- Personal toiletries
- Lightweight long sleeve shirts (to protect arms from sunburn and insect bites)
- Lightweight long pants (to protect legs from insect bites)
- Bathing suit
- Wind and waterproof jacket
- Warm jacket for evening/early morning wear
- Comfortable shoes & socks
- Prescription medications
- Your camera and lens(es)
- Extra batteries for camera
- Extra memory cards or external hard drive to save your pictures
- Travel documents: passport, visa (if required), travel insurance, airline tickets or e-ticket receipts, medical documents (i.e. Yellow Fever card for Tanzania), tour notes
- Photocopies of the following (as an extra copy): main passport pages, visa (if required), travel insurance, Yellow Fever certificate, and air tickets
- Money: cash/credit card
- Small first-aid kit (include diarrhea medication, headache tablets, etc.)
- Daypack for use on day excursions
- Watch/alarm clock and flashlight (and spare batteries – power is not often available through the nighttime hours)
- Electrical adapter plug – Type G – 240 V 50 Hz
- Travel wipes
- Insect repellent with Deet
- Sunscreen, lip balm, sunhat, and sunglasses
- Earplugs and eye mask (for light sleepers)
- Extra pair of prescription glasses (if required)
- Small sewing/repair kit with safety pins
- Flat rubber sink stopper (some rooms might not provide the sink stopper)
- Travel clothesline for drying hand washed clothes
- Travel Documents
Before leaving home for your African safari, make a copy of all key travel documents as a backup in the unlikely event that your original documents are misplaced. Leave this set at home with a friend or family member who you could get in contact with quickly if needed.
If you are comfortable, you could also email the documents to yourself or save a copy on electronic storage. This would be an easy way to access them if needed while you are away.
Documents to copy:
- Main pages of your passport including photo and Visa pages. (Also, ensure your passport is valid 6 months after your trip)
- Your airline ticket
- Travel itinerary
- Your travel and medical insurance policies
- Credit cards (front and back)
- Proof of Yellow fever vaccination
- Visa Requirements
Visa Processing Companies
Visa applications for countries around the world can often be simplified by using the services of a visa processing company. They vary in cost and services offered, however, they do provide an easy way of obtaining everything you will need to enjoy your vacation worry-free. If visiting multiple countries, this option will allow you to submit the forms and passports and wait for everything to be returned at one time. The processing company will keep track of the location of the passport and also keep you updated on the status of processing along the way. Options for returning the completed passport as well as other security add-on options are often available depending on the company chosen. Options for payment to the Visa Processing Company does provide for credit cards. Submissions of all forms as a package include all costs, as well as embassy costs and, are known at the time of submission to the Visa Processing Company. You can find Visa Processing Companies and others by searching on Google.
Individual Embassy Processing
The alternative to selecting a visa processing company is to gather and fill out the visa forms and forward the package to each individual embassy to be approved. Some country’s embassies coordinate with other countries and will pass package applications forward but work is required to determine which countries participate in this practice. Payment to the Embassy for processing is usually by Money Order, Bank Draft or Certified check, however, each country has their own requirements.
Check with your governmental website for additional details
All visitors to Kenya, except East African Citizens, require a visa. To obtain a Visa you can go through a Visa processing company as indicated above, or, a new option is to go through Kenya online at https://www.ecitizen.go.ke/. Please check with the Kenya Embassy website in your country for the most recent cost.
* All Visa requirements to all countries can change at any given time. It is the responsibility of each traveler to check with their country’s Embassy website to determine if a Tourist Visa is required and the current costs associated with obtaining the Visa(s).
A visa is required for citizens of Canada, the US, UK, and Australia. Tourists can obtain a visa at the port of entry – valid for up to three months. Please check with the Tanzania Embassy website in your country for the most recent cost.
* All Visa requirements to all countries can change at any given time. It is the responsibility of each traveler to check with your country’s Embassy website to determine if a Tourist Visa is required and the current costs associated with obtaining the Visa(s).
- Luggage Requirements
Remember – the lighter you travel the better!
Of course, the amount and size of luggage allowed depend on the air carrier that you choose, so please consult with your carrier for current weight and size restrictions. Because you have chosen a safari, your luggage must also conform to fairly rigid sizing requirements to fit within safari vehicles.
