CLASSIC KENYA HORIZONS SAFARI

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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.


Entry Requirements

KENYA: VISA REQUIREMENTS

A visa is required for entry into Kenya for most people (see below for exceptions). An ordinary visa (also known as a tourist visa) is used by tourists. This visa is issued at any Kenyan embassy, or can be issued on arrival at an entry point to citizens of any country listed in Category 2 in the Visas section of the Immigration website (link below). It grants tourists / visitors the authorization to enter the country through designated entry points on the border, through airports, and harbour stations.

Please note that the possession of a Kenyan visa is not the final authority to enter Kenya. The immigration officer at the port of entry may deny entry if the visitor is unable to fulfil the immigration requirements and if the entry and presence of such a person in Kenya would be contrary to the national interests of Kenya, even if such a person is in possession of a valid visa for Kenya.

Visa Descriptions:

1. Single Entry - Allows you to enter into Kenya once (see also note below)

2. Transit - Allows a short stop over (up to 3 days) in Kenya (see also note below).

3. Multiple Entry - Allows entry multiple times into Kenya.

Note: No visa is required for direct transit (not leaving the secure area of the airport, aka staying 'airside', within the airport terminal) between two flights. If you are in transit but leave the secure area of the airport, for example for an overnight stay between flights, for a period of less than 24 hours then a transit visa is required.

Note: A single entry visa will allow re-entry to Kenya from any of the following East African countries: Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, and Rwanda.

Visa Requirements

Obtained in advance: By E-Visa or through a Kenyan Foreign Embassy.

1. A complete visa application form. A copy of the form is available on the web -http://evisa.go.ke/evisa.html or at any Kenyan embassy.

2. Valid passport (at least 6 months before expiration). There must be at least two facing blank visa pages available, one for the Kenya visa sticker and one facing for the stamps.

3. 1 passport size photograph recently taken.

4. Travel Itinerary

5. Hotel booking

6. A return ticket

7. Visa fee (see below).

Obtained on Arrival:

1. A complete visa application form. A copy of the form is available on the web, at any Kenyan embassy, or at any entry point into Kenya.

2. Valid passport (at least 6 months before expiration). There must be at least two facing blank visa pages available, one for the Kenya visa sticker and one facing for the stamps.

3. Travel Itinerary

4. Hotel booking

5. A return ticket

6. Visa fee (see below).

Note: No photographs are required for a visa on arrival as you are photographed and finger printed at the Immigration desk.

Visa Fees:

1. Single entry visa - US$50.00 or £30 or €40

2. Multiple entry visa - US$110.00 or £60

3. Transit visa - US$20.00 or £10

Note: See below under 'additional information' for information about the cost of a 'referency fee', if required.


Non-tourists:

If you are not a tourist, for example a business traveler, contact any Kenyan embassy for additional information.


Additional Information:

No visa is required for nationals of the following countries:

Barbados, Maldives, St. Lucia, Belize, Malta, Swaziland, Botswana, Mauritius, Seychelles, Brunei Darussalam, Namibia, The Gambia, Burundi, Nauru, Tanzania, Cyprus, Papua New Guinea, The Bahamas, Dominica, Rwanda, Tonga, Fiji Island, Trinidad and Tobago, Ghana, Samoa, Tuvalu, Grenada, St. Kitts and Navis, Uganda, Jamaica, Sierra Leona, Vanuatu, Kiribati, Singapore, Zambia, Lesotho, Solomon Islands, Zimbabwe, Malawi, South Africa (for less than 30 days stay), St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Malaysia (for less than 30 days stay), Ethiopia, Eritrea, San Marino

Holders of U.S Refugee Travel Documents issued by the Department of Homeland Security (Greencard Holders/Permanent Residents) and nationals (passport holders) of the countries listed below shall have their visa applications referred to the Director of Immigration Services, Nairobi for approval. The processing varies from case to case. In addition, when a visa application is referred to the Director of Immigration Services Nairobi, a non-refundable reference fee of US $5 shall be collected at the time of application. This fee will be in addition to any other visa fee and will not be refunded if a visa is issued or is not issued.

