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The Flying Doctors Service
Safari glossary
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Planning your safari:
Quick guide
Complicated preparations are not required when travelling on a packaged safari tours. This page summarizes the necessary preparations. Further information on each topic can be found by following the other links within this section of Safari Patrol.

PDF quick guide
The PDF quick guide contains the most vital facts to know before and during your safari. It also has species lists for safari mammals and the most common birds and reptiles.

Download the PDF quick guide

Travel documents
You need a passport, which should remain valid six months after the day you plan to depart from East Africa after your safari.

For citizens of most countries, a visa is required to enter Tanzania or Kenya. You can get a visa at the Kenyan or Tanzanian embassy or high commission in your country, or at the international airport when arriving in Kenya or Tanzania.

More about visas and passports
Adresses etc to Kenyan and Tanzanian ambassies/high commissions

You need your flight ticket. To avoid problems when checking in for the flights, make sure that the name on the ticket and the name in your passport are the same.

Your travel company or tour operator should also provide you with a booking confirmation, i.e. a document confirming that you have booked and paid the tour so-and-so. The document should contain the tour itinerary, and specify what's included in the price you have paid. There should also be contact information, so that you can get in touch with the local tour operator should there be some problems, such as flight delays.

You should have a travel insurance. You may extend your insurance by becoming a member with AMREF:s Flying Doctor service, based in Nairobi in Kenya. (For a link, see 'More web sites' .)

Local currency
You can get Kenyan currency (Kenyan shillings, KES) from exchange bureaus in some countries. Tanzanian currency (Tanzanian shillings, TZS) can only be exchanged in Tanzania.

USD can often be used for paying locally, instead of using local currency, but expect an exchange rate to your disadvantage.

More about money and currency

Kenya and Tanzania are tropical countries, where the diseases you may catch are different from in other parts of the world. You may for example catch malaria.

Consult a doctor or vaccination clinic in good time before travelling, to make sure you have appropriate vaccinations and malaria protection for East Africa.

More about vaccinations
More about health

Little or no special equipment is required for an ordinary safari. You mainly need luggage as were you going for a beach holiday. A pair of binoculars, a camera and a warm sweater usually come to good use.

More about luggage
Luggage list for safaris
More about cameras
More about binoculars

There are many books and web sites on safaris, East Africa, wildlife etc, but whether you want to prepare yourself for the trip by reading or not is all up to you. No previous knowledge is required to take part in or enjoy a safari.

Good books can be found in bookstores, on the web and even in libraries. You can also find much information by exploring this web site.

More about guidebooks
More about books on wildlife and nature

On arrival
On most safaris, your tour leader or the local tour operator is waiting for you in the arrivals hall when you have landed in Kenya or Tanzania. They will be there even if your flight is heavily delayed; it's their job to meet you. They handle the airport transfer, and make sure you get all information needed for the safari to begin.

If you are travelling on a private arrangement, and don't have a transfer booked, there are taxis and airport shuttles to take you from the airport.

Contact information
Apart from the contact information of the local tour operator, you may want to bring contact information for your embassy or high comission in Kenya or Tanzania, should something happen during your tour.

More about addresses and contact information

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Page updated 12 May 2009