Epic Flying Safari (Leg 2) - Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and Kenya

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Namibia

With its well-developed infrastructure, some of the best tourist facilities in Africa and an impressive list of breath taking natural wonders, touring Namibia is truly a pleasure. Visit the capital of Windhoek and the lovely coastal town of Swakopmund to discover remnants of the country’s German influence, reflected in the architecture, culture, cuisine and the annual Oktoberfest celebrations. To properly appreciate this extraordinary country, you will have to venture out of the cities to explore the remarkable natural landscapes Namibia has to offer. These include: the impressive Fish River Canyon Park; the vast Etosha National Park teeming with local subspecies, such as desert lions, desert elephants and the Hartmann's Mountain Zebra; the hauntingly beautiful Kalahari Desert; and of course the Namib Desert stretching for nearly 1000 km along the magnificent Atlantic coastline. Namibia is an ideal destination for travellers seeking an unforgettable African experience in a uniquely beautiful untamed wilderness.


Banking and Currency

Currency

The currency of Namibia is The Namibian Dollar (NAD; symbol N$) is in note denominations of N$200, 100, 50, 20 and 10. Coins are in denominations of N$5, N$1, 50 cents, 10 cents and 5 cents. It is linked to the South African Rand (R) on a 1:1 basis (South African Rand = 100 cents). The South African Rand is also acceptable as currency in Namibia.

The import and export of local currency is limited to N$50,000. The import of foreign currency is unlimited, provided sums equal to or exceeding NAD5,000 are declared on arrival. Export of foreign currency is unlimited up to the amount imported and declared.

Banking

Banking hours: Monday - Friday 09h00 to 15h30 and Satuday 08h30 to 11h00

Banks are found in most towns, with most being closed on Sundays and public holidays. Most of them offer foreign exchange services - with cash, bank and credit cards as well as travellers  cheques. 

American Express, Diners Club, Mastercard and Visa are accepted. Credit cards are not usually accepted at petrol stations, so bear this in mind when you visit the ATM. Setting aside an emergency petrol cash fund is a good idea if you’re planning to drive.

You can also obtain cash from many of the ATMs. Several international banks have branches in main city centres. Always advise your bank that you are travelling outside of the country as they might block your purchases if they have not been informed. 

To avoid additional exchange rate charges, take traveller's cheques in US Dollars or South African Rand. In general, you can expect a better exchange rate for traveller’s cheques than for cash.


Travel, Transport and Getting Around

Public transport in Namibia is geared towards the needs of the local populace, and is confined to main roads between major population centres. Although cheap and reliable, it is of little use to the traveller as most of Namibia’s tourist attractions lie off the beaten track.

It is easy to travel around Namibia by car, and a 2WD vehicle is perfectly adaquate for most journeys. However, long distances, poor mobile phone coverage outside of main towns and infrequent petrol stations that only accept cash mean that planning ahead is vital.

There are major airlines that fly into Windhoek and Swakopmund. Other destinations are reachable by car or charter flight. 

Namibians drive on the left and all signposts are in English. Seat belts must be worn at all times and talking in a mobile phone while driving is prohibited. The general speed limit is 120km/h on tarred roads outside of towns and 100km/h on gravel roads. In built up areas, the speed limit is 60km/h.


Food, Drink and Cuisine Advice

Traditional Namibian cuisine is rarely served and so the food at restaurants tends to be European in style and is, generally, of a very high standard. 

Namibia is very meat-orientated, and many menu options will feature steaks from various animals. However, there is usually a vegetarian and seafood section offered by most camps and restaurants.

In the supermarkets you'll find pre-wrapped fresh fruit and vegetables (though the more remote the areas you visit, the smaller your choice), and plenty of canned foods, pasta, rice, bread, etc. Most of this is imported from South Africa.

The water in Namibia's main towns is generally safe to drink, though it may taste a little metallic if it has been piped for miles. Natural sources should usually be purified, though water from underground springs and dry riverbeds seldom causes any problems. However, filtered and bottled water are readily available in most towns and all camps, lodges and hotels.


Climate and Weather

Partially covered by the Namib Desert, one of the world's driest deserts, Namibia's climate is generally very dry and pleasant – it's fine to visit all year round. Namibia only receives a fraction of the rain experienced by countries further east. Between about December to March some days will be humid and rain may follow, often in localised, afternoon thunderstorms. These are more common in the centre and east of the country, and more unusual in the desert.

April and especially May are often lovely months in Namibia. Increasingly dry, with a real freshness in the air, and much greenery in the landscape; at this time the air is clear and largely free from dust.

From June to August Namibia cools down and dries out more; nights can become cold, dropping below freezing in some desert areas. As the landscape dries so the game in the north of the country gravitates more to waterholes, and is more easily seen by visitors. By September and October it warms up again; game-viewing in most areas is at its best, although there's often a lot of dust around and the vegetation has lost its vibrancy.

November is a highly variable month. Sometimes the hot, dry weather will continue, at other times the sky will fill with clouds and threaten to rain – but if you're lucky enough to witness the first rains of the season, you'll never forget the drama.


Clothing and Dress Recommendations

Namibians have a somewhat relaxed attitude to dress codes. A jacket and tie is very unusual. In fact, long trousers and a shirt with buttons are often quite adequate for a formal occasion or work wear. A pair of sensible shoes, jeans and a t-shirt is recommended. 