A soft-sided duffel bag is the ideal form of luggage. Please keep the size no larger than 76 x 38 x 36 cm (30 x 15 x 14 inches) and weight around 15kg and no heavier than 20kg. One that works well and can be found locally or ordered online here.
Whatever luggage you choose, please ensure it is soft-sided – without a frame. Safari vehicles do not have a traditional ‘square’ sized trunk. Bags with frames prevent them from fitting into odd-sized spaces and may require you to hold them on your lap if they do not fit – a most uncomfortable journey.
A small or medium-sized backpack (45-50 liters) may also be used as a daypack and can be used for carry-on luggage when flying.
- What To Bring (and What To Leave at Home)
Whether you are packing your duffel bag or backpack in preparation for your safari, it’s always a good idea to have a list of suggested items to work from. Check out our lists below and see what we think makes the cut (and what to leave at home).
What To Bring
When you pack your clothing, consider the climate at the time of year you are traveling and any specific requirements for your trip. Consider using packing cubes, as this will make it very easy to keep organized and will assist with the repacking required between safari locations.
Some items suggested in the list that follows may not be necessary.
Although you may have some limited access to emergency medical assistance while on safari, it is a good idea to take a small medical kit with you. Consider packing the following items:
- lip balm, moisturizer
- headache tablets
- antiseptic (e.g. Polysporin)
- diarrhea medication
- small scissors/tweezers
- prescriptions – be sure to bring all prescription medication in their original packaging containing your name and your Doctor’s name
What To Leave At Home
Not everything was meant to travel. Do yourself a favor – before you pack, re-evaluate.
Some definite considerations are:
- Hairdryer and other electrical devices – with differences in country-specific electrical specs, unless your device has dual power capabilities built in, packing these will just take up space but will not work as required. Check electrical devices carefully to ensure they can perform within 100 to 240 Volts otherwise, leave them at home.
- Colognes or other fragrant lotions and sprays. Traveling with others in close quarters can irritate allergies. Be mindful of those around you and the animals (and insects) you may encounter or attract.
Many other references for suggestions on what to pack (and how to pack) can be found online. Here are just a few to get you started:
- Tipping Practices in Kenya and Tanzania
Like anywhere in the world, tipping shows the recipient that you are aware of the service provided and you appreciate the manner in which you have received the service., therefore, tipping is always at your discretion.
While on safari, you encounter many individuals who rely on the extra income that tipping offers. At some locations, a tipping box is available at the front desk. Any amount deposited here will be shared among all staff at the camp. If you desire, specific tips to special individuals can also be given directly to them as you see fit.
Below is the suggested amounts for tipping while you are on safari. Tipping should be given in US funds (small bills only) or the local currency equivalency. Although your international arrival hotel can usually provide exchange services, we recommend bringing approx $100 USD in single one dollar bills with you for smaller tips, depending on the length of your stay. Lodges outside of the metropolitan areas may not have exchange facilities, so do prepare in advance. Larger bills are useful when considering your tour leader and driver/guide tips at the end of a safari segment, since you may be changing vehicles or guides.
If the occasion arises and you would like to tip and are unsure of the amount, check with your Tour Leader who will be your best resource.
Tour Leader $15/person/day Driver/Guide $10/person/day Driver $5/person/day Porters $1/bag Housekeeper $3-5/day/room Hotel Staff $1-2 Transfer Driver $1-2 Meals 10-15% total bill (for meals outside of itinerary) Taxi Driver 10% of fare (if metered fare)
- Travel Medical Info
Many countries have specific vaccination requirements for travel to Africa. Check with your local travel health clinic for vaccination requirements and be sure your routine vaccinations are up-to-date: influenza, chickenpox (or varicella), polio, measles/mumps/rubella (MMR), and diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus (DPT).
Check the links below to see which vaccinations are recommended by your local government.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for the following vaccine-preventable diseases while traveling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider or travel health clinic a minimum of 6 weeks prior to your trip.
Yellow Fever Vaccination
Yellow fever is a disease caused by the bite of an infected mosquito. Be sure to get your vaccination to avoid any medical concerns associated with Yellow fever.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for the following vaccine-preventable diseases while traveling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider or travel health clinic a minimum of 6 weeks prior to your trip to determine which vaccines you will require.