Afghanistan, Senegal, Azerbaijan, Kosovo, Eritrea, Somalia, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, Libya, Cameroon, Mali, Palestine, Iraq, Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea, Tajikistan


For more information on the visa application process and visa categories based on nationalities, please visit www.immigration.go.ke or http://evisa.go.ke/evisa.html


Banking and Currency

MONEY:

The currency in Kenya is the Kenyan Shilling (KES; symbol KSh). 1 Kenyan Shilling = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of KSh1,000, 500, 200, 100 and 50. Coins are in denominations of KSh20, 10, 5 and 1.

The local currency is the Kenyan shilling, and the Tanzanian shilling respectively.

1 US dollar = 100 Kenyan shillings; (this changes based on the currency flactuation)

Please respect the local currency and note that it is a criminal offence in both countries to damage or tear the local currency.

Money may be changed easily at airports, hotels, banks and forex bureau. Please avoid changing money in the street with money vendors, as they are operating illegally.

It is unnecessary to carry excessive amounts of money (on safari, all meals are included, except for the drinks) and credit cards are widely accepted for payment of meals outside the meal plan, hotel extras, shopping etc

The equivalent of USD 100 per person is a guideline for exchange, as you may use your credit cards such as VISA or MASTERCARD for any additional costs, in most of the places you will visit.

Traveller´s Cheques are also a safe and simple method of payment; however you may have some problems with regard to their acceptance whilst on safari.

If at the end of the safari, you have any left over local currency, this may be changed back into dollars, at the airport.

There are no restrictions on the import or export of local or foreign currency. However, amounts exceeding US$5,000 or equivalent must be declared.

Banking

Banking hours: Monday-Friday 09h00-16h00, Saturday 09h00-12h00. Banks in Mombasa and the coastal areas typically open and close half an hour earlier.

Credits Cards are widely accepted in all major hotels and more upmarket establishments, with the most recognized being Master Card and Visa. American Express and Diners Club cards are occasionally accepted. However, you will need some cash handy because smaller shops will only accept cash.

Almost every bank now has an ATM, and they are increasingly being installed at, malls, shopping centres and petrol stations in cities and large towns.

Travellers cheques are no longer accepted in Kenya.


Travel, Transport and Getting Around

Nairobi has two airports for domestic and international flights: Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and Wilson Airport (www.kaa.go.ke).

Mombasa has one airport for both domestic and international flights - Mombasa International 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 (www.kenya-airways.com), Air Kenya (www.airkenya.com), Fly 540 (www.fly540.com), Mombasa Air Safari (www.mombasaairsafari.com) and Safarilink (www.flysafarilink.com) serve the most popular safari destinations, plus many others such as Lake Victoria.

On smaller, domestic planes the baggage allowance is restricted to maximum 15 kg (22-33 lbs). Arrangements can be made to leave excess luggage with your Kenya tour operator, hotels or airlines

Main roads between the major cities and towns are generally in good condition, and easily navigatable in a normal saloon car. Most highways are paved.Vehicles are driven on the left side of the road.

While major roads are generally in a good condition, most minor gravel roads deteriorate in the rainy season. Dirt roads, including those in the parks and reserves, are rough, and some are only passable with a 4-wheel drive.

You can hire chauffeur-driven cars from your travel agents and international hire companies. Self-drive although highly discouraged for new drivers in Kenya is an option. Drivers must be at least 23 years of age. Car hire can be expensive and rates vary significantly.
A driving licence from a home country (and a translation if this is not in English) or an International Driving Permit is required. Third-party insurance is mandatory when hiring a car and it’s recommended to take out the additional collision damage waiver. A valid credit card is also needed.