During the day it is generally hot, so pack light weight loose fitting clothes in natural fabrics, such linen or cotton, that will keep you cool and are easy to wash and dry. 

Avoid blue clothing - the tsetse flies are drawn to the colour blue, and their bite can give you African Sleeping Sickness. 

Long sleeved shirts and long trousers will protect your against mosquitoes at night. 


Internet Availability

Telecom Namibia offers a service called wi-space. You purchase a wi-space voucher that allows you to connect to WiFi wherever you see the wi-space logo (about 40 locations in Namibia). 

Alternatively good WiFi access is available at most holiday accommodation venues across the country (free / paid). 


Electricity and Plug Standards

Electrical sockets in Namibia are Type M (SABS-1661). If your appliance's plug doesn't match the shape of these sockets, you will need a travel plug adapter in order to plug in. Travel plug adapters simply change the shape of your appliance's plug to match whatever type of socket you need to plug into. If it's crucial to be able to plug in no matter what, bring an adapter for all types.

Electrical sockets in Namibia usually supply electricity at 230 volts AC / 50 Hz frequency. If you're plugging in an appliance that was built for 230 volt electrical input, or an appliance that is compatible with multiple voltages, then an adapter is all you need. If your appliance isn’t compatible with 230 volts, a voltage converter will be necessary.


Botswana

Situated in the southern reaches of Africa, Botswana is renowned for its pristine wilderness areas characterised by deep lagoons, wetlands, lush palms, rugged hills and desert plains. The country’s primary tourist drawcard is undoubtedly the vast red expanse of the Kalahari Desert and its remarkably beautiful Okavango Delta, the largest inland delta in the world. These natural wonders provide a tranquil haven for an abundance of African wildlife to thrive. Other highlights include the impressive Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, where visitors are privy to massive zebra migrations during the flood season; the Savuti plains, which host a significant pride of lions; and the Tsodilo Hills, where 4500 rock paintings form a unique record of human settlement over many millennia.


Banking and Currency

Currency

Botswana's currency is Pula (which means 'rain' in Setswana). It is divided into 100 thebe (which means 'shield' in Setswana). Travellers' cheques and foreign currency may be changed at banks, bureaux de change and authorised hotels. 

The US dollar, Euros, British Pound and the South African Rand are the most easily convertible currencies (and accepted by some estabishments - but, generally, then an inflated rate of exchange will be applied). 

Banking

Seven main commercial banks, as well as a number of foregin exchange bureaux, operate in Botswana. Operating hours are Monday to Friday 08h30 to 15h30 and Saturday 08h30 to 10h45.

Full banking services are available in major towns, although ATMs are sprouting up all over the country. Most credit cards are accepted at hotels and restaurants. Cultural sites and community art and craft outlets usually only accept cash.


Travel, Transport and Getting Around

Public transport in Botswana is geared towards the needs of the local populace and is confined to main roads between major population centres. Although cheap and reliable, it is of little use to the traveller as most of Botswana’s tourist attractions lie off the beaten track.

Driving off the main roads in Botswana is only recommended to expects in 4x4 vehicles, that are equipped correctly. Most lodges offer transfers or they can be arranged. If, however, you will be driving in Botswana: your home driving licence will be accepted (with an official English translation if necessary; driving is on the left side of the road; and the national speed limit is on tarred roads is 120km/h and 60km/h in towns and villages. 

Be sure to watch out for wild animals on the roads!

There are major airports in Maun, Kasane and Gaborone, while smaller charter flights are used to get to the other top attractions and camps.


Food, Drink and Cuisine Advice

Safari lodges and camps serve international-style cuisine, generally of an extremely high standard, along with local beer and imported wine and spirits. Good restaurants and bars can be found in main towns, often within hotels. Beef and goat are very popular meats. Elsewhere, food is more basic: millet and sorghum porridge are the local staples.

Tap water is considered safe to drink, although outside main cities and towns, visitors are advised to check first and sterilise water if in any doubt. Bottled water is available in most tourist centres. Filtered water is available at most camps and shops offer bottled water - it is advised to be well stocked of bottled water if you are travelling off the beaten track. Milk is pasteurised, and dairy products, local meat, poultry, seafood, fruit and vegetables are generally safe.

A discretionary five-to-ten-percent tip is typical for restaurant bills. In many places, a service charge is automatically added. It is customary to tip the game guide and lodge staff while on safari.


Climate and Weather

Botswana's climatic pattern is typical of southern Africa, although its rainfall is less than countries further east. The rains in Botswana come mostly between December and March, when average minimum temperatures are in the low 20°s. Some days will be bright and sunny, some will have afternoon thunderstorms, and some will just be grey.

As with Namibia, April and May in Botswana are generally lovely, with the sky clear and the landscape green. Night temperatures start to drop during these months, especially in the Kalahari. Note that places in and around the Okavango tend to have less extreme, more moderate temperatures than the drier areas of the Kalahari.

From June to August the night-time temperatures in drier areas can be close to freezing, but it warms up rapidly during the day, when the sky is usually clear and blue. It's now very much 'peak season' for most safari areas: the land is dry in most areas so the animals congregate around the few available water sources.