Yellow Fever Vaccination
Yellow fever is a disease caused by the bite of an infected mosquito. Be sure to get your vaccination to avoid any medical concerns associated with Yellow Fever.
ENSURE YOU BRING YOUR PROOF OF YELLOW FEVER VACCINATION CARD WITH YOU AS IT IS REQUIRED FOR ENTRY TO TANZANIA
- Travel Advisories
Prior to traveling to any country, be sure to check with your local government to ensure you are aware of any official recommendations or restrictions. Lifetime Adventures will take precautions to ensure everyone’s safety, however, you are solely responsible for your travel decisions.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Why do I need a warm coat in Africa?
Depending on the season, or if you are taking the Kenya Safari that includes a visit to The Ark, you will require a warm coat for the evening and early morning. The Ark is at a higher elevation and it will get cool in the evening. This is the one location on the safari where you might not sleep. The Ark was built at a watering hole and you can enjoy watching herds of elephants, cape buffalo, and various other wildlife all night long.
- What happens if I have an emergency and I need to leave the safari early?
We hope that you won’t have any emergencies while you are enjoying your safari. However, if you do, our tour guides are trained to handle any emergency on the safari, and if an emergency happens back home and you need to leave the safari early, we’ll help you make arrangements to get back to an international airport and on your way home.
- What type of vehicles will be used on the safari?
Lifetime Adventures uses a 4 x 4 Land Cruiser with a pop-up roof. This type of vehicle will give you more protection and safety than an open-sided vehicle.
- What happens if I bring the wrong type of luggage?
The safari vehicles have limited space for your luggage. We recommend you bring soft-sided luggage to allow the driver the ability to pack the vehicle properly. Hard-sided luggage is difficult to pack and will not allow the driver the flexibility required when packing everyone’s luggage. A duffel bag or soft luggage will ensure that all luggage is in the back compartment and that you won’t need to hold any luggage on your lap…very uncomfortable for you and everyone around you. If you require further information on the luggage size and style, please email us at [email protected]
- What happens if I bring too much luggage?
When you travel on an African safari you need to travel lightly. Everyone will be allowed 1 piece of luggage and 1 carry on (a small backpack or bag is perfect). There isn’t a lot of room in the safari vehicles and luggage in the cab of the vehicle will be in the way of everyone’s enjoyment. For further information, please refer to our packing list above. If you do bring more luggage than necessary, we will make arrangements with the hotel to store your excess luggage until we return.
- Do I need to make my own arrangements to the hotel from the airport?
No. Ensure we have your arrival information and we’ll have a Lifetime Adventures host pick you up at the airport and transfer you to the hotel. We’ll also ensure you are transferred back to the airport at the end of the safari.
- Does my safari tour include flights into and out of Africa?
Our safari tours are designed to be inclusive from the moment you exit the airport until we return you to the airport again for your journey home. We do not handle the flights to and from Africa.
- If I choose to add an extension safari to my trip, do I need to arrange the flight between Nairobi and Arusha?
No. We will make those arrangements for you. Just book the Kenya and Tanzania safaris that fit your schedule and add the flight portion you need when you book your safari and we’ll do the rest. We’ll have your plane ticket ready for you when you arrive at the hotel.
- Is Lifetime Adventures able to assist me with booking additional hotel stays?
Yes. If you are planning to stay in Kenya or Tanzania before or after your safari, we can assist in booking additional hotel nights for you, just let us know your itinerary and budget.
- Can I extend my stay?
We can help you extend your tour after your African Safari ends.
Our schedule is designed to allow you to extend your African Safari by combining a Kenya and Tanzania trip. This would require a flight between the 2 countries. We would be happy to make those arrangements for you. When booking your safaris, you will be asked if you require the flight. Please indicate if you would like a return flight or a one-way flight. We’ll make the arrangements and have your airline ticket available when you arrive.
If you are planning an extended stay prior to or after your safari and require additional hotel rooms or a driver, please let us know and we’d be happy to make the arrangements on your behalf.
- What time do I need to be at the hotel the first day of the safari?
We ask that your flight into Africa lands at the airport no later than 5:00 p.m. so there is time to meet you and transfer you to the hotel. We have a meet and greet planned for 7:00 p.m. where you will meet the other guests on your safari. We will also provide you with additional information about your safari and introduce you to your driver and tour guide.