. Hotels and lodges usually furnish safe water in a thermos flask in guest rooms. Bottled mineral water is available in every hotel and supermarket.
Baggage space on safari is restricted to one medium suitcase or hold all per person, plus hand baggage (private safaris where there are less than 7 persons in the vehicle are not subject to this restriction). Visitors to Treetops and the Ark are asked to take overnight bags only; suitcases can be left at the base hotel. Hotels will normally store baggage at no extra cost. Baggage can also be stored at Sun Trek offices. A baggage weight restriction of 15 kg
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