This continues into September and October, when temperatures climb again, drying the landscapes and concentrating the game even more. This is the best time for big game safaris – although October can feel very hot, with maximum temperatures sometimes approaching 40°C.

November is difficult to predict, as it can sometimes be a continuation of October's heat, whilst sometimes it's cooled by the first rains; it's always an interesting month.


Clothing and Dress Recommendations

In summer, lightweight, lightcoloured cottons are preferable. Avoid synthetic materials and black clothing, as they increase perspiration and discomfort. In winter, wear trousers, longsleeved shirts / blouses and jerseys. From May – August, night temperatures can fall below zero degrees celsius, so warm jerseys and jackets are vital, especially on morning and evening game drives. Garments of neutral colours that blend with the bush and forest are advisable for safaris and game viewing. Bring a lightweight jacket and/or jersey for unexpected temperature changes or rain. Closed, comfortable walking shoesor gym shoes are a must in all seasons. Special attention should be given to protection from the sun. Bring a sunhat, good quality sunscreen, sun lotion and polarised sunglasses. Wide brimmed sun hats are essential.


Internet Availability

Some hotels, lodges and guest houses offer internet access or WiFi (free or paid), and there are internet cafe's in Gaborone and Maun. Internet access in more remote rural areas is often hard to come by.


Electricity and Plug Standards

Electrical sockets (outlets) in Botswana are the 'Type M' South African SABS1661 ('Large' 15 amp BS-546) sockets. This is actually an old British standard. The 'Type M' South African plug and socket is not to be confused with the 'Type D' Indian plug and socket. In pictures, they look very similar, but the South African type is much larger than the Indian type, and they are physically incompatible. If your appliance's plug doesn't match the shape of these sockets, you will need a travel plug adapter in order to plug in. Travel plug adapters simply change the shape of your appliance's plug to match whatever type of socket you need to plug into.

Electrical sockets (outlets) in Botswana usually supply electricity at between 220 and 240 volts AC. If you're plugging in an appliance that was built for 220-240 volt electrical input, or an appliance that is compatible with multiple voltages, then an adapter is all you need. 

But travel plug adapters do not change the voltage, so the electricity coming through the adapter will still be the same 220-240 volts the socket is supplying. If you need to use appliances that are not compatible with 220-240 volt electrical input, you will need a voltage converter.




Zimbabwe

A nation of spectacular natural beauty, friendly people and rich culture, Zimbabwe’s status as one of Africa’s leading safari destinations was dampened for years by its political instability. But now that the country is transcending its strife and returning to a state of equilibrium, it is once again emerging as a vacation highlight of the continent. Victoria Falls – known to locals as ‘The Smoke That Thunders’ – is one of the seven natural wonders of the world and the sheer power of this massive body of water plunging into the Zambezi Gorge is awe-inspiring and unforgettable. Lake Kariba, with its game-rich shores and islands, is an idyllic safari spot featuring mind-blowing sunsets; Hwange National Park is known for its huge herds of elephants; and a kayak trip down the Zambezi through the Mana Pools National Park will appeal to the intrepid traveller, providing close encounters with crocodiles, hippos and a host of other wildlife.


Banking and Currency

Currency

The Zimbabwean Dollar was the official currency of Zimbabwe from 1980 to April 12, 2009. The Zimbabwean Dollar was abandoned early 2009, but was reintroduced in 2019. Zimbabwe Dollar (ZWD; symbol Z$) = 100 cents. Notes in denominations of Z$200,000, 100,000, 50,000, 10,000, 5,000, 1,000, 500, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5 and 2. Coins are in denominations of Z$5, 2 and 1, and 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1 cents. Zimbabwe has adopted a multi-currency scheme; the US Dollar and South African Rand is accepted and can be used for domestic transactions, be it at an agreed exchange rate.

Banking

Banks in Zimbabwe are open for business Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 08h00 to 15h00, on Wednesdays from 08h00 to 13h00 and Saturdays from 08h00 to 11h30. They are closed on Sundays and Public Holidays. 

Only VISA and MasterCard are accepted in Zimbabwe, however it should be noted that very limited facilities will have credit card machines, and the connection is not always reliable so it is advisable to carry cash as back up.


Travel, Transport and Getting Around

Taxis are safe and reliable, and can be booked through your hotel front desk. Taxis in cities travel within a 40km radius of the city. Always take a taxi at night.

Major airlines fly into Victoria Falls, Harare and Bulawayo. Charter flights are available to most attractions and camps. 

Zimbabwe has a good road infrastructure, by African standards, although potholed. Between major towns, there are frequent road blocks. Traffic drives on the left side of the road. 

If you are driving yourself around Zimbabwe, be sure to check on fuel availability in advance. If you are covering long distances within the country, ensure you carry extra fuel in 5 or 10lt metal containers in case of emergency. Fuel is generally available, but supply can fluctuate. Fuel is only available for cash.


Food, Drink and Cuisine Advice

Zimbabwe's native cuisine is based on sadza, a cooked porridge made from ground maize which is normally accompanied by some tasty relish, perhaps made of meat and tomatoes, or dried fish. Safari camps will often prepare sadza if requested, and it is almost always available in small restaurants in the towns.

Camps, hotels and lodges that cater to overseas typically serve a variety international fare, and the quality of food prepared in the most remote bush camps is usually excellent.

