Changing The World -
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KENYA - TANZANIA
Unearth the facts about ecotourism!
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Frequently Asked Questions about East African Safaris!
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Arranging a safari may not be your forte, but it is ours!
With access to the latest, accurate local information, let us
answer your questions for your dream tour.
- Are there set departure dates?
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Yes. However, all of our safaris can be tailored around your chosen travel dates
if you prefer another date. Due to the long rains, availability is limited during
May and June each year, with many smaller lodges and camps closing for this period.
- Can we bring our children on safari?
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Children are welcome on most East African safari tours; however, we would not
recommend bringing children under 5 years old. We are happy to recommend
child-friendly properties and safaris if you are traveling with children.
- What medical issues should I be concerned about? Back
Yellow Fever, hepatitis and tetanus vaccinations are recommended but not required
for traveling to East Africa; however, we strongly recommend tetanus and hepatitis
vaccinations. Please bring your vaccination cards with you.
You should take precautions against malaria. There are a number of Prophylaxis
available. Some have mild side effects; you should check with your doctor for
advice. We recommend starting your course of tablets early, in order to determine
if you have any side effects before you travel.
Whilst in East Africa, only drink bottled water. We recommend that you drink at
least 4 liters of non-alcoholic fluid each day to prevent dehydration. The most
common cause of stomach upsets and diarrhea is dehydration; increasing your fluid
intake should prevent this illness.
All countries have their own 'bugs' to which residents develop immunity. The African
gastro-enteritis 'bugs' are the next most common cause of 'traveler's tummy.'
Generally, antibiotics will cure this illness within 24 hours. This mild form
of stomach upset is most commonly caught from hand to mouth contact with people.
If you have shaken hands (harmless) with children or people in the bush, please
wash your hands afterwards before you accidentally brush your mouth and transfer
Hotels, camps and lodges use clean water for their food preparation. East Africans
take great pride in their fresh, good quality food; you will not go hungry! If
you are not sure about the preparation of any type of food, simply ask. You will
Perfume, cologne and scented body lotions can attract mosquitoes and other flying
insects. We recommend that you do not wear perfumes or colognes during your safari.
Nairobi, Kenya has excellent, European standard hospitals. Should
evacuation be necessary, excellent medical care is a short flight away.
- So as not to offend, what local customs do I need to follow when on my
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Local cultures vary tremendously throughout East Africa. With over 60 different
tribes, each with their own traditions, beliefs, language and culture, it is not
possible to learn all the cultural taboos during a short vacation. However, there
are a few do's and don'ts that will ensure you do not offend local custom during
Nudity or semi-nudity is not permitted; on the Coast, it is especially offensive
to the Muslim culture. Visitors are expected to wear a bikini or swimsuit when
swimming at the Coast; topless sunbathing is illegal.
Shorts, t-shirts, trousers, skirts and dresses are suitable for all other activities.
African attire tends to be casual; modest western dress is perfectly acceptable.
Do not take photographs without permission. Photography of airports or any government
buildings is illegal. Save your film for the wildlife and cultural villages where
photos are encouraged!
The elderly are very respected in East African culture; when introduced to a local
family, addressing the eldest member first generates an excellent rapport!
- Tipping In East Africa
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It has been customary since safaris began to consider tips for your driver/guide
and support staff. However, tipping is a very personal subject and the decision
to tip and how much to give is entirely yours. Unlike in the USA or most of Europe,
tips in Kenya are considered a gift; they are not a part of wages or payment.
They are considered a bonus and are not expected or required.
An average daily wage in East Africa is just over US$ 1.20. As such, giving a
porter a tip of a dollar is very generous. Room or tent stewards would be delighted
with a tip of between US$0.50 - US$ 1.00 per day.
In a restaurant, if service has not been added to the bill, then a tip of 10%
is suitable, if you are satisfied with the service. In most safari camps and lodges,
a service charge has been included in your accommodation rate, which is paid to
the staff by the establishment.
In general, the only person who will expect a tip from you is your driver/guide,
who would be very happy with a tip of around US$ 2- US$ 3 per couple per day.
If you are camping rather than staying in a lodge, your camp cook would appreciate
approximately US$ 10 per person for the entire trip. If you also have a camp assistant,
then a tip of US$ 5 per person for the entire trip would be suitable.
- What items can I purchase on my East African vacation?
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East Africa's flora and fauna is often fragile and endangered. Please do not collect
any form of flora or fauna when on your safari, whether inside a National Park
or not. In particular, do not purchase any form of handicraft or souvenir that
requires the death of an animal, such as shells, starfish, ivory, animal hides
or bird eggs.
It is prohibited to sell ivory, rhino horn and animal hides are prohibited items
in Kenya. If these items are offered to you at any time, please report the matter
to the authorities immediately.
Many local handicrafts are hand carved from indigenous trees. Please ensure that
you purchase carvings made from woods such as mango, neam and jacaranda. Avoid
the hard woods such as ebony and bamba kofi as these trees take centuries to grow
and are now endangered through extensive forest cutting.
When purchasing your souvenirs and handicrafts, purchase the work of local craftsmen
and artisans. Woven baskets, beadwork, jewelry, woodwork and cotton cloth are
some of the more common handicrafts. Most tribes have their own
traditional designs, shapes and sizes, providing a wide variety from which to
- How much baggage can I bring?
