September and October are excellent times to visit East
Africa as they are in between the two rainy seasons, with
pleasant temperatures. The website below gives a general
picture of African weather. Scroll down the page for up-to-date
and detailed weather for Kenya and Tanzania:
What to Pack
Flights inside Africa will permit between 35 and 44 pounds
of luggage, checked and carry-on combined. We encourage you
to travel simply and lightly. You
will not need any dressy clothes for this trip. The
internal flights will be very small planes. If your
suitcase doesn’t fit in their baggage compartment,
they will put it on a later flight or even send it by vehicle. Duffle
bags are best, but they are also more difficult to haul through
airports. Don and I will take only one carry on bag
and a small backpack (useful for taking on game drives).
You will be able to get laundry done everywhere.
- 3 pairs hiking pants and/or shorts (pants with zip-off
legs work well)
- 4-5 T-shirts and/or hiking shirts, some long-sleeved
- 1 pair closed-toe walking shoes
- 1 pair sandals (optional)
- fleece or sweater for cooler days and evenings
- lightweight jacket
- underwear and socks
- sun hat
- mosquito repellant
- hand wipes and hand sanitizer
- small amount of toilet paper
- travel alarm clock
- all your standard medications
- Imodium or similar in case you get a stomach bug
- malaria medication
- standard toiletries (there will be hair dryers at most,
if not all, the lodges and camps)
- several zip lock plastic bags
- camera with extra disk and battery (power is 240v, which
most chargers can use)
- adaptor kit (sockets are UK square pin type)
- binoculars (each person needs a pair)
- whatever you like to read
We encourage you to leave your jewelry and expensive watches
at home. Tanzania and Kenya are very poor countries.
Merritt Ireland, I Laugh So I Won’t Cry: Kenya’s
Women Tell the Story of Their Lives, 2005 (women’s
stories about their changing land and culture)
Joseph Lekuton, Facing the Lion: Growing Up Maasai
on the African Savanna, 2003
(story of a Kenyan boy who grew up Maasai and later went
to college in the US)
Jane Barsby, Kenya--Culture Smart!: the essential guide
to customs and culture, 2007
(culture tips and anecdotes)
Quintin Winks, Tanzania—Culture Smart!: the essential
guide to customs and culture, 2009 (culture tips and
Michela Wrong, It’s Our Turn to Eat: The
Story of a Kenyan Whistle-Blower, 2009
(through story of a high ranking whistle-blower, portrays
the problems of corruption, ethnic politics, and management
of foreign aid in modern Kenya)
Isak Dinesen, Out of Africa, many editions (classic
memoir of Isak Dinesen—born Karen Blixen—who
owned a coffee plantation in Kenya)
Kuki Gallmann, I Dreamed of Africa, 1991 (lovely
story of a woman’s both joyous and tragic life on a
Kenyan Highlands farm)
Kuki Gallmann, African Nights, 1994 (stories of the
author’s encounters with African wildlife on her Highlands
Martin B. Withers, Wildlife of East Africa (Princeton
Illustrated Checklists), (photo guide to East African wildlife)
Anup Shah and Manuj Shah, The Circle of Life: Wildlife
on the African Savannah, 2003
(stunning photographs of African wildlife)
The best source for health information on East Africa is
the Centers for Disease Control website. They provide
very specific information about health risks and vaccinations
as well as other medications to take. Please read these
webpages soon to ensure you have all the vaccinations you
need and get the necessary prescriptions from your doctor. You
will need to take malaria medication with you.
These World Atlas web pages have maps of Kenya and Tanzania
with fact sheets as well. We will provide maps with
your final itinerary when we meet in Nairobi.
See these National Geographic web pages for quick facts
about Kenya and Tanzania
Here are some tips for what to do and how to dress in Kenya
- Both countries are mostly Christian, but have many Muslims
as well. Dressing modestly is appropriate.
- Casual dress is very appropriate. Shorts—not
short shorts--are fine, though most Africans don’t
- We’ll be eating in tourist lodges and camps, so
African manners won’t affect us. But, a couple
of things to remember: Africans don’t eat with
their left hands. Kenyans believe it’s
impolite to eat and drink at the same time, so have drinks
after the meal. It’s polite, but not
necessary, to finish everything on your plate.
- You’re expected to wash your hands before and after
a meal (hand sanitizer at the table will be fine for us).
- If you are giving or receiving a gift, use only your
right hand, or both hands for larger gifts. Don’t
give alcohol as a gift unless you know the recipient is
not a Muslim and does drink alcohol.
- Greet people with a handshake, unless they’re Muslim
(Muslim men and women do not shake hands with the opposite
- “Jambo” is the standard greeting. It
is polite to ask about a person’s health and family.
- Don’t rush a greeting. It is considered impolite.
- If you go into someone’s home, remove your shoes.
- Don’t show affection in public.
- Africans will often avoid blunt terms in conversation,
so you may have to listen carefully to ascertain what they
- Always ask permission before photographing a person.
- Don’t smoke while on safari.
- Tipping is included in the cost of the trip, so you don’t
need to tip for most services (i.e., meals, baggage handling,
guides). If someone performs a special service at
your request, a small tip will be appreciated.
Refund Policy: Deposits and any payments are fully refundable,
less a $250 per person cancellation fee, until 120 days prior
to departure. After that date, refunds can be made only if
the program is sold out and your place(s) can be resold,
in which case a $1000 per person cancellation fee will apply.
If for any reason we must cancel the trip because of circumstances outside our
control (i.e., war, natural disaster), your
payments are fully refundable. We recommend trip-cancellation
insurance and, if the trip insurance doesn’t include
it, medical evacuation insurance.
Currency Fluctuation Policy: We reserve the right to adjust
the cost of the trip if exchange rates negatively affect
the value of the dollar against the local currencies, thereby
increasing our costs significantly.
Trip cancellation: We reserve the right to cancel the trip
if we do not have at least 6 people participating or if circumstances
beyond our control (i.e., war, quarantine, etc.) require
it. In the case of cancellation by us, we will refund your
You will need a visa for both Tanzania and Kenya. We
can get those at the airport or border crossing easily. For
U.S. passport holders, the fee for a Tanzanian passport is
$100 per person. For non-U.S. passport holders, the
fee is $50 (this is because the U.S. charges $100 for visas
to enter the U.S.). Kenya fees are $25 per person. You
will need a valid passport, of course.
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