If you are driving yourself around and plan to cook, then get most of your supplies in main towns. There are a number of South African shopping chains operating in Zimbabwe which will generally have all that you will need.

Water in the main towns is usually purified.. The locals drink it, and are used to the relatively innocuous bugs that it may harbour. If you are in the country for a long time, then it may be worth acclimatising yourself to it. However, if you are in Zimbabwe for just a short period of time, then try to drink only bottled, boiled, or treated water available in towns and from all camps, lodges and hotels.


Climate and Weather

In Zimbabwe, the rains come principally in DecemberJanuary,February and March; the further north you are, the earlier the precipitation arrives and the later it leaves. Zimbabwe's higher eastern areas usually receive more rainfall than the lower-lying western ones.

By April and May most of the rain is gone, leaving a verdant setting, which is starting to dry out. Especially in more southerly and higher locations, the night-time temperatures start to drop.

The nights in JuneJuly and August become much cooler, so don't forget to bring some warmer clothes, in case you want to spend an evening outside; the days are still clear and warm. For Zimbabwe, this is the start of the 'peak season'– days are often cloudless and game sightings continually increase.

Into September and October the temperatures rise once again: Zimbabwe's lower-lying rift valley – Mana Pools – can get very hot in October. During this time, you'll see some fantastic game, as the Zimbabwe's wildlife concentrates around the limited water sources.

November is unpredictable; it can be hot and dry, it can also see the season's first rainfalls – and in this respect it's a very interesting month, as on successive days, you can see both weather patterns.


Clothing and Dress Recommendations

When in Zimbabwe the cardinal rule is to wear casual, comfortable clothes during the day as temperatures can get very hot. It is advisable to wear light loose-fitting clothing, such as cotton or linen, as they are cool and easy to wash. Warmer clothes are advised for the evenings and rainwear for the wet season. 

A brimmed hat and sunglasses are a good idea year-round. Long-sleeved shirts and long trousers will also guard against the scorching sun rays. It is recommended you wear light shoes, especially if your itinerary entails a lot of walking. 

For safaris, please remember to wear appropriate clothing and shoes. Earth colour clothes, such as browns, greens and tans are advisable. 


Internet Availability

Internet availability is very limited especially outside of the major cities. 

Most holiday accommodation venues offer internet and/or WiFi (free or paid) to their guests but there are often disruptions in service.


Electricity and Plug Standards

Electrical sockets in the Republic of Zimbabwe are Type G (BS-1363) and Type C (CEE 7/16 Europlug) and Type D (BS-546).  If your appliance's plug doesn't match the shape of these sockets, you will need a travel plug adapter in order to plug in. Travel plug adapters simply change the shape of your appliance's plug to match whatever type of socket you need to plug into. If it's crucial to be able to plug in no matter what, bring an adapter for all types.

Electrical sockets usually supply electricity at 230 volts AC / 50 Hz frequency.  If you're plugging in an appliance that was built for 230 volt electrical input, or an appliance that is compatible with multiple voltages, then an adapter is all you need. If your appliance isn’t compatible with 230 volts, a voltage converter will be necessary.


Malawi

Dubbed 'The Warm Heart of Africa' due to the legendary welcome extended to all who visit, Malawi is a small country with a big heart and an even bigger range of incredible tourist activities! Lake Malawi’s vast size, its warm freshwater and its gorgeous surrounding beaches make it a mecca for those seeking a year-round location to swim, scuba dive, snorkel, water ski, sail, kayak, parasail or simply potter about in boats. Malawi also boasts plenty of national parks providing a haven for a wide variety of wildlife including crocodiles, lions, elephants, hippos and even leopard. Culture vultures are also well served by numerous fascinating historical and cultural sites as well as visits to traditional Malawian villages to meet some ever-smiling Malawians going about their daily lives. With all of this exceptional culture, natural scenery and friendliness on offer, this unique African country is enchanting enough to captivate even the most jaded traveller.


Banking and Currency

Currency

The local currency is known as Kwacha (MWK; symbol Mk) which is equal to 100 tambala. Notes come in denominations of Mk500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5. Coins are in denominations of Mk1 as well as 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 tambala.

The import of local currency is unlimited. The export of local currency is limited to K3,000.  The export of foreign currency must not exceed the amount imported and must be declared on departure.

Banking

Banking hours are from Mon-Fri 0800-1400.

Acceptance of credit and debit cards is very limited, although in Lilongwe and Blantyre and in main hotels, American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa can be used.

Traveller's cheques can be exchanged in banks, hotels and other institutions. In remote areas, the Treasury Office of Local District Commissioner's offices will cash traveller's cheques. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travellers are advised to take traveller's cheques in US Dollars, Euros, British Pounds Sterling or South African Rand.

There are ATMs available in the major cities but it is advisable to check with your bank at home to find out if your card is compatible with Malawian ATMs. ATM services in more rural areas is extremely limited so plan accordingly.




Travel, Transport and Getting Around

Air Malawi (QM) is defunct as of 2013. Domestic flights are served by charter airline Ulendo Airlink (www.flyulendo.com) which serves destinations including Lilongwe, Chelinda and Likoma Island.

