Shoor Safaris :: African Safari and Travel Packages for Kenya & Tanzania
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FAQ ( Frequently Asked Questions )

Do I need a Visa for Kenya, Tanzania or Uganda ?

Yes you do if you are from virtually all parts of Europe, North and South Americas or Asia. Only nationals of certain countries in Africa are excempt. Visas are available for all nationals upon arrival except for nationals of certain countries such as Pakistan. Therfore nationals of UK, USA, Canada, India, and most European countries can apply for a visa upon arrival in Kenya, Tanzania or Uganda. However we suggest that Visas be arranged prior to your travel from the respective Kenya, Tanzania or Uganda embassises, High commisions or Consulates. The cost is USD 50 per person.

Travellers originating from or transiting through a yellow fever zone country, such as in most of Asia or Africa, must also be vaccinated for Yellow Fever and produce the certificate for entry into East Africa. This is a new rule for 2008.
Which Locations should I visit for my safari ?

There are many excellent safari and holiday locations in Kenya , Tanzania and Uganda. How many of these you can visit depends on the duration of holiday, the pace of travel you are happy with and whether you want to include internal flights to get around quicker. Have a look at our Safari planner for more on this information.

The main safari locations in Kenya are Masai Mara, Amboseli, Lake Nakuru, Samburu and Tsavo West National parks. In Tanzania the premier parks are Ngorongoro, Serengeti, Lake Manyara and Tarangire, while in the vast south of the country Selous and Ruaha offer a superb safari experience. Off circuit locations have the appeal of being less "touristy" - contact us for information on these.
How Can I book a safari and how can I pay for it ?

The first step is to finalise your itinerary with us after you are satisfied with it [ we tailor safaris /holidays to your preferences]. Once this is done, you email us your confirmation to reserve the safari for you which entails us booking your rooms, reserving our safari vehicle etc. At this stage you therefore need to pay us a deposit, usually 40%, with the balance being payable 35 days prior to the start of your safari.

Payment: You may pay by credit card or by direct bank transfer. Credit cards attract a 4% bank fee while a bank transfer attracts a flat USD 50-70 fee depending on where you remit the money from - these are bank costs. Prior to booking the safari you will also receive the cancellation and general Terms and Conditions. The payment procedure is simple and safe and involves you faxing or emailing us your authorisation and credit card information - the authorisation is a simple form which you will [ we email it to you] authorising the charge on your credit card. These documents are send to the local Barclaycard center run by Barclays Bank PLC.

Credit card or Bank Transfer ? Whereas credit cards can be billed on the spot, bank transfer payments take between 5 -8 days, and we will send you a receipt upon receiving funds in our bank.

Is your money safe with us ? Yes it is - we are members of Kenya Association of Tour Operators [KATO], as well as members of IATA [International Ass. of Travel Agents] and UFTAA - to date we have no complaint from any of our numerous clients against us - the same applies to our reputation as a merchant with Visa or Mastercard. We have been in operation for over 11 years while the parent company and directors are located in Kenya and have excellent personal standing in Kenya society and business circles. Additionally we have been dealing with all major airlines over the last 11 years, a fact which indicates a healthy financial postion of our company as IATA periodically accesses company financial statements. During the political crisis in Kenya, we promptly refunded clients [who wished to cancel trips] their payments running into large sums of money, as per our Terms and Conditions.

Whats the security like in Kenya and East Africa ?

East Africa combined receives well over 1.3 million tourists every year from all parts of the world mainly Europe and North America. Kenya alone receives close to 1 million visitors every year. Thankfully, cases of terrorism or crime against tourists are extremely rare. Incidents of minor crime such as theft of valuables are more common in the main urban centers and visitors most affected are those who may be walking in certain parts of these towns or cities.

The last major terrorist incident in Kenya or Tanzania[ and the only one to date] was in 1998 when the targets were the US embassy buildings. Cases of violent crime against tourists are very rare and one of the factors involved is the fact that safari parks tend to be the safest locations one could be at as the parks are often in isolated, rural places, often secured and well patrolled and with the biggest "threat" coming only from the rather innocent wildlife !

While in urban areas in Kenya and the rest of East Africa, standard precautions are necessary as they may be in other parts of the world. In towns and cities it is suggested that tourists take the following precautions.
While in urban centers avoid walking out of your hotel unless within the immediate vicinity of the hotel. Taking a walk within most parts of the central business districts in Nairobi, Arusha, Dar, or Kampala is entirely safe, however , it qought to be done sensibly, during daylight hours and within well populated streets where there is little danger. Walking out at night is not recommended.

Keep your valubles in a safe place and do not wear , "display" or carry expensive items to full view. Cameras and the like are fine, but should always be stowed away safely - wearing excessive jewellery openly is unwise.