Matatus (shared minibus taxis) hop from town to town, starting and finishing at bus stations. Fares are paid to the conductor. Private taxis can also be hired for long-distance journeys.

It is not possible to rent motorbikes or mopeds but some of the beach resorts hire out bicycles.

Numerous private bus companies operate in Kenya. Most vehicles tend to depart when full, which means there are no set timetables. Petty theft on the vehicles and at bus stations can be a problem. Nevertheless, buses are cheap and link all long-distance destinations. Plus, seatbelts are now mandatory, so buses are relatively safe.

Nairobi and Mombasa have efficient local bus systems and there are also frequent matatus, but reckless driving and petty theft makes them a dodgy option for tourists. Three-wheeled auto rickshaws are popular in the coastal towns and carry up to three passengers.

Online taxis service Uber is now in Kenya, available both in Nairobi and Mombasa and other online taxis options are coming up in Nairobi, these service are reliable and have meters. The older yellow taxis do not have meters, so fares should be agreed in advance. Cabs cannot be hailed in the street, but can be found parked in taxi ranks.


Health and Medical Information

HEALTH:

A certificate of vaccination against Yellow Fever is required. Malaria is endemic to Kenya and Tanzania, so please remember to take anti-malaria tablets. In case of any medical emergency, your hotel will have a doctor on call, or will have the medicine you may require, including the parks on safari.

All the same, please take the following precautions:

Dress in warm clothing in the evenings and at night; use repellants against mosquitoes and use insecticide sprays in rooms before sleeping (or before going for dinner). This area is right at the Equator, and the hot sun can cause sunburn very quickly- including on cloudy days.

Sun creams, lip balm, hats and sunglasses are recommended.

Although tap water in the big towns is potable, we advise you to drink mineral water always. In the hotels/ lodges during the safaris, there is always a jar/bottle/thermos of filtered water in the rooms, which is convenient for using for cleaning your teeth.

The mineral water in the hotels/ lodges has quite an elevated price. You may buy some bottled water at the local supermarkets at a more reasonable price.


Safety Notices

As it is the case in most regions of the world, security is a topic that should be kept in mind. Nairobi and Mombasa are generally safe during the day, as long as narrow alleys or isolated streets are avoided. We advise you not to walk in the streets in the dark. If you wish to travel by night, always call for a taxi.

Don’t carry a lot of money with you when you go out; only the amount you think you will spend. While walking in the streets, don’t wear jewellery or valuables that bring attention to you.

Please leave all valuables (jewellery, travel documents, cameras etc) in the safes or safety deposit boxes of the hotel you are staying at.

Please don’t leave anything of value lying around your hotel room.


Food, Drink and Cuisine Advice

FOOD:

During the safari, all your meals will be taken in the hotels.

In Nairobi and Arusha; generally only breakfast is included in your hotel accommodation; Lunch and dinner billed separately.

The food is of an excellent quality and you may eat all the types of fruits and vegetables without worry. The meal plan is usually as follows:

Full breakfast, between 0700 hrs and 0930 hrs;

Buffet lunch, served from about 1230 hrs;

Tea and coffee, served from 1600 hrs to 1800 hrs;

Dinner served from 1930hrs to 2130hrs, at the table. Generally, we choose the second course and dessert. Most of the hotels have both local and imported beers and wines, liquors, fruit juices and refreshments available. Drinks are not included (unless otherwise stated).

If you require a special diet or are vegetarian, please make sure you communicate this to the reception at the time of your arrival at the hotel.

Nairobi has some of the finest eating establishments in Africa. Many different cuisines and types of restaurants are available, from fast food to fancy. Many five-star hotels have excellent restaurants. Restaurants are many in Nairobi. The local cuisine is also worth trying out, particullarly Pilau-a chicken and rice dish, cabbage and rice; and the staple food in Kenya-Ugali, made from maze flour.