All major roads are tarmac and most secondary roads are in decent condition. Some roads in the more rural areas may be in bad condition particularly in rainy weather.

Car hire services are becoming increasingly available, with a number of companies offering a wide choice of vehicles. Standards do vary (even with the internationally franchised chains) so it is worth seeking a recommendation. Nonetheless, cars should be reserved well in advance as they are very much in demand. Chauffeur-driven cars are also available. Malawians drive on the left side of the road. Drivers will be required to hold an International Driving Permit. Be aware that, for some reason, Malawian drivers seem to believe that by not using their headlights will conserve the life of their car battery, so driving after dark can be dangerous.

There are bus services in all major cities but bus services in rural areas are limited.

Taxis are available in the main towns but they are in short supply and cannot be hailed on the street. Taxi drivers typically expect a tip.

Central East African Railways (tel: 01 640 844) operates the lines in the country. The main route connects Mchinji, Lilongwe, Salima, Chipoka, Blantyre, Limbe and Nsanje. Trains tend to be slow and crowded and are seldom used by tourists.

Cruises on Lake Malawi are available by local steamer. Food and cabins are available. For details contact a local travel bureaux.


Food, Drink and Cuisine Advice

All water should be regarded as being potentially contaminated. Water used for drinking, brushing teeth or making ice should have first been boiled or otherwise sterilised. Milk is unpasteurised and should be boiled. Powdered or tinned milk is available and is advised. Avoid dairy products which are likely to have been made from unboiled milk. Only eat well-cooked meat and fish, preferably served hot. Vegetables should be cooked and fruit peeled.

Hotel restaurants and many of those in the cities are of a good standard. They offer a wide choice of dishes including European, Korean and Chinese as well as authentic Malawi dishes and haute cuisine. Poultry and dairy produce are plentiful and tropical fruits are abundant in season.

Typical Malawian specialities include fresh fish from Lake Malawi.  Chambo (Tilapia fish) being the main lake delicacy.  There is also trout available from streams on the Zomba, Mulanje and Nyika plateaus. White maize is commonly eaten with vegetables and sometimes meat or fish. Nthochi bread (made with banana)is very popular with locals and travellers alike as are Mbatata cookies (made with sweet potato and cinnamon).

The local beer is very good and Malawi gin and tonic is well known and inexpensive, with almost cult status.

Tipping is generally not expected, but some employees who are very poorly paid might appreciate a small tip for good service.




Climate and Weather

Varies from cool in the highlands to warm around Lake Malawi. Winter (May to July) is dry and nights can be chilly, particularly in the highlands. The rainy season runs from November to March. Around Lake Malawi, in winter, the climate is particularly dry with pleasant cooling breezes.


Clothing and Dress Recommendations

Lightweight cotton clothing is recommended year round in the Lake Malawi area, with warmer clothes advised in the mountains, particularly during winter and on chilly evenings elsewhere. Visitors to Nyika and Zomba should note that the nights can be cold. Dark or 'natural' coloured clothing should be worn for game viewing. Sunscreen, a sun hat, sunglasses and good walking shoes are essential.


Internet Availability

Internet services are available in business centres in most upmarket hotels, and there are a few internet cafes in the main towns. Internet access in more rural areas is limited.


Electricity and Plug Standards

Electrical sockets (outlets) in Malawi are the "Type G " British BS-1363 type (three rectangular blade plug). If your appliance's plug doesn't match the shape of these sockets, you will need a travel plug adapter in order to plug in. Travel plug adapters simply change the shape of your appliance's plug to match whatever type of socket you need to plug into.

Electrical sockets (outlets) in Malawi (formerly Nyasaland) usually supply electricity at between 220 and 240 volts AC. If you're plugging in an appliance that was built for 220-240 volt electrical input, or an appliance that is compatible with multiple voltages, then an adapter is all you need.

But travel plug adapters do not change the voltage, so the electricity coming through the adapter will still be the same 220-240 volts the socket is supplying. North American sockets supply electricity at between 110 and 120 volts, far lower than in most of the rest of the world. Consequently, North American appliances are generally built for 110-120 volts.


Mozambique

Situated on the east coast of Africa, this tropical paradise is blessed with 2500km of spectacular coastline. With its idyllic beaches fringed with palm trees and lapped by crystal clear waters brimming with a dazzling array of marine life, this enchanting African nation is an ideal adventure holiday destination, with an abundance of activities on offer such as snorkelling, sunset cruises, horse-riding, dolphin tours and world renowned scuba diving. Mozambique’s two major centres, Maputo and Inhambane, offer an exotic kaleidoscope of art, music and delicious local food as well as a lively nightlife scene. Spend your days immersing yourself in the fascinating local culture, marvelling at the impressive colonial architecture and interacting with the fabulously friendly local inhabitants. Those seeking a more remote getaway can head for the isolated beaches of Benguerra Island; the historic Portuguese and Muslim architecture of Mozambique Island; or the outstanding wildlife of Gorongosa National Park. However you choose to spend your time in this exceptionally scenic destination, you are likely to leave with a heavy heart and a burning desire to return time and time again


Banking and Currency

Currency 

The currency of Mozambiqueis the Mozambique Metical (MZN; symbol MT) = 100 centavos. Notes are in denominations of MT1,000, 500, 200, 100, 50 and 20. Coins are in denominations of MT10, 5, 2 and 1 and 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1 centavos.

