Jade Sea Explorer
Jade Sea Explorer
Group Tour Essentials
On 2nd July 2015, UK and Irish travellers may apply for their visas in advance of arrival in Kenya via the e-visa portal www.ecitizen.go.ke. There will be a two month transitional period where visitors will still have the option to purchase their visa on arrival at the airport in Nairobi, in person at the Kenya High Commission in London and the Embassy of the Republic of Kenya in Dublin or via the online portal.
The new e-visa process will be compulsory for all UK and Ireland visitors to Kenya from 1st September 2015.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, valid for at least six months after the date of return to the UK. We strongly advise that your passport contains a minimum of two blank pages, as this may be a requirement of the local immigration authorities. In addition certain countries will stipulate that the two blank pages are opposite each other. If you are unable to meet these requirements you may be refused boarding by your airline or denied entry by the immigration authorities.
For specific information about the requirements for your destination please check with the country’s embassy or consulate. Alternatively UK citizens can visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
No departure tax is payable upon leaving Kenya.
Health and Immunisations
As with travel to most parts of Africa, we strongly recommend that you contact your doctor’s surgery or a specialist travel clinic for up-to-date information, advice and the necessary vaccinations. For a visit of less than one month, almost certainly you will be advised to have immunisations against the following: Diphtheria and Tetanus, Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Meningitis. Anti-malaria medication may also be required and the use of a DEET-containing insect repellent is highly recommended.
In addition if you are arriving from another African country you will also require a yellow fever certificate.
What should my travel insurance policy cover?
• medical and health cover for an injury or sudden illness abroad
• 24 hour emergency service and assistance
• personal liability cover in case you’re sued for causing injury or damaging property
• lost and stolen possessions cover
• cancellation and curtailment (cutting short your trip) cover
• Extra cover for activities that are commonly excluded from standard policies, such as certain sports
The policy should cover the whole time that you are away.
Your policy may also have:
• personal accident cover
• legal expenses cover
Common travel insurance policy exclusions
Always check the conditions and exclusions of your policy:
• most policies will not cover drink or drug-related incidents
You must take reasonable care of your possessions or your policy will not cover you.
The currency is the Kenyan shilling (Ksh). For current exchange rates visit www.xe.com.
Where currency can be exchanged
It’s relatively easy to exchange money in Kenya – either at the airport on arrival or in one of the many banks. However please note that smaller towns often do not have exchange facilities.
Credit cards and travellers cheques
Travellers’ cheques are difficult to exchange in Kenya and credit cards are not widely accepted in the places you will be visiting on this trip, outside of Nairobi. ATM machines can be found in most major towns. US dollars are generally the best currency to bring.
Best time to go
The north of Kenya receives little rainfall and so can be visited year round.
Kenya is home to many different ethnic groups each with their own language, but you will find that English is widely spoken here, although not so much in the smaller villages.
Kenya is home to both Islam and Christianity. In addition to this many of the ethnic groups in the south followed traditional animistic practices.
Food and drink
Meals on this tour will be prepared by your cook and will usually be European style. For any days that you are travelling, you will usually have a packed lunch prepared by one of the lodges.
If you have any special dietary requirements you must notify us at the time of booking. While we will make every effort to cater for you, we cannot guarantee that this will be possible.
Our tours in Kenya use 4wd vehicles – typically Landcruisers.
Travelling in the destinations that we visit requires a good deal of understanding that often standards simply won’t be as they are at home. While we aim to make your trip as comfortable as possible, please be aware that we are often visiting remote or less developed regions that may have little infrastructure. While we aim to make your trip run as smoothly as possible there may be times when we need to ask for your patience while we rectify any problems.
What to take with you
First Aid Kit
The first thing on your list should be a first aid kit. Whilst there is no undue cause for alarm, travellers are best advised to travel well-prepared: adequately immunized, with sufficient supplies of prescription drugs, along with a medical kit.
When it comes to clothing it is usually recommended that lighter clothes are worn through the day, and warmer ones at night. A hat is also advised to be worn through the day to protect from the sun.
