Packing Lists and Visas and Departure Taxes
What should I pack?
When you book with Joyland Safaris, we will provide a detailed list of what to bring and what to leave behind. Briefly, do bring comfortable, mild temperature clothing (it is not as hot in East Africa as many people imagine) and comfortable shoes. Do not bring jewelry or anything else you would really miss if lost.
Will Joyland Safaris provide information about the people, places, and wildlife I’m likely to meet?
We certainly will. After your trip is confirmed, we will forward information on local customs, safari etiquette, the local flora and fauna, and more.
Do I require a passport to enter Kenya or Tanzania?
Yes, all travelers to Kenya or Tanzania must be in possession of a passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the re-entry date into the USA.
Do I need a visa to enter Kenya or Tanzania?
Yes, US citizens require a visa to enter both Kenya and Tanzania.
Citizens of other nations may have different requirements.
How much does the visa cost and how long does it take to get a visa?
A single entry visa to Kenya costs $50 per person for US passport holders and can be obtained in advance at the Kenya Embassy Kenya or upon arrival at the airport in Nairobi. The latter process only takes a few minutes.
Single or multiple entry visas to Tanzania cost $100 per person for US passport holders and can be obtained in advance at the Tanzania Embassy Tanzania or upon arrival in Arusha or Kilimanjaro Airport or at the Namanga or Isebania border gates.
Is the visa for Tanzania also good for Zanzibar?
Yes. Tanzania and Zanzibar are one country ? only one visa is required.
Do I have to pay a departure tax at the airport?
Like many international destinations, Tanzania and Kenya charge an airport departure tax for all international flights. The tax of $20 may or may not be included in the airline ticket price; confirm with your airline. If it is not included, visitors must pay the tax in cash at the airport upon arrival. Departure taxes can be paid in local currency or US dollars.
Do you assist with reconfirmation of airline reservations?
We would be delighted to assist you. Please let your guide know in good time.
How much luggage can I carry on safari?
Luggage limits will depend on the airline you choose. Most airlines allow two 50 pound bags per person and one carry-on each. Please confirm
with your airline prior to departure.
What is the luggage allowance for flights between parks in Kenya and Tanzania?
The maximum luggage allowance is 33 pounds in soft bags. This includes your hand baggage.
Can we leave some of our luggage at a hotel in the city, and just take what we would need for our safari? Is there a charge for this service?
Each hotel has its own luggage storage policy. Generally speaking, if you will be returning to the hotel, you will not be charged for the service. Confirm with your hotel.
What is the weather like in Kenya / Tanzania?
Kenya straddles the equator, and Tanzania is not far south, so both countries enjoy a tropical climate. The coasts are hot and humid, while the inland areas are generally temperate, due to the altitude. The northern parts of Kenya are very hot and dry. The average annual temperature in Nairobi (altitude 4,980 feet) is 77°F maximum and 56°F minimum. The coastal town of Mombasa (altitude 50 feet) is 86°F maximum and 73°F minimum.
There is plenty of sunshine throughout the year and summer clothes are appropriate year round. Nights and mornings can be quite cool. The long rains occur from March to May and short rains occur November and December. The rainfall is sometimes heavy and when it does come it often falls in the afternoons and evenings. The hottest period is from February to March and the coolest is July to August.
Currency, ATMs, Traveler’s Checks and Cash
What currency is used in Kenya? Tanzania?
Kenyan Shilling (KSH) and Tanzanian Shilling (TSH). US dollars are widely accepted. In fact, guides and service staff prefer to receive gratuities in US dollars.
What’s the exchange rate?
Currency exchange calculators are widely available online. In fact, when you book with Kenya.com, a converter is included on your “My Booking” page which updates you on the status of your safari.
How much money will we need?
Depends on the gifts and African Art you might buy or drinks you might consume. These are not included in the program. On arrival you will each be required to purchase entry visas unless you have already obtained them advance ($50 for Kenya; $100 for Tanzania). There may also be a $20 airport departure tax, depending on whether or not your airline includes this fee in the price of the ticket.
Drinks and other extras at the lodges can be paid using your credit card. The suggested gratuity for drivers is between $10-15 per person per day paid at the end of each driver’s trip. They happily accept US dollars.
Are ATMs available?
Yes, you will find ATMs in the major cities such as Nairobi and Arusha, but ATMs may not be available in all game lodges.
What currency should we take with us?
Keep your money in US dollars/Euros as they are widely accepted. Each property in your program has an exchange bureau where you can convert US dollars to the local currency as needed.
Should we take traveler’s checks?
We recommend a 50/50 combination of cash and traveler’s checks.
Where can I change my money or cash my traveler’s checks?
Currency can be exchanged and traveler’s checks cashed at major banks, bureaus de change or authorized hotels. The banks at Jomo Kenyatta
International Airport and Kilimanjaro International Airport have 24-hour exchange services.
Power Supply and Cell Phones
Will I be able to use and charge my electrical equipment while on safari?
Yes you will. The local electricity supply is 220/240 volts AC, 50HZ. Plugs are 3 point square. North American travelers planning to bring their 110/120 volt video camera chargers or other electrical devices should also bring voltage and socket adapters. Major hotels usually provide hair dryers, irons and other small electric appliances upon request.
Will my cell phone work in East Africa?
If your cell phone is GSM compatible, your phone will connect to the local cellular system. Service in the cities and near major roads is generally reliable. Service is spotty elsewhere.
Travelers with GSM compatible phones that employ “swappable” SIM cards should consider purchasing a pre-paid SIM card that converts the phone to a local service account. This is a much more affordable option than paying roaming charges and international rates on your home cellular account.
What vaccinations do you need to go to Kenya?
There are no mandatory immunizations required for US residents wishing
to visit Kenya.
However, immunization against typhoid, yellow fever and cholera are recommended.
Anti-malaria medication is strongly recommended, particularly if you will be traveling to the Western and Coastal regions of Kenya. Be sure to consult your family doctor and ask if he or she recommends any additional immunizations or shots for you or your family. For detailed, up-to-the-minute information on immunizations, shots, and health and safety advisories for travelers, visit the Centers for Disease Control Traveler’s Health website.<http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/kenya.aspx#vaccines>
What vaccinations do you need to travel to Tanzania?
Yellow fever vaccination is mandatory for persons from, or those who have visited yellow fever endemic countries. Please see the CDC’s yellow fever page < http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2010/chapter-2/yellow-fever.aspx> for details.Anti-malaria medication is also strongly recommended.
Do I tip the driver? How much?
Yes. Drivers and guides rely on gratuities to supplement their income. Gratuities generally fall into a range between $10-$15 per day per person.
When we tip the driver-guide and guide on safari, do we tip in US dollars or in local currency?
US dollars and EUROS.
Are laundry services available on safari?
Laundry services are available throughout your safari. However, lodges in the parks usually require a day to do your laundry (next day service), therefore plan to use the service when you have at least two nights in one location.
How much does it cost to do laundry while on safari?
Expect to pay between $1 and $3 depending on the item. As a general rule, do not launder expensive and/or delicate articles of clothing while on safari.
Are there any small gifts we might bring to give children when we are visiting villages?
You can never go wrong with school supplies for children such as pencils, crayons, workbooks and so on.
Do I need to bring my own binoculars, or will they be furnished?
Each van has a pair of binoculars but it is recommended to bring a pair for your exclusive use.
Will I be sleeping under mosquito nets every night?
All the properties in the program provide mosquito nets.
Is bottled water available at all of the lodges that I will be visiting, or do I need to make arrangements to bring my own?
Bottled drinking water is provided for free during your game drives and is readily available at all the hotels and lodges you will be visiting.