The new Metical replaced the old Metical (MZM) on 1 July 2006. 1 MZN = 1,000 MZM. The old notes ceased being legal tender on 31 December 2006.

The import and export of local currency is prohibited. The import of foreign currency is unlimited, subject to declaration. The export of foreign currency is limited to the amount declared on arrival.

Banking

Banking hours: Monday-Friday 07h30-15h30 

Credit cards’ are increasingly accepted in Maputo, but not generally beyond the capital.

Travellers' cheques are not commonly accepted, and where accepted are slow to process and often attract high rates of commission.


Travel, Transport and Getting Around

Public transport is not recommended within Mozambique, however there are reliable bus shuttles to the north and international/local planes. 

There are scheduled flights into Maputo and Vilankulo. Flights are generally routed via Johannesburg in South Africa. There are a variety of smaller airstrips for smaller charter flights (to the islands, etc). 

Driving is on the left in Mozambique. You need to make sure that you are carrying ID, your drivers licence, the car registration papers and your insurance details. It is also obligatory to carry a warning triangle and I would also recommend a high viz vest. The wearing of seat belts is compulsory.

The roads are generally not in good repair. Many of the main roads have an awful lot of potholes and some are very deep. 


Food, Drink and Cuisine Advice

Mozambique offers some of the best cuisine in Africa, providing a popular blend of Portugese, Indian and African influences. The country is well known for its seafood, which includes excellent prawns and crayfish, and the wildly popular grilled catch of the day, locally known as peixe grelhade. Local dishes, mainly along the coastal areas have a certain flair which makes them unique from the foods found in neighbouring countries. Mozambicans believe in the liberal use of coconut milk and their favourite local hot pepper, peri peri to add a zesty burn to their meals. For more carnivorous visitors, there is a decent variety of high quality meats, usually, bought into Mozambique from neighbouring South Africa.

In Mozambique all town treat their drinking water, travellers are however advised to boil the tap water before drinking it, alternatively would be to buy mineral water. Tap water can safely be used for showering and brushing your teeth.


Climate and Weather

The Mozambique coastline stretches for almost 2,000km, covering latitudes from about 11° to 27° South, and has a tropical ocean current running north to south along its length for the whole year.

Despite this range of latitudes, the whole country broadly follows a southern African weather pattern, with the rains falling largely between December and March.

This does vary a little between the north and south of the country, with the rains lasting a few weeks longer in the north than the south, but the pattern is the same. Humidity can be uncomfortably high during this period.

Most of Mozambique's rain arrives on moist southeast trade winds, but glance at a map to see that it lies in the rainshadow of Madagascar. This gives Mozambique a relatively low annual rainfall – and a great deal of protection from the tropical storms and the occasional cyclone which head towards it during this period.

By around April or May the rains subside, the sun comes out and the humidity drops – better weather spreads gradually from the south to the north.

June to October is the dry season, with often perfect tropical weather: clear skies, plenty of sun and almost no rain. This is the best time for most people to visit Mozambique. Although still tropical, JuneJuly and August are Mozambique's coolest months; you'll need a light duvet at night, even though the temperature reaches over 30°C by day. During September and October it remains dry as daytime temperatures climb, though it cools down a lot at night.

November is a less predictable month of transition. Sometimes the rains start, although many days remain sunny and hot. The rains generally start earlier in the north of the country.


Clothing and Dress Recommendations

Light clothing is a must for most of the year (do not forget your swimming wear and sunscreen!). However, during winter (June-August) it can be chilli in the evenings, so pack something warm. When visiting game reserves, remember to pack sensible walking shoes, a hat and colour appropriate clothing (browns, greens, etc). In the evenings, it is advisable to wear long sleeved shirts to protect from the mosquitoes.


Internet Availability

There are many internet cafes in Maputo and almost all major hotels have internet access. Outside Maouto internet access is erratic and typically available in places frequented by tourists. 


Electricity and Plug Standards

Current is 220/240 volts at 50 cycles per second. A three-point round-pin adapter plug should be brought for your electrical appliances. Such adapters are also available at the major airports.


Tanzania

The name Tanzania conjures up images of wildebeest stampeding across vast savannah, rain forests teeming with monkeys and birdlife, and great plains brimming with legions of game. All of these natural wonders and more are on offer in this exceptionally diverse African nation. Visitors typically visit Tanzania to partake in at least one of the four well known Tanzanian tourist experiences: a relaxing seaside vacation on the picturesque island paradise of Zanzibar, an underwater tour of some of the world’s most renowned dive sites around the gorgeous Spice Islands, a safari adventure in some of Africa’s most impressive game reserves, or a hiking excursion around Mount Kilimanjaro National Park. Whichever of these incredible holidays you choose, you will undoubtedly be welcomed by some fabulously friendly and peaceful inhabitants who, despite being divided into 120 different ethnic groups and cultures, live in harmony with one another and provide some of the most wonderfully exotic local cuisine you could imagine. With all of this diversity on offer, the most difficult part of your Tanzanian holiday experience is likely to be deciding where to go!

NOTE: Plastic bags are now banned in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, and are likely to be confiscated by customs officials on arrival, whether in clients’ baggage or carried by hand. For example, Duty-Free bags


Entry Requirements

Government regulations change without notice, it is important to check regulations with the relevant authority prior to travel. This is a guideline only.