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When traveling on safari, baggage should be kept to a minimum. Charter flights
and vehicle transfers do not allow a large amount of baggage. Use soft duffle
bags instead of suitcases, as frequently the small airplane baggage lockers cannot
fit a large suitcase.
Laundry service (excluding underwear) is available in all of the properties; therefore
large amounts of clothing are not required. Towels are supplied in permanent camps
City hotels and some large safari lodges provide electricity for such items as
shavers and hair-dryers. Smaller lodges and permanent camps will rely on generators
for electricity or solar power, limiting electrical availability. Most campsites
do not have electricity so hair-dryers, electric shavers etc. are not useable.
- What is the weather like?
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East Africa's climate is based upon altitude. Inland, the days are warm to hot;
the evenings are cool to cold. Only at the Coast are the temperatures less varied,
remaining warm to hot throughout the day and night. The coldest months are June,
July and August; the hottest months are January, February and March.
June, July, August and November may provide some showers and misty
weather as these are the times of the Long and Short rains.
- What clothes should I bring?
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Dress is casual. Long-sleeved, lightweight shirts or blouses and trousers, with
a sweater or light jacket are appropriate for the evenings. The camps do not have
heating, so bring something warm in which to sleep.
Shorts and t-shirts are suitable for the hotter days.
A lightweight rain jacket is useful; a wide-brimmed hat is vital.
A good pair of walking shoes or boots is advisable when walking or horse riding.
However, within the camps, lodges and hotels, light footwear may be worn.
Neutral colors, such as gray, khaki, browns or greens, are best; bright colors
and patterns, including white, can spook animals and birds.
Some lodges and hotels have swimming pools, so bring your swimsuit!
Use our safari checklist to help you pack!
- What equipment should I bring?
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Bring all camera equipment, including spare batteries and film (100-400ASA), cleansing
fluid, tissues and dust spray, as they are difficult to obtain and extremely expensive
in East Africa.
Please ensure that you also bring dust covers of some kind for your camera equipment.
A small beanbag to use as a tripod is useful in a vehicle.
If using a 35mm camera, we suggest a wide-angle lens of 25mm to 35mm and two additional
lenses that allow a range of 35mm to 300mm.
When staying in small mobile camps, it is unlikely you'll be able to re-charge
In your daypack, carry:
high factor (over 20) sunscreen
a small torch (flashlight)
insect repellent and moisturizer
moist towellettes (Wet Wipes)
Suggested medicines include:
packets of rehydrant powder (such as Gatorade)
If you are taking any prescribed medicines, please ensure you have an adequate
supply for the duration of your trip. If wearing contact lenses, please remember
that it will be dusty and you will need extra cleaning fluid.
- What does ECO mean?
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It means many things to many people, but to Eco-resorts, it means Environmentally
or Community Oriented. We use hotels, camps and lodges that are involved in wildlife
conservation and community projects.
- How does Eco-resorts protect the environment and help the community?
Eco-resorts is changing the world - one journey at a time. Animals and people
both need land. Ecotourism provides an alternative income for the people, leaving
space for the migratory animals. Eco-resorts actively supports the villages and
projects that are protecting East Africa's environment and culture.
We develop self-help eco-projects, which promote wildlife conservation. We also
educate both our consumers and our partner camps with two free ezines. In our
office, we use solar power and wind power, store our rainwater, employ and train
local staff, reduce paper and plastic consumption and have left the natural vegetation
unscathed, resulting in duiker and monitor lizards visiting the office!
We donate 10% of all post-tax profits to fund community and/or conservation projects.
Community projects are operated with the local villagers as the operators and
managers; Eco-resorts provides advice and guidance when requested, but abides
by local beliefs and traditions.
Our current projects include:
The Children of the Rising Sun Orphanage, which provides accommodation,
meals, medicine and schooling for 28 street-children. Our goal is to have a vocational
job-training center operational at the home, for the kids and local villagers.
The Arabuko-Sokoke Forest Reserve, which is the last remaining tract of
coastal lowland forest in Kenya, providing the only refuge for several endemic
birds and mammals, such as the golden-rumped elephant shrew and the Sokoke Pippet.
Designated as one of Conservation International's 26 global bio-diversity hotspots
(www.conservation.org) and surrounded on all sides by an ever increasing human
population, the Forest is in danger of disappearing as trees are cut for carvings,
land cleared for subsistence farming and animals trapped for food.
Eco-resorts wants the local villagers to become the greatest supporters of the
Forest. One of the many projects in the Forest trains the local villagers to breed
forest butterfly species for export to the live butterfly market. With two local
butterfly farms already in operation, over 400 people in the area bordering the
Forest now have an income that relies upon the continued health of the Forest.
Our goal is to employ another 100 people.
Finally, the Kenyan Eco-resorts office is located within the boundaries of the
Watamu National Marine Park; an Eco-resorts director is an Honorary Game Park
Warden. The company provides extensive assistance to the warden and rangers within
this United Nations protected Biosphere.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more detailed information on our community
and wildlife conservation projects that your eco-adventure safari will support.
Help us make a difference!
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