Many restaurants can be found downtown and in most areas of the urban centres however if you're looking for a real authentic experience away from most tourists, places like Ayani, Olympic, Kibera, and other places have the more authentic food. Among the many cuisines available are Indian, Brazilian, Chinese, Thai, Japanese, German and French restaurants. Fast food restaurants are common in malls which are in every area of Nairobi .


Climate and Weather

Kenya lies on the equator and has a pleasant tropical climate, but there are large regional climatic variations influenced by several factors, including altitude. Temperatures drop by about 6°C for every 1000m you climb (or 3.5°F per 1000ft). Kenya’s daytime temperatures average between 20°C/68°F and 28°C/82°F, but it is warmer on the coast. The coast is hot and humid all year round, but the heat is pleasant and tempered by the monsoon winds. Kenya is too close to the equator to experience a real winter and summer. There is, however, both a dry and wet season. The wet seasons are from March to June and from October to Mid December. The rest of the time it is dry although significantly cold (atleast for the Kenyan person) during the months of July and August.


Clothing and Dress Recommendations

Comfortable, casual clothing that is lightweight is the best bet while on safari. It can be quite cool in the early mornings, so you'll want to dress warmly in layers, until the sun has a chance to warm up the air. "Kenya Convertibles", khaki pants with zip-off legs, are perfect for cool early morning game drives that turn warm before you're back in camp. Walking shorts, long pants, cotton shirts and tees are just right. A cotton bush jacket or wind-breaker will be useful along with a warm sweater or fleece jacket for the cool nights, long-sleeves and trousers for the nights for protection against insects, and a light raincoat in case it rains. And, a hat that ties on is a must. There is not a good deal of long walking or hiking on most safaris, so a comfortable pair of walking shoes or tennis shoes and a pair of sandals should be adequate. You will need thorn-proof soles.

In Kenya's major cities the dress code is conservative but not overly formal – jeans and decent tops for women are fine. Swimsuits are acceptable on the beach but you’ll need to cover up in public places.


Internet Availability

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


Electricity and Plug Standards

ELECTRICITY:

Most hotels use generators which function only in the morning, and at night. We use 240 volts and plugs with three spokes (UK). An adapter is all that you will need and are mostly available at the hotel receptions if you forget to carry one. A small deposit is required as security when you borrow the transformer, which is refundable.


General Guidance

IT IS CONVENIENT TO TRAVEL LIGHT:

The safari vehicles do not have a lot of luggage capacity and for this reason, we recommend soft, light luggage. In any hotel with a stay of 2 days or more, laundry service is available.

WE RECOMMEND YOU CARRY:

Binoculars (INDISPENSABLE).

Many more rolls of film than what you thought enough! up to 100 Photos per day during the safari. (It

doesn’t weigh much, and could be slightly more expensive here).

A torch.

Insect repellant.

Lip balms and sun creams.

Coloured biro pens, pencils, pictures, small books, balloons, etc. to give out as presents in case you visit a local village (they are more appropriate than sweets, and are more appreciated).

Disposable lighters, caps, scarves, T-shirts, etc. as “barter material” in souvenir shops (although in actuality, no “barter” without some money changing hands, exists!).

Waist pouches for carrying money, passports and small valuables are very practical.

DON’T CARRY:

Your gold Communion medal, diamonds, Grandmother’s pearls, gold watches, $200 sunglasses, etc.

In other words, carry things that will not be sorely missed in case of loss.

TIPPING:

Most people, when visiting a foreign country, like to be given some guideline regarding tipping. Yet, this is truly voluntary and extremely personal matter. A tip is an indication of appreciation on the part of the guest for the services given and IS ONLY GIVEN WHEN THE SERVICE WAS UP TO YOUR EXPECTATIONS, and is paid after all the services have been completed, and is NEVER OBLIGATORY. A guideline for each traveler follows below:-

Restaurants: These guidelines are for lunches and dinners you may enjoy on your own, which are not included in your itinerary. If the menu says 10% service charge included, you do not need to tip. Otherwise, between 5 and 10 % of the total bill is considered usual and customary.