- Passports should be valid for at least six months, with at least 2 free pages, are required by all nationals referred to in the chart above.

- Visas are required by all nationals referred to in the chart above. Visas can be purchase on arrival at most airports but to avoid delays on arrival, you can apply for your visa in advance of arrival through the Tanzanian Consulate in your country or a visa service. Validity for single entry tourist visa is normally up to 3 months.

Costs currently are U$50 for most nationalities but a $100 for US citizens.


Banking and Currency

- The unit of currency is the Tanzanian shilling. Visitors may import an unlimited amount of foreign exchange.

- We recommend you change money at official bureaux de change, although some lodges and hotels may offer facilities which would often offer a less attractive rate of exchange.

- Take cash, not Travellers Cheques! Change some money into Tanzanian shillings soon after your arrival.

- Credit Cards can usually be used in the international hotels and in restaurants and shops of the main towns and tourist related businesses.

- However, it is always advisable to have some cash because frequently these credit card machines do not work or are down without connection.

- There are ATM cash machines in Arusha and Dar es Salaam, and at airports.

- Large notes (US$50-US$100) prior to 2000 are not normally accepted. Best make sure you have smaller denomination and notes which have been issued after 1999.


Travel, Transport and Getting Around

There are really only three ways for tourists to travel sensibly in Tanzania and in these cases dmAFRICA is the recognised expert:-

- By organised safari vehicles, usually commencing in Arusha or Nairobi.

- By light aircraft. Arusha is the hub airport in Tanzania, and there are charter and regular flights to all the main wildlife areas in East Africa as well as the islands. If you are flying from Kenya it is necessary to clear customs and immigration in Arusha, Mount Kilimanjaro or Dar es Salaam before proceeding to your lodge or camp.

- By private jet; most lodge/camp airstrips are not equipped to handle many of the more sophisticated private jets. It is normal to access Tanzania at Mount Kilimanjaro or Dar es Salaam or Zanzibar airports and travel onwards by light aircraft. Night flying in game parks is not normally permitted.


Health and Medical Information

- Malaria is endemic. You must consult your doctor before you travel to ensure that you are prescribed the correct type of tablet protection.

- Yellow fever inoculation is obligatory for entry into Tanzania if you have been to a country where yellow fever infection exists.

- Immunization against hepatitis, cholera and meningitis is recommended.

Please check the latest information with your medical practitioner

- There are privately owned pharmacies that can prescribe most medication should you

be sick. A few wildlife lodges and camps have a private nurse on duty and almost all have camp staff trained in basic first aid.


Safety Notices

- Unfortunately petty theft and more serious crime is a factor in East Africa. Take the same precautions as you would in any major city.

- Avoid walking alone in apparently deserted areas, especially in and around the cities.

- Avoid displaying expensive items, especially jewellery, in public areas.

- Use the safe boxes, and other security accessories, made available to you in hotels and lodges/camps.

- It is preferable and usually more enjoyable to walk with company or in groups.


Food, Drink and Cuisine Advice

- In general, the food served in hotels and lodges is European food. A full breakfast and lunch will be buffet style and dinner is usually a set menu. A few top of the range lodges offer limited a la carte menus.

- Agriculturally, Tanzania is virtually self sufficient with staple crops, and fine quality beef and other livestock. On safari, game meat is sometimes on the menu.

- Pineapple, mango, papaya, banana, avocado and coconut are all plentiful and inexpensive when in season.

- Freshwater fish from the abundant rivers and lakes is plentiful, especially trout from around Arusha and tilapia and Nile perch from Lakes Victoria and Tanganyika.

- Of course, at the coast the seafood from the Indian Ocean is included on all menus, with a variety and quality which is now legendary.

- Wine is imported from South Africa, Europe and the New World. There is also a red wine which is made by the monks near Dodoma; it is “challenging”, as is the locally made gin konyagi!

- Local beers are of the lager type and are good.


Climate and Weather

- Serengeti: All year round. The best time for migration river crossings is June and July and late September and October.

- Ndutu, Serengeti: December to March as this is when the migration is based in the area with most of the calves being born around February and March.

- Ngorongoro: All year round

- Lake Manyara: All year round

- Tarangire: July to November when it is dry elsewhere and the animals move to the Tarangire River.

- Arusha National Park: All year round

- Lake Natron & Lake Eyasi: Avoid April and May

- Kilimanjaro: All year round except April to May.

- Zanzibar, Pemba, Mafia and the Coast: All year except April and May

- Selous: June to November

- Ruaha: June to the end of February

- Mahale & Gombe: All year except April and May

- Lake Victoria: Almost year round.


Clothing and Dress Recommendations

- When meeting and parting, hands are always shaken; this applies throughout the country in both rural and urban areas. It is the convention to use the right hand, not the left, to shake hands or pass or receive anything.

- The dress code is casual, although most international hotels and restaurants prefer gentlemen to wear long trousers for dinner.

- Bright, light colours and white clothing is not advisable for safaris particularly for walking safaris as animals see mostly in black and white. Safari clothing should be in neutral or bush colours (please note that army camouflage or military uniform is not permitted in almost all African countries)

- Good manners and respect come naturally to Tanzanians, charming national traits which they look upon visitors to reciprocate.