Limit amount of cash carried to what you need only for cash purchases - most hotels, safari lodges and tour operators accept major credit cards such as Visa and Mastercard.

Follow the general instructions of your tour driver guide and stick to the set itinerary.

For the political situation in Kenya post 2007 elections please click here

Are wild animals dangerous ?

Wildlife by its very nature, including as it does carnivorous and powerful animals ranging from the Lion to the elephant, can be dangerous. However, virtually all reported incidents of injury due to wild animals happens when a human is on foot, closer than they should be to the animal. It should be pointed out that animals are usually acting defensively when they attack humans - so keep your distance, respect the animal's space, and avoid being on foot where you should not be, especially without an experienced and porfessional guide, and you should be fine.

It should be pointed out that special care should be taken with femal animals nurturing their young - these animals are easily provoked by what they perceive as a threat so as to protect their young. e At certain camps and lodges, it is not uncommon for wildlife to wander through the property but the bigger animals only do so rarely and often at night, without the intention of harming people.
Follow your field guide or tour leader's guidelines strictly, never venture outside your camping site at night without your guide, and don't feed the animals, however lovely they may seem !

What type of vehicle is used on safari ?

We use both safari tour vans and four wheel drive Landcruisers. The tour vans are just as comfortable while being a little cheaper. Landcruisers are useful for locations which may experience muddy roads if it rains. Both vehicles have game viewing roofs, radio calls and comfortable seats with seat belts. For individuals wishing to hire a vehicle [ not recommended because the roads are generally not in a good state of repair], we can offer them self drive Suzuki or Mitsubishi four wheel drives. ( Please see our Car Hire section ). Everything is done to assure your comfort while travelling. Special cooler boxes for cold drinks are part of our standard equipment.
Communication - Languages and Phones

The national languages used in Kenya are Kiswahili and English. All staff at virtually all 3, 4 and 5 star hotels can converse in good English. Certain lodges keep staff who also speak French, Spanish, German or Dutch languages.

The main telecommunication modes are faily reliable and include the internet, mobile/cellphone communication, direct land line telephone and telephone booths plus radio call, just to name but a few. The most reliable is the mobile phone, which is widely used and cheap to buy. Internet communication is also largely available in most major towns and cities and is quite efficient in addition to being cheap.
What is the climate like ?

Kenya and Tanzania generally have a temperate tropical climate with 2 rainy seasons, and generally warm temperatures, free from winter, and with the majority of days in a year being sunny and warm with cool evenings. Two rainy seasons occur - March to May and October to November. Even in the rainy season, certain locations in the region experience bright sunny days, and rain clouds are as quick to disappear as they are to appear. Please see the type of clothing you should wear while in different parts of the country below.

Uganda has a more equatorial type of climate and tends to be wetter during the rainy seasons.

Is the food safe ?

Kenya offers an impressive range of foods and drinks to suit all visitors needs from vegeterian diets to full course meals. Whether in a luxury city hotel or deep in the bush, a traveller is almost guaranteed to find a mouth watering buffet with a wide variety of meats to fresh salads and drinks. The food is relatively safe to try whilst in a hotel or lodge which caters for international tourists. Soft drinks and alcohol are also readily available, cheap and safe to drink. It is recommended to always drink only mineral water which is widely available - buy only reputable brands from reputed shops - most fuelling stations such as Shell or Caltex have their own stores which stock everything from water to wines.
What kind of clothing should I wear ?
Kenya and Tanzania have a diverse climatic range form extremely hot and dry regions to cold and wet areas. We have listed below an idea of the various altitudes and how you should dress while there.
In the mountain region ( 5000ft and above ), the temparatures are cooler. Add gloves, strong foot wear and heavy rain gear.
If you are in the coastal region, where the weather is very tropical and hot, wear comfortable loose cotton and some sun    protection. This applies to Mombasa, Zanzibar and the all coastal areas.
In the eastern region ( below 3000ft ), normally hot, dry and dusty, you are advised to carry a hat, cotton pants and long sleeved   shirts. Also carry sun protection.
While in the highland areas ( 3000 - 5000ft ), with a climate that ranges from cool / hot days and cold nights in addition    to frequent rainfall, you are advised to add a sweater and rain jacket.
How are the roads ?

Kenya and Tanzania have an extensive road network. One drives on the left. All major roads are tarred though most of these are not in very good condition and it is common to find potholes. The roads in the National Park are generally good gravel surfaces, but may at times be dusty, rough or muddy.
However, travel is nonetheless comfortable - for tourists with back / neck problems, we recommend that they only consider flying between the parks especially if the road journey is over 3 hours duration - the roads can be rough and may aggrevate a back or neck pain.
For pictures of safari vehicles plus other car options and rates,
lease see our Car hire page. For travel durations between places in Kenya, Click here
For more information or for answers to any questions you may have regarding safaris in East Africa, please feel free to
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