Hotels’ Camps’ & Lodges’ staff: 2 – 5 dollars per person per day.

Safari driver and Guide: Ever since the early days of safari-ing, driver-guide and naturalist/tour guide in Africa have had their expert bush skills acknowledged in form of tips. We recommend 5 – 10 dollars per person per day, but this is entirely at your own discretion.

Arrival Transfer: 5 dollars per person per day.

COMMUNICATIONS:

Communication is as sophisticated here as it is in Europe or the States, but it is however more expensive. It is possible to make international calls from most of the hotels, but the price is between USD 7- 10 per minute, for a minimum of 3 minutes. It is mostly automatically billed.

The Nairobi hotels, mainly, will also offer email services.

However in the era of smart phones and what's app, as long you can internet - which is now available in most camps and lodges, communication is cheap and easy.

Mobile Phones: The mobile network coverage in Kenya is no longer limited. Right now there is network almost in all the safari circuit areas. Just incase your cell phone provider has roaming contract with some of the few providers in Kenya (Which is mostly the case); most of the places have network coverage including in the parks and all the cities.

SHOPPING:

Numerous shops and stalls selling a variety of souvenirs can be found in the towns and en route during the safaris. You can buy both traditional and modern jewellery, wood carvings, sculptures, soapstone figures, baskets and bags, safari attire, articles made from banana fibre, khangas and kikois

(khangas are the colourful wraps worn by women especially at the coast and in the countryside, while kikois are the wraps worn by men at the coast), precious stones like Tanzanite (violet/blue), semi precious stones such as green Tsavorite, Tiger Eye and Malachite etc

It is important to bargain in most of the shops for a better price.

We also have some small “markets” such as the Maasai Market in Nairobi, where you can not only enjoy the hectic atmosphere but also find all types of arts and cratfs for sale. This market is open air, operating at shopping malls on each day of the week (please ask your guide for a recommendation while in Nairobi).

Most hotels also have gift shops that sell souvenirs, T-shirts etc

In case you happen to purchase items of African craft while on safari and you decide you want the purchased items to be send to your home country, please make sure you clarify and confirm that the entire shipping costs are included in your invoice just to avoid any inconveniences upon delivery. Mostly, the shipping charges are normally done at the destination airport so as to be able to go through customs inspections and formalities. Kindly note that we take our clients to shopping areas that are highly recommendable for shopping, however Classic Safaris will not be held responsible for any damages caused during the shipping period of the said items. At the same time, the company shall not be held responsible for the non-sending of the purchased items to the agreed destination and will not accept any responsibility for shipment or customs charges.

SHOPPING HOURS:

Shopping hours are from 0830hrs to 1230hrs and 1400hrs to 1700hrs. Mondays to Fridays and from 0830hrs to 1300hrs on Saturdays. The bigger supermarkets do not shut over lunchtime, and stay open until 2000hrs during the week and 1800hrs on weekends. There some supermarkets in Nairobi those are now open 24 hours.

WILDLIFE, NATIONAL PARKS:

Please refrain from disturbing or feeding the animals in the parks. It is dangerous to try to touch them- they ARE wild. Please stay in the vehicle during game drives in the park.

It is prohibited to sit on top of the vehicles, even while they are stationary.

REGISTRATION AND HOTEL CHECK OUTS:

On arrival, you will fill in a registration card at the reception in order to obtain the room key. Room occupancy is only guaranteed after 1100hrs, and on check out must be done by 1000hrs or 1800hrs, if you have contracted a day room.

Extras bills will be paid at the reception. When this is cleared and the room key has been handed in, you will receive a luggage ticket which allows your luggage to leave the hotel, as it indicates all bills and outstanding matters have been cleared.


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