Internet Availability

Tanzania has good Internet Service Providers with email and internet services offered by many hotels and lodges (free / paid). In most towns there are plenty of private business centres and cyber cafes offering email and internet access, although the speeds might be somewhat slower than what you are used to. 


Electricity and Plug Standards

- 230 volts AC, 50Hz.

- Plugs may be round or square three-pin, fused or un-fused.

- Power cuts can be common in the rainy season, though most hotels and businesses have back-up generators.

- In some safari lodges electricity is not available during the night.


Kenya

Resting in the magnificent Great Rift Valley and presided over by the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro, Kenya is characterised by hauntingly beautiful natural landscapes of forested hills, patchwork farms, wooded savanna and vast forests brimming with an extraordinary abundance of wildlife. The nation’s diverse range of traditional African cultures is influenced by over 70 unique ethnic groups from the Maasai, Samburu, Kikuyu, and Turkana tribes to the Arabs and Indians that settled on the coast. Add to this: an exquisite tropical coastline fringed with breathtaking golden sand beaches; gorgeous coral gardens providing excellent snorkeling and diving opportunities; and a slew of lively beach resorts, and it is easy to see why so many visitors flock here from around the world to experience a truly unique African adventure in one of the world’s most pristine safari destinations.

NOTE: Plastic bags are now banned in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, and are likely to be confiscated by customs officials on arrival, whether in clients’ baggage or carried by hand. For example, Duty-Free bags


Banking and Currency

Currency

The currency of Kenya is the Kenyan Shilling (KES; symbol KSh) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of KSh1,000, 500, 200, 100 and 50. Coins are in denominations of KSh20, 10 and 5. Residents may import up to KES 500,000 and must declare if currencies exceeding US $10,000. Non-residents may import local and foreign currencies without restrictions but amounts exceeding US $10,000 must be declared.

Banking 

Banking hours: Monday -Friday 09h00-15h00, and Saturdays 09h00-12h00. Banks in Mombasa and the coastal areas open and close half an hour earlier. Banks in airports tend to open earlier and close later; typical hours are 07h00-19h00.

ATMs are common especially in major tourist destinations.

Mastercard and Visa Credit Cards are widely accepted; American Express and Diners Club less so. Major hotels accept payment by credit card, as do major safari companies, travel agencies and restaurants. 

Very few banks or foreign exchange bureaus accept travellers cheques; when they do, they charge high commissions.


Travel, Transport and Getting Around

Nairobi has two airports for domestic and regional flights: Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and Wilson Airport. Kenya has over 150 domestic airports and airstrips and there are daily flights to the most popular destinations. In addition to the scheduled airlines, several private charter companies operate out of Wilson Airport.

Kenya Airways, Air Kenya, Fly 540, Mombasa Air Safari, and Safarilink serve the most popular safari destinations, plus many others such as Lake Victoria. 

All other types of transport are good and efficient. Quality on trains can differ depending on which ‘class’ you buy. 

Drive on the left side of the road.

Road conditions vary, and are improving.



Food, Drink and Cuisine Advice

Meat in Kenya is generally outstandingly good, and ‘nyam achoma’ (barbecued meat) is ubiquitous at any major feasts or popular dining spots. Beef and chicken are readily available, but goat is the most-widely eaten among locals and certainly a must try for carnivorous visitors. Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine is also popular, as are fresh-water fish inland, and sea fish along the coast.

Drinking the tap water is not recommended as the supply is not reliable, but bottled water is available in most places. When buying bottled water, check the seal of the bottle is intact. Alternatively, bring your own reusable water bottle with a filter or use water purification tablets. Avoid ice and washed salads and fruit except in top hotels and restaurants. Milk is pasteurised and dairy products are safe for consumption. Food prepared by unlicensed vendors should be avoided at all times.

Tipping is optional. Most hotels and restaurants include a 10% service charge in the bill. If they don't, a small tip is customary for good service.


Climate and Weather

Kenya has three types of climate: temperate subtropical climate in the west and southwest highlands (where Nairobi is located), hot and humid along the coast, and hot and dry in the north and east.


Clothing and Dress Recommendations

For Nairobi and the coast: lightweight cotton and linens are advised. Warmer clothing is needed in June and July, while rainwear is advisable between March and June, and October and December.

For safari: loose-fitting and light neutral tones are recommended. If you are visiting a luxury lodge, pack a nice set of clothes for dinner is recommended.


Internet Availability

Wi-Fi is readily available in major cities and hotels, as well as in luxury game lodges.


Electricity and Plug Standards

Electrical sockets in Kenya are of the ‘Type G (BS-1363)’. If your appliance's plug doesn't match the shape of these sockets, you will need a travel plug adapter in order to plug in. Travel plug adapters simply change the shape of your appliance's plug to match whatever type of socket you need to plug into. If it's crucial to be able to plug in no matter what, bring an adapter for all types.

Electrical sockets in Kenya usually supply electricity at 220-240 volts AC. If you're plugging in an appliance that was built for 220-240 volt electrical input, or an appliance that is compatible with multiple voltages, then an adapter is all you need. If your appliance isn’t compatible with 220-240 volts, a voltage converter will be necessary.



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