Serengeti water buffalo     


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.

  1. 3 pairs hiking pants and/or shorts (pants with zip-off legs work well)
  2. 4-5 T-shirts and/or hiking shirts, some long-sleeved
  3. 1 pair closed-toe walking shoes
  4. 1 pair sandals (optional)
  5. fleece or sweater for cooler days and evenings
  6. lightweight jacket
  7. underwear and socks
  8. swimsuit
  9. sun hat
  10. umbrella
  11. sunglasses
  12. sunscreen
  13. mosquito repellant
  14. hand wipes and hand sanitizer
  15. small amount of toilet paper
  16. travel alarm clock
  17. all your standard medications
  18. Imodium or similar in case you get a stomach bug
  19. malaria medication
  20. standard toiletries (there will be hair dryers at most, if not all, the lodges and camps)
  21. several zip lock plastic bags
  22. camera with extra disk and battery (power is 240v, which most chargers can use)
  23. adaptor kit (sockets are UK square pin type)
  24. binoculars (each person needs a pair)
  25. 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 anecdotes)

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 farm)

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. (Kenya) (Tanzania)

Quick Facts

See these National Geographic web pages for quick facts about Kenya and Tanzania (Kenya) (Tanzania)

Culture Tips

Here are some tips for what to do and how to dress in Kenya and Tanzania:

  1. Both countries are mostly Christian, but have many Muslims as well.  Dressing modestly is appropriate.
  2. Casual dress is very appropriate.  Shorts—not short shorts--are fine, though most Africans don’t wear shorts.
  3. 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.
  4. You’re expected to wash your hands before and after a meal (hand sanitizer at the table will be fine for us).
  5. 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.
  6. Greet people with a handshake, unless they’re Muslim (Muslim men and women do not shake hands with the opposite sex).
  7. “Jambo” is the standard greeting.  It is polite to ask about a person’s health and family.
  8. Don’t rush a greeting.  It is considered impolite.
  9. If you go into someone’s home, remove your shoes.
  10. Don’t show affection in public.
  11. Africans will often avoid blunt terms in conversation, so you may have to listen carefully to ascertain what they are saying.
  12. Always ask permission before photographing a person.
  13. Don’t smoke while on safari.
  14. 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 entire payment.


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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