Footwear is a main priority on this tour. Comfortable walking shoes/boots are recommended.
Your luggage should not exceed 20kgs (44lbs). One large suitcase/rucksack, and one small hand luggage rucksack is acceptable.
Suncream/sunblock is a must. Insect repellent, including a bite spray will also be useful to have. As our tours in Kenya involve camping, a torch (flashlight) is essential.
If you will be using a camera which needs film, it is recommended that a supply is taken with you, as it is not always available in Kenya.
This tour does not require any special degree of fitness but you will find it more enjoyable if you are reasonably fit.
Cultural and environmental guidelines
You are likely to come across beggars while on tour in Kenya. Every traveller has different perspectives on this and ultimately the choice is up to you. Many sources recommend that you watch to see if local people give, and then follow their lead with genuine beggars. We do not recommend giving money, sweets, pens etc to children as this can encourage a begging mentality and can lead to children choosing to beg rather than go to school.
Haggling is a way of life in Africa when making many purchases, especially with tourist souvenirs. Usually, but not always, the vendor will start with a price that is higher than they are prepared to accept, and the buyer is expected to haggle. There are no hard and fast rules with this – some vendors may initially quote a vastly overinflated price, others may start with a price close to the true value, while others may just present you with one price and not be prepared to discuss it. Although many tourists may feel uncomfortable with this, it’s important to remember that this is best entered into in a relaxed manner. Once you have agreed upon a price, it is extremely bad form to then not pay this. Please also bear in mind that a small amount of money to you can be a relatively large amount for the vendor, and that it is not necessarily best practice to ‘beat the vendor down’ to the lowest possible price. Remember that they also have a living to make.
Please make sure that you take any rubbish back to the hotels with you where it can be properly disposed of – this includes cigarette butts as well.
Please do not buy any products made from endangered species – this is not sustainable and hastens the species’ decline.
You should always ask permission before taking anyone's photograph and respect their decision if they say no. In more remote areas women and older people often do not want to be photographed. Some people may also ask for some money – sometimes a little, sometimes a lot - in return for a photo. Taking photos of military installations, state buildings, and airports can lead to problems with local authorities. If you are unsure about whether it is acceptable to take a photo, please ask your tour leader or guide.
Tipping is common practise in Africa. If your local guide has been helpful then you could think about tipping. The accepted amount for tipping in Kenya is between $5-10 per day for your tour leader and around $3-5 for game rangers or local guides who may accompany you for game drives and walks.
Foreign Office Advice
We constantly monitor the advice posted by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). In particular we will always advise clients of any travel warnings. At the time of writing the Foreign and Commonwealth Office does not advise against travel to any of the areas within Kenya that we visit on our tours. Please feel free to contact us should you have any specific concerns or if would like to know in detail what measures are being taken to ensure visits remain trouble free and without incident.
It should be noted that this information applies to British citizens. Other nationals are asked to check the current position of their respective government.
Public Holidays in Kenya:
January 1st New Year’s Day
May 1st Labour Day
June 1st Madaraka Day
October 10th Moi Day
October 20th Kenyatta Day
December 12th Independence Day
December 25th Christmas Day
December 26th Boxing Day
In addition to these are the holidays associated with Ramadan, which follow a lunar calendar and vary annually.
Dates are for guidance only and may vary year to year.
Electrical supply is 220V/50 Hz and plugs usually have two round pins.
The Rough Guide to Kenya
It’s Our Turn To Eat
My Kenya Days
IMPORTANT NOTES – PLEASE READ
Please note that the information provided is correct at the time of writing but may change. It is intended as a guide only. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health visit www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk or contact your local healthcare provider.
In addition we strongly advise you to check the information and any travel advice provided by your government. For British citizens you should visit the Foreign Office website www.fco.gov.uk.
Furthermore, you should be aware that any travel warnings or advisories may affect the validity of your travel insurance. Therefore, at the time of booking your tour it is essential you check any restrictions on cover with your insurance provider.
Issue Date – 4/3/2013
For possible changes to this dossier please visit www.undiscovered-destinations.com or call +44 (0